WWE Smackdown Receives Major Changes to Show and Roster
The WWE and USA Network have will make WWE Smackdown a live show, and will feature its own roster.
Variety reports that WWE Smackdown will go live each Tuesday on the USA Network beginning July 19. Smackdown has been on the air since 1999 but has been taped on Tuesday's with the show airing on either Thursday (1999-2005, present) or Friday (2005-2015).
As part of the report, Variety also says that the WWE will split the roster and bring back the brand split. A draft will be held prior to July 19, and will send wrestlers to work on one of the two shows. WWE previously did this with their roster from 2002-2005 before mixing the rosters back for pay-per-views and then as a whole.
With arguably the deepest roster in years, I love the idea of the brand split. This will give members of the roster who typically get lost in the shuffle more time to shine on TV. Plus, this also gives the opportunity to mix in more NXT talent and give them more time to debut their characters.
Smackdown going live is a change that is necessary. I admit, I haven't watched much Smackdown over the years because it hasn't been live. It's been super easy to find the spoilers online on Wednesday morning and figuring out if the show would be worth watching. The WWE has also routinely placed in cheers and jeers causing the show to sound like a bad sitcom. Luckily that won't be the case anymore come July.