Reader Reaction To WWE Brand Extension & Smackdown Live

The big news in the wrestling business this week was World Wrestling Entertainment’s announcement that Smackdown will run live on Tuesdays starting on July 19 and it also means the brand extension is back.

I wrote a long column about it covering a lot of things. The short version of my take is that I’m glad that they are doing this because Smackdown going live has never been done before, so I’m glad they are trying something different. The product was stale. Maybe this will help. If not, so be it. At least they are giving it a try.

The feedback for this news has been pretty massive, so what I decided to do was head to my Facebook page and ask people what they think of this news. I did this because I wanted to know what the masses were thinking because we may all come from different backgrounds, we are all different ages and we all have been watching for different lengths of time, but we’re all fans that watch most of what WWE puts out there. So that’s why I’m asking what did you think?

I’m going to put the reader comments in blue and red while also putting in some comments of my own following >> and it will be in regular black text. Let’s get to it.

Daniel Mount
More guys getting TV time is a good thing. I do hope they maybe separate the IC and US titles, but keep just one for the women and the tag team titles. Let’s also hope there is some distance between the brands until like the big PPVs of the year.

Alan Burke
This will give WWE a chance to showcase the depth of talent they posses and give often overlooked wrestlers an opportunity to make a name for themselves.

Tobias Ksepka
I really look forward to the split. First of all: no more spoilers for Smackdown. Second: not the same guys having the same match two times in a single week. Third: I hope they bring back the big gold belt. They could even do a Ladder match at MITB to crown the champ. This could be really awesome and the split roster brings a whole bunch of possibilities for storylines etc.

Geoff Landtbom
One thing I hated about the brand extension was the two world titles. It was a good idea in theory but the world heavyweight title came off as second rate. I would tolerate this again, but only if both titles were treated equally.

Joe Craven
Maybe it will reignite my interest in the WWE a bit. I’ve stopped watching mainly due to bad booking, which is probably down to a clustered roster etc. However one of my real disappointments about this brand split, is the fact they decided to do it after releasing Damien Sandow as well as both Wade Barrett and Cody Rhodes who asked to be released due to poor booking. Those three are all Wrestlers I enjoyed watching and I feel they all could have had a chance to shine on Smackdown. Ah well. Go Rams.

Dangelino Ochoa
I welcome the brand split. Having the entire roster under one banner is congested. And really they never should have ended it in the first place. I never understood why they did. Was it because of Ring of Honor and/or Lucha Underground?

Anyway, my point is this is a good thing for WWE and all of the wrestlers in the company.

Jason Martin
I hate the brand split. Always have. Always will. Period.

Aaran Kirk
If it means Raw reverting back to 2 hours, I’ll be very, very happy.

>> It’s unlikely because they have a contract with USA Network that pays them to put on three hour Raw every week. I doubt USA Network is going to go back on that.

Andre Jones
I don’t mind the brand extension. With the split, I hope they use Smackdown to start building storylines instead of being a continuation of the previous pay-per-view or Monday Night Raw. I would like to keep one world champion, tag champs, and women’s champ, but have the U.S. Title and IC titles on separate shows. Going live will be fresh and it wouldn’t shock me if the guy who named the show appears on the first new live edition.

>> He means The Rock for those that don’t know. I’m sure WWE would love to have him appear for any show. That’s for sure. The man is busy, though, so no sure thing.

Josh Lyon
I’ve been begging for a brand split for a long time. There’s way too much talent in the company for there not to be.

Shay Smithers
I’m wondering if it’ll be like tho old roster split days where each show tended to have a distinct feel to them. Like if Raw is the entertainment heavy show but would still have good enough in ring performers, where as Smackdown is the more pure wrestling focused show.

Ed Luis Valentin
I think it’s a great idea. I heard a rumor that Triple H and Stephanie would have full control of Smackdown. If that means it’d be more similar to NXT, bring it on. Having two brands gives more time for talents who aren’t used very often, and makes the schedules easier. But I do hope they don’t go back to having two world championships. It worked back then, but I don’t wanna do it again. It should be one World Heavyweight Champion, one Women’s Champion, and one set of Tag Team Champions. The United States and Intercontinental championships could be exclusive to a brand and be their biggest singles titles, after the world title.

Mike Brailsford
More belts meant devalued titles. I’ll wait to be convinced the return of the split will mean a better product.

Steve Bragg
Unite the belts only to split them again a few years later…geez. Have each brand fight to get the titles on their brand. Don’t devalue by having more championships.

Duane Ellefson
If they use it to spotlight more of their roster and talent I think it could be a good thing. But if they just use it to rehash Raw segments … meh. But their roster is so huge and so talented they could easily use the show to highlight other members and not just the standard folks we’ve gotten used to seeing. Could be a great thing with more action and more people getting a chance to go out and do what they love. They should keep the titles as is though with Champions able to appear on either show or both. It keeps the values of the titles without diluting them and could open the door to more challengers from many different angles. Not only would champs have to worry about their ‘home’ show rivals but from across the brand as well.

Andrew Lindsay
I believe it can be a good thing, more chance for talent to build meaningful feuds rather than same angles being covered on both shows.

>> A simple answer that I agree with a lot. I really think there’s so much talent on the WWE roster that may have never gotten a chance otherwise, so I think about those midcarders that will be in the spotlight more now.

Chris Goad
Hopefully they will make it great again. Like it was in the Attitude era. And again with Edge and Eddie as champion.

Jeremy Evans
I’m excited for it, but I’m hoping we will have separate creative teams like before.

>> I believe that’s what they’re going to do in terms of the writers. It’s still going to be Vince McMahon in charge of everything, though.

Dave Boehringer
Good timing for it because it helps elevate more guys, makes titles mean more; as long as they don’t make the same mistakes as before it could be very successful. I’m looking forward to it.

Brandon Willis
I like it. They have a deep roster now. More good guys and women will get TV time. Means I’ll have to start paying attention to Smackdown now.

Timothy Mercer
I like the brand extension. It gives both shows a distinct variety of talent to watch. Instead of having to see the same group of revolving wrestlers week after week. I think each show needs its own world champ tag champ and one show has a womens champ and one has a divas champ. Also putting the ic title on one show and the us title on another works to. The reason I think you need separate champs on each show is so you avoid what you have now the over use of one talent that ends up burning out to quickly. With separate champs now once or twice a year you can put on a super show. If kept apart a show like WrestleMania would mean a lot more if that is one of the few times there is any interaction between wrestlers from either show. Also you can bring back the surprise factor possibly of wrestlers jumping brands. It adds intrigue for sure but only if done properly.

The one issue I do have is with this announcement doesn’t that really mean everything from now leading up to this brand split means pretty much nothing? Just asking those are my thoughts.

>> Fair question at the end. It’s only going to be about six weeks away, so it’s not that long. The Money in the Bank match is still pretty big and so is Reigns vs. Rollins for the WWE Title. I think things will be fine in terms of storylines.

Mike Stagg
I can’t help but wonder if the change was brought about by the recent requests for release by Cody Rhodes, Wade Barrett, etc. WWE, like any other company, hates to lose talented performers when they’ve invested so much time, effort, and money into them. Perhaps we have them to thank for the change and the chance to see fresh feuds and deserving wrestlers finally getting a chance to show what they can do. I’m excited and intrigued by what the future can bring with so many talented people getting a chance to shine.

>> I’m sure some of those guys quitting opened their eyes a bit because it likely made them realize people in the midcard are unhappy. This will help those midcarders get more of the spotlight.

Tommy La Rochelle
Don’t draft. Every draft, they break up teams or groups. Keep people together. I don’t want to see Kofi and Big E to Raw while Xavier goes to Smackdown. Build two different shows, don’t do crossovers except once a year at toc where the current champs battle for bragging rights. Even wrestlemania should be separate. Have two rumble matches, etc – one ppv though in that case. Don’t keep trying to make equal. If someone from raw gets hurt, pull from nxt. Not from Smackdown. If split—split. Don’t half ass it like last time.

Kasey Corneliusen
I’m excited but I’m curious how certain things will play out. How do they handle the titles, specifically the WWEWHC and Women’s Championship. I’m excited about smackdown being live but if they don’t handle everything properly, this could be a mess.

>> Those are questions WWE needs to officially answer for us. Looks like two World Champions and keeping one Women’s Champion. Things could always change, though.

Bret Litke
I think this is a great move. Seeing guys like Rhodes and Sandow leave, it’s easy to wonder just what they could have accomplished had the brand split been put back in place a year or so ago.

People have said that Smackdown was weak with the brand split but I disagree. It helped a lot in getting people over and extending careers. I look at the Christian/Orton feud from 2011 as an example of a veteran in Christian getting a really good last run.

Overall, I think it’s a good move and I’m excited to see some of the underused guys get a bit more spotlight.

Adam Symes
It’ll be great for talent for various reason that you’ve already outlined, hopefully it results is more variety than we’ve had lately in terms of booking as they can take risks on one show and not the other without damaging the overall “product”. Guys like Hardy/Punk/Bryan probably wouldn’t have got an initial WWE/World Heavyweight title reign in a one brand environment.

I do wonder whether it will make them any more money or draw in any extra viewers long term. On a PPV week you could have 4 straight days of wrestling from the WWE alone (PPV/RAW/SMACKDOWN/NXT) which would be a lot for myself and I suspect a lot of other peopl , in its current lineup at least you can get a couple of break days (Tues/Thurs/Sat) as a fan. WrestleMania week is going to be very, very long 6 day week if they keep a NXT special on the Friday night.

Overall, I think it’s a good thing and look forward to finding out what the future holds.

>> Good point about WrestleMania week. Going to be ridiculously busy with all of that content!

Frank Shattuck
I am personally excited for the brand split. The only thing I hope is when they do the draft, they let Shane/Stephanie (or whomever is in charge of the shows) pick their superstars instead of the automatic random drawing they did the last few years of the draft. I think having one champion to represent the company is best, same with the Tag belts and Women’s belt. The IC and US titles should be show exclusives. They also should not split up the tag teams as it is not the right time to do it with the tag division at its best that it has been for a very long time.

Matthew Thomas
Love it! Gives me a reason to watch Smackdown again and means that more wrestlers could be afforded opportunity. It could go awry but WWE storyline doesn’t have that chance?

Beau Lukies
I hope this means they bring back Bragging Rights and the prestigious trophy as well!

>> Haha! I think Teddy Long has it in his garage somewhere!

Jon Hedges
I like the brand extention, it gives the low card guys a chance to consistently be on a show each week with purpose, the main story lines get more of an emphasis, the women will get more opportunities for storylines. I would like just one major champion for the Heavyweight, Tag Team and Women’s titles, the champions can be on both shows.

Tim Mirabitur Jr
I’m down for it, as long as the IC title is elevated to major title status on smackdown like Daniel Bryan wanted.

>> It did main event Smackdown this week. I don’t know if people see it as being major at this point or in the future, though.

Dale Cleary
I wasn’t a fan of the original extension, however as long as we don’t see things like Cena as one champion and Roman as the other I believe the roster is so deep it’s hard not to.

Kev Fee
I’m happy! Maybe Smackdown tickets will finally be worth something.

>> I think so. Should lead to bigger crowds at Smackdown too.

Kevin Alexander
This benefits USA and WWE bottom line the most. It’s another live program they can sell ad revenue on. Today TV viewing habits are changing away from cable TV this will help WWE and USA get more money for advertisers. One topic that I’m curious how its handled is making storylines out of NXT call ups and free agent signings. Will Raw and Smackdown GMs show up on NXT TV recruiting talent and will their be storylines around new talent signing with a brand. Will Damien Sandow and Cody Rhodes sign with Smackdown or Raw?

>> Seeing Damien and Cody back would be awesome. I’m not sure if the company would do it because they released Damien and Cody seemed like he really wanted to be free.

David Harnick
I’m a fan of the idea, as long as they split the titles. Two different world champions, two tag team champions and two women champions. Also if they do the draft again it’s a great idea. We also need a reason for the split. If they set those things right this brand extension can be a great thing for the WWE.

Tommy Dinardi
Always love me a good split/draft to shake things up. Maybe they’ve even learned to keep the Dudleyz together this time around.

Jayson Reyes
Everyone is talking about how the split was before. I think they are forgetting that Smackdown is now LIVE which plays a big part in it. Live is always better for views and means that Smackdown can now compete with Raw in ratings properly. I feel as though they would draft teams that are together instead of separate. As far as titles it would be nice for them to keep title as is and then have 2 #1 Contenders in each brand and they take turns fighting for the title in PPVs.

>> You’re right and that’s something I’ve written a few times now. Smackdown being live is the big thing here and is different from the last time.

Josh Lerud
I am intrigued by it. This will allow more air time for mid card talent as well as the ability to build longer feuds. Also it may lead to a few less working days which will hopefully cut down on injuries.

>> It looks like more of the talent will get four day work weeks instead of five, so that is a positive for sure.

Eric Cowfer
I’d like to see them keep the brands completely separate…with one exception. Have the Wyatt Family declare themselves to be “beyond their borders” or something like that, and go back and forth between both shows at will, destroying whoever they want to.

Aj Giacobbe
I love the idea of the brand split. I want two world champs back again. Maybe we can get lucky again and have a smackdown 7 type show again. So raw with Roman can be shit (like it was with Triple H as champ) and Smackdown can be all about wrestling and fun.

>> I think he means Smackdown Six in 2002 and into early 2003. It would be fun to see something like that again.

John Villarreal
I want the fans to pick a side. I want this to go beyond the colors of the set and days they perform. I know it’s hard regionally to have that outlook, but brand pride would be cool. Like the Floridians do with NXT and ECW in Philly. I want to see the spirit of competition without the writers shutting people down. Let these guys do their thing, the corporate branding and marketing philanthropy will take care of itself. Great move, I hope it yields some strong programming and dueling shows trying to one up another.

>> That’s a great point. I like the idea of making the shows competitive because then it’s more enjoyable to watch too.

Brian Robinson
Both the main roster and the NXT roster are filled with quality talent so doing a brand spilt will help put focus on more people going forward. It also opens the door for certain talents who Vince might not understand the appeal of (Nakamura immediately comes to mind) to be put on the Smackdown roster and shine.

Jeremy Cofield
I applaud WWE for never being afraid to steal a line from Vince “Shake things up a bit”. I sincerely hope though they learn from their mistakes of the past.

JT Adams
I love it because it may help Smackdown become a better show. New feuds, no spoilers, a new gm hopefully. Not too keen about another World Title but whatever helps make it more meaningful than it has been.

Aaran Kirk
An option could be make Smackdown the Intercontinental title show & make it mean something? Possibly reintroduce the light heavyweight title to Smackdown as well whilst keeping the WWE title & U.S. title on Raw, womens & tag titles appear on both.

Jason W. Boyd
How can it not be great? Now we have 2 shows with fresh talent. But it will be interesting to see it play out on TV.

I can see this being the ultimate end game with Shane and Stephanie. Shane and his new era on Smackdown vs Stephanie/Hunter and the old era on raw or vice versa… It could be good…

>> It’s wrestling. Fans are always going to be negative. I’m positive about it like you.

Leslie Webb
Will Total Divas change nights since at the moment it’s on Tuesdays?

>> That’s possible. Not really sure at this point and I’m not sure if WWE has a say in it or if it’s up to E Network.

Kevin Curtiss
It gives more talent a chance, so it should be good. I think people immediately wonder about titles. I think titles are fine if they are booked well. There are a lot of superstars worthy of a “World Title” but only a few that would have a reign in it’s current format and probably not as many worthy of a WWE WHC reign. I think it will be good.

Justin Gothier
I like the idea of bringing back the brand split, especially with the roster they have now and along with nxt brand with its stars they eventually will be called up so you need to be able to make room for new signings to keep the NXT brand strong. This will also help the midcard wrestlers get more exposure, but also can lead into fresh feuds and twists and turns along the way. What better way then to have a main event player represent Raw and one for Smackdown? I’m in the camp of having both brands have their own pay per views again and only reunite for the Big Four or Five if you want to include Money In The Bank. Have two World Titles and have the IC Title on Smackdown and the US Title on Raw.

Keith Learmonth
I’m happy with it. It will make Smackdown worth watching again. The last few years, they’ve been phoning it in, by having smackdown be just rematches from Raw, matches that don’t mean anything, and an hour of replayed segments from Raw.

John St. Pierre
Does this mean Raw will be 2 hours again?

>> Nope. People want it, but they have contracts in place and USA Network isn’t going to change it.

Matthew Toy
The pros are that it should be good for the guys and gals that don’t get much TV time now. And it’ll make Smackdown more important. But what’ll they do if there’s another rash of injuries like earlier this year? Will they treat NXT like a triple A baseball club? Send guys up when they need them then send them back down? Plus with 6 hours of wrestling in 3 days each week and 9 every 4th week or so, fans can easily get burned out. I was burned out during Raw this week after Extreme Rules. I have the Network but don’t watch NXT because it’s too much. I’m really on the fence with these changes.

Joe Sondag
With as much talent as WWE currently has and despite the hours of programming that they produce with certain stars not getting airtime because of creative and management decisions. So if the Brand Extension is going to happen then I’m all for it in terms of getting more wrestlers to get more stories and airtime then that’s great. But the bottom line is that WWE and creative has to get better as it was in ’02-’06 where fans can be entertained by the matches and stories while the talent can get opportunities to sink their teeth into storylines that can make them bigger stars at the same time make memories in the ring. It’s all about getting & giving opportunities.

Bobby Nunez
I’m looking forward to it for a couple reasons. It’s great that Smackdown is going live cause it gives it a new feeling of excitement. It gives it that “anything can happen” feeling. Also, it’s a great chance for guys in the Midcard to be elevated and given a chance to shine. Hopefully it all works out and Smackdown becomes a can’t miss show once again.

Jimmy-Lee Ifrene
I’m not a fan of it, honestly. I didn’t like it then and I don’t like it now. I just want better writing/storytelling, logical angles and storylines, and quality wrestling. That’s all I ask for.

Besides, Raw is 3 hours and SmackDown is only 2, I understand Raw is A1, but talk about unfair. You have to shed that Raw 3rd hour in order to be a level playing field.

I’m more in favor of a rotating schedule for the roster instead of splitting the roster in half, like JR said. I do like the live SmackDown, though. I’m all in for improving it.

>> You make fair points, but I think the part that you like (live Smackdown) is such a big deal that it’s the main reason why WWE wants to do this. It’s about building that blue brand up.

Kimsan Song
I have 2 things I’d like to see. For some reason I always remember Booker T and Chris Benoit I think it was where they had a best of seven series. They should do that every now and then. I’d also like one of the shows to bring back time limits, and a ranking system. Also, I hate to say this, as it might take a minute but I have a feeling Smackdown will never, eeeeever hit the 3 million mark for viewers. 2.7 million at best.

Michael Heinz
SmackDown being live means no fake crowd noise means I can watch. That plus SmackDown now having its own cast of characters and own writing team is a welcome change.

The only thing I’m apprehensive about is the rumored return of each brand having their own titles. No thank you.

Deion Larocque
I absolutely love this. I’ve been dying for a brand extension/split for years and it’s been way too long. I’m looking forward to Survivor Series already.

As a former diehard SmackDown fan (until WWE stopped trying) this is amazing news and it really allows some much needed breathing room for more Superstars. Favorite fueds from SmackDown past are Hardy vs Punk, Hardy vs HHH, Edge vs Batista, Undertaker vs Batista/Edge, Christian vs Orton, Hall of Pain Mark Henry vs ANYONE, Jericho vs Mysterio and that’s just recently. So let’s gets some of that blue magic back SmackDown!

>> I like your optimism. Like I said many times the big reason to do this is to boost Smackdown, so let’s them do it.

Leonard Maglasang
SD airing live now is absolutely great. Roster split I’m fine with because the talent is certainly deep enough in my opinion to warrant it. But I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again that the brand split only works if Raw and Smackdown are presented and treated as EQUALS. So if they decide to bring back Big Gold Belt, if that title is just presented as the new IC Title like it was in the later years of the brand split then I’ll say it’s 2010-2013 all over again – inflated # of title reigns, even more less credible champions and another title for the dumb writers to 50/50 book. Call me skeptical about today’s news.

Tim Davidian
I don’t understand why people are pissed about two world titles. They are going to be two SEPERATE brands. Smackdown will be its own show, without all the raw recaps. Of course it should have its own world champion.

Yes, two world titles became a negative thing when the brand extension was over and they kept both world titles active. It did devalue the World title because it was clearly booked as the secondary title from 2012 to when they finally unified them. But from 2003-2012 when they were exclusive to one show, it was great to have two world champions. It elevated a lot of wrestlers that likely would never have been given the chance to be the top guy otherwise a chance to really shine (Christian, Eddie Guererro, Benoit, Booker, RVD and more).

What they should do is have the WWE, IC, and Women’s Championships on Raw and the World, US, and Tag Team Championships on Smackdown. Titles should be exclusive to each show. Nobody should appear on both shows.

>> I think you make good points. I don’t mind two World Titles again. If the stories are good that’s all that really matters in terms of titles.

Chris Lippa
Now I just want shorter Raw, 2 hours again. I think they should bring in a TV title again, and the TV champ appears on either show, not stuck to one.

Danny Diaz
I would love the main title for smackdown to be the IC belt. Make it mean something worth winning again.

Aneil Komal
I think it is a great idea. It will give air time to those who are not getting it. Plus it gives the superstars an extra day of rest so they aren’t worn out. The shows won’t be over saturated with superstars. I love when Smackdown had the better show lol. Good for guys like Ambrose and Owens to get TV. Plus Styles might actually win the title now.

Andrew Harlall
The best way to describe how I feel is “cautiously optimistic”. During the last brand extension, I never watched smackdown, and missed out on many wrestlers I liked. I mainly didn’t watch bc of the time slot and because it was taped, which made it feel less important. Most of those years and stories feel lost to me as far as smackdown is concerned because I never watched. I’m intrigued by a live smackdown, as I’ve felt it should’ve been live during the first brand extension, however, the brand has been hurting for some time. Because I’m curious, I will carve out 2 hrs of my Tuesday to watch it, but it’s up to WWE to make it worthwhile and make it feel that you must watch smackdown every week. In other words, they have a pretty short leash to earn my interest and viewership weekly (however unfair that may be). This is one of the main obstacles to me.

Regarding titles, it’s really a double edge sword, it’s a bit of challenge to feature the reigning champions on both shows in different feuds, but it’s also detrimental to make separate titles for each show because then we would have overkill with the titles and cheap/more numerous title reigns. It’s a delicate balance to pull off and I’m hoping they do it right. It’s a different world than it was the last time they did the brand extension. It would be smart to utilize the network and their deal with Hulu. Obviously the pro is that more wrestlers will get time, but please don’t be stupid and break up successful teams for no reason.

Ryan Petrynka
I like the idea of more talent getting TV time.

I don’t like the idea of splitting the titles. One World Champion. One Intercontinental Champion. One Women’s Champion. One group of Tag Team Champions. My reasoning is inspired by the NWA Territories system. There was only one NWA Champion, so when he visited a territory it was treated like a big deal. Under the brand split it should be treated like a big deal when the Champion appears on RAW or Smackdown or at a brand exclusive house show.

My exception to the title split is with the United States Champion. The WWE World Heavyweight Champions is clearly the #1 title in WWE. The Intercontinental Championship is the #2. For a #3 title, create two separate Championships simply called the RAW Champion and Smackdown Champion. Those titles will only be defended on their respective shows. Make the leather belt red and blue for each brand and include the RAW and Smackdown logo on the centre plate. When the brand split ends, unify the RAW and Smackdown titles as the reborn United States Championship. Another point about titles – this is the perfect opportunity to create new Tag Team belts. I’m not a fan of the copper penny belts. I’d like to see a return of the Attitude Era Tag Team belts.

Royal Rumble, WrestleMania, Money In The Bank, SummerSlam and Survivor Series should feature both brands. Remove the February PPV to focus more on the Road to WrestleMania. The remaining 6 PPVs should be split 50/50, so 3 RAW exclusive PPVs and 3 Smackdown exclusive PPVs.

No announcement from USA Network that I saw, but what happens to the length of RAW and Smackdown on TV? RAW is 3 hours while Smackdown is 2. If both brands are equal shouldn’t both brands have the same TV time? In my opinion if there’s enough talent to create two brands, then there’s enough talent to make Smackdown 3 hours long.

Another concern I have is with NXT. I’m worried NXT talent will be called up to RAW or Smackdown before they’re ready in order to fill out rosters. It’s already starting to happen with Apollo Crews (lack of charisma), Dana Brooke (lack of in ring time) and Baron Corbin (lack of stamina/endurance in the ring) have been called up, in my opinion, before those problems have been corrected.

Chris Greene
I remember the time I watched both shows because they split the roster so well I couldn’t just pick a side. I pray they do it again.

>> That’s what most of us want. Make both shows competitive. Make us want to tune into both. That’s the goal in the end.

David Vu
Honestly, the best thing they can do at the moment. The way they utilize talent, people get lost in the shuffle cause there’s just no time for them. And some of those who get on tv are poorly utilized, leading to the company parting ways with wrestlers due to frustration with their spot. If the rosters are indeed separate and unique like original brand extension, then i sure hope they can rebuild the mid card titles. Also, move Steph to Smackdown. Maybe some storyline can take place where they choose a wrestler and the winner chooses which show they control.

Tyler Dixon
I hate it! There shouldn’t be two heavyweight championships, takes away prestige.

Howie Mandella
As long as they don’t split the world and tag titles, I’m very excited. I’ve always thought that all you had to make SD must see was make it live.

Brandon Quillen
I think it’s a great idea. I’ve been saying this for years. I think the WWE champion should be on both shows. Having two world champions diminishes their importance.

Dale Jackson
Poor TNA they still air on Tuesdays in the states yeah???

Curious if the woman’s roster is deep enough for two champions? I think the men’s is, easily.

On a ppv weekend that a whole lot of wrestling to watch though.

Mike Forrest
Could be a great idea of done well. Not sure if two champs would be smart, but we still don’t know if that’s the plan. Also, just have to add this, but go Cavs!

Giles Hart
Thank god I say, because now more of the hired talent and money on them shouldn’t be wasted, more money should come from a load of extra house shows or they’ll be spread around more, not nearly as much of the great talent should be left to do nothing and hopefully PPVs will mean a bit more when both brands meet up on the same show. That’s how it should happen lol (as in 2002-2008/9). Also like loads of people wish with the Attitude Era or times before that, this is like going back to my childhood wrestling addict years (2004-7) and I’m quite excited. I wonder who will be top dogs for Smackdown?

Two world titles I don’t mind as much either, because it can give more storyline options with matches like Royal Rumble, Money In The Bank etc and can help elevate the second title and make it feel like a major title if they go for it instead. Plus “IF” a load of PPVs/Events go to one brand each again, you need something to prove who’s top dog because the main events would be a bit odd if during most of them, nothing was being defended unless there was a grudge match taking place. I agree with only one tag and women’s title though.

Craig Jones
Great idea, but should keep 1 world title and both shows need equal air time. Three hours of Raw ain’t changing so get rid of main event and have first hour Smackdown on network. Separate PPVs but mix the 4 main ones. When wrestlers from both brands face each other it will mean more.

Derek McGonagle
Keep WWE, Women’s and Tag Champs on both shows. Make IC Title Raw exclusive and US Title Smackdown exclusive. Love the idea of a roster split. SHould never have ended to begin with, but I understand why they did since they stacked raw in 2010, and Smackdown never entertained me as much after Jericho and Edge were drafted back to Raw that year, as well as John Morrison who was easily their fastest rising star at that point. I think most people would agree with that.

Joseph Melican
For it to work successfully, the shows need to be more or less equal in importance and quality. With Raw still at 3 hours long and Smackdown at 2 hours, I don’t know how that could possible and I’m worried that like the last five years of the original brand split Smackdown will be seen as the distant second show.

Paulo Quinteros Jara
WWE, the only place where the bad ideas that do not worked in the Past, are repeated.

>> I think politics are worse, but this is not tjrpolitics.net so I’ll stop lol.

Kamal Ambrishapal
I think it’s a good idea for the brand split as it creates more opportunities for the wrestlers if they can also introduce more titles. It’s also good to see a raw vs smackdown team at survivor series. Nxt is another brand and I feel that they need to start introducing main events for it.

Trevor Stratton
I’d like to see WWE champ, women’s, and US on Raw and tag team and IC (as the main belt) on Smackdown. PPVs should have both brands. One neat idea might be to have the WWE and IC Champs wrestle once a year, with the loser being IC champ and going to Smack down and the winner going to RAW and being WWE champ.

Swastik Rath
It is a really good idea because it gives Smackdown a lot of importance(no throwaway show) as well as more time for talents(both well-established and non-used).Now that both shows have distinct rosters with great talents in them,Smackdown should have its own World Title with one of the two secondary titles. Wade Barrett and Cody Rhodes really left at a wrong time because both would have had a better chance of getting benefitted by this brand split.

Jake Leonard
I dunno…..Tuesdays? I liked it being on Thursday better (or going way back, when it was on Friday). Not sure I’m going to like RAW and Smackdown being live so close to each other.

James Patterson
I think they should cut Raw down to two and a half hours and give the extra thirty minutes to Smackdown. Everyone wins. Raw and Smackdown will be on an equal footing which is necessary to establish Smackdown as a credible brand. USA gets their five hours of content each week and the fans don’t have to suffer three hour shows anymore.

Ryan Charles Johnston
I’m cautiously optimistic. I think it makes all the sense in the world with a larger roster and 5 hours split over two shows to dedicate certain stars to certain shows. My concern always will be about the titles. I think the original Brand Extension had harmful long term effects. It reduced the value of most titles and made them props. I think it also largely hurt the development and popularity of some characters as WWE avoided certain feuds.

My hope is that they work to stick with one World Title, one Womens Title and one set of Tag Titles. My further hope is that the IC and US become elevated by being “Brand Exclusive” titles that become a larger focus of each show. While The WWE Champ and his feud may be an overall focal point on both shows – each show individually should sell their secondary as a primary award to win. That way, you don’t put in on low to mid carders hoping it helps them get over, but rather than you make fans care about the IC because Owens and Cesaro are contesting it in main events on Smackdown.

I have a particularly radical idea that won’t happen. Merge the US into the IC – keep selling the history of both titles so that when they merge its a big deal. Then use the IC as they used the Big Gold during the extension. Have the WWE on Raw and IC on Smackdown and thats that.

Larry Yadao
I think this is great. I think with Reigns on Raw and Cena on SD, (Or vice cersa) it’ll not only make SD must see again, but it gives a lot of spotlight to other wrestlers that normally wouldn’t get the shine. ESPECIALLY on Raw.

The only thing negative I see about this is if they DIDN’T have Cena on one show and Reigns on another and put them both on Raw.. Because it would have one show be less interesting or less important. I also hope they don’t put the women’s division on SD either. Maybe Raw has the WWE title, IC title, and Womens title, and SD has the World title, US title, and Tag division? I always felt SD in the past had amazing tag matches so I think they can keep that formula.

Raw being three hours with a brand split not only opens the doors for others to be spotlighted, but we can be in hopes for even longer wrestling matches and more story development. This is actually the most excited i’ve been for a long time.

Steven Downton
I don’t like it, they need less TV as everything is diluted.

>> Yes, but they need to pay bills and if USA Network wants to pay them $180 million per year like they are then they’d be foolish to turn it down. Money talks. Everybody has a price!

Ryan Mullins
I think it’d be stupid to not have 2 World Titles. They are separate brands. The title is a great storyline prop and is needed on both brands. Give both a world title. Raw with the Intercontinental title, Smackdown with the United States title. Give Raw the Women’s division exclusively since they have the extra hour.
I’m not sure what Id do with the Tag title situation.

Javier Chavez
There’s so many pros and cons to this, but overall I feel this could be a good thing. The WWE currently has the right amout of championships for the roster. If they add any more, especially having two world champions, it just lowers their value. Only the IC and US titles should be brand exclusive whereas the women’s, tag and world titles should jump between both shows. Current champions work both shows so I don’t see why this would be difficult to do.

It’s a huge plus to the talent because this gives them the opportunity to develop their character and give them tv time to develop story lines. Curious to see whether there will be brand exclusive ppvs. I would be for it bc it gives brand A to further tell a story while it’s on the month of a brand B ppv, so maybe 2 month build to a fued could be a good thing.

The biggest upside to this brand extension is that this may finally bring Smackdown from the purgatory it has been for the last several years. Lately Smackdown has felt like a televised house show with little to no impact on the story lines WWE is showcasing. Best way to make Smackdown shine is to have a big name like Cena be drafted to Smackdown to have the role Undertaker had back when there was Smackdown brand as locker room leader and mainstay to the blue brand.

John T. Clair
I was calling it since Mania, especially with the return of Shane-O-Mac and I am ecstatic! The draft itself creates great storylines and it will give a better chances for those that the WWE do want to push but can’t because of too many guys aiming to be on top. hopefully, they will also split the writers so that there are more ideas and better creative control because one week we have a great show and one week its stale and boring.

There were over 7,000 words there so thanks for reading all of that. I just wanted to give you the perspective of wrestling fans from all around the world to get a sense of what they felt about WWE’s big news this week. Thanks to those that participated.

If you have thoughts on this topic as well, comment below and keep the conversation going. Thank you.