WWE has abandoned the brand split concept during the coronavirus pandemic, but there are reportedly plans in place to hold another draft at some point.
According to Fightful, the COVID-19 situation has caused the company to put off the event for the time being. It was set to host the draft at the end of August, but it was moved to September. Afterward, officials scheduled it for October, before returning to September again.
WWE has reportedly told its broadcast partners about the plans, but the current crisis has likely caused an indefinite delay to the prospective superstar shake-up. The report also suggested that WWE won’t move ahead with the draft until live events can take place again.
The absence of superstars has also meant that the roster has been depleted for months. It is likely that officials will want key superstars such as Roman Reigns and others back before pressing ahead with the annual event.
As of this writing, some employees are absent due to coronavirus-related safety reasons, while others are absent due to injuries and family reasons.
There have also been reports of positive COVID-19 cases within WWE in recent weeks, which officials will want to overcome before making big decisions regarding the creative direction of the product moving forward.
Several performers were released in April as part of the promotion’s cost-cutting measures as well. The draft is an ideal way to retool each show and solidify established rosters following the recent changes.
The Fightful report also stated that the draft format might be different when it eventually happens. Several options have reportedly been discussed, and there could be some changes made to the traditional format. This could include NXT taking part for the first time now that it’s considered the third official brand.
Despite the uncertainty pertaining to the event right now, the article more or less confirmed that the draft concept hasn’t been abandoned.
Since several performers have been moving back and forth between Monday Night Raw, NXT and Friday Night SmackDown, there was reason to believe that the concept was coming to an end.
The last draft took place in October of last year following SmackDown moving to FOX. The network was supposedly keen on having an exclusive roster for the program at the time, which is why the “Wildcard Rule” was abandoned.
If that’s still the case, Vince McMahon and his executives will be eager to return to the format as soon as possible.