As previously reported by The Inquisitr, recent rumors have suggested that WWE will formally put an end to the controversial Wild Card Rule in the near future and hold a new brand draft, with both parts tentatively scheduled for the second week of October. And while a lot of questions remain unanswered about this major WWE event, a new report has offered more information on what could take place when the division between both main roster brands is firmly enforced once again.
According to WrestlingNews.co, Dave Meltzer wrote on this week's edition of Wrestling Observer Newsletter that WWE is planning to separate both brands' announcing teams once SmackDown Live moves to Fox next month and becomes known as Friday Night SmackDown. This means Corey Graves, who currently serves as a heel commentator on both Monday Night Raw and SmackDown, will become exclusive to one of WWE's two main roster brands once the changes take effect.
It wasn't explained if the announcers will be part of WWE's next brand draft like they have been in past iterations. However, Meltzer shared additional details on the event, writing that Fox plans to hold the event like a "legitimate sports draft," as cited by WrestlingNews.co. With that in mind, SmackDown will no longer be presented as the company's "B" show, as opposed to Raw's long-running status as the flagship brand and program of WWE.In addition, Uproxx noted that Meltzer corroborated Post Wrestling's report on the tentative dates for the WWE brand draft, which claimed the first part will be held on the October 11 edition of Friday Night SmackDown, with the second part airing on the October 14 episode of Raw.
Although SmackDown has helped certain superstars benefit from unexpected pushes as part of its tagline as the "land of opportunity," the blue brand had a number of disadvantages when WWE brought back the brand split in 2016 and held its first draft in several years. As shown on the WWE website, Monday Night Raw was automatically assigned the first overall pick, while SmackDown was only given two picks for every three picks assigned to Raw, with the company explaining that this is due to the fact the latter show is one hour longer than the former.
So far, there hasn't been any official word on the topic of making both shows three hours long. However, Cageside Seats reported in August that per Meltzer, Fox is reportedly planning to extend SmackDown from two to three hours once it debuts on its new network, with the final hour being aired on Fox Sports 1 or the WWE Network.