On Monday, we got a concrete piece of news on WWE’s plans for after SmackDown moves to a live Tuesday broadcast and both that show & Raw have “distinct” rosters when the company announced the talent draft would return.
Whoever is running Raw and SmackDown come July 19, when the blue brand first goes live on USA Network (odds are it’s Shane & Stephanie McMahon) will select performers for their show - probably from the podiums which debuted on the Raw stage without comment this past Monday.
Beyond that, we haven’t learned much else.
There are, of course, plenty of stories floating around. A few come from the latest Wrestling Observer Newsletter, which says company officials have made most of the decisions on which talent is headed where. There’s the usual “Vince could always change his mind” caveat. No one has contradicted early scuttlebutt that Roman Reigns & Seth Rollins would be the top acts on Raw while AJ Styles & John Cena headline SmackDown, but neither Dave Meltzer or anyone else has reported that as final, either.
The Observer does say there will be women’s wrestling on both brands, although it’s unclear if that means one title which is defended on both shows, or if they’ll introduce a second championship.
If true, this would seem to necessitate a number of NXT call-ups. There are only about 12 healthy women listed on WWE’s roster page now, and that includes people they haven’t used as regular wrestlers like Lana, Eva Marie and Rosa Mendes. Even booking one match a show would seem to necessitate having a few more folks at hand.
Regarding rumors of brand-specific pay-per-view (PPV), on r/squaredcircle, a redditor calling themself wrestlingleaker and claiming to be a WWE insider posted this schedule:
Which indicates a move to two shows per month, one per brand, after SummerSlam - starting with the return of Backlash and redubbing Night of Champions to Clash of Champions.
There’s a lot to mull over here, but remember, none of this is confirmed. Treat this like a Rumor Round-up and have fun discussing it, but don’t get too upset by or attached to these reports.