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Saturday, May 28, 2016

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Hello Again, WWE Brand Split

By @TrueGodImmortal


So, the news is now out: the WWE is splitting their brands yet again. I mean, could you be anymore excited? Raw and Smackdown will get to have their own rosters and produce some content only seen on their show each week. There are many rumors, questions, and speculations since this become known, but one thing that's for sure is that the WWE is ready to make a big change and get kicking on all cylinders again. This brand split news comes right as Shane and Steph join forces to run RAW together again. Now, I'm not a rocket scientist, but wouldn't it have been simpler to just split the rosters and have Shane run one, and Stephanie run another?

I know, that probably makes too much sense, but WWE is up to their confusing ways once again when it comes to their product and decisions. And we, as a result, get to share in the joy of watching a train wreck, a possible disaster, and yet another fuck up in the series of WWE fuck ups. There's going to be a draft. Smackdown is going to now be live weekly for the first time in the show's existence. This is a big change for WWE and makes the whole concept of a New Era seem realer. However, with a struggling(in popularity) Roman Reigns still the most promoted and the current champion, this brand extension may only spell out some bad news for fans.

Our saving grace is that we have a WWE roster with loads of options. Sure, we have Reigns now, but there's Rollins, Owens, Ambrose, and others waiting in the wings to take his spot and move into the no. 1 rank. Truthfully, Seth Rollins is THE GUY for the job despite the horrid decision to bring him back as a heel. Seth is OVER. He's the MAN and the WWE won't recognize that no one wants to boo him. They do want to boo Reigns and will continue to do so. However, the issue the draft brings up is that if they continue to run with Reigns as the guy, it is a huge chance that we see him in the position from here on out with no other competition as the top guy. Reigns obviously isn't working as a face or the top guy, but with the brand extension, it's almost like WWE may begrudgingly be giving the fans a choice. It is expected that Reigns will remain on RAW, as well Cena likely, and Brock Lesnar of course will also be there. Could this be a repeat of what we saw almost 15 years ago when the first brand split occurred?

As Raw took more known and a large amount of older, less gifted stars in the older draft, Smackdown seemed to get the short end of the stick by picking a number of smaller wrestlers and in ring legendary veterans. What we got was RAW being seemingly booked like the WWE Nitro show, with attempts at shock value, and the forcing of Triple H as a big and bad heel, while Smackdown was fun, free flowing, and despite Brock becoming the face of Smackdown, he had a supporting cast that were almost on equal footing with him, like Kurt Angle, Chris Benoit, and many more. With this brand extension coming, my fear was that RAW becomes the show that WWE wants to forcefeed us, and Smackdown becomes the show we all love and truly enjoy.


If that were to happen, I'd not be mad at it, but I fear the company as a whole suffers if RAW is terrible. If I'm WWE and I'm doing a draft, here are some key pointers for what I'd do going forward:

*Keep Reigns On RAW
-Reigns going to Smackdown might dilute the brand in some way. Keep him on RAW, let him drop the title around Summerslam, and keep him around the RAW main event scene after without forcing another title reign or overbooking him.


*Send Cena To Smackdown 
-Smackdown needs one huge name. I think Cena is the guy. Orton? No. Bray? No. Ambrose? No. Seth? No. While all those names are great, Cena makes the most sense. In a new era, Cena going to Smackdown means big business for SD, and if we get a newer roster and more great in ring performers on SD, I'd say let Cena win the US Title and bring it over to Smackdown with him.


*Make Smackdown The Show To Watch
-The running joke is no one watches Smackdown. How can you make it the show to watch? Let's put AJ Styles, Cesaro, Sami Zayn, Finn Balor, Nakamura, and a number of other great performers on Smackdown. The head writer of Smackdown used to be the head writer for NXT so it makes sense. With a stacked roster with so many big names and amazing stars, Smackdown would become its own actual brand and build a following that could exceed RAW.

*Keep Seth and Dean on RAW
-I know... Dean on RAW along with Seth and Reigns means a Shield Triple Threat match right? Of course. That's what you want anyways. Three of the biggest stars in the game going after the WWE Title. The thing is, Dean, Seth, and Roman ushered in a new era of sorts, so it makes sense to keep them all on RAW.

*Split the World Title Again 
-The issue here is that there's no real way to understand that the world champion only has one challenger each month on a specific show and for 1-2 months, one show will have no champion. Split the world titles yet again, and let Roman remain WWE Champion, but make a tournament for the World Heavyweight Title. I'd make it a final with Cesaro and AJ Styles, with AJ winning, ushering in a new era of Smackdown as the champ.

*Balance RAW's Roster
-Give RAW the usual big names we see like Orton, Bray, Brock, Reigns, Seth, and Dean, but also bring in some newer guys and boost some newer guys as well. Balance the roster so it doesn't feel like a waste of time to watch what will be three hours of a limited roster.

There's so many pros and cons to this draft, but the best approach is a wait and see. Maybe it won't be so bad. Maybe it will. Time will tell.

-True

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