5 reasons brand split could cause loss of hardcore fans, including myself.

Discussion in 'The Wrestling Archives' started by AegonTargaryen, Nov 10, 2016.

  1. AegonTargaryen

    AegonTargaryen Championship Contender

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    First of all I'm pretty much disconnected from the WWE now, and have only read results since a month. The thread isn't intended to be controversial nor to propagate hate such as the typical "WWE sucks blah blah blah" threads from the past. I just thought I ought to share my feelings and views, before I completely stop checking out WZ or wrestling stuff in general. My reasons for leaving are twofold: 1) My personal life and variety of interests and hobbies which barely leaves me little time to watch Friends and Criminal Minds, let alone watch WWE. 2)The really awful scenario post-brand split.

    Now trust me I was positive when it happened but none of us foresaw what SD live or Raw would be like in November. What's certain is that there were Pro-brand split WWE fans back in June. And as many Anti-Brand Split fans. As evidenced in the rather huge thread on the Split from June.

    I am not denying to those of you who thoroughly enjoy watching Raw or SD live and don't see much scope for grievances or boredom. At the end of the day, life's most precious gifts are intangibles like joy, bliss, happiness, love, faith and Eudaimonia. If the WWE produces in you any of those,by all means derive those. As for me, I can state Five reasons why I feel the brand split either already has, or soon will, lead to more and more hardcore fans tuning out and perhaps disconnect?

    1)Two tag divisions have been a failure. No amount of arguments could be enough to convince any reasonable person that SD live has had a great and thriving tag team wrestling scene in the last three months. Proof?

    Ascenscion, flopped.
    Breezango, flopped.
    Vaudevillians, flopped.
    Spirit Squad are in.
    Rhyno&Slater. Nothing noteworthy since winning the titles. Not one match.

    A similar case can be made for Raw tag division, excluding New Day and Cesaro&Sheamus who're pretty much the only two teams of note on Raw. Their SD counterparts being American alpha and Usos, but neither have done much.

    2)The cruiserweights have flopped.

    I honestly haven't had a single "wow" since their debut. It's like I don't care. Something seems to be missing.

    3)SD live is atrocious. Regardless of the additional women's and tag titles and the N number of perceived "opportunities" the brand split may have given the likes of Rhyno, Slater, and Ziggler .

    For every Dolph Ziggler and Heath Slater, there are the Baron Corbins, Apollo Crews and Jack Swaggers.

    And then there are Spirit Squad, Curt Hawkins , and James Ellsworth who had it not been for lack of vitality and depth in the roster and in the "creative" team , would have either not been on TV, or not bombed, as is the case for Hawkins right now. What have all those Hawkins FACTS vignettes led to really?

    The Ellsworth series of episodes caused me to completely stop watching.

    Not to mention Kane is still wrestling.

    3)Too much of the "same" matches and segments.

    Week in and week out, it's been Miz-Ziggler, Rusev-Reigns, Jericho-Owens-Rollins.

    And the N number of times we've seen the same matches. Ambrose vs Styles in particular.

    Diversity is almost dead.

    4)Diluted star power has resulted in hiring awful wrestlers or trying to resurrect past ones like Swagger and Hawkins. And also, Ellsworth.

    The fact is, the mainevent scene would be far fresher and intriguing with Styles, Rollins, KO, Cena, Reigns, Ambrose and Orton on the same show, thus proving how brand split will lead to unnecessarily dragged out feuds and really trashy TV featuring the likes of Ellsworth in the last many weeks.

    5)No matter how many NXT stars they bring in, two titles each for the Main title, women's title and tag titles will never work.

    Instead of us getting awesome four-way matches for the tag titles such as New Day vs Cesaro&Sheamus vs The Club vs American Alpha, you'll see Slater and Rhyno fighting Spirit Squad in 2016. It's evidently appalling.

    If you can't foresee it, think of how the Basham Brothers were tag champs on SD in 2004. It got so bad by 2009(?) That the WWE decided to unify the tag titles.

    The same thing will happen now, perhaps earlier.

    Time will tell.

    Personally for me, I think it's a waste of time to try and watch two Shows with diluted star power, unnecessarily dragged out storylines and feuds, James Ellsworth and Spirit Squad, and too much of the same. Actually, this is what the Brand Split Detractors said back in June too. Exactly these sorts of concerns.

    I for one, have stopped watching. I really enjoyed the Styles-Reigns matches. And AJ Styles. Until Ellsworth happened.
     
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  2. ShinChan

    ShinChan Gone. For. Good.

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    Ascension was flop before brand split.
    Breezango was flop before brand split.
    Vaudevillains was flop before brand split
    Spirit Squad joined to assist Miz. Plus, the Ziggler connection.
    Slater was jobber before Brand Split and now, he is a champion

    Raw's problem is that WWE wants to make a reign record for New Day. It's too overdue for a title change.

    No Brand Split's fault.

    It's the typical lame booking. Saw CWC? It was way much better. Why? Because it didn't portray Cruiserweights as jokes.

    Not Brand Split's fault.

    Big disagreement. It's so much better than Raw and pre-brand split Smackdown.

    Baron Corbin and Apollo Crews were the same before brand split. Jack Swagger was the same too. Not to forget that Swagger is a good wrestler. Plus Apollo Crews too but he has no personality other than smiling.

    I don't get what you saw so disappointing in Ellsworth? It was a cool way to keep Ambrose-AJ going. Curt Hawkins is a jobber. And jobbers exist since a long time.

    Not a fault of brand split.

    Agreed. That's again a booking problem.

    Sami Zayn and Neville are lurking aroubd while we get the inevitable Hell In A Cell match for Reigns-Rusev.

    What I mean is that there are options available still. But WWE doesn't want to use them.

    Again not brand Split's fault.

    Awful wrestlers like?

    Plus, I don't see the problem in resurrection of a good talent.

    Is Rollins-HHH feud dragging because of brand split? Just an example.

    Your choice, really. I wasn't a supporter of brand split. I was 50/50 on it. But it has a lot more positives than negatives. I don't get to see spoilers for Smackdown because it's freakin' live. You're just giving Ellsworth too much consideration.

    It is in no way a time to stop watching wrestling. AJ Styles, Ambrose, Rollins, Rusev, Miz, Becky, Sasha, Charlotte, Kevin Owens, Jericho etc have enough to make me watch main roster TV.

    Yeah, there are many booking problems but brand split is a much of a boon than a bane.
     
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  3. HORRORHOLIC

    HORRORHOLIC Pre-Show Stalwart

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    I've always hated the brand split. The idea of two world champions is a joke to begin with. Now there are two sets of champions for the woman and tag team champions ? All this does is limit the diversity of the matches we see, as if we aren't already getting the same matches far too often, and water down whoever the champions are.
     
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  4. ShinChan

    ShinChan Gone. For. Good.

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    But if Brand Split is a reality, shouldn't both brands have their own champions?

    It does limit the diversity but tell me how it would be a brand split if there ain't individual titles for both brands?

    Keeping one World Champion for both brands won't work either. Why? Because what about the challengers? Same with other titles.
     
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  5. King Patrick Star

    King Patrick Star K. O. T. R. 2007 -€“ Team Undisputed

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    I’m going to break it down, point by point. By the way, you have 6 points.

    1)Two tag divisions have been a failure.
    If you look at Raw and Smackdown as one brand / show, then yes, two Tag Team divisions would be a redundant. However, they are not the same brand / show. They are both Professional Sports Wrestling Entertainment shows. Tag Teams are a part of the show. Each show needs a Tag Team division.

    2)The cruiserweights have flopped.
    Of course the Cruiserweights flopped. They flip, flop, jump, spin, and do all kinds of stuff in the air. They are not meant to be the main attraction of any show. They are the featured side attraction. How can you say the flopped, when they seem to be growing.

    3)SD live is atrocious.
    That’s just your opinion, which isn’t shared by most, from what I’m reading.

    3)Too much of the "same" matches and segments.
    If Raw and Smackdown and Impact had “different” matches and segments every week, you would complain that there is no flow or continuity or storyline. You would say things like, “too many random matches and segments”, or something along those lines.

    4)Diluted star power has resulted in hiring awful wrestlers or trying to resurrect past ones like Swagger and Hawkins. And also, Ellsworth.
    Again, this is your opinion, but how can you complain about diluted star power and then complain about hiring wrestlers or trying to resurrect past ones in the same sentence?? Isn’t that like having a problem and complaining about the solution…at the same time??

    5)No matter how many NXT stars they bring in, two titles each for the Main title, women's title and tag titles will never work.
    This just doesn’t make sense. Raw and Smackdown are two separate brands / shows. The keyword is separate. Any successful show should have a Top / Main Championship, a mid-card Championship, a Tag Team Championship, and a women’s Championship. NXT’s purpose is to groom or polish up the NeXT WWE SuperStar.

    In conclusion, I feel like you ran out of things to talk about, and just wanted to start a thread about how you “quit” watching, but you are somehow still keeping up with the greatest form of entertainment in the history of Earth. Try becoming a casual fan and check back during WrestleMania season. It might be better suited for you.
     
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  6. Jack-Hammer

    Jack-Hammer YOU WILL RESPECT MY AUTHORITAH!!!!
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    I was going to respond but you basically said everything I'd intended to. I definitely agree with the comments regarding "same" matches & segments, "diluted star power" and, especially, the closing paragraph. If someone finds WWE that atrocious, then I don't really see the point of them creating a thread to list the reasons why they've "quit" watching yet are bothering to keep up with what's happening.

    I wasn't all that sure about the brand split because I ultimately thought it'd just be WWE calling it a "brand split" despite having a lot of crossover. For me, the positive changes that've come about for SmackDown have made the brand split worth it. Every so often, I'll see some complaints regarding WWE having too many titles but, as you pointed out, it's a nonsensical argument. If the brands are split, then each brand has to have its own titles because you can't have a show with no titles nor can you just float around the existing champions between brands as you'd ultimately have to have a different title feud each month and that's not going to work at all.
     
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  7. HORRORHOLIC

    HORRORHOLIC Pre-Show Stalwart

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    That's why I don't like the idea of it in the first place. The World Champion should be considered the number one guy in the company, not one of the number one guys or the number one guy out of half the roster. Same with the others, it makes it much less important. It's even more noticeable with the woman and tag teams.
     
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  8. King Patrick Star

    King Patrick Star K. O. T. R. 2007 -€“ Team Undisputed

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    Just to spin this, here are 5 (not 6) reasons why the Brand Extension could cause gain of casual fans, including your parents and kids.

    1. Championship Title Belts – There are now a total of 9 active Championship Title Belts in the WWE, 12 if you include NXT. The number one reason why I’m a fan of Professional Sports Wrestling Entertainment is the gold and leather. It’s also an indicator of who is currently the best. I can just never get enough Championship Title Belts, and I hate it when I run out of things to collect.

    2. Room to grow – Being that there are once again, two major Brands in the WWE, there is now double the size for a spot on the main roster. If the Brand Extension didn’t return, we would not have the Universal Championship Title, the Smackdown Women’s Championship Title, the Smackdown Tag Team Championship Title, and quite possibly, the Cruiserweight Championship Title. SuperStars like Finn Balor, Kevin Owens, A.J. Styles, Becky Lynch, and Rhyno and Heath Slater may not have become Champions just yet. More room at the top means more room in the middle and more room at the bottom.

    3. NXT – Now that there are 2 Brands to graduate to, the NXT rookies have double the chances to move up, while making double the space for new talent to acquire. It’s win – win from the very top to the very bottom.

    4. Smackdown…Live – Smackdown going and staying live, in my opinion, should have happened since Smackdown’s debut. Even with the original Brand Extension, being a taped show always gave the appearance that it was in fact the B-Show. Now, which show is the A-Show is argued weekly.

    5. Brand Exclusive Pay Per Views – Continuing with the more is more theme, having Raw Exclusive Pay Per Views and Smackdown exclusive Pay Per Views gives more Stars a chance to shine on a grander stage. This also makes the Big 4 bigger and an actual sense of importance. SummerSlam, Survivor Series, Royal Rumble, and the grandest of them all, WrestleMania, will feel like major shows or All-Star games.

    I love the WWE. My only complaint is there isn't a live show every day. Let's put the WWE Network to good use. Let's make SuperStars the live Raw house show on Thrusdays. Let's make Main Event the live Smackdown house show on Fridays. Let's bring back Saturday Nights Main Event featuring the Champions of the WWE...Live!!
     
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  9. WWEIsLife2

    WWEIsLife2 Championship Contender

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    Smackdown Live is atrocious because they added a second Womens and Tag Team Titles? That makes the Show atrocious? That makes no sense to me. I seem to remember for years now people wanting Smackdown to be a Live Show and I agree it should have been when it launched 17 years ago. I haven't seen many people complaining that it is now except for you.

    Also it just blows me away some just have taken great offense to James Ellsworth being in the Main Event storyline much less being in the WWE at all. Who knows how long it will last but its been a fun story and the guy is over for christ sakes. He's been competing for 14 years, let the guy live out a dream.
     
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  10. Dagger Dias

    Dagger Dias Natural 20
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    I cannot say that I agree with much of anything that the threadstarter is saying. The brand split has been better for every aspect of the WWE. Let's address each of these 5 reasons mentioned in the opening post.


    The tag divisions are a failure? Hardly. I seem to recall a point in time in recent years when the division was all but dead. Now, it's in a good place. Don't believe me? Take a look and see.

    Raw
    New Day (Champions)
    Sheamus & Cesaro (Contenders)
    Gallows & Anderson (Contenders)
    Enzo & Cass (Contenders)
    Golden Truth (Jobbers)
    Shining Stars (Jobbers)


    Smackdown
    Slater & Rhyno (Champions)
    American Alpha (Contenders)
    The Usos (Contenders)
    Breezango (Jobbers and potential Contenders)
    Spirit Squad (Jobbers)
    Hype Bros (Jobbers)


    Hmmm.... so we have two sets of champions, multiple contenders for said champions on both brands, and some jobbers for both. Kind of hard to call it a failure when both brands' structure look fairly complete.


    The Ascension flopped because of stupid booking decisions, they could have been the most dominant team of the main roster just like they were in NXT. They never got a fair chance. Breezango still have a shot, especially on Smackdown. Not a flop. Had they ended up on Raw, they likely would have flopped. Even if they end up remaining jobbers, they would fit a role that is needed. Vaudevillains were indeed a flop that I will give you, but they suck so a flop was expected. Spirit Squad being there worked for the Miz VS Ziggler storyline and they can be enhancement talent. The division's not failing.


    I wouldn't call them a TOTAL flop.... Yet. We have their new show 205 Live coming soon. Let's see how that goes before calling the Cruiserweight return a complete failure. They don't need to be on Raw, that's for sure, but the return of the Cruiserweights got us TJ Perkins and the return of Kendrick. So it hasn't been all bad. The matches do seem pointlessly thrown together although I have not given up hope on this division. Give them a chance until their show starts. The purple brand can still be exciting.


    Smackdown is atrocious....!? What show are you even watching!? Smackdown is AMAZING right now. It hasn't been this good since Wrestlemania 25, if not longer. Smackdown BEFORE the brand split's return is a show I might describe as atrocious. The return of the brand split made Smackdown go from being pointless to being the best show WWE produces on a weekly basis.


    Not everyone is going to see success.


    Hawkins' new character is indeed a bit weird. I preferred him as an Edge clone back when he teamed with Ryder or when he was in that short-lived Gatecrashers team he had with Vance Archer. If anything he will end up a jobber and, thus, still fill a role that is needed.


    Yeah the Ellsworth stuff got old after the match he had with Styles and Ambrose was the guest ref. Ellsworth should have been done after that. Could be worse though. There was plenty of other great content in those episodes and Ellsworth still added to the storyline surrounding Ambrose and Styles. Would you rather they be stuck in a generic "You're the champion and I want your title belt" storyline?


    Why is this a problem? Everyone is always whining about Kane. It's not like we're talking about Big Show or Mark Henry here. THEY need to retire.



    Again, what show are you watching? That was the problem BEFORE the brand split. You know.... when Smackdown featured pointless Raw rematches. The return of the brand split was one of the best things WWE could have possibly done. If you don't want to see a match just fast forward it. That's what it will come down to. Simple solution. I'm enjoying both brands' content.


    They are filling roles that are needed, we covered this already. I don't have a problem with them bringing in enhancement talent. How exactly is this diluting the star power? Stretching the roster across two shows was a great move. Before we had a highly clogged up Raw and a pointless Smackdown. Now we have a show hitting closer to its potential than before in Raw and another far exceeding its potential in Smackdown. They have many stars and if you still think that is not the case, tell that to all the fans who are buying merchandise. They seem to know who the stars are.


    This, other than "Smackdown is atrocious", is the most incorrect part of your post. King Patrick Star was absolutely correct when he talked about the titles. The whole point of being a wrestler is (kayfabe) to become a champion. Raw and Smackdown are two different shows. They need a World Champion, a midcard champion, a Women's Champion, and tag team champions. The shows are incomplete otherwise. Even if they had an undisputed World Champion, it would create a large gap. Let's say there is no Universal title. If AJ Styles was THE top guy, what would Owens and Rollins be doing if Styles is feuding with Ambrose? They need something to fight for. The same goes for the women. If Charlotte's title was the only one, then what would Becky Lynch and Alexa Bliss be doing? Would you rather see Seth Rollins job to Roman Reigns or see Becky Lynch job to Nikki Bella when they could be getting the title shots/reigns they deserve?


    You have created a good discussion with this topic, however I don't agree with your 5 statements. The brand split saved the WWE. It was getting, dare I even say it, boring. Now, quite the contrary. I'm looking forward to BOTH shows each week with lots of anticipation. When was the last time that could be said of both brands on a weekly basis?
     
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  11. AegonTargaryen

    AegonTargaryen Championship Contender

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    I can agree that WWE did need a shake-up as they'd exhausted almost all possibilities, dream matches, and multi-person feuds between 2012-2016:-

    The Shield, Wyatts, Taker vs Lesnar, Cena vs Lesnar, Rock vs Cena, CM Punk's rise and departure, Daniel Bryan's retirement, Unification of the world titles.

    Basically, they were left with rather stagnated Orton and Cena(Jeez) who were already 12 and 15 time champions respectively, three former Shield members, Sheamus and Cesaro and that's it. Oh, and AJ Styles. (Lesnar as a part-timer).

    We certainly can't and wouldn't want to imagine how the WWE would be right now, had it only been for one major show and world champion. Better or worse??

    The shakeup has happened. Two distinct brands are a fact now.

    My issues are the same which bothered the naysayers back in June, of which there were quite a few. The TV shows aren't compelling enough for me, especially not SD Live.

    Actually, at one point I shared the same feeling as you and others about SD live, but my conviction right now is that they've failed to produce compelling TV for two months now.

    Everything was exciting until they crowned the tag champs, and Styles became champion and Cena and Ambrose got thrown in.

    I also recognize that it's not easy producing compelling TV 52 weeks a year, for two different brands is no easy task. But what I'm seeing on TV isn't palatable at all, from top to bottom. At least on SD Live. On Raw, I could at least still be invested in Braun Strowman, Reigns Rollins, KO.


    I agree that if there are two brands, you need two world champions and two midcard titles for both brands, and have no opinion on the women's title(whether they should have one or two).

    My issue is that if they were supposed to resurrect SD live as the show with opportunities and more wrestling and all that, where is the evidence?

    Back in 2002, when Stephanie announced the WWE tag team title tournament, you saw Chris Benoit and Kurt Angle have amazing matches with Rey Mysterio and Edge, and Guerreros, and those are some of the most exciting and athletic tag team matches ever. All of that hapened within a 4-month period.

    I haven't seen a single exciting match for the SD tag titles yet, and a 20-minute match at that, let alone a ladder match.

    Instead of watching a compelling triple threat match between the Usos, American Alpha and Hype Bros, which are the most athletic and able team on the roster, I've had to see Spirit Squad and as much as I like Heath Slater, the pairing with Rhyno and the tag matches involving them have been a snoozefest.

    It's not just one thing. It's not just tag teams and James Ellsworth, but the show is lacking at multiple levels.

    I didn't feel so back in 2002, and it didn't matter if it was Live or not, or who the general manager was. You had Brock Lesnar and Undertaker, the cruiserweights, and Angle,Edge, Benoit, Mysterio, Eddie Guerrero!

    While they don't nearly have the same level or amount of talent today,
    they could, IMO, at least do something better with what they do have:- AJ Styles, Dean Ambrose, American Alpha, Usos, Hype Bros, and perhaps John Cena and Randy Orton.

    They really haven't, IMO, from what I've been watching since 6-8 weeks. (I elaborated on how they could've given us amazing tag matches, but they haven't.)


    They've succeeded with producing two distinct shows a week, yes.

    It's just that most people still complain that Raw isn't good enough, is 3 hrs long etc, whereas they thoroughly enjoy SD Live, week after week.

    In my case, I think SD live has very little to offer.

    Raw has some talent, but neither show is compelling for me anymore.

    Also, due to restrictions of time, I've decided to stop watching regularly. The last time I really looked forward to watching used to be when CM Punk rose in 2011, or the brand split in 2002, Smackdown in 2006 with the likes of Kurt Angle, Finlay, Lashley, Taker, Kane, Mr.. Kennedy.
     
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  12. WWEIsLife2

    WWEIsLife2 Championship Contender

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    They don't have the same level of Talent today? I totally disagree with that because both Shows have an insane amount of Talent if not alot better than what they had in the original split.

    And what else can they do better with an AJ Styles who's the current WWE Champion while carrying one of the flagship Shows? Nobody thought a year ago he'd be where he is now with the Main Title who carried TNA for so many years before heading to Japan and ROH.
     
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  13. rmp0012002

    rmp0012002 Championship Contender

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    I always hated the brand split because you take all your stronger people then split them into lesser groups. After a while that brands top guys have all wrestler each other and it gets stale.
     
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  14. StaRRStruck

    StaRRStruck Roman Reigns the real 1-2-3 Kid

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    Honestly they're are holes on both sides of the brand split, but with the amount of talent they already have along with the talent coming in they NEEDED to have two brands. Personally this is the first time we've seen various superstars pushed rather then getting lost in the shuffle. Take a look at these superstars and tell me if they were doing better before or after the split:
    Kevin Owens
    Chris Jericho
    Braun Strowman
    Dolph Ziggler
    The Miz
    Heath Slater
    Bo Dallas
    Sheamus
    Cesaro

    These are literally the first few that popped in my head, and of course the split hasn't helped everyone (I'm looking at you Sami Zayn) but I feel like it's provided a better platform for more superstars to build and get over. I agree the tag divisions are a little rough and feuds may get drawn out but these things are all fixable. If you check out the storytelling and continuity on SDL it would make you appreciate everything the WWE is trying to do right now. The wrestling is pretty great on both shows while Raw suffers from storytelling, and to be honest it's the first time in a LOOOONG time that the company is investing time in people (KO, Ambrose, Styles) not named John Cena or Roman Reigns.
     
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  15. BestSportsEntertainer

    BestSportsEntertainer I Don't Need No User Title

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    1 - Two tag divisions have been a failure

    Raw has New Day, Sheamus/Cesaro, Enzo/Cass, and The Club.
    SD has Rhyno/Slater, Alpha, Usos, and Wyatts.

    Sounds like two pretty good divisions.

    2 - The cruiserweights have flopped

    They're probably being moved from Raw to the new show, 205 Live.

    3 - SD Live is atrocious

    Here are the feuds: Wyatt-Orton, Ambrose-Styles, Miz-Ziggler, Alpha-Usos, Becky-Alexa

    They also have rising stars in Corbin, Kalisto, and Crews and a veteran in Kane. And Cena is coming back.

    SD Live is also considered by most WWE fans to be the best WWE show in a long time.

    4 - Too much of the "same" matches and segments

    This was a problem before the brand split.

    5 - Diluted star power has resulted in hiring awful wrestlers or trying to resurrect past ones like Swagger and Hawkins. And also, Ellsworth.

    Swagger and Hawkins are jobbers. Jobbers have a place. Ellsworth won't be around long and provides an extra layer to Ambrose vs. Styles. Do you really want to see the typical "I'm #1 contender and want the championship" feud again? It's get old after a while.

    6 - No matter how many NXT stars they bring in, two titles each for the Main title, women's title and tag titles will never work

    It is working.

    WWE Title - Ambrose vs. Styles
    Universal Title - Owens vs. Rollins
    IC Title - Miz vs. Ziggler
    US Title - Reigns vs. Rusev
    Raw Tag Titles - New Day vs. Club
    SD Tag Titles - Slater/Rhyno vs. Usos
    Raw Women's Title - Charlotte vs. Sasha
    SD Women's Title - Becky vs. Alexa

    Looks like it's working to me. There are some really good feuds now.

    I for one, have stopped watching

    Then get off these forums. If you don't like WWE, stop talking about it.
     
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  16. Sexcellence of Sexecution

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    This is a completely ridiculous statement. The original brand split had The Rock, Steve Austin, Triple H, Hulk Hogan, Kurt Angle, Undertaker, Kevin Nash, Chris Jericho, Edge, Booker T. Eventually Shawn Michaels returned. Lesnar made his debut. Goldberg was added. And I was still against the brand split then.

    The sad thing is that the OP is clearly right but marks are too stupid to see it. By definition the brand split waters down the product. It dilutes the values of all the titles, especially the World Title, and makes being a World Champion something completely meaningless because everyone with any ounce of talent in any area can get a World Title run. The shows are monotonous and boring, and lackluster talent is given spots they don't deserve. The great myth of thsi era is that this is the era with a bunch of amazingly underutilized talent. The truth is that most wrestlers today suck, andhave no idea how to keep their character consistent or tell a story. Also NXT is now a shell of itself, and even though Raw and SmackDown desperately need the top NXT talent to add much needed depth to both rosters, if you take what Nakamura and Bobby Roode from NXT the show was nothing left and it will undo all of the work that made NXT a brand in its own right.

    The brandsplit is also a weird barrier to entry for the casual television viewer. Fans on these forums are so deeply insulated in the wrestling world they don't understand how it might come across to a casual viewer. The Raw/SmackDown distinction seems strange and arbitrary (because it is), and a good deal of explanation is required as to why there is not just one World Champion in the WWE. It is needlessly convoluted and creates accessibility problems.

    Also, SmackDown vs. Raw as a rivalry will never, ever, ever work as intended because it's clearly a fake wrestling angle. The brandsplit was originally meant to capture the magic of WWF vs. WCW, but there was a major flaw. WWF vs. WCW was real, the brandsplit is bullshit. And everybody knows it's bullshit. There are no stakes, people appear on both shows frequently, and there is so sense of identity to either brand whatsoever. The annual random "draft," which isn't really a draft but uses that term for some reason, shakes up the rosters so much that both brands blur together rendering everything pointless.
     
    #16
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