WWE news: Smackdown and RAW brand split being relaxed in attempt to boost ratings

The brand split is being relaxed

WWE appears to be moving away from their brand split to allow limited crossover between SmackDown and RAW.

On Monday night, WWE Champion Drew McIntyre announced a ‘brand-to-brand’ invitation had been offered to SmackDown.

They accepted to set up a match on next week’s RAW between The Scottish Psychopath and King Corbin.  

It’s expected that this idea will be a simpler version of last year’s ‘Wild Card Rule’ which allowed up to four wrestlers to appear on the opposing brand’s show for one night only.

That was widely criticised by fans and according to POST Wrestling, this new tweak will keep crossovers to a minimum. 

One source told the website that this idea came at the request of the networks as television ratings are worrying. 

Last week’s episode of RAW – the Money in the Bank go-home show – hit a record low of 1,686,000 viewers, while SmackDown continues to fall on FOX each week. 

Pandemic-era wrestling in empty arenas is proving to sink to new lows and it seems the TV networks are becoming more and more concerned. 

The WWE draft has been relaxed

As well as announcing Corbin’s appearance on next week’s RAW, it’s also been confirmed that NXT Women’s Champion Charlotte Flair will be featuring on Friday’s SmackDown. 

What she’ll be doing is currently unconfirmed. 

Although fans aren’t keen to see the brand split relaxed, WWE will be doing everything they can to boost ratings and the timing actually makes sense. 

SmackDown and RAW's split is relaxed

In theory, the winner of Sunday’s Money in the Bank Ladder Match can cash their contract in for a world title shot on either brand. 

Otis won the men’s briefcase, but he’s not limited to challenging Braun Strowman for the Universal Championship – he could go after McIntyre instead. 

Who he wants to challenge will likely be revealed over the coming weeks. 

Otis won MITB and is free to challenge for either world title

It would have been the same for Asuka too, who won the Women’s briefcase. But not this year. 

On Monday’s RAW, Becky Lynch emotionally vacated the Women’s title and announced she’s pregnant, handing the belt straight to ‘The Empress of Tomorrow’. 

The Man revealed that Sunday’s ladder match wasn’t for a contract and a future title shot, it was for the championship itself. 

Lynch vacated her title on RAW

It’s a pretty cool twist and we’ll soon find out if Lynch’s massive announcement helped RAW ratings bounce back this week, or if they will continue to fall. 

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