On Monday's episode of WWE Raw, the concept of the "Brand to Brand Invitation" was introduced, making allowances for WWE superstars to move back and forth between the shows. The culmination of the concept's introduction was to announce that SmackDown brand talent King Corbin would appear on the following week's Raw to challenge WWE champion Drew McIntyre.
On Friday night's episode of SmackDown, Michael Cole clarified the crossover rules. Officially, talents are only allowed to move to the other shows a maximum of four times in one year.
NXT Women's champion Charlotte Flair appeared on Friday's episode of SmackDown under these guidelines, and AJ Styles is set to appear on next week's episode of SmackDown.
The Brand to Brand Invitation stems from record low ratings for WWE programs in recent times, which can in large part be chalked up to the crowdless shows. NBC Universal and FOX both reportedly requested the idea for talent crossovers, after Raw's viewership hit an all-time low on May 4, while SmackDown's audience hit a cumulative three week low across its recent showings.