WWE announced Monday that its talent draft for splitting up talent between RAW & Smackdown will take place on July 19th at the live Smackdown from Worcester, MA.
A press release stated that the draft will be conducted by the respective General Managers, which would indicate official naming of those people shortly.
The WWE stated that for the first time in history on back-to-back nights, two distinctive brands will compete with each other for television ratings, live events and PPV.
“This is an exciting new era for WWE in which we will yet again reinvent ourselves by creating a second night of compelling live television,” said Executive Producer Kevin Dunn.
The decision to put the draft on Smackdown rather than Raw shows the emphasis is on building the Smackdown audience, since the draft should be one of the most anticipated and watched shows of the year. Putting the draft on Smackdown means giving up what would be one of the highest rated Raws, and instead trying to establish Tuesday night as important immediately to the fan base.
In previous years, the draft shows were some of the highest rated shows the company would do at the time, although as the years went on, the draft show felt less important because there was less differentiation of the brands.