Triple H dropped a pipe bomb last Monday night on Raw when he announced that effective immediately the Superstars from SmackDown would appear every Monday night in a new concept known as Raw Super Show. Then last night on Super SmackDown Live, the Blue Brand was joined by Superstars from Raw. The sudden shuffle of the roster deck has amplified the rumors: Is the Brand Extension finally over?
With over ten years of programming, naturally becoming the third longest running episodic television show in history, and currently signed to a fairly new TV contract with Syfy, SmackDown will not be leaving anytime soon.
Amid SmackDown Superstars on Raw, and Raw Superstars on SmackDown, the distinction between the two has been blurred. Before long, if this continues, the storylines will cross over with a Raw Superstar feuding with a SmackDown Superstar. Then if that’s the case, sooner or later the secondary and world championships will need to be unified with their respective counterparts.
But should the Brand Extension end? Meaning no more WWE draft lottery, (WWE ceased the SmackDown vs Raw video game series, and on November 22 will relaunch a new series under the title WWE), and no more counterpart championships?
Assuming that the segregated lines between WWE’s flagship show and its B-show are abolished, the counter championships must be retired as well. This will combine the top-tier Superstars to vie for the WWE championship, while the combined midcard Superstars can contest for the I-C title. A movement that should happen so that prestige can be restored to these titles.
Could this be the change that CM Punk was talking about? “I want to make this fun again.”
Then again, the beauty of the Brand Extension made for more television time for the pool of talents not in main event scene. On Super SmackDown Live, Cody Rhodes, the I-C champion, was not featured. The new WWE Tag Team champions AirBoom (Evan Bourne & Kofi Kingston) were interviewed backstage by Matt Striker and spoke of the importance of tag team wrestling, yet did not compete in the ring to back up those words.
Conceding that WWE is blurring the lines of the Brands, it had better make damn sure that they can utilize their talents in a way to keep the product fresh and enjoyable for all wrestling fans. Because not everyone is a heavyweight champion fan. Some are cruiserweight wrestling fans, tag team wrestling fans, and even women’s wrestling fans. A balance must be met so that all wrestling fans can tune in and enjoy what they see.
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