Make the Brand Split Feel Authentic
With Smackdown going live starting July 19th Tuesday night on USA news broke that the return of the split was coming. This New Era draft is set to take place on Raw July 11th 2016. I’m not entirely sure what the end game is for this upcoming draft and brand split, but there is a lot of fear of a watered down product. The last brand split happened in 2002, which was 14 years ago when the WWE was loaded with talent. Some may argue that the WWE has failed to fully elevate new talent, but this could give them the opportunity to merge both old and new to create something fresh. The first thing that should happen and supposedly will happen is there needs to different writers for both shows. If the goal is to pit Shane against Stephanie then they need to really turn up the volume and make their hatred seem real. One should “run” Smackdown and the other Raw not as GM, but as the “owners.” This should end the feud and make both brands 100% separated and feel unique in it’s own way. Here are a few things the WWE can do to help each brand feel special.
The WWE World Heavyweight Championship Should Split
There is chance Vince McMahon will try to create another heavyweight championship. I get why some people may feel this could water down the heavyweight title (Stone Cold) Heck, I was even on the fence about it, but with the right guys and great writing it could be done successfully. In order for the split titles to work Smackdown and Raw would need to be 100% separate rarely if ever crossing over except maybe having crossover fights at major PPVs (Wrestlemania, Summer Slam, Survivor Series, and Royal Rumble) where both titles are on the line or not at all.
Tournament to Determine New Champion
One way to do it is have someone beat Reigns for the WWE Title bring it to Smackdown and make the new title Raw. Or…. The Smackdown champion could be determined via King of the Ring for the World Title, The last two standing will duke it for the prestigious prize. This will bring back prominence to a tragically watered down tournament that both shows could use in the future as another way to determine a champion outside of Money in the Bank and Royal Rumble. The absolute key to keeping Smackdown afloat will be the prestige of this title so the Superstars drafted is very important.
The U.S. Title and IC Title Should be Brand Exclusive
Rusev and The Miz are our current mid-card titleholders. In order for this to work one of them without question would have to be drafted to Smackdown and the other to Raw. I would have the Intercontinental Championship exclusive to Smackdown and the US to Raw. Raw is Vince’s baby and will keep the most prestigious title in wrestling so Smackdown should have the prestige of the IC title. Rusev will surely make the US title worth fighting for on Raw and we’ve seen what WWE is willing to do to keep the title relevant in the past. Having the IC title on Smackdown with the right Superstars vying for the title will undoubtedly make the IC mean something. Keeping these titles exclusive, like the heavyweight titles will give each show a reason to have fans tune in. With that said, each show needs to feel genuine…
Make Raw the Home of the Tag Teams
There should be a place where people can only tune in to in order to get their fix, Raw. If Smackdown has women wrestling and the light heavyweights then Raw should get the tag teams. Triple H and the WWE has been pushing this tag team thing forward and they can continue this with ancillary storylines away from the titles as a Raw fixture. Idk what they are planning to do come draft day, but they must take groups together that means New Day, Breezango, Golden-Truth, Social Outcast, The Club, Enzo and Cass, The Dudley’s should all be drafted as one. Making Raw the exclusive brand for the tag teams should keep viewers interested.
Make the Women Wrestling a Smackdown Exclusive
There was the huge divas revelation when Charlotte, Becky, Sasha were called up to the main roster. Since then the WWE has failed to live up to what fans thought would a surge in the WWE women wrestlers getting more screen and match time. Emma has been a recent victim with four of her singles matches lasting under 6:00 minutes and 3 of 4 lasted under 3:00 minutes With those numbers how could anyone build momentum and gain fan support and/or intrigue. Even more so than that there aren’t any secondary storylines that doesn’t involve the championship. Ultra talented divas have been left off TV or buried by endless replays, commercial breaks, or terrible fillers.
Charolette has been amazing a great choice for the new era, and the rivalry between her and Natalia has been solid, however there is so much more that can be done. There are a lot of really talented women that deserve the spotlight. Women like Paige, Naomi, Sasha Banks, and Alicia Fox have been forgotten about by the WWE. Especially Sasha Banks whose been chilling at home with big cuz WWE Hall of Famer Snoop. Smackdown should be the place for women to truly shine. Without a doubt women like Bayley, Alexa Bliss, Arsuka, and Carmella should be called up from NXT. The WWE should dip into the Indy circuit, international pool, and TNA for more divas for NXT and/or the main roster like; Madison Eagles, Evie, Nicole Savoy, Mia Yim, Ivelisse Velez, Jessica James, and Cheerleader Melissa to name a few.
Speaking of Women….
WWE Women’s Tag Team Championship
WWE Women’s Tag Team Championship should solo featured on Smackdown. This will help with botched attempt to feature the women Superstars. Triple H kinda sort of discussed the possibility of a tag title a few months ago. Of course it won’t be that simple. I’m talking a full fledged re-branding of the women’s division with more backstage fights, interviews, and outside the ring story telling. Insert these titles with a tournament strap them to a ladder in the final match and let these women shine.
Here are a couple of teams that are sure to make this possibility a reality.
Alicia Fox and Naomi w/ Tamina: Naomi, Alicia and Tamina would be a great group, sassy, sexy, bad @$$ with big mouths, and the skills to back it up the true Divas of the division Team BAD.
Emma and Page: These two for sure would be the anti-diva @$$ kicking bad girls of the division, Paige can still be a fixing in the title picture being the first to hold both as The Rebels.
Eva Marie and Nia Jax: These two are a dynamic duo on NXT, they are charismatic and a fantastic one two punch, together they can take the division by storm and Eva Marie can earn respect from fans All Red Everything (I know Jax’s hair isn’t red). This is a unique way to draw fans in, maybe even more women.
Bring the Global Cruiserweight Series to Smackdown
Okay, maybe not the series, but this should be another Smackdown Staple. Yep, the WWE is loaded with talent, guys that are undersized, and guys that can high fly. Smackdown should be the place you get to see Neville, Kalisto, Sin Cara, Tyler Breez etc. Even guys that cant make the weight should be featured like Apollo Crews, Zack Ryder, Tyson Kidd along with a few others including some Indy and NXT westlers.. Under special circumstances certain wrestlers would be allowed to brand swap in the case of New Day, Breezango, Golden-Truth, Social Outcast because they all have lightweights. Of course this would only be done with great storytelling that makes sense. This would give Smackdown yet another exclusive feature that would make it a must watch and another unique feature.
There you have it, a few ways the WWE can make the brand split worth watching. Do you agree? What else can the WWE do? Leave you comments below.