WWE News: Backlash 2018 To Be Dual-Branded, Separate PPVs Scrapped?

World Wrestling Entertainment may be changing their approach to separate Pay-Per-Views for the Raw and Smackdown brands going forward, as a recent announcement revealed superstars from both brands will be competing at this year’s first post-WrestleMania event, WWE Backlash.

Fans who had already purchased their tickets to the May 6th event emanating from Newark, New Jersey received the following e-mail yesterday:

“Attention ticket holder!

This is just a friendly reminder about your event..

WWE Presents Backlash Prudential Center Sunday, May 6th at 7:30PM

This will now be a combined Pay Per View with RAW and SMACKDOWN Superstars.”

Last year, WWE Raw’s Payback followed WrestleMania 33 and featured Smackdown superstars competing in two WrestleMania rematches: WWE Champion Randy Orton competed against Bray Wyatt in the much-talked-about House of Horrors Match, while Chris Jericho and Kevin Owens continued their battle of former best friends.

While it isn’t unusual to see superstars from both brands competing on the same show, in the era of the Brand Extension the WWE had made an effort to limit the brands sharing air-time to the Big 4 events in recent years: Royal Rumble, WrestleMania, SummerSlam, and Survivor Series.

During last night’s Wrestling Observer Radio show, Dave Meltzer noted that an announcement from WWE is forthcoming.

Despite reports of Money in the Bank joining the slate of dual-branded shows for 2018, rumors are swirling that separate Pay-Per-Views could once again become a thing of the past.

Mike Johnson of PWInsider has said while it is a possibility, there has been no confirmation from WWE’s side and they have not yet responded to inquiries into their future Pay-Per-View scheduling plans.

Tommy’s Thoughts: Man, not even two full years before they’re throwing in the towel again? If you ever needed proof that Vince McMahon is still just as fickle as ever, there ya go. At least last time they made it twice as long with the brand-exclusive shows until WWECW set a bar so low, you would’ve thought they were in a limbo contest.

Until WWE comments one way or another, or unless similar announcements are coming from the other venues hosting Pay-Per-Views, this could very well just be WWE’s usual attempt to add some extra star power to the first big event after New Orleans and take advantage of story momentum coming out of WrestleMania season.

Either that, or Smackdown is gonna have to consider themselves lucky if they get two matches on the big shows going forward. The irony of the blue brand being treated like the red headed stepchild would almost be funny, if it weren’t for the Smackdown talent continuing to get boned like this time after time.