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WWE announced this afternoon, so it could be announced on Fox as “breaking news” during this afternoon’s NFL games, that it will hold a draft to reshuffle the rosters for Raw and Smackdown for the new season one week after the Oct. 4 Smackdown debut on Fox broadcast network. Smackdown being night one of the draft is an indication WWE, at least out of the gate and perhaps beyond, will be treating Smackdown as the A-show in its line-up. Smackdown on Fox will reach more potential households than Raw on USA Network.
The press release notably states that the draft will result in “distinct casts” for two separate shows that will features “unique storylines and dedicated writing teams.” The writing teams will not be part of the draft, although that would be quite a twist.
WWE DRAFT SET FOR FOX AND USA NETWORK
ON OCTOBER 11 AND 14
STAMFORD, Conn. – September 15, 2019 – The destiny of WWE’s Superstars will be determined during a two-night draft taking place live on Friday Night SmackDown on October 11 at 8 pm ET on the FOX broadcast network and Monday Night Raw on October 14 at 8 pm ET on USA Network.
On both nights of the draft, Superstars from Raw and SmackDown will appear along with personalities from FOX and NBCUniversal programming who will announce select picks from each brand. The draft will determine the Superstars that compete for Raw and SmackDown, which feature distinct casts, unique storylines, and dedicated writing teams.
Friday Night SmackDown on October 11 will emanate from T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas while Monday Night Raw on October 14 will take place at the Pepsi Center in Denver.
Raw and SmackDown are the #1 and #2 longest-running weekly episodic television shows in U.S. primetime history. The programs have aired more original episodes than The Simpsons, Gunsmoke, Lassie and Monday Night Football.
Raw will continue airing on USA Network while SmackDown moves to FOX beginning Friday, October 4.