WWE announces live Tuesday shows and brand split
Today, the WWE announced that Smackdown will go live on every Tuesday on USA Network for the first time ever beginning on July 19. Smackdown has always been shot on a Tuesday, but broadcasted on a Thursday or Friday night. Here is the announcement made by Stephanie and Shane McMahon
— WWE (@WWE) May 25, 2016
Vince McMahon said this about the announcement “WWE’s flagship programs will both leverage the incredible depth of our talent roster, distinct storylines and the unpredictable nature of live TV. This move will undoubtedly build more excitement and deepen engagement with our fans around the world.”
New Era in the WWE
Along with the change to Smackdown, WWE will also be having a Draft to determine the rosters on each show. The WWE is booming with talent and the whole “New Era” movement is heading in with full steam. Seth Rollins returned at Extreme Rules last Sunday, John Cena is returning to Raw next Monday, and Bray Wyatt along with Randy Orton are returning soon from injuries. The roster is also looking at it’s deep talent in NXT and there may be more chances for some of these stars to move from the NXT roster up to the main card. While RAW is the dominant show and has an extra hour of programming, you can expect that Smackdown will get more of the NXT stars and then they will move on to RAW in the future drafts.
WWE Draft history
The WWE introduced the entire draft process back in 2002 after Vince bought WCW and ECW. Ric Flair and Vince McMahon were the ‘co-owners’ of the company, so one would control each brand and draft superstars on it. The first ever pick was The Rock as he went to Smackdown and Undertaker was the first pick for RAW. In 2003, there wasn’t a draft, but in 2004, after Wrestlemania XX, Vince wanted to shake up the WWE again and the draft happened. While it wasn’t a full fledged draft, each GM received six picks.
2005 was different for the draft as the WWE had the process take place for the entire month of June instead of just being one night only. Smackdown didn’t have a champion as RAW drafted John Cena, but then Smackdown would draft Batista who was RAW’s champion.
2006 there was no draft again, but since ECW was coming back to TV, the ECW representative Paul Haymen was allowed to draft one member off of Smackdown and RAW.
2007 was the first ever tri-branded draft between RAW, Smackdown and ECW. The way of getting draft picks changed, going from the GM randomly making their pick, to having matches decided which brand would get a pick. 2008 kept the format but in 2009 there was a little change. After the main draft, there was a supplemental draft that took place two days after the draft where 24 other wrestlers were drafted.
2010 and 2011 kept the same format, but ECW was canceled so ECW wasn’t involved in either drafts.
Since then, the WWE hasn’t had a draft and now we will see how the company will address it this time. No date has been announced for the draft, but if Smackdown is going live on July 19, you could predict that the draft would happen on July 18. Along with a split in the brands, expect each brand to have their own tag team championships and champions again, which will be great too see and WWE could possibly run with the brand angle in a battle of which is better at Survivor Series. Time will tell, so let’s kick back and enjoy the show.
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