The current coronavirus pandemic has resulted in WWE seemingly abandoning the rules of the brand split. Earlier today, Charlotte Flair took to Twitter and confirmed that she’ll be appearing on tonight’s Friday Night SmackDown, presumably to defend her NXT Championship against a blue brand superstar.
Flair is technically a Monday Night Raw superstar who recently began appearing on NXT after winning the brand’s title at this year’s WrestleMania. The belief is that WWE has been using her star power to try and elevate the black-and-gold brand now that the weekly show is airing on the USA Network against AEW Dynamite on Wednesday nights. Now it seems she’s being used to bring more excitement to the blue brand.
It remains to be seen what Flair’s purpose on tonight’s Friday Night SmackDown will be, but she’ll certainly attract some attention. It’s possible that WWE will feature her in a segment with Bayley or Sasha Banks as they are the show’s top female talents. However, WWE may use her to boost one of Friday Night SmackDown‘s underutilized talents.
It’s also possible that Rhea Ripley will appear on the show. During this week’s episode of NXT, the former Women’s Champion stated that she’s coming for Flair’s title. She clearly has Flair in her sights, and she could follow the champion to Friday Night Smackdown — especially if Flair is going to grant a title shot to someone.
— Ms. WrestleMania (@MsCharlotteWWE) May 15, 2020
This also appears to be WWE’s latest development in the “Brand-to-Brand Invitation” concept. As The Inquisitr reported earlier this week, the company has introduced this rule so superstars can be moved between each brand more freely. It’s similar to last year’s “Wildcard Rule,” only this new policy has reportedly been implemented in an effort to boost the company’s low ratings.
Flair will undoubtedly be used more prominently on Monday Night Raw moving forward as well. On the latest episode, Becky Lynch announced that she’s taking time off to have a baby with Seth Rollins. Given that Lynch is the most popular female star in the company, her presence will be missed. However, Flair is on a similar level to Lynch who can help fill that void as WWE seeks to build new stars.
WWE’s refusal to adhere to a strict brand split policy will upset some fans. The “Wildcard Rule” was heavily criticized at the time, and this current initiative is more of the same. With fans already losing interest in the product due to the empty arenas and absence of top stars, the “Brand-to-Brand Invitation” could do more harm than good.