In case you somehow haven’t heard, the Brand Split is happening again. They tried this idea back in 2002 and it had mixed results at best. Since we only know a few details about it so far, today we’re going to take a look at what might happen with the change and what it might mean for the WWE going forward. Let’s get to it.
This one is going to be a bit less specific and more just various thoughts and issues that might come up with the new Brand Split.
That brings us to the biggest issue that is probably going to come up during this this: a second World Title. Ignoring how recently (less than three years ago) they unified the titles again, the problem here is people racking up World Title reigns and devaluing the titles. Do we really need more instances of four people piling up double digit World Title reigns or someone losing a title one night and then winning the other by the end of the same show?
Back in the early days of the Brand Split (lasting all of four and a half months), the World Champion would jump back and forth between shows and defend against whoever was the #1 contender at the time. However, this brings us to another issue: if there’s no World Title to fight for that month, what’s the point in watching the show during that time?
This is where things could get interesting if the WWE starts thinking outside the box. See, back in the day you would have a big show with a special match instead of a pay per view match. Say one month Smackdown is having a pay per view, we could get a big episode of “Monday Night Raw” with a huge Intercontinental or United States Title match. Or maybe you build up a big showdown between two top stars and give it extra time. Do you think you might check out John Cena vs. AJ Styles in a twenty five minute match to close out “Monday Night Raw” for a future World Title shot?
That’s one of the major issues overall: keeping the stories moving. As you might have heard, I’m really not a fan of a lot of the creative process in WWE. Given how often the writers change whatever they’ve got going on, why in the world would I believe that they can handle something for weeks and weeks until the next time their show is on pay per view?
On top of all that though is the problem of filling in the rosters. Yeah NXT has a lot of people waiting to be called up, but do you really gut their roster which is starting to make money and a lot of noise for the sake of revamping “Monday Night Raw” and “Smackdown”? This brings us back to the same issue with most NXT callups: if they’re there for their talents it’s one thing, but if they’re there to just be warm bodies so the main roster stars can beat on each other a little bit more then what’s the point of developing them in the first place?
Yeah you can bring up Finn Balor and Samoa Joe and Shinsuke Nakamura and Bayley and American Alpha and anyone else you want but if they’re just regular names who are losing to all the other big stars, not only have you wasted their time down in NXT but you’ve annoyed a lot of fans as well. These people are something different to what you’re getting in WWE at the moment and it would be a big disservice to your fans, your developmental system and your future potential to bring them all up at the same time.
That brings us to the great false hope of so many fans: “Now “Smackdown” will be relevant again!” Well no, not likely actually. That’s one of the things that people almost always seem to think will happen and then it never lasts more than few weeks. It doesn’t matter who “Smackdown” puts on top (more on that in a bit) because it’s almost always going to be seen as the secondary show.
You can put the tag teams, the women and whatever else you want on there but the masses are going to view “Monday Night Raw” as the flagship show no matter what. Yeah sure, put Cena or Reigns over there as the World Champion and see how long it is before they’re losing to whoever is on top of “Monday Night Raw”. It happened in the original Brand Split and it will happen again here too.
Another major is where the top guys go. Do you put Cena and Reigns on different shows? I’m really not sure why you would because that really just makes the shows something close to identical. Those two will dominate their respective rosters and it would be a waste to have both of them do the same thing. Simply put, if one of them annoys fans on “Monday Night Raw”, the other will annoy fans on “Smackdown” just as much.
The problem here is you need to make the other show something different instead of the same show with different names. Make one the smark favorite show or something but don’t make it a mirror image of the other with an extra hour on the blue show. If you need to bring in the NXT crew to spice that up then fine, but realize that it’s only going to last for a bit unless one of the shows becomes a longer version of “NXT”.
Finally there’s the balance of power. Remember back in 2002 when every major name was on “Smackdown”, save for Steve Austin? Remember that being a HORRIBLE time and not getting better for years? Remember when someone thought the Dudley Boyz splitting up was a good idea without having seen Bully Ray?
There’s a very certain balance that needs to be maintained and a lot of it has to do with who goes where. That’s WAY too in depth of a topic to add in here, but simply put don’t split up teams like the Usos who are nothing on their own because no one is going to care. Oh and don’t split up New Day because that would just be dumb.
The Brand Split is one of the most complicated ideas WWE has ever come up with and it could be one heck of a disaster if they do the exact same thing that WWE did fourteen years ago. Unfortunately WWE has a really bad habit of not learning from its mistakes so I’m not exactly optimistic this time around. Maybe it can be ok, but it really wouldn’t surprise me if WWE screws this up horribly. You know, like they always tend to do.
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