WWE introduced a Wild Card Rule on this week’s episode of Raw and latest report reveals that it was a direct response from the company to the pressure they have faced from their broadcast partners over the declining ratings.
During the latest episode of Wrestling Observer Radio, Dave Meltzer talked about the new rule and revealed that Fox wanted both SmackDown and Raw storylines on the Blue Branded Show when it starts airing on the network later this year.
NBCUniversal, which is the other part of this equation and the owner of USA Network, was also very upset about the recent rating drops and they were asking questions.
The NBC officials were especially upset about the massive drop in the third hour of Raw and they were asking why they would give away Roman Reigns to SmackDown Live.
However what’s interesting to note here is that despite the pressure, Mr. McMahon reportedly didn’t want to do away with the separate rosters and separate storylines on both the shows.
It appears that this is why the company came up with the new Wild Card Rule in order to keep the brand extension alive while also allowing some top stars to work both shows whenever it’s needed.
Though while the introduction of this rule might help the TV ratings, there are concerns that the absence of top stars can hurt the Live Event business.
The attendance figures for the same is already on the decline and it’d be interesting to see how this new rule affects the line up for their Live Events.