WWE has added a new ‘wild card’ rule to their brand extension. The company announced on Monday night that 4 Superstars from Smackdown Live will be allowed to appear on RAW. Conversely 4 RAW Superstars or ‘Wild Cards’ can appear on Smackdown Live each week. Dave Meltzer of Wrestling Observer Radio confirmed that this was in response to ratings pressure from USA Network (NBCUniversal) and FOX.
Reportedly Vince McMahon did not want to scrap the ‘brand extension’ and opted for this unique move. WWE has apparently been facing outside pressure from both Networks regarding the current trend of falling ratings. FOX and NBCUniversal want star power on both brands and the rumored feeling is that neither brand is strong enough on it’s own right now.
FOX also reportedly want RAW and Smackdown storylines when the blue brand moves over to the network in October. This could be a way to boost the numbers if the RAW brand is producing exciting content. NBCUniversal are reportedly very unhappy that WWE drafted Roman Reigns over to Smackdown, especially considering the low ratings in RAW’s third hour. There has been pressure from both sides to cease the brand extension.
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