It only took a single week for WWE to make the Superstar Shake-Up feel pretty worthless by coming up with some questionable uses for the wild card rule.
Wow, that was fast even by WWE standards.
When the wild card rule was first unveiled, it felt like there could be some hope that it would improve the TV product. There were exciting title matches across both Raw and SmackDown that week. If I’m not mistaken, there was also some allusions to the wild card rule being primarily for special occasions too.
This wasn’t supposed to be ruining the brand split. It was presumably suppose to be fixing some of the split’s negatives in order to give us the best WWE programming possible.
Well, in just the second week of the wild card rule, instead of multiple world title matches fans got to watch multiple Roman Reigns and The Miz versus Shane McMahon segments. A close second in importance to a WWE Championship rematch from WrestleMania I’m sure, but somehow it came across underwhelming.
Then, if that angle just wasn’t extraordinary enough, Apollo Crews got to make a special appearance on Raw, all because Mojo Rawley got ripped off at the face painting stand of a local fair.
I mean I guess a re-debuting superstar is a special occasion, but WWE could have easily filled Crews’ role with Heath Slater or Titus O’Neil if you ask me. You know, those 2 superstars who are already members of the Raw roster.
Charlotte Flair also made her way to Raw this week for a contract signing though. That’s an exhilarating use of the wild card rule isn’t it?
I know I love me a good contract signing, especially one with a shocking twist of an ending like a table break.
Finally, Ricochet showed up on SmackDown to presumably help build the woefully underdeveloped Men’s Money In The Bank Ladder Match. It was a nice segment that gave Ricochet some more momentum after losing to Baron Corbin on Raw, but not really an angle that was wild card worthy.
To me, the benefits of the wild card rule hinged on WWE exercising restraint in using it. It’s not supposed to be an excuse for lazy booking.
At the end of the day, if the wild card rule becomes a weekly occasion where any superstar can show up on whatever show the company wants for any reason under the sun, then that really doesn’t sound like we have a brand split. That sounds more like we wasted our time watching 2 weeks of seemingly bungled Superstar Shake-Up antics for nothing.
What we need for the wild card rule is some clear, well, rules. We need some guidelines for how and why all this is happening. I know WWE loves a good “anything could happen” sell, but a rule really isn’t a rule without some clear guidelines.
Have a wild card week each month where superstars can appear on both brands. Make it so only 4 superstars can switch brands, and actually stick with those superstars as the only ones who can use the rule. Do something to make this seem a little more substantial than an excuse for total brand anarchy.
I want to like the new wild card rule, I really do. Please WWE, don’t ruin it this quickly by abusing it to the point of demolishing the brand split.