This is big news for WWE as they are going back to their old ways with a new twist. Starting July 19, SmackDown will be live on Tuesdays. In addition to that, there will be a brand split and a draft will determine the new rosters.
The idea makes sense for the WWE as they have more talent and they need to get every talent some quality TV time. Also, going live would be great to give both shows a feel of equal footing. SmackDown has always felt as the lesser show since it was taped and all the big storyline moments tend to be saved for Raw.
Now with this change, here are some thoughts.
It appears that Raw and SmackDown will have separate general managers. That actually works perfectly with Shane and Stephanie McMahon as they both can run their own show. I predict Stephanie will take over SmackDown again and give the returning Shane the spotlight on still the flagship show.
With two separate rosters, that will give way to more NXT talents returning and the return of Seth Rollins and John Cena a chance to shine. Also, where is Randy Orton and Bray Wyatt going to be? This will be fun.
What made the brand split so successful the first time around that the two shows were so distinctly unique and different. That was a great product of the draft and trading. The WWE needs to make sure these rosters are well balanced with the draft but also have the booking work to make sure both brands are given the highest priority.
The first time the brand split happened, champions were allowed to show up on either show. I hope this is the case as well to really give all the champions a chance to really get the best rivalries possible storylines.
Overall, this is a good move for WWE. They didn’t have to do this since they have no viable competition for themselves. But seeing how well it worked the first time around, they are challenging themselves with this again. The timing works for this. I hope it opens up the product to newer and fresher things.