WWE Appears To Introduce Speedy New Concept Ahead Of WWE SmackDown

WWE appears to be trying out a new concept, "WWE Speed", possibly for a new show or pre-show attraction. During Friday's "WWE SmackDown" tapings, two matches were run using "WWE Speed" branding on the ring apron. The matches saw "WWE Raw" and "WWE NXT" talent wrestle alongside those listed as free agents within WWE under a 5-minute time limit.

Nathan Frazer took on Bronson Reed, while Cedric Alexander faced Axiom. According to Fightful Select, the matches were filmed as if they'd be broadcast, with Corey Graves and Kevin Patrick providing commentary, though there has been no update in that regard. Wrestling Observer reported that "WWE Speed" match winners are awarded one point, losers are docked, and in the event of a time-limit draw there are no points awarded. It's been noted that "WWE Speed" branding was also displayed on the video wall and ring posts during the taping. There remains no word on when and where this format will manifest, but the establishment of rules and notable branding implies that "WWE Speed" is here to stay.

Aside from dark matches, "NXT" talent used to appear at weekly TV tapings to film content for "WWE Main Event", but that has since stopped being a regular practice. It appears as though "WWE Speed" may bridge the gap between developmental and the main roster much in the way "Main Event" did previously, especially in its use of those considered lower on the card.