Since the announcement of the changes heading the WWE’s way last week, social media has been blowing up with different opinions on how the new brand extension should be handled.
Might as well throw my hat in that ring!
So, in no particular order, here are five things that I would like to see for the WWE Brand Extension Version 2.0 …
1 – Bragging Rights
The best way to create the most intrigue in the separate brands is to create competition. Seeing a Raw superstar take on a SmackDown superstar became a can’t miss event. This concept culminated with a few years of the Bragging Rights pay per view.
This show was centered around Raw vs SmackDown. A few matches pitting the best from each show against each other capped off by a big 7-on-7 or so tag match for brand supremacy. Back in the 90’s fans were clamoring for a WWF vs WCW matchup. With each show having its own identity, this would be the same thing.
2 – Roster Movement
The terms “hard split” and “soft split” have been thrown around. To get the SmackDown results that I am sure WWE is looking for, you need to have a hard split, no question about that. That doesn’t necessarily mean that for the extent of this brand split a superstar HAS to stay on the same show.
The original brand split would give us a draft every year or every other year. This has to be brought back this time around as well. One night of intrigue to see who would be switching shows was a ratings magnet.
Movement should be able to be done with more than just the draft though. I think the General Managers of each show should act like real General Managers. I would like to see some trading between the shows. Not only that, maybe a superstars contract with one show is expiring and the two GM’s are competing to sign the soon-to-be free agent.
3 – NXT Free Agents
Speaking of free agents! (#SmoothSegway) Imagine the buzz that would be created if one of the two general managers would show up at Full Sail University for an NXT taping to scout on a talent.
This would also help introducing some of NXT’s top stars to the WWE Universe as a whole instead of just throwing them in, hoping for the best and seeing them flop (The Ascension, Tyler Breeze, Bo Dallas to name a few). Fans who watch Raw and SmackDown weekly but don’t necessarily watch NXT will be interested in a guy that each show’s GM is interested in bringing in.
4 – Separate Pay-Per-Views
It seems like the main reason behind the brand extension decision, other than attempting to make SmackDown relevant again, is the fact that the roster is deeper than it has been in years. There are several young stars that are ready to make a big impact in the company.
They can’t do that without getting a chance on the big stage though. It is one thing to have a program with someone that has weekly segments on national TV, it is a whole other thing to be able to culminate that program on the biggest showcases in the company.
It would be extremely difficult to do this with Raw and SmackDown splitting time on PPV’s. Just like in the old brand extension, the big 4 shows (Royal Rumble, WrestleMania, SummerSlam and Survivor Series) would still have superstars from both shows but all other monthly shows would be split between the two shows. This would give stars who just need to be displayed the chance to prove their worth.
5 – One Champion
It’s called the World Heavyweight Championship – make it just that, a WORLD Heavyweight Championship.
Back in the day of the territories, the NWA had its World Heavyweight Champion that would literally travel all over the world defending the championship in each of the territories. Each territory would have its best superstar, but would need to go up against the world champion to make their claim as being the best in the business.
The original started off with this concept before adding a second championship to the mix. And let’s be honest, that concept as a whole grew tiring at times. Was anyone else annoyed with trying to explain to casual viewers that this guy was the champ, but not that champ, that other guy is the champ as well? The sports world doesn’t just stop with having two conference champions; they play on because there should only be ONE champion.
WHAT DO YOU THINK OF OUR LIST? WHAT ELSE DO YOU WANT TO SEE WITH THE BRAND SPLIT? FOLLOW US ON TWITTER @FROM_THETOPROPE AND LET US KNOW!