The Brands are Splitting Again and I Am Thrilled


I’ve read a number of complaints regarding the brand split that is upcoming July 19th, when Smackdown goes Live (and moves to Tuesdays), but I must admit that I’m thrilled at what this could be if it is done appropriately.

Consider the recent releases of Barrett, Sandow and Stardust.  Barrett and Stardust in particular left/requested release on account of the piss poor booking that had rendered them completely stuck in that lower-mid card purgatory.  Sandow didn’t seem to be on bad terms with his release, and why would he be?  It isn’t like he’s really had to work for the past year.  A brand split, which has confirmed to be two separate rosters, will give them the opportunities to feature and push more talent than just the handful of chosen ones that overload each broadcast.

The Brand split means I don’t have to see an hour or better of Roman Reigns each week.  This sort of overexposure of their “Guy” has only been detrimental to their efforts to get him over.  His promo work isn’t great, and you’re sending him out to do lengthy promos on both shows.  They can hone in and focus the promos and the function of everything these guys are doing.  No more of these matches where you just see the same combinations of guys together in the ring 8 times in four weeks, before an inevitable 9th match at whatever PPV is that month.  It’s going to be great for all of these guys that are being overexposed and the smark audience is tiring on.  It is going to be great for a lot of gimmicks too (i.e. The New Day).

While I’m not necessarily thrilled with the two shows being on back to back nights, as it would make more sense to just start doing live Smackdown’s on Thursday as we’re accustomed to, I also see this as a potential to use the lesser show (Smackdown) as a go between from NXT to Raw.  Raw being their flagship (1,200 episodes and counting), utilizing Smackdown as a sort of AAA promotion and NXT as a Single A/Double A type unit would give the audience a chance to learn these new faces while they still have the opportunity to work on their developmental work.  Think Apollo Crews, he’s green as the emerald isle from whence Sheamus and Becky hail (see the botched Lionsault from Monday night).  Had he been given a little more time to work his way from just quick NXT style promos and squash matches into lengthier matches and longer promo opportunities, he’d probably be getting over a lot more than he is.  Same with the Vaudevillians.  Give them time to sort of tailor the gimmick to the main audience and tweak where necessary and they’d be getting legitimate heel heat, they’ve already proven to be good in promo work, and their ring work is good.  They just needed the chance to ease into the roster with the casual audience who didn’t know their NXT work already.

Finally, I think it will be a great opportunity to split some of the veterans with name recognition into Smackdown if it does serve as a developmental tool so they have the opportunity to work with the young talent and help with their coaching while getting them adjusted to the pacing and work that goes into the main roster matches.  While NXT is expanding and starting to bring in gimmick matches like cages and iron man bouts, the vast majority of their work is in quick matches on a short broadcast.  It’s a great format, and they are filming months worth of television content in a night or two and just touring here and there.  They’ll have a chance to taste the night after night rigors of being on the main roster and having to work these long matches every night.  If they’re given the opportunity to do that with guys like Kane or Show or Mark Henry, they’d have a great opportunity to have those with the knowledge in the locker room with them to help them adjust as necessary.  You could even bring in the elder Lucha Dragon for those coming in from the Lucha based promotions that might need someone to help with the cultural differences and things of that nature.

I think this brand split is going to be a great thing as I think they’re finally starting to see the value that NXT is bringing to the table and they want to find ways to really work this exploding roster.  You may disagree, but I really think there’s going to be some great stuff coming in this era of Vince working his way further and further out of the spotlight.