Steve Austin Talks Brand Split & WWE Roster Not Having “Incredible Depth”

WWE Hall of Famer “Stone Cold” Steve Austin recently spoke on his podcast, The Steve Austin Show – Unleashed, about his thoughts on WWE decision to split their roster between Raw and SmackDown. The Texas Rattlesnake touched on different aspects of the brand split and what he thinks needs to be done in order for it to work, including: how the current wrestlers need to try and work to get over since he feels WWE’s roster doesn’t have ‘incredible depth’ as Vince McMahon puts it, how SmackDown can’t just be the “NXT of the big leagues” but aim to be just as hot if not hotter than Raw, and how he wants to see one WWE Champion travel between Raw and Smackdown. The following are Austin’s comments.

On WWE’s roster not having incredible depth.

“I’m quoting Vince from the SmackDown stuff. It says, ‘WWE’s flagship programs will both leverage the incredible depth of our talent roster, distinct storylines, and the unpredictable nature of live TV.’ Okay, lets go back to the ‘incredible depth’ of the talent roster. I don’t see ‘incredible depth’.” It is a lot of bodies, a lot of people, and talented people, but I don’t think you can say your roster’s necessarily deep. But you do have a lot of players or people they’re going to try out and we’ll see how they do. Are they going to make the all-star team by getting over or are they just going to be bodies that go out there and occupy time on the television screen?”

On SmackDown having the potential to be more popular than Raw since it’s 2 hours.

“The SmackDown roster can’t be the minor leagues. It can’t be the NXT of the big leagues.” Austin said, “SmackDown could become the hotter show just because it takes less time to watch it, and, man, you know everybody has attention deficit these days, so I don’t know. To me, it could have the makings of making SmackDown the hotter, more popular show.”

On having one WWE Champion on both Raw and SmackDown.

“I absolutely think that the world champion ought to travel back and forth [between RAW and SmackDown]. If the champion is on RAW, Reigns, who has the championship, goes to SmackDown, to me, that in and of itself creates something that I want to see.”

If you’d like to listen to this episode of The Steve Austin Show – Unleashed in its entirety, you can click right here. Thank you to WrestlingInc for the transcription.

Mark’s reaction: I think Austin is spot on about SmackDown having an advantage by being two hours. I did not think of that at first. Initially, I thought SmackDown may be looked at as a lesser show since it’s only two hours while raw is three. However, being two hours will be easier for viewers to watch and it can help their roster build feuds and tell stories in a quick but efficient way since the show won’t feel like it’s dragging as much as Raw does.

In regards to Austin’s comments about WWE’s roster not having incredible depth, I think Austin believes there’s a lot of talent there. However, I think he feels that a lot of that talent aren’t over in a major way with the fans yet. They have the potential to be though, so that’s how I interpreted Austin’s comments.

I like the idea of there being one WWE Champion who is allowed to be on both shows. It creates a way that keeps the brands and their rosters separated, but allows for crossover which is unique. Would you rather there be one WWE Champion or two? What do you think of Austin’s comments? Leave any of your thoughts in the comment section below.

Picture used above is courtesy of