According to a report, strong ratings for this week’s episode of WWE Raw could lead to a brand split rule change.
SmackDown superstars The Usos and Universal Champion Roman Reigns appeared on last night’s episode of Monday Night Raw as WWE looks to fix the ratings problem for its flagship program.
AEW Dynamite defeated Monday Night Raw in the key 18-49 demographic for the second straight week. AEW’s first victory two weeks ago over Raw reportedly prompted WWE to move the planned Randy Orton-Bobby Lashley WWE Championship match at Extreme Rules to last week’s show.
Lashley retained the title, but Big E successfully cashed in his Money in the Bank contract to become the new champion. With the victory, Big E moved from the SmackDown roster over to Raw, which reunited him with longtime New Day allies Kofi Kingston and Xavier Woods.
WrestleVotes reported Monday that if this week’s episode of Raw garners higher ratings than usual, it “would open the box to showcasing main superstars on both brands”
WWE ran a concept like this two years ago. For the 2019 Superstar Shake-Up, Vince McMahon included a “Wild Card Rule” which allowed four wrestlers from either brand to appear on the other show each week. The rule only lasted a short time as WWE ran a draft in October following SmackDown‘s move over to FOX on Friday nights.
The 2021 WWE Draft is scheduled to run on Oct. 1 and Oct. 4. This marks a prime opportunity for WWE to shake up the roster and rebuild Raw, which has seen a noticeable and concerning decline in viewership. And it’s not about to get any easier now that Raw has to compete with ESPN’s NFL Monday Night Football program until Jan. 3.
WWE is at a point where they have to be open to just about anything. AEW has gained significant momentum in the competition, and Raw is in massive need of more changes. If Reigns’ appearance delivers strong numbers for WWE’s flagship program, why not try out the idea of showcasing main event stars on both brands again? WWE would have nothing to lose here, especially if top stars like Reigns, Becky Lynch, Bianca Belair, Seth Rollins and Edge remain on the SmackDown brand following the Draft.