One of the most divisive creative decisions to happen in WWE in recent months is the introduction of the “Wildcard Rule.” This essentially means that certain superstars from each brand can appear on another brand’s show every week. As a result, it hasn’t felt like there’s been any exclusivity between the Monday Night Raw and SmackDown Live rosters at all.
One of the main reasons the company created the brand split in the first place was to give more roster members opportunities on television, as well as create an illusion of competition within the company. In recent times, though, both weekly shows have felt like the same product.
At its best, the brand split made both flagship shows feel like their own separate entities. However, the company has always found ways to amalgamate both rosters, which in turn made the split feel like a missed opportunity in the grand scheme of things.
The good news, however, is that the company is reportedly looking to return to the original spirit of the brand split. As quoted by Wrestletalk, the Wrestling Observer Newsletter’s Dave Meltzer claims that the company will soon host a draft to make the current rosters more permanent.
“Right now there is a concept of another draft type of thing to build permanent Raw and SmackDown rosters. What we were originally told is that they wouldn’t be making major changes, but some changes, but this is Vince. Everything is being kept quiet and USA and FOX will be the first to know when the concept is decided.”
There’s no word yet as to when fans can expect the new draft, but with SmackDown Live debuting on Fox this October, we might see it soon. With NXT also moving to the USA Network to counteract All Elite Wrestling’s upcoming weekly show on TNT, the black-and-gold brand will effectively become a third main show in its own right. Now is a perfect time to start switching up the rosters.
WWE is reportedly planning to have another draft (superstar shake-up) later this year:https://t.co/l820hS8Ygu— WrestleTalk (@WrestleTalk_TV) August 29, 2019
At the same time, it’ll be interesting how the company manages to convince Fox and the USA Network that a brand split is a good idea. As noted by WhatCulture, both networks reportedly want the brand split to end so their respective shows can feature the company’s biggest stars.
This is why McMahon allegedly introduced the “Wildcard Rule” in the first place, so here’s hoping that he’s found a way to sell this idea to network executives.