So here it is! After months of rumours and rumblings, WWE have finally made it official. They are bringing back the brand split. Thankfully this has been met will pretty much unanimous acceptance by folks on Twitter. There are a few people who will claim that since WWE didn't do it well the first time round then this will go the same way but they are in the vocal minority. Everyone is excited for this and so they should be. With all the returning stars such as Cena, Rollins and Orton as well as the plethora of established talent such as Finn Balor, Samoa Joe, Shinsuke Nakamura, Austin Aries and more in NXT, WWE have got arguably the best wrestling roster they've ever had. Whichever way you spin it, this draft makes sense.
WWE have announced that on July 19th SmackDown will start airing live on Tuesday nights. They also announced that the show will have seperate roster from RAW
A Statement on WWE.com by WWE Chairman Vince McMahon said this:
WWE's flagship programs will both leverage the incredible depth of our talent roster, distinct storylines and the unpredictable nature of live TV. This move will undoubtedly build more excitement and deepen engagement with our fans around the world.
The second part of that statement is very true. Right now WWE fans are in a state of limbo. Wrestlemania season is over and while RAW has improved considerably there are still noticeable flaws. Introducing a brand split is a surefire way for WWE to keep people interested in the product over the summer.
Another interesting quote from the article on WWE.com is that WWE claim "This bold move will have major ramifications for all of WWE and exemplify the New Era, as both Raw and SmackDown will each feature their own unique rosters and rivalries following an imminent Superstar draft."
It looks like WWE will be going all out on this. Already this move looks to be a good one. People have so many questions. Will they bring back another World title? Will champions be able to work on both shows? Who will run SmackDown? Who will run RAW? Will Shane and Steph run both together? It really is an exciting time.
As for this "Superstar draft" WWE have a good chance to add more intrigue to the situation. The article states that it will be "imminent" so why not make this a live Network special? That way this draft feels even more important. Hopefully they will make sure that Tag Teams are counted as one draft pick. We don't want guys like New Day or Enzo and Cass being broken up due to poorly conceived draft rules.
Many people are wondering how far this will go. How far will we see RAW and SmackDown go in order to be different from one another? We already have two different commentary teams on both shows. Will we see the setups be different? Maybe the sets will be different. We don't know at this point. that's why this is a great move by WWE. People want to see what they are going to do.
It's also interesting to see where NXT will fit into this equation. NXT is one of the best wrestling shows in the world right now and it's run by none other than Triple H. Will he figure into this brand split picture? As previously stated, NXT has some of the best wrestlers in the world at their disposal and to see them on RAW and/or SmackDown would be a welcome sight.
Overall WWE have done well here. The summer of 2016 was already looking to be an interesting one in WWE but this has sent it into overdrive. Hopefully they will go the right way with this.