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Update on WWE Raw and Smackdown Live brand split via a Draft

By Raja
Respective big acquisitions on Raw & Smackdown from Superstar Shakeup 2019 (image courtesy WWE.com)

Bengaluru, August 4: We have noted earlier that things on the WWE programming will go through major changes, later this year. With rival All Elite Wrestling starting their TV show on TNT Network, a rating war is about to begin and WWE officials must come up with more impactful weekly shows to retain viewership.

One of the major changes is bound to happen as WWE will be splitting the roster like the pre-Wrestlemania 35 phases. As reported previously by Slice Wrestling, WWE was about to separate the two rosters by bringing back the Draft or hosting a second edition of Superstar Shakeup in 2019. And they added that the draft was set to take place once Summerslam was over, but that is not on the card, anymore.

Updated reports from Wrestling Observer Newsletter wiped out the chances of seeing the same. They confirmed that no such Draft show which targetsa brand split will take place this year. But WWE will continue maintaining two different rosters just like they used to do before Wrestlemania 35 by demolishing the Wild Card Rule.

This is the sole reason WWE hired Raw Executive Director Paul Heyman and SmackDown Executive Director Eric Bischoff to implement the idea that the two brands would be completely separate. With distinct roster and storylines, the two shows will start functioning in their respective directions. There might be some crossovers if needed but it won't be anyway near the current situation where a superstar can appear on any of the shows, as per their wish.

Here is more from what Dave Meltzer has said on his report on The Observer,

“It is essentially: the rosters that we have now that we are not adhering to at all are going to be adhered to in October. Right now, the theory is that we are back to what we had before come October.”

No official announcements have been made till date regarding WWE changing the rules with superstar appearances on the programmes in due course. Since there won't be any Draft, it is believed that the current Raw and SmackDown rosters will be retained. It also means there won't be any big superstar switches between the two prime shows.

We expect the distinctive rules to be effective once Fox Sports starts hosting Smackdown Live from October 4th onwards. They have also demanded the blue brand to be separate from the flagship show's roster. But Meltzer added it all depends on the TV ratings. In case WWE goes back into the panic mode with fallen TV ratings then they might implement the Wild Card Rule, again.

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Story first published: Sunday, August 4, 2019, 13:28 [IST]
Other articles published on Aug 4, 2019
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