WWE Frustrated With FOX Over SmackDown Censorship

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There is some frustration within WWE about how FOX chose to edit parts of SmackDown this week.

It was a vocal crowd in New York City for WWE Smackdown on Friday night at Madison Square Garden. That vocal crowd also led to multiple moments in the broadcast where fans watching on FOX in the USA saw a black screen appear on the screen rather than the actual show.

There was a black screen incident when Nia Jax walked down to ringside during the Tiffany Stratton-Jade Cargill-Candice LeRae match. Jax was there to support her friend Stratton. For fans watching in the US, they saw a black screen for several seconds. That’s because a young fan on Jax’s right was giving her a middle finger gesture, which FOX decided to censor. Below, you will see two tweets with one showing the black screen and the other one showing the fan giving Jax the middle finger salute.

Later in the show, the black screen censors were out again because when Tyrese Haliburton of the NBA’s Indiana Pacers appeared on screen, he was greeted with “f**k the Pacers” chants from the crowd that was full of New York Knicks fans.

The WWE Smackdown on Fox deal expires at the end of September 2024 meaning there are just about three months left on the deal. The five-year deal started in October 2019. Starting in October 2024, Smackdown will be moving to USA Network in the USA while a lot of countries will get Smackdown on Netflix to start 2025.

I should note for myself here in Canada I never saw the black screen once because I watched on Sportsnet.

WWE Personnel Are Frustrated By FOX’s SmackDown Editing

Fans of World Wrestling Entertainment who are frustrated by the black screen appearing during SmackDown broadcasts are not alone. Fightful Select reports that there is frustration within WWE about the censorship and editing that takes place during Smackdown broadcasts on Fox.

A longtime WWE wrestler who wasn’t on Smackdown sent this message to Fightful about being frustrated about he editing that Fox does.

“It’s a chore to watch sometimes. I understand censoring ‘f**k the Pacers,’ but it feels like every segment is edited and it makes us look like it’s our production.”

This wasn’t the first time that the FOX censors were out for a WWE broadcast because it happens sometimes. Back in March when The Rock was using some creative language on Smackdown, he was censored heavily as well.

Earlier this week, WWE’s Chief Content Officer Paul “Triple H” Levesque confirmed that the company won’t have censoring issues starting in January 2025 when Raw goes to Netflix.