With SmackDown Live moving from USA Network to Fox, many fans wondered what this would mean for the brand split, Wildcard rule, and sharing of talent.
From the sound of it, WWE plans to make sure the talent is set on each show and will leave them in place.
Wrestling Inc reports that WWE is holding its next draft, starting on October 11 on SmackDown on Fox and then finishing up on October 14 on Monday Night Raw on USA Network.
The report broke from Dave Meltzer at Wrestling Observer Newsletter and then John Pollock of POST Wrestling confirmed it.
— Wrestling Observer (@WONF4W) September 4, 2019
While there are no major changes before the move to Fox, WWE wants to solidify rosters on each show to keep them separate since they will air on different networks.
According to Meltzer, this is the start of WWE attempting to build a permanent Monday Night Raw and SmackDown brand for the future.
PWInsider reports that talent has been informed the draft is coming and there will be strong boundaries between the two brands with the Wildcard rule eliminated.
There was also a change in the writing teams. Ed Koskey moved from Raw to Smackdown to serve as the head writer under Eric Bischoff. Ryan Ward is on a leave of absence after getting married. Former 205 writer Jonathan Baeckstrom is the main writer for Raw under Paul Heyman.
Reportedly, the writing teams will be exclusive to each brand with no crossover at all.
With Paul Heyman in charge of Monday Night Raw, Eric Bischoff running SmackDown, and Triple H in charge of NXT, which is coming live to USA Network on Wednesday nights, the new rosters should be worked out over the next month.
NXT is also hiring more writers as they plan a highly scripted show when it competes with AEW on Wednesday nights.
Meltzer reports that USA Network and Fox will learn of all changes to the roster and format of the shows before they are announced to the public.
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