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Wednesday, May 25, 2016

WWE: Return of the Brand Extension

Hello everyone. Unless if you have missed it this morning, WWE has announced that SmackDown will be going live on Tuesday nights starting July 19th of this year. Not only will SmackDown be going live, but also there will be "distinct rosters" for Raw and SmackDown. Which means the brand split is returning. Here's the video where Shane and Stephanie McMahon has made the announcement:

Here are my thoughts on this: I actually like the idea of splitting the brands. The brand split had to end in 2011, because there was a deficit of talent. Now, it's a surplus of talent going forward. As for the championships? Here's my take on this:
- Have the WWE World Championship, Women's Championship, and Tag Team Championships be dual branded.
- Build Raw around the United States Championship
- Build SmackDown around the Intercontinental Championship
- Bring the Cruiserweight Championship to SmackDown and the European Championship to Raw

So, if the brands were split tomorrow, here's how the title holders would be distributed:

Dual Branded
Roman Reigns
New Day


The Miz

However, that is not the case. Fortunately, WWE has an entire month to evaluate the roster for the brand split. 

When it comes to announcing, they should definitely have brand exclusive announce teams. Here are the pictures I posted this morning on who should announce which show:

So as you can see for Raw, you would have Cole, JBL, and Saxton while for SmackDown, you would have Mauro, Lawler, and Lita. Now, I will clarify a few things. 

1. Why Cole on Raw? Mainly because whether you like it or not, Cole is the flagship voice for WWE and needs to be on the flagship show. Mauro Ranallo just started this year so give it some time. Let Mauro build up SmackDown and as long as he continues to work hard, Mauro will be promoted to Raw. 

2. Saxton on Raw and Lita on SmackDown? Currently, Saxton is the color commentator for both shows and since there is a split, Saxton has to choose one. If I were him, I would choose Raw because he's already the voice over there and someone needs to keep JBL in line. 

Now the question is why Lita to replace him? Well, I want to see SmackDown and WWE make history and have a full time female color commentator work alongside Mauro Ranallo and Jerry Lawler. ESPN did it when they chose Jessica Mendoza become a full time color analyst alongside Dan Shulman and Aaron Boone for Sunday Night Baseball. Why not WWE? Also, Lita can learn from the best and have Mauro mentor her during the hours where they are backstage reviewing notes.  And to sum it all up, the women on the current roster can have someone to look up to if they want to announce in the future. 

Last, but not least for this discussion is PPV's. For now, do not go to brand exclusive PPV's because they need to gather more resources and money for that. Also, have a split announce team for each PPV for every match per brand. As for the interbrand matches, it will be up to WWE. For example, if the wrestler from SmackDown is a face while the opponent is a heel on Raw, the commentary team from SmackDown would be calling it (and vice versa). 

That's all I have to say for now. I will do a follow up on how the rosters will build up and who's perfect for what later on. 

- Kalind Patel

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