WWE brought in a new “Brand-to-Brand Invitation” this past week to help shake things up a bit, and a new stipulation has already been added. The invitation allows for superstars to appear on the shows of other brands but not repeatedly. A new rule has been added less than one week into its existence, which will strictly limit how many times a superstar can appear on another brand.
On Friday Night SmackDown, NXT Women’s Champion Charlotte Flair appeared to make life chaotic for superstars on the blue brand. She showed up to stir the pot between Sasha Banks and SmackDown Women’s Champion Bayley, but Flair is a member of the Raw brand.
Wrestle Talk reported that the new stipulation would limit each superstar to four appearances on a brand that isn’t their own. With Charlotte’s appearance on SmackDown, she has already used one of her allowed jumps.
Next week, Charlotte will be back on the blue brand to face off against Bayley, which will make two appearances for her.
On next week’s Monday Night Raw, King Baron Corbin will use one of his four appearances. The SmackDown brand superstar will appear on the red brand to take on WWE Champion Drew McIntyre.
WWE reportedly introduced the new Brand-to-Brand Invitation to help the sagging ratings of its TV shows. The new stipulation will maintain some order and have the brand separation remain intact, but WWE will need to enforce it for that to happen.
Last year, Vince McMahon introduced the “Wild Card Rule,” which also had a limit on the number of times a superstar could jump brands. That stipulation was repeatedly broken, and “harsh punishments” used as threats never once came about.
After a while, the Wild Card Rule turned into numerous superstars jumping brands whenever they pleased and appearing anywhere. In October, Fox eliminated the rule, and the brands only intermingled again for Survivor Series.
Charlotte Flair and King Baron Corbin are the first superstars to make their jumps, and both are involved with champions on other brands. WWE has not yet said if this invitation will continue through the entire summer or how things will be for the Survivor Series in November.
The new stipulation added to the Brand-to-Brand Invitation does put more restrictions on things to keep separation in place. Even though she is the NXT Women’s Champion, Charlotte is on the Raw brand, which still doesn’t clear up if the yellow brand is involved in the invitation rule.