WWE just officially announced that Monday Night Raw and SmackDown will once again split as brands. Starting July 19, SmackDown will operate once again as a separate show. Here is WWE’s official statement on their website.
A SmackDown shakeup is about to completely reshape all of WWE. Beginning July 19, the second longest-running weekly episodic program in television history, SmackDown, will move from Thursday to Tuesday nights and air LIVE each and every week — for the first time ever — at 8/7 C on USA Network, the exclusive cable home to WWE’s marquee properties.
This bold move will have major ramifications for all of WWE and exemplify the New Era, as both Raw and SmackDown will each feature their own unique rosters and rivalries following an imminent Superstar draft.
“WWE’s flagship programs will both leverage the incredible depth of our talent roster, distinct storylines and the unpredictable nature of live TV,” WWE Chairman Mr. McMahon said. “This move will undoubtedly build more excitement and deepen engagement with our fans around the world.”
With so many explosive competitors emerging from WWE NXT, and top Superstars like John Cena and Seth Rollins returning from injury, WWE’s star-powered roster has never been stronger. Its historic division and the monumental revelation of SmackDown’s shift to a live format each week reflect the excitement and unpredictability of WWE’s New Era.
What awaits SmackDown on its new night, starting this July? Which live shows will claim your favorite Superstars? What will this all mean for the future of sports-entertainment? Stay tuned as WWE prepares to get shaken up like never before.
A brand split for the product is the best decision for it. With lower ratings than usual, and more focus on new talent with older talent returning soon, a separate brand to give some of the underused talent along with some of the recent NXT call ups room to breathe is a smart idea. The brand drafts were always exciting in the past. It always added a lot of excitement to where certain performers would end up. Also, the world title scene will be more open if they decide to go with separate titles as well. We’ll have to wait and see how things play out. But as far as a brand spit goes, it is definitely a welcomed change to their product.