Is the WWE About to Kill It’s Positive Momentum?

Posted: May 25, 2016 by brentbowser in General Sports Rant

It’s been 2 months since we’ve seen arguably the worst Wrestlemania in history. Their top talent was out with injuries, their major story line had next to no fan support, and the show opens with an almost spot for spot mirror of the opening ladder match the year before. Not even Dwayne Johnson with a flame thrower could save it. The ticker tape and the boos when Roman Reigns won the championship must have woke somebody up in the back because on Raw, almost abruptly and out of any story line logic, Shane McMahon takes charge, brings up some major talent from their farm league of NXT, and the show is enjoyable again.

The super star are recovering and scheduled to come back this month. The WWE has been releases a lot of talents they aren’t utilizing to make room, and now the latest announcement is that Raw will have it’s own unique roster, a brand split if you will, and Smackdown will premier with it’s unique roster and broadcast live on Tuesdays, starting July 19th.

So what does this brand split mean?

  • Less injured wrestlers. At some point, everyone is going to get injured, and decreasing the opportunities someone has to get injured will lengthen their longevity.
  • Better utilization of talent. Instead of working a storyline into 8 matches over the course of a month, they can trim the fat and do it in 4, or stretch that 8 episode story over a couple pay per views. The company is also paying a lot of money to have Nakamura, Balor, Samoa Joe and Austin Ares wrestle on what is essentially public access television. It’d be nice to see them move up to the main roster.
  • More original Content. It feels like at least an hour of every Raw and 30 minutes of every Smackdown is just rewatching clips of what happened earlier in the month. Each show will have to allot time for the rest of their rosters to wrestle, which means we might get to see the United states Title defended on TV and not in a dark match before a pay per view, and all the Jack Swagger you can handle. Now that I read that out loud, I think I’m ok with watching Shane dive off the Hell in a Cell a few more times.
  • RIP TNA. Going live on Tuesdays with Smackdown, and NXT booking their top talent? If Dixie Carter really wants a show on TNT, maybe she should consider getting Designing Women in syndication.
  • A ton of speculation. We’ve been down this road before. Not all of it was fantastic.

The WWE has roster bloat, even with all the releases that have happened. Smackdown doesn’t need to be in a competition with Raw. It needs to be the “Expanded WWE Universe” and showcase the other aspects that Raw doesn’t have time for, like the Netflix to the Marvel Cinematic Universe. I don’t think we need 2 different tag team champions and 2 different world champions. There’s enough belts to go around for both shows. Here’s my dream set up for the split:

Raw is the flagship show, so it should feature the 3 primary belts of the federation: The World Championship, The Tag Team Championship, and the Women’s Championship. The NXT tag division is ripe with amazing team that could follow The Vaudevillains and Enzo and Cass up to the main show to fill in the gaps. The possibilities of having women’s matches that aren’t about the Diva of the Month going after the Championship might start to emerge, and the idea of women’s tag titles could surface.

Smackdown can focus on the Intercontinental Championship, the United States Title, and bring back the Cruiserweight Division. The people feuding over the IC title are already putting on amazing matches. They’re stealing the show from Roman Reigns, so give them their own show. Speaking of Roman, Smackdown needs it’s own main draw, so let’s see John Cena open challenge that United States title for a while. We all know he’s not going to drop it, but he’s going to have some of the best matches of his career while still putting over new talent on that show.

We know WWE is holding their cruiserweight tournament, and there’s no official word on what’s going on with it. Why not throw it on Smackdown? It’ll be another championship to balance out, the roster competing for the US and IC titles could feasibly also be Cruisers, and I’ll even throw out this crazy idea. Make the Cruiserweight Championship intergender. The local wrestling federations are already doing it, either having the women tag partner with a man or just fighting guys their own weight. WWE even had Chyna as the IC Champ for a little bit, so this isn’t new territory. If the WWE wants to get people talking about Smackdown, that’ll do it.

What do you want to see in the brand split? Who do you want to see on which show? Let me know in the comments below.

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