In the midst of numerous conflicting reports regarding the situation, few know what really happened between WWE and Spike TV this past Monday. But, according to sources, once a USA reference slipped onto television, top Spike TV officials sent word to the editors that there was no need to continue the censorship through the end of the show. No word is available on the extent to which WWE and Spike TV communicated during the show, but it is believed that they did indeed talk.
Interestingly enough, one source states that Spike TV officials were upset that censorship of “USA” took place at all. While Spike wasn’t expecting WWE to go overboard in referencing its new network, its real fear – and reason for the tape delay – was WWE taking shots at the network it was departing. That being said, Spike TV editors were still not expecting WWE to heavily plug USA.
Of course, many are attacking WWE’s claims that it had no idea Spike TV would have objected to the USA mentions. The ongoing feeling within WWE, as even noted in last week’s Ross Report, was that Spike TV would not have looked favorably upon plugging the new network on the air. Many believe the best evidence is the fact that WWE did not plug USA until its final week on Spike TV. If it had nothing to fear, sources wonder, why didn’t WWE begin pushing the move to USA weeks ago?
What is certain, however, is that the already estranged relationship between WWE and Spike TV grew to an extremely negative one in recent weeks. Vince McMahon’s bitter reaction to ads for TNA and UFC, which featured obvious shots at World Wrestling Entertainment, only furthered the notion that as much as Spike TV wanted WWE off its network, WWE could not wait to leave.