WWE Rumors: Tentative dates revealed for 2019 Raw and SmackDown Draft
It was reported last week by the Wrestling Observer’s Dave Meltzer that WWE is planning to separate the rosters again soon, and POST Wrestling’s John Pollock is now saying that the company has scheduled a draft for October.
“The draft is tentatively set to begin on Friday, October 11th on SmackDown from Las Vegas, which would be their second week on Fox. The draft would continue the following Monday on Raw from Denver, Colorado on October 14th.”
What happened to the original brand split?
WWE separated the Raw and SmackDown Live rosters in July 2016, meaning nobody from either brand could appear on the opposing show.
It then became an annual tradition for the rosters to be refreshed shortly after WrestleMania, with Superstar Shake-Ups taking place in April 2017, April 2018 and April 2019.
Following the 2019 Shake-Up, Vince McMahon essentially ended the brand split by introducing a ‘Wild Card Rule’ which enabled multiple Superstars to appear on both Raw and SmackDown Live on a weekly basis.
This has led to confusion as to which Superstars represent which brand, with high-profile storylines often developing on Monday and Tuesday nights.
Will the ‘Wild Card Rule’ end?
As reported by Sportskeeda’s Tom Colohue, WWE has been quietly wrapping up the ‘Wild Card Rule’ over the last month.
This week, for example, Roman Reigns did not appear on Raw. Instead, his mystery attacker storyline played out on SmackDown Live – the show he is assigned to – while the major stories on the red brand revolved around Seth Rollins, Braun Strowman, Sasha Banks, Becky Lynch and Raw’s top titles.