The WWE hasn't had some of it's most fruitful years as of late with television ratings and live event attendances both falling to record lows.
Not to mention the PG rating of the show, much to the adult demographic's chagrin. Add to that an injury-depleted roster and the WWE has appeared quite the departure from its golden days in the late 1990s and early 2000s.
However, with Shane McMahon returning to television just prior to WrestleMania 32 and the upcoming brand split, there is an air of excitement surrounding the product once again.
Chief Brand Officer of the WWE Stephanie McMahon recently appeared as a guest on the Wrestling Compadres Podcast and revealed the main reasons the company decided to pull the trigger on the move.
Stephanie said: “One of the reasons behind it is because with the proliferation of talent that we have now, especially with all of the up-and-coming stars on NXT, there’s an opportunity there to really grow our business and differentiate between RAW and SmackDown, which also gives us the opportunity from a business perspective to expand different lines of business and from a storyline perspective to really slow down our stories a little bit more and really focus and concentrate.
"When you’re going from RAW to SmackDown every week with your storylines, they burn out a little bit faster than they do when it’s weekly.”
So how long has this idea been in the works? With NXT's popularity soaring over the past 12 months, one might assume it's a fairly recent proposal. According to Stephanie, that is not the case.
“It’s something that Vince [McMahon] had planned on for quite some time, but we hadn’t fully developed it until it got closer to SmackDown going live," Stephanie said. "It [has] been in the works for a little while now. But the Shane [McMahon] storyline certainly gives us a great storyline platform to promote it.”
The draft takes place next Tuesday night on the first ever live Smackdown; who will Stephanie be picking for Monday Night Raw?