"After several months of negotiations, we have decided to end our discussions about extending our relationship with WWE beyond September 2005," said the Spike release. "Moving forward, Spike TV will expand its investments in original programming and new acquisitions for its core audience."
Monday Night RAW has remained one of cable's highest-rated programs for nearly a decade, including its five-year run on Spike TV. The WWE also gave Spike plenty of weekend programming as well, with the Heat, Velocity, and Experience shows.
After signing a $28 million deal with the WWE in 2000, Spike watched ratings fall as wrestling hit a downslope. Nonetheless, McMahon was still pursuing a new deal upwards of $40 million. He tried to negotiate with TNT, TBS, and FX to raise the price, but none of the other networks bit.