Ever since the WWE announced back on May 25 that SmackDown would be going live and the Brand Split would be re-introduced to the company, speculation has been relentless.
From who could be competing on which brand and which Superstars will be returning, to when the actual WWE Draft to decide the two rosters will take place, the WWE Universe has been second guessing every possible outcome.
Well now, after official confirmation from the WWE themselves today, we at least know when the two General Managers of RAW and SmackDown will be selecting their respective Superstars.
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Posting a message to their official Twitter account, the WWE caught many people off guard with the announcement that the WWE Draft will in fact take place on the night that SmackDown goes live on July 19:
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In an article on WWE.com, the company added further details:
"The destiny of all WWE Superstars will be determined when SmackDown goes live for the first time ever Tuesday, July 19, at 8/7 C on USA Network.
"A WWE Draft will be conducted by respective General Managers to select which Superstars will compete exclusively on Monday Night Raw or SmackDown."
With SmackDown's new date already being seen by many as the de facto beginning of the WWE's 'New Era', many had speculated that the draft would be taking place in the run-up to the first ever live Tuesday broadcast.
To have the WWE Draft actually taking place on the night itself, though, ramps up the anticipation even further. From a purely business point of view, it also guarantees monster viewing figures for the show.
With rumours of old stars returning and the cream of the crop from NXT making the jump to the main roster for the Brand Split, it is sure to be an action-packed night.
Having been given just over one month to take it the news and prepare for what is to come, the WWE Universe really don't have any excuse to miss it now.
In terms of which Superstars are likely to end up on which roster, RAW or SmackDown, it will be interesting to see if the current speculation holds true come July 19.
The most recent reports had suggested that John Cena would move to SmackDown with Roman Reigns taking the lead role on RAW. Of course, with Dean Ambrose now the World Heavyweight Champion after last night's Money in the Bank, it remains to be seen if those plans have changed.
Speaking on the impending draft, Chris McCumber the President of Entertainment Networks, NBCUniversal Cable Entertainment said:
“We’re already hearing the excitement among WWE fans for SmackDown’s new live format, and our audiences are eagerly anticipating the live Draft and what it means for their favorite Superstars."
WWE fans: Who would be your first pick in the WWE Draft? Have your say in the comments below...
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