WWE Announces New "Wild Card Rule" For Raw, SmackDown Live
WWE television ratings have been on the decline as of late, while the promotion scrambles to regain any momentum they had coming out of Wrestlemania 35 and the “Superstar Shake-up.” In an effort to spice things up a bit, WWE Chairman Vince McMahon introduced a new “Wild Card Rule” on last night’s episode of Monday Night Raw.
McMahon kicked off Raw with a segment that included SmackDown Live superstars Roman Reigns, Daniel Bryan and WWE Champion Kofi Kingston, during which he explained that select wrestlers will now be eligible to float between the Raw and SmackDown brands.
Following Monday Night Raw, WWE clarified some of the rules, explaining that a limited number of Superstars from Raw or SmackDown would be invited to cross brand lines for one-night-only appearances, with unauthorized jumps to be penalized by fines or even potential firing.
“Superstars crossing between Raw and SmackDown LIVE has, of course, occurred on rare occasion since the 2016 Brand Extension, but the “Wild Card Rule” is the first officially-sanctioned blurring of the lines between Team Red and Team Blue Superstars. (The exceptions before tonight had been Becky Lynch, who holds both the Raw and SmackDown Women’s Titles, and The IIconics, who are eligible to appear on all brands as the free-floating WWE Women’s Tag Team Champions). And although this isn’t to say we’re about to go back to the days of Raw SuperShows or do away with the Brand Extension, there are some staggering implications to the rule depending on who decides to take advantage of it.”
In other words, expect some Raw superstars to make surprise appearances on tonight’s episode of SmackDown Live, as the WWE desperately looks to get more eyes on their product.
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