WWE announces return of brand split, SmackDown to air live

The WWE will once again be splitting its roster between the “Monday Night RAW” and “SmackDown” programs, the company announced Wednesday.

This signals a return to the “brand extension era” that lasted from 2002-2011, a period that saw performers appearing exclusively on either of WWE’s television shows and, for a time, separate PPVs.

Given the fluid nature of professional wrestling, it’s doubtful that this will rule out future crossovers between the programs, but it appears that for now, the WWE is implementing a new strategy to showcase their abundant talent.

The company also announced that SmackDown will air live on Tuesday nights starting on July 19 to coincide with a “Superstar draft” that will establish the new rosters. Traditionally, the show has been taped on Tuesdays and aired later in the week.

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