The status of WWE's brand split has fluctuated ever since it was first reintroduced back in 2016, and based on the latest report from @WrestleVotes it could be in jeopardy once again. After promoting a WWE Championship match and a Money in the Bank cash-in ahead of last week's Raw failed to keep the Red Brand's viewership from falling against the first week of Monday Night Football, WWE announced a major six-man tag match pitting The New Day against SmackDown's The Bloodline. The show took things one step further by having Roman Reigns beat Big E and Bobby Lashley in a triple threat in the show's main event. According to @WrestleVotes, the episode could be a sign that big Superstars will be allowed to freely jump from one show or the other depending on how Raw did.
The ratings are in, showing the episode's viewership jumped up to an average of 1.793 from last week's 1.670. The episode peaked at 1.86 million with a .51 rating in the first hour, which is when the New Day vs. Bloodline bout took place. Whether or not this jump was enough for WWE to start changing policies remains to be seen.
Some chatter I heard over the weekend included how important tonight’s RAW number is. Draft plans aside, w/ their biggest full time star in Roman Reigns being advertised to work tonight’s RAW, a bigger # than normal would open the box to showcasing main superstars on both brands.— WrestleVotes (@WrestleVotes) September 20, 2021
"Some chatter I heard over the weekend included how important tonight's RAW number is. Draft plans aside, w/ their biggest full-time star in Roman Reigns being advertised to work tonight's RAW, a bigger # than normal would open the box to showcasing main superstars on both brands."
Back in 2019 it looked like the brand split was on its way out the door when Vince McMahon instituted the "Wild Card Rule," which was supposed to allow three wrestlers from one show to jump to the other on any given week. That rule was almost immediately broken on a weekly basis but WWE reinforced the brand split when SmackDown moved to FOX in October 2019. An updated version of the concept, the Brand-to-Brand invitational, was introduced in the Summer of 2020 but was rarely used.
WWE returns to pay-per-view this Sunday with the Extreme Rules event in Chicago. Check out the updated lineup for the show below:
- WWE Universal Championship: Roman Reigns vs. "The Demon" Finn Balor (Extreme Rules Match)
- SmackDown Women's Championship: Becky Lynch vs. Bianca Belair
- United States Championship: Damian Priest vs. Jeff Hardy vs. Sheamus
- SmackDown Tag Team Championships: The Usos vs. The Street Profits
- Raw Women's Championship: Charlotte Flair vs. Alexa Bliss
- Liv Morgan vs. Carmella