On a recent edition of The Wrestling Observer Radio Program, it was discussed that Vince McMahon’s new Wild Card Rule could potentially end up leading to issues for The WWE.
As previously reported, The Wild Card Rule will see 4 Superstars from Monday Night RAW being able to show up on SmackDown LIVE each week while 4 Superstars from SmackDown LIVE will also be able to show up on Monday Night RAW each week. This rule was reportedly created as a response to the pressure from NBCUniversal (USA Network) & FOX that The WWE has to keep the ratings at a certain level. Vince McMahon reportedly did not want the idea of having separate brands being instilled onto the minds of the executives from both NBCUniversal (USA Network) & FOX, but the networks want star power on both shows and there has been a feeling that the brands don’t have enough star power individually. It was also noted that FOX wants both the storylines of Monday Night RAW & SmackDown LIVE to happen on the blue brand when the show begins on their network on Friday nights in October.
The Wild Card Rule could potentially cause issues for WWE Live Events somewhere down the line, such as false advertising. Due to the way WWE creative operates these days, WWE likely won’t plan out these weekly Wild Card Rule appearances in advance, which could lead to incidents where Superstars have been advertised for Live Events, maybe for weeks or even months, but they are suddenly pulled from those Live Events to appear on either RAW or SmackDown LIVE at the last minute.
While WWE likely won’t plan out The Wild Card Rule appearances in advance, it was noted that Roman Reigns is expected to appear on both RAW & SmackDown LIVE often. As previously reported, NBCUniversal recently asked questions about why WWE gave up a Superstar like Roman Reigns to SmackDown LIVE as part of The 2019 Superstar Shakeup.
WWE has reportedly made recent hires to help bring live event business back up and they noted during The 2019 First Quarter Earnings Call that they are focused on bringing that part of the business back to where it should be. The WWE Wild Card Rule could create more of a decline in live event business, at a time where they are focused on getting it back up. There is no word yet on if The Wild Card Rule will really help with The TV ratings, but we should know the answer to that question within the next few weeks. It is believed that The Wild Card Rule could bring a small increase in the numbers, but likely not a huge turn around.