The ”Wildcard Rule” was an idea implemented by Vince McMahon in a way to boost the viewership in both shows of the main roster, after several week of terrible ratings for both SmackDown and Raw.
The birth of this rule meant also the inminente end of the brand split.
In 2016, WWE reintroduced the brand split once again (third time to be exact). This brand split was great because it would allow more TV time for other wrestlers that really needed the spotlight. The brand split also meant that SmackDown would become a relevant show once more because before the brand split, the blue brand was just a recap show of Raw for several years at that point.
The brand split before the Wildcard Rule had many positives in its belt, especially for SmackDown. They became the superior show in terms of matches and feuds. But also, had a big negative for the women and tag divisions, by making them smaller. Two divisions becoming smaller means we see the same feuds for several months with no conclusion at all.
The rule in just a month has help ratings in some weeks, since its existence, but also made the show harder to watch. At first, the rule meant only four wrestlers from one brand to crossover to the other brand, but this slowly became chaotic and we started to see more than four wrestlers invade the other brand after the birth of this rule.
The Wildcard Rule has been occupied mostly by main eventers and important wrestlers of the roster. By the look of things, the brand split will probably end in the coming months, maybe before SmackDown moves to Fox in October.
Since the rule has been implemented, R-Truth and 24\7 championship have been the ones to benefit the most. This title, the comedy, and matches we see on both TV and social media, has made this title fun to follow.
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The Scrap’s Juan Carlos Reneo is from Spain, he writes about and loves professional wrestling. Make sure to follow him on Twitter (@ReneusMeister).