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WWE brand split draft to be held during SmackDown’s live premiere, July 19

One of the big questions about the impending move of SmackDown to a live Tuesday broadcast, and the promised “distinct rosters” that come along with it, has been answered.

The WWE draft is returning - and it will make the blue brand’s July 19 premiere a must see show. This also means that July 24’s Battleground show will be executed under the the new system, but there’s no word yet on whether or not it will be specific to one brand or another, as rumors have suggested the company might return to Raw or SmackDown-specific events like they ran in the early days of the old two-show model*.’s announcement of the news says that Raw and SmackDown’s rosters will be selected by the respective General Managers of each show/brand. It doesn’t say who those will be, but at this point we’ve been given no real reason to think it won’t be Shane & Stephanie McMahon - although who runs which night is still up in the air.

Behind-the-scenes types were also quoted in the story:

“This is an exciting new era for WWE in which we will yet again reinvent ourselves by creating a second night of compelling live television,” said WWE Executive Producer Kevin Dunn.

“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,” said Chris McCumber, President, Entertainment Networks, NBCUniversal Cable Entertainment.

Are you excited?

* The original version of this story listed Battleground as July 17, but has been updated to the correct date here.

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