Home Can Lee Fitting bring an authentic sports-TV look, feel to WWE programming?

Can Lee Fitting bring an authentic sports-TV look, feel to WWE programming?

Chris Graham
(© rafapress – shutterstock.com)

JMU alum Lee Fitting, a 25-year veteran of ESPN, including stints leading the presentation of staples like “Monday Night Football” and “College GameDay,” is now in charge of the TV look and feel of WWE.

It was an interesting move on the part of WWE, and its new corporate overlord, TKO Holdings, which also owns and operates UFC, to go with Fitting, a guy from outside the wrestling business, to replace Kevin Dunn, who had been the head of TV and media for WWE dating back to 1993.

What’s interesting about the move is, it’s almost always the case that the people who get these jobs in the wrestling business have a good history in the business beforehand.

Dunn, for instance, basically grew up in the business, under the thumb of his father, Dennis, who produced WWF TV for Vince McMahon Sr.

Kevin Sullivan, the other one, the one recently let go by AEW after being their head TV production guy, had runs in WWE, Impact and Bellator MMA.

WWE and TKO, going with Fitting, might be signaling an interest in getting away from the ‘rasslin-heavy presentation favored by Dunn, which gave us pro wrestling as “Shakespeare with turnbuckles,” as wrestling podcaster Jim Cornette referred to WWE this week.

Dunn, under the thumb of Vince McMahon Jr., favored a presentation that was more TV than sports TV, with lots of character development in the form of promos from the talents, and little actual wrestling – and what little actual wrestling there was often being broken up by commercial breaks, in the middle of the wrestling action.

The actual wrestling on Dunn’s shows was almost an afterthought; it felt like the matches got in the way of what he really wanted to highlight, which was people talking.

Fitting, coming from a TV sports background, we can hope will want to give us programming that looks like sports; maybe, for example, instead of the talents standing in the ring with a mic to cut a promo, going back to the old-school way of having an interviewer leading them through their paces to get their characters over.

I sincerely hope that Fitting gets rid of the seizure-inducing multiple camera angles that Dunn would cut to in rapid succession that have, for years, made WWE TV practically unwatchable at times.

And maybe, and this isn’t asking a lot, we can get commercial breaks between matches, not interrupting them?

I have high hopes; but in the wrestling business, high hopes are often dashed.

Chris Graham

Chris Graham

Chris Graham is the founder and editor of Augusta Free Press. A 1994 alum of the University of Virginia, Chris is the author and co-author of seven books, including Poverty of Imagination, a memoir published in 2019, and Team of Destiny: Inside Virginia Basketball’s Run to the 2019 National Championship, and The Worst Wrestling Pay-Per-View Ever, published in 2018. For his commentaries on news, sports and politics, go to his YouTube page, or subscribe to his Street Knowledge podcast. Email Chris at [email protected].