Ever since 2016’s brand split, WWE has kept fans on their toes by reserving the right to exercise another Superstar Shake Up. However, a report just surfaced alleging that instead of light jumbling of RAW and SmackDown rosters, WWE will have another full roster draft.
As the story from WrestleZone claims a source within WWE confirmed that backstage officials are discussing a full-scale draft at May’s Backlash pay-per-view. This comes on the heels of a report that announced that the Backlash show will feature both RAW and SmackDown Superstars.
Even more, another story broke claiming that WWE plans to have all future pay-per-views to be dual branded.
This is huge news. The last Superstar Shake Up drastically altered the chemistry of both RAW and SmackDown, but a draft would be WWE hitting the reset button. If this proves to be true, Backlash would be the first draft since July 2016.
Since that decisive brand split, both RAW and SmackDown have seen success, with the Tuesday night show occasionally topping RAW in weekly ratings. A lot of that has to do with SmackDown feeling like a different, more wrestling oriented, show. The stripped down program features a lighter roster in terms of blockbuster names with the biggest stars not even being active wrestlers (Shane McMahon and Daniel Bryan). Per usual, the narrative to follow is how much favoritism will WWE show to RAW over SmackDown in the draft.
This is a story that has plenty of smoke, probably too much to ignore. Toss in Seth Rollins teasing to leave RAW for SmackDown in a recent promo with Kurt Angle and we officially have a trend. This draft is happening.
Backlash marks a logical launching point, too. Given that it will be the first pay-per-view after WrestleMania it’s the perfect time for WWE to start over. While WWE technically doesn’t have an offseason, getting past WrestleMania is the closest thing WWE gets to
The draft is a great way to spark excitement as both RAW and SmackDown will have entirely new casts. This story will continue to develop, but it will remain background music until WrestleMania 34 shuts off its camera. However, once May gets here, the rumors and reports will really start to churn.