Last week, WWE announced that there will be no more pay-per-view shows that are SmackDown or Raw exclusive after WrestleMania 34. Each brand has one final pay-per-view in 2018 that'll strictly future their own stars.
In 2017, Raw and SmackDown each had six exclusive pay-per-view shows. The Elimination Chamber will be Raw's last pay-per-view show for 2018, while Fastlane will be SmackDown's final exclusive show.
“I think, like anything else, it has its pros and cons. It’s gonna increase the work schedule as far as pay-per-views, but if you don’t wanna perform in a pay-per-view, then what are you doing here? I think it’ll also keep storylines fresh.
It’ll allow us to continue to dot all our “i’s” and cross all our “t’s” because we’ll have more weeks to continue those storylines and these rivalries, and we’ll be able to have more time to carry those out.”
Besides the 'big four' events of Royal Rumble, WrestleMania, Survivor Series and SummerSlam, the other pay-per-view shows of 2018 will be Backlash, Money in the Bank, Extreme Rules, Hell in a Cell, TLC: Tables, Ladders & Chairs and Clash of Champions. With that, we could see more cross-over matches.
But as Reigns said, that adds to more pay-per-view shows these superstars will have o perform. It won't be easy for them, but it's obviously more enjoyable for the WWE Universe as a whole.
WWE didn't release any information as to what sparked the change, but perhaps the declining SmackDown Live ratings and attendance prompted officials to make the switch. The exclusive branded pay-per-views worked for the first year of the brand split, but it's clear that fans are generally more interested in the Raw product right now.
The last pay-per-view that was limited to one brand was Clash of Champions for the SmackDown superstars in December. There will be just two more of these, before all superstars are involved in every pay-per-view.