Vince McMahon’s introduction of the “Wild Card Rule” on Monday’s episode of Raw was reportedly done in response to slumping ratings.
According to Dave Meltzer on Wrestling Observer Radio, NBCUniversal and Fox executives pressured WWE to turn things around after setting record lows in ratings last week.
McMahon announced a rule that allows WWE Superstars to make appearances on the opposite brand they are assigned to on “any given occasion.” The number of crossover Superstars was initially capped at three — WWE Champion Kofi Kingston, Daniel Bryan, and Roman Reigns started things off by appearing on Raw — though Lars Sullivan evidently persuaded The Chairman to expand the limit to four.”
Per Meltzer, both NBCUniversal and Fox want more star power on Raw and SmackDown LIVE due to their belief that the brand split leaves the shows lacking individually. Fox reportedly wants Raw storylines and Superstars on SmackDown when the show begins airing on its network in October, and NBCUniversal reportedly questioned why WWE moved a top star like Reigns off Raw and onto SmackDown.