WWE RAW started out with quite a cluster this week as Vince McMahon opened the show only to be joined by SmackDown Live Superstars. This caused McMahon to come up with a “brilliant” idea which he called the Wild Card Rule.
Now Superstars from RAW and SmackDown can jump brands for one-week only whenever they want. If this feels confusing then don’t worry because you’re not the only one.
WWE tried to make some sense of McMahon’s new Wild Card Rule on their official website. They tried to explain this the best way they could which included running down the events from the broadcast that brought McMahon to this decision.
It is noted that the Wild Card Rule is the first “officially sanctioned” blurring of the lines between WWE brands. This obviously doesn’t include the build up for most Big 4 pay-per-views either because they often see a lot of brand jumping as well.
We won’t be seeing RAW Supershows or a return to how it was before the brand extension, but “there are some staggering implications to the rule depending on who decides to take advantage of it.”
You can check out the entire release from WWE below if you’d like to try and make some more sense out of this whole thing.
Mr. McMahon’s new “Wild Card Rule” explained
The latest wrinkle in the ongoing Superstar Shake-up emerged this Monday on Raw when Mr. McMahon announced a new “Wild Card Rule” in which a limited number of Superstars from Raw or SmackDown would be invited to cross brand lines for one-night-only appearances, with unauthorized jumps to be penalized by fines or even potential firing. The number of crossover Superstars was initially capped at three — WWE Champion Kofi Kingston, Daniel Bryan and Roman Reigns started things off by appearing on Raw this Monday — though Lars Sullivan evidently persuaded The Chairman to expand the limit to four.
Superstars crossing between Raw and SmackDown LIVE has, of course, occurred on rare occasion since the 2016 Brand Extension, but the “Wild Card Rule” is the first officially-sanctioned blurring of the lines between Team Red and Team Blue Superstars. (The exceptions before tonight had been Becky Lynch, who holds both the Raw and SmackDown Women’s Titles, and The IIconics, who are eligible to appear on all brands as the free-floating WWE Women’s Tag Team Champions). And although this isn’t to say we’re about to go back to the days of Raw SuperShows or do away with the Brand Extension, there are some staggering implications to the rule depending on who decides to take advantage of it: The main event of the Wild Card’s maiden voyage was Raw’s first true WWE Championship Match since 2016, and AJ Styles has already openly speculated about getting some friends from SmackDown LIVE to back him up against Universal Champion Seth Rollins.
As always, it will take a while before the true impact of the “Wild Card Rule” is realized, but it’s sure to make things very, very interesting going forward. See which new matchups will be made possible by the “Wild Card Rule” by tuning in to Raw and SmackDown LIVE, Monday and Tuesday nights at 8/7 C on USA Network.
WWE noted that “it will take a while before the true impact of the “Wild Card Rule” is realized,” which is an interesting thing to say as well. So we shouldn’t expect WWE to give up on this idea. Then again, maybe they will because it’s still Vince McMahon’s show and he can do whatever he wants since everything caters to him.