JC’s Top Rope Report: Brand Split, The WCW Edition

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The WWE fans are all talking about the upcoming brand split. For most, they look at it as an opportunity for some new faces to make a name for themselves on TV. They are looking forward to seeing who ends up on what brand. Will there be 2 World Champions? Will the Women’s and Tag Team Champions be allowed to appear on both shows? Who will run each show? There are a lot of questions that remain unanswered.

Of course, the WWE did a brand split once before. It started off strong. But eventually, it became less and less of a hard brand split. More talent showed up on RAW and Smackdown was once again treated like an inferior product. The hope is that this brand split doesn’t end up like that.

As many of you know, I like to go back in wrestling history sometimes and talk about the “what ifs.” I like to apply current storyline/matches to things of the past. And I’m going to do that with the brand split. And I’m going to take a look at WCW.

By 1998, the WCW roster was HUGE. They had just added Thunder to Thursday nights. Even with that, a lot of members of the roster barely received any TV time. There were a good amount of talented wrestlers that were never able to break through because the top of the card was so loaded. With a brand split, some of the undercard guys might have had the opportunity to break through.

So we’re setting the brand split right after Superbrawl 98. Sting has just won the WCW Title. The nWo is in disarray. The Steiners have just split up. There is a whole lot going on. Instead of breaking up into separate nWo factions, the group can still have its ongoing troubles through both shows. We get ONE World Champion. At the moment, that man is Sting. The Tag Champions and Cruiserweight Champs appear on both shows. The TV Champ appears on Nitro while the US Champ appears on Thunder. So with that said, here is how that breaks down:


WCW Champion: Sting

Tag Team Champions: Scott Hall and Kevin Nash

Cruiserweight Champion: Chris Jericho

So how do I break down the rest of the rosters? Here you go:

Nitro: Hollywood Hogan, Randy Savage, Lex Luger, The Giant, Scott Steiner, Rick Steiner, Goldberg, Dean Malenko, Rey Mysterio, Saturn, Wrath, Mortis, La Parka, Juventud Guerrera, Booker T, Eddie Guerrero, Ray Traylor, Steve McMichael, Fit Finlay, Steven Regal

Thunder: Diamond Dallas Page, Ric Flair, Bret Hart, Chris Benoit, Raven, Buff Bagwell, Konnan, Jim Neidhart, British Bulldog, Scott Norton, Billy Kidman, Ultimo Dragon, Curt Hennig, Hugh Morris, Meng, The Barbarian, Disco Inferno, Psychosis, Ernest Miller, Glacier

And that is just the Top 20 for each brand that I can think of. There are plenty more names to be put on there as you know. Thunder turns into more of the “wrestling” brand with DDP, Ric Flair, Bret Hart and Chris Benoit. Nitro contains the “star power” with Hogan, Savage, Luger and The Giant. Remember, Eric Bischoff says that Bret Hart was primarily brought in to help with Thunder and build the show somewhat around him. That happens here. At the moment you still have Nash and Hall able to appear on both shows so that helps the heel side of Thunder.

So what are your thoughts? Would you have liked to seen a WCW brand split back in 1998? And how would you have done it?

Until Next Time,

Justin C

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