WWE went back to the brand split six years ago. According to a new report, the format “is essentially done” now.
It’s been six years since WWE went back to the brand split for its main roster stars, but a new report suggests that the format will end soon.
In recent weeks, WWE has been showcasing plenty of Raw stars on SmackDown and vice versa. There is only one world championship for the male superstars (Roman Reigns is the Undisputed WWE Universal Champion) right now, and The Usos defeated RK-Bro on SmackDown last week to become the “Undisputed WWE Tag Team Champions.”
Speaking on Wrestling Observer Live (h/t Ringside News), Bryan Alvarez reported that the brand split format “is essentially done” now, pointing out that several Raw stars are going to be on this week’s edition of SmackDown. Mike Johnson of PWInsider.com recently reported that Seth Rollins, Cody Rhodes and Kevin Owens are scheduled to appear on SmackDown this Friday.
“This isn’t anything official, but the brand extension is essentially done,” Alvarez reported. “Half of the RAW crew is going to be on SmackDown Friday. Cody’s gonna be there, I think Seth is gonna be there. Edge doing whatever and it makes for a better show, as we’ve mentioned a thousand times.”
Reigns defeated Brock Lesnar in a “Winner Takes All” unified title bout at WrestleMania 38 to become the Undisputed WWE Universal Champion. He and The Usos have appeared on Raw frequently over the last two months, and RK-Bro has made several appearances on the SmackDown brand.
For the 2019 Superstar Shake-Up, Vince McMahon introduced a “Wild Card Rule” which allowed four superstars on each brand to appear on the opposite brand per week. The rule was taken out following the 2019 WWE Draft and SmackDown‘s move over to Friday nights on FOX.
WWE’s decision to go back to the brand split in 2016 was a great success in many ways. Having differnet championship belts on each brand really helped the company build new main event stars, after all. So it’s certainly interesting to see the company basically move away from the brand split formatting and rules, at least for the time being. Instead of pushing different tag team and world championship holders on Raw, WWE has put all of its eggs into one basket here. Only time will tell if the decision to go all-in on The Bloodline’s historic push pays off over the long run.