Thanks to the eagle eye of Robert Miqueli, this article from Variety was uncovered. USA Network is thrilled with the extra exposure the already-successful WWE Monday Night Raw has received from the guest host gimmick, and so we can expect to see this continue for a while, as Raw has pretty much become a part of the “talkshow circuit.” Here’s a snippet, with a look into future and possible guest hosts:
Given how successful the guest hosts have been, WWE plans to continue having them appear on “Raw” at least through the end of the year, and possibly up to WrestleMania 26 next March.
“For right now, it’s really working and clicking,” [Stephanie] McMahon said. “But it’s just the beginning.”
Upcoming booked talent includes former gameshow host Bob Barker, the Rev. Al Sharpton, “Access Hollywood” co-host Nancy O’Dell, boxer Floyd Mayweather and basketball player LeBron James. Fall Out Boy’s Pete Wentz, Ashlee Simpson, the Osbournes, Danny DeVito, Regis Philbin and Kelly Ripa, Jimmy Fallon, Rachael Ray, MC Hammer, Woody Harrelson, Serena Williams and Ashton Kutcher also are in talks for hosting gigs.
While embracing the PG rating has helped WWE attract new advertisers like 7-Eleven and Pepsi, the extra star wattage is only expected to help keep sponsors happy.
“We’re letting them feel safe with the PG environment,” McMahon said. “By bringing in the celebrities, we’re saying, ‘If it’s OK for them, it’s OK for you too.’ “
First, let me just say, any gig that gets MC Hammer out of his refrigerator box and in front of a hot meal is a good one. And I would throw my mom down the stairs to see Danny Devito bring the rest of the cast of “It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia” with him; a tag match featuring John Cena & Day Man vs. Randy Orton & Night Man is money waiting to be printed.
The guest host idea has been met with mixed responses from us snarky fans, but so were the low 3s Raw was drawing just a few months ago. And how many times have you seen some smart mark gripe about WWE not being able to pull in good advertisers? This is becoming less of a problem, too, and we even get sweet Big Gulp cups out of the deal! So you take the good, you take the bad, you take them both and there you have the facts of life. -Eric