It’s been rumored ever since Shane McMahon returned to WWE, and now it has been confirmed that an all-new brand split is coming. Starting in July, SmackDown will be moving nights on the USA Network and it will have a very unique and distinct roster. Except for moving nights, the same can be said for Monday Night Raw, which will also have its own roster after a superstar draft takes place between the two brands.
Out of nowhere on Wednesday morning, the WWE website made the announcement that a brand split would be coming soon. That bombshell was accompanied by the news that SmackDown would soon be moving nights. It will soon air live every week on Tuesday evenings and leave Thursday nights in the past.
— WWE (@WWE) May 25, 2016
Beginning on July 19, SmackDown will make its big move and it will air live on Tuesdays beginning at 8 p.m. EST every week on the USA Network.
WWE is calling this move for SmackDown one that will usher in the “New Era.” Seems as if that is a play on words and going off of the WWE Attitude Era that was so popular for many years in the ’90s and into the 2000’s.
Both SmackDown and Monday Night RAW are going to feature their own unique rosters which will consist of superstars from WWE. There has been no word as of yet how NXT is going to fit into this whole equation, but there was the announcement of a new superstar draft coming along as well.
Vince McMahon issued a statement regarding the situation and knows how much talent is currently on the WWE roster. Just recently, McMahon stated that over the next months, WWE would have more talents on the roster than they have ever had before.
“WWE’s flagship programs will both leverage the incredible depth of our talent roster, distinct storylines and the unpredictable nature of live TV. This move will undoubtedly build more excitement and deepen engagement with our fans around the world.”
There has been no word as to who will be on each show, but John Cena and Seth Rollins were specifically name-dropped today, but they were the only names mentioned. As for who will run each show? That is still up in the air, but more should be known soon.
In the video announcement from Shane McMahon and Stephanie McMahon, they keep talking about SmackDown needing a new leader for the “New Era.” They drop hints and teases back-and-forth while each makes a case for themselves to run it separately from the other.
The WWE superstar draft should end up happening soon as July 19, which is less than two months away, and that is when SmackDown will be going live. The all-new brand split could also signal the return of Triple H in case WWE decides to go the route of Shane McMahon leading one show/brand and The Authority leading the other.
While many are wondering which superstars will go to which show, there are also some other rumblings going around since the big announcement. A few of the big questions are the following.
- Will new championships be introduced?
- Will championships be split between the shows?
- Will champions be able to appear on both brands?
It’s been around six years since the WWE brand split ended, and it came to a conclusion for a number of good reasons. Now, the company is bringing it back with Shane McMahon and Stephanie McMahon in charge of things, but will it work? That remains to be seen, but SmackDown moving to Tuesday nights and airing live may be a step in the right direction. Monday Night RAW will be the flagship, but now both shows will be the focus.
[Image via WWE]