Raw/Smackdown Brand Split Predictions and Concerns
The WWE announced they are re-establishing the brand split, meaning Raw and Smackdown will have different rosters, titles, etc.
The brand split rumors surfaced after Shane showed back up on WWE television looking to run the show. On May 25, it became official when WWE announced they will draft the rosters on the July 11th episode of Monday Night Raw.
After Wrestlemania 32 in Dallas, Stephanie McMahon and Triple H took some time away after Shane McMahon was awarded control of Monday Night Raw. He vowed to give us new opportunities, fresh match ups and some fun. He delivered.
Eventually it was announced that the brother sister duo will take over Monday Night Raw. So far things have been smooth and going well. I anticipate that won’t be the case for long as we get closer to draft day.
My intention here is to blindly predict how the draft will shake up. I honestly have no idea who is going where, but let’s give it a shot.
First let’s begin with who is taking over each show. I anticipate Monday Night Raw to be in the hands of the authority so I fully expect Trips and Steph to stay on the flagship show. Smackdown has always been the “B” show. However, with it going to a live format on Tuesday nights, it will need some rebranding and appeal. That is where Shane comes in.
Now deciding the first 10 picks of each roster…
The Authority’s Raw
1- Roman Reigns
3- Seth Rollins
5- New Day
7- Dean Ambrose
9- Brock Lesnar
13- Finn Balor
15- Enzo and Cass
2- John Cena
4- Kevin Owens
6- AJ Styles
8- Sami Zayn
10- Sasha Banks
12- Randy Orton
14- Karl Anderson and Luke Gallows
18- Shinsuke Nakamura
20- Wyatt Family
Like I said, Im taking a shot in the dark here on these rosters. I have no idea how it is going to shake up. I am very confident that Reigns and Cena will be on the shows that I placed them on. Seth Rollins will definitely be on Raw to battle it out with Reigns. I do believe Kevin Owens will be on Smackdown to be the top heel of the brand. Other than that, I am in the dark here.
1 – What happens to the titles?
The only thing I am 100% sure of is each show having their own mid-card titles. Raw gets the IC, while Smackdown gets the US or vice versa. If it were up to me, I would have the tag team, women’s and WWE World Heavyweight Champion floating between shows.
For the first time in a long time, the tag team division feels ripe. New Day are the crowned jewels of the tag team division, obviously because NEW DAY ROCKS. You still have potential contenders like Enzo and Cass, Vaudevillains, Dudley Boyz, Usos, Karl Anderson and Luke Gallows and Lucha Dragons. Coming up from NXT by next year, you will have American Alpha (BRING BACK KURT ANGLE DAMN IT) and The Revival.
With the Women’s Title being revamped recently after dropping the stupid butterfly Divas strap, it would be foolish to bring that back. Let Charlotte or whoever is the champ float on both shows and whenever they drop the strap, the former champ goes to the show they were originally drafted to.
I hold the same belief for the WWE World Heavyweight Champion. Roman Reigns will still have the strap and be the #1 pick to Raw come July. While he remains champ, let him float between the two shows.
The only problem I have with two major titles is that it will inflate the number of times someone wins because they are not competing against the entire roster.
When WWE first did the brand split, they offered more PPVs each year. The brands would share the stage for the big 4 (Royal Rumble, Wrestlemania, Summerslam and Survivor Series). Each show also had their own PPVs which drove the cost for consumers up. At $50 to $60 a pop, it was not cheap to be a wrestling fan. After Wrestlemania 23, WWE then announced both shows would compete on all PPVs.
Thankfully, we now have the WWE network for just $9.99 (Yes that was a plug) per month. It really is an amazing deal though. I absolutely love it. If they do go with separate PPVs, it is now affordable at least.
I would not go overboard with the number of PPVs, but I would say let both shows compete on the Big 5. The four mentioned above and Money In The Bank. That will cover you for January, April, June, August and November. Give each show maybe 5 or 6 other PPVs.
Now you are floating the realm of 15-16 PPVs each year, which is not too bad.
If not, keep it the way it was prior to meshing the rosters and that is fine with me too. I personally think WWE will have both shows compete at every PPV.
I am pretty excited about the draft because as a sports fan, I love the idea of drafts to begin with. However, it is a pain in the ass sitting through three hours of Raw every week. Thank you DVR! Now with Smackdown being live on Tuesdays and having their own brand, five hours of programming total. I wish they would go back to two hours for Raw, but that’ll never happen.
Some people may contend the draft is foolish because of the amount of injuries the WWE has battled recently with Daniel Bryan, Seth Rollins, Randy Orton, John Cena and other major stars. However, two brands will give the superstars a much lighter workload so it should take down some of the injury numbers. I think a brand split will help in that regard.
The WWE is pulling talent out of their ass right now (despite what some may think) with so many up and comers along with the well established stars. The brand split will give younger guys plenty of opportunity to shine, hopefully. Cody Rhodes aka Stardust was granted a release recently. He is one of many superstars who unfortunately never got the push he deserved. He fell into the gimmick of Stardust, which was pretty cool at first. Odd, but cool. Eventually, he fell into the pit of irrelevance and now we no longer have him on the roster. Hopefully, the brand split can help eliminate lack of air time for some of these superstars.
GOOD OR BAD IDEA TO SPLIT
Overall, I know WWE recently made the roster all one entity again within the last few years. But with all the injuries, I think this could be a major reason why the company feels two brands is the way to go. Aside from the overkill of having five hours of programming, I am really excited about seeing how it all plays out. I will give WWE some credit here. July 11 can’t come soon enough.