USA Network, FOX, and WWE in major disagreement over wild card rule (Exclusive)
- The wild card rule has never been the most popular with fans but SportsKeeda has learned that the networks aren't completely convinced either
- USA, FOX and WWE's early feelings on the new wild card rule
On this Monday’s RAW, it was rumored that the WWE would announce the return of a minor form of the wild card rule - a policy change that came in after WrestleMania last year that allowed Superstars from RAW and SmackDown to temporarily appear on alternative brands.
The original incarnation of the wild card rule was vastly unpopular. Wrestling fans felt that they were seeing the same faces every week, big names in the industry had another date added to their schedule often in a very different location, and lesser utilized talents were essentially swept under the rug and forgotten about.
While a formal announcement never came on RAW, the WWE Champion Drew McIntyre did make a reference to a brand versus brand invitational. The Champion would invite Baron Corbin over from SmackDown for a match that will be featured next week.
Additionally, Charlotte Flair - whose brand is the subject of much debate anyway - was announced for an appearance on SmackDown. At current we are not aware of any invitation having been sent to hashtag The Queen.
The Wild Card Rule officially ended in October 2019
SportsKeeda can now exclusively report that this current incarnation of the wild card rule is the subject of strenuous debate between the USA and FOX networks and the WWE itself.
The USA Network have been quietly encouraging a return of the wild card rule since it was wrapped up, feeling that it limits their access to major stars across the brands.
Additionally, certain network executives are unhappy with the limited use of the 24/7 title that they themselves helmed the creation of, now that it is both single-branded and in the possession of someone who is not on TV and could possibly not be making a return at all.
Members of the FOX team, while eager to see further drafts in the future, are apparently disappointed with the return of the wild card rule given that SmackDown ratings are yet to see a major hit during the current pandemic situation.
There are concerns over the advertising that a wild card rule gives the USA Network, particularly given that FOX were known to be unhappy with their final roster immediately after the draft took place in October. This was one of the reasons for Alexa Bliss and Nikki Cross moving over and for the removal of Eric Bischoff in his Executive Director role.
For their part, the WWE are confident that the reintroduction of a wild card rule will stabilize ratings. Initial plans for a shakeup post WrestleMania were shelved due to COVID-19 and while a number of planned NXT moves still took place, WWE creative are looking for new names and faces to keep storylines fresh and open more variables for more cinematic matches in the future.
Please stay tuned to SportsKeeda for further updates.