The lineup for Tuesday’s WWE Draft is falling into place.
Hall of Famer Foley was introduced to a screaming crowd by commissioner Stephanie McMahon during that latest “Monday Night Raw,” as it wa
Stephanie’s brother, Shane McMahon, then stole a slice of her thunder by naming fan favorite Bryan as part of his team. “Who could be more popular and bigger than Mick Foley?” he asked the audience.
“The Draft and our first ever live ‘SmackDown’ are going to be pretty compelling television,” Chief Brand Officer Stephanie McMahon told TheWrap last week. “We have this big war that’s kicked off on ‘Monday Night Raw,’ of which I am now the commissioner and Shane is the commissioner of ‘SmackDown.’ My father [Vince McMahon] made it very clear that he wants us to do battle at all costs — even if we have to do something illegal … we just can’t get caught.
“I am determined to make ‘Raw’ the superior brand over SmackDown,” she vowed.
Despite all the drama and rivalry in the ring, Stephanie made it clear that the majority of her work takes place behind the scenes.
“I am a character on our show no matter how I am written. It is just fun to be a part of, and the best part is what I get to do off-camera — that has a lot to do with giving back to the community,” she told TheWrap at the Sports Humanitarian of the Year Awards hosted by ESPN on July 12. The philanthropic efforts of the WWE and the company’s partnership with GLAAD hit home particularly hard following last month’s shooting massacre at the Pulse nightclub in Orlando.
“We utilized all of our digital and social platforms on ‘Monday Night Raw,’ reaching roughly 14 million people that week alone,” Stephanie said. “We had all our Superstars come out to give a tribute to the victims and their families, and we’re going to see how we can continue to support them in the months ahead,” she added.
The WWE Draft will determine which WWE Superstars compete on either “SmackDown” or “Monday NightRaw.” It will take place during “SmackDown’s” Tuesday night debut at 8 p.m. ET/PT on USA Network, which marks the first time the show has aired live.
Both “Raw” and “SmackDown” will now feature distinct casts, unique storylines and dedicated writing teams. Beginning Tuesday night, USA Network now offers five hours of live WWE programming each week.
“SmackDown” is the second longest-running weekly episodic program in U.S. television history with 882 episodes, only behind “Monday Night Raw,” which will air its 1,208 episode tonight.
See tweets from WWE Superstars about the Draft below.