On Wednesday, the WWE announced that Smackdown would be going live on Tuesday nights. They also announced the return of the brand split. Starting in mid-July, RAW and Smackdown will have their own unique rosters.
Since the news broke, multiple rumors have come out regarding what the brand split will look. Here are a few of them courtesy of Dave Meltzer of the Wrestling Observer, with my thoughts afterwards.
-The current plan is for each roster to have their own Champion.
JC’s Take: If you are going to do this, then you HAVE to treat both Titles as equals. By the time the first brand split was nearing its conclusion, the World Title meant almost nothing.
-John Cena is expected to be the top face on one show, while Roman Reigns will be the top face for the other.
JC’s Take: The last time the WWE did the Draft Lottery, John Cena went to Smackdown but was moved back to RAW by the end of the night. But there was talk of keeping Cena on Smackdown. I’d probably want Cena on Smackdown. The show is moving nights and you’d want your biggest ratings draw on that show. That’s Cena.
-The rumored date for the draft is Monday July 11.
JC’s Take: There’s a PPV on July 24. I’d personally wait until after that. Maybe if there are matches set already and the competitors end up on separate rosters they still let the match happen.
-Early indications are for WWE Women’s Champion Charlotte to appear on both shows. No word on the Tag Team Champions New Day yet. There was some talk of making the women’s division permanent on one show and the tag division permanent on the other.
JC’s Take: Splitting up these divisions would be really dumb. Each has their own drawing power. You also can’t have two Women’s or Tag Team Division as the roster isn’t that deep, especially for two Women’s Titles. Both of these Champs should be allowed to appear on both shows.
-Vince McMahon is said to be really pumped about the brand split.
JC’s Take: Of course, the key with this is Vince maintaining his excitement. We all know how Vince can really like one thing and change his mind on it later.
-Stephanie McMahon is expected to run one show while Shane McMahon will run the other.
JC’s Take: This is what they should have done at Payback.
-Despite the brand split, there are some joint episodes of RAW being planned for the nights after SummerSlam and Wrestlemania. However, PPVs are expected to be joint shows and there will be two separate announce teams for both brands.
JC’s Take: I have no problem with joint roster shows after big PPVs. As far as the announce teams go, now Mauro Ranallo will have the chance to blow Michael Cole out of the water on PPVs.