Related to the RAW/Simpsons email … I’m fully convinced that WWE should create an "offseason" from TV, but I’m not sure if WWE could even do that.
In my scenario, the WWE season would premiere in July (to begin setting up feuds for SummerSlam) and the finale would be WrestleMania in March. From April through June, they either wouldn’t be on TV, or at least they wouldn’t air new episodes. If they must do TV, air classic re-runs or best-of clip shows — maybe try to get NXT on TV during that time.
Having a true TV season with a beginning and an ending would set the writers up to write stories that actually have beginnings and endings. The time off would give wrestlers and writers time to recuperate. And the break from TV would create real anticipation for fans. Whether it’s "Game of Thrones" or the NFL, fans get excited for the upcoming season because they’ve had time to miss the product.
But my question is: Could WWE even entertain such an idea? Is the business model of WWE such that they could take three months off from producing new episodes? Do they need those weekly RAW / Smackdown ticket sales too much? Can they take the financial hit now on the chance that it’ll pay off later with a better overall product that could generate Attitude Era money all over again?
No, the nature of their TV deal and relationship with USA means that there’s no way they could go dark for that amount of time. However, in the ideal world where RAW was still two hours, what they COULD do is do a few big tapings in a row like TNA and put, say, a month’s worth of TV in the can and then go dark for that time. Ratings would probably drop a bit and they’d have to know in advance what they were doing for a PPV, but at least that would afford some time off for the guys.
The other solution I’ve seen is a rotating crew, working on, say, an 8 month rotation. Divide into Team Cena, Team Reigns, Team Orton, whatever, and then do each crew gets four months off while the remaining guys work TV and PPV for eight months. After four months, guys suddenly come back to a big pop and are freshened up. Now, the problem there is a forced vacation from TV means that you potentially lose merchandise revenue or house show payoffs, so that’s not ideal either. This is why we need the territories again, because guys used to leave for a while, get hot somewhere else, and then come back as a bigger star.