When Drew McIntyre introduced the idea of “Brand-to-Brand Invitations” on Raw this past Monday (May 11), the concept was largely undefined.
Last night on SmackDown, Michael Cole defined it. At least in a couple ways.
- Superstars can only appear on the opposite brand four times per year.
- The rule only applies to Raw & SmackDown. NXT is not included.
There’s uncertainty and possible loopholes built in from the start.
When does the year start? Was it on Monday, when the rule was announced? From Jan. 1 - Dec. 31? From WrestleMania-to-WrestleMania? Does it reset if there’s another Draft/Shakeup this fall?
Charlotte Flair is a member of the Raw roster who is an NXT champion. She was appearing on both those shows before the invitation system was introduced. Do her SmackDown appearances last night and next Friday count against her four? Or will her counter reset whenever she drops the black-and-gold brand’s belt?
Raw’s AJ Styles is working the Intercontinental title tournament. Does that count as one appearance, regardless of how far he advances? What if he wins?
Of course, the answer to all those questions is “whatever WWE decides to do”. They’ll bend or break their new rule when they feel they need to, just like the Wild Card its supposed to be a simplified version of. They may or may not explain why.