One Year Post-Brand Split

Discussion in 'The Wrestling Archives' started by AegonTargaryen, Jul 5, 2017.

  1. AegonTargaryen

    AegonTargaryen Championship Contender

    Feb 5, 2014
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    Preface-This is not to discuss the brandsplit in terms of competition or which brand you prefer over the other, but the memory of the last year, the good and the bad, and what you are invested in and apathetic about.

    Last year around this time, we had all been hit with the news of the brand split and were wondering incessantly and zealously how things would be like-going into Battleground was the WWE championship, its Fate dictating that one of the three Shield warriors would emerge as the victor and take the title to his respective brand.

    Let's look at some of the memorable things that have happened within that time:-

    1)Braun Strowman would squash opponents on Raw in the early months of the brand split and soon emerge as one of the mainstays, and today almost a main-eventer.
    2)Jinder Mahal went from losing to Sami Zayn in squash fashion on Raw to being the current WWE champion.
    3)Enzo and Cass are no longer a team- thank heavens!- so we won't be seeing them be defeated by "The Club" in a meaningless match again, for the umpteenth time.
    4)Speaking of The Club, they're still insignificant not only as part of the Raw tag division but on the whole.
    5)As are Sami Zayn and Rusev. Rusev went from a feud with Roman Reigns to oblivious insignificance, whereas Sami has been- just there- like a nonentity.
    6)Samoa Joe and Shinsuke Nakamura are now a part of the main Roster, and Finn Balor has returned.
    7)Some of the wrestlers whom I, personally feel like have done little of note or generate little enthusiasm in me, are:- Randy Orton, Bray Wyatt, Dean Ambrose, Seth Rollins and Brock Lesnar.
    8)AJ Styles had a phenomenal year, but unfortunately, instead of doing anything significant with him, such as a lengthy title reign a la CM Punk, and carrying his extraordinarily vigorous momentum forward, they had to have him drop the title, then demote him into a feud for the US title, so Jinder Mahal could be the WWE champion and Randy Orton of all people would be the defender and chaser- makes no sense.

    Since some of you may be shocked at the inclusion of one or the other in the previous list, I will state my reasons for the same.

    Orton, IMO, although infinitely talented has become so regular, so present and so predictable, that it's just not possible for me to be invested in him at this point, no matter the feud or the Title at stake- since it's nowhere near the level of career renaissance or evolution(pun intended!) of The Rock(2003) or Hogan or Nash and Hall back in 1996, or even HHH. Basically, all he generates is apathy, since he's just there, unlike Cena.

    Bray Wyatt is someone I have never been invested in because I never saw anything in him in the first place- the promos are basically nonsensical (God, False Prophet and all that), and he's nowhere near the level of Mick Foley a la Mankind in terms of promos or action, or Undertaker. It would've been okay for them to give him the IC title, I never felt like he possessed the gravitas and caliber of "WWE champion" unlike AJ Styles.

    Seth Rollins ever since his return has been in a perpetual, weird transition. It's like they couldn't decide whether he was to be a heel or a face, and then when the face turn happened, it never yielded the intense and triumphant "YAY!". And then, despite his talents, Rollins has been missing the charisma and elan he exemplified previously during his heel run, IMO.

    Dean Ambrose, I can only wonder how anyone took him seriously in the first place. Don't those tight jeans hurt his knees every time he extends or bends them in action? Just like Bray Wyatt, I never felt it "right" when they announced- Dean Ambrose-WWE champion- unlike Roman Reigns, Seth Rollins or AJ Styles. Thankfully, now he's just in the position he should be in- a career midcarder.

    Brock Lesnar- When's the last time he's done anything of value, prominence or impact- besides the Summerslam match with Orton? Every time he appears, it's the same Brock wearing the same pajamas, with the same demeanor, and nearly identical promos by Heyman. His last really good match IMO was the one with Punk.

    It's like he's this Ghost who's been there and yet not been there, in 5 years, in significant feuds with only three performers-HHH, Taker and Cena, two of whom weren't even on the active roster. He's shown little evolution, and I don't expect any in the future.

    The difference between him and Orton is, Orton does the same thing, perform excellently, but because it's been seen a thousand times- generates apathy, whereas Brock does the same thing- which is barely anything novel, and in his repetitive smirks, smugness and suplexes, anything of substance, gravitas or dignity- evokes nothing but apathy and indifference.

    The WWE's star performers of the year, ironically, are Reigns, Strowman, Cena and Styles, and to a lesser level Owens, Ziggler, Nakamura. Lesnar just gets his cheques and departs, richer and more smug.

    To end,
    How do you feel about the aforementioned or your own memories of the year in general?
    Which wrestlers were you most invested in and feel should've been pushed more, or less?
    What did the WWE do wrong, and right, and who do you think the future belongs to?
    Dagger Dias likes this.
  2. neildittmar

    neildittmar Getting Noticed By Management

    Jan 20, 2009
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    Overall, I think WWE's current attempt at a brand split has been more successful than it's initial one. The shows do have a unique feel to them and tend to serve two different types of audiences. Compare to WWE's first attempt where, in several areas, Smackdown came off as essentially a sub-brand on RAW.

    Smackdown's concept of the "land of opportunity" also rings pretty true. If the brand split never happened, I imagine that guys like AJ Styles would likely be in fairly meaningless mid-card feuds by now as opposed to the top of the card or main event. The Jinder Mahal's of the world would either be yucking it up with Ellsworth, getting knocked out by the guest host du jour, or future endeavored outright.

    On a personal note, it still bothers me that despite the change of scenery, Luke Harper continues to lose matches on a seemingly nightly basis. I can't remember the last time the man had a bad match and he seems to be able to work effectively with anyone they put him in the ring with. If there is one thing I'd like to see changed, it's for Luke Harper to come off of TV for awhile, given a (slight) repackage of gimmick, and afforded a proper shot at upper card / main event status.

    Generally speaking though, I think the brand split has had far more wins than losses.
    Dagger Dias likes this.
  3. Woodstuff

    Woodstuff Pre-Show Stalwart

    Aug 21, 2013
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    Overall, I think the brand split hasworked wonders for the overall quality of WWE in general. Raw is therefore cater to the wider, more casual audience, while SDL seems to be geared more towards the ever critical IWC.

    The only real "miss" that comes to mind is the Smackdown tag team division. Boasting an underwhelming 4(?) credible teams, the Tuesday night tag scene quickly dissolved into Usos vs _____. Orthatshow it feels, anyway. I think moving The Club over to the blue brand would help a lot with this issue, and maybe moving The Ascention into their current spot over on Raw.

    Other than that, I think they've done well creating two balanced rosters that can serve very different purposes. I like the idea of an annual roster mix-up aswell, although I'd personally prefer it if the mix-ups felt more like a draft, and less like a few guys caught the wrong flight and inexplicably found themselves on the "rival" show.
    Wildcat66 and Dagger Dias like this.
  4. AzLunchbox

    AzLunchbox Occasional Pre-Show

    Jun 22, 2009
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    I think the brand split has been good and bad at the same time.

    One of the main problems I currently see is the US Title and WWE World Championship have switched spots somehow. Due to it being "the land of opportunity" and more because the WWE is expanding to India, we have Jobber Mahal as world champ and Randy Orton as the only person fueding with him. This has lead them to be in the midcard as the US Title is main eventing. Think about it.....what did we see from the world title this week? We saw the Challenger beat Aiden English in the midcard and a promo between him and the champ, all in the midcard. What about the US title? We opened with a promo about qualifying for a battle royal to name a #1 contender. We have a great match to name the person that qualified. Then we main event the show with the battle royal as the US champ is on commentary and we end the show with the new #1 contender holding the US title in the air.

    Now which title seems more important in that context? This brings up issues for the midcard. Someone mentioned that Luke Harper hasn't been doing anything. Well he hasn't been built enough for the WWE World Title (not that the current champ was) and there's too much competition in the US title division with Kevin Owens, AJ Styles, Sami Zayne, Dolph Ziggler, Shinsuke Nakamura, Baron Corbin, and a few others. So where does that leave the midcard guys such as Luke Harper? If the titles had been switched and the US title was on Mahal then Harper would make a good contender, but it just wasn't done that way. Now the midcard on Smackdown is a bit lost.

    On the same token Raw doesn't have a top champ most if the time thanks to Lesnar being part time. This leaves everyone fighting with no real direction. What happened to the first ever Universal champ Finn Balor? Oh he's facing Elias Sampson....or is he? He was fueding with Bray Wyatt.... Or was he? He had some tag matches with the Hardy's.....ummm yeah they have nothing for him.

    Why are Rollins and Bray fueding? What has happened with them that's interesting? aimless pointless fued, that's normal for Bray though. How about Ambrose? Oh he's facing The Miz....wait....haven't they been fueding for about a year now?

    There are also WAY too many ppvs now. It loses some.of the impact of having "big shows".

    So it seems the Brand split does have issues. Don't even get me started on the tag team divisions, but at the same time it has good points too. It gives each show a different feel. There's a reason to watch Smackdown now when there didn't used to be. Newer stars are getting more of a chance in most cases. It also saves fresh matches for years down the road. Such as Nakamura being on Smackdown so in two years if he gets traded to Raw you have new matches that haven't happened.

    All in all there is good and bad but I still am not a supporter of the brand split. JINDER being Champion could be the first step in Smackdown becoming the B-Show just like last time. Both shows were going good at the start of the last brand.split but it didn't stay that way. I also don't like the lack of depth in women's and tag team divisions that it causes.
  5. Spencesc11

    Spencesc11 Getting Noticed By Management

    Jan 30, 2013
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    How to fix this at a WWE Draft post-Summerslam!!!

    1) Put Bray Wyatt back on Smackdown and re-form the Wyatt Family with Stroman to feud with New Day (Remove Rowan he is garbage and add Bo Dallas to).
    2) Move Styles to Raw and reform the Club with Styles, Anderson, & Gallows. Start a Club vs. Shield Feud
    3) Move Stroman to Smackdown - People are tired of Stroman vs. Reigns put him in new feuds on Smackdown vs. Big E, etc...
    4) Move Cena to Raw to setup the Mania Main Event (Cena vs. Reigns) - Universal Title
    5) Move Finn Balor to Smackdown where he can be the featured FACE.
    6) Add Asuka and B. Roode to the Raw Roster

    After These Moves
    The Shield (Reigns, Ambrose, & Rollins)
    The Club (Styles, Anderson, Gallows)
    The Hardy Boyz
    Brock Lesnar
    Samoa Joe
    Sheamus & Cesaro (tag & singles)
    a reformed 4 horseman group (Orton, Miz, Roode, & Neville) w/Flair
    Move the Uso's back to Raw (great matches with the Hardyz I bet!)
    Cruiserweights continued focus (Have Neville leave the division and pursue the I-C Gold)
    Asuka headlining the women's division

    Finn Balor = top star
    New Day - much bigger push
    Wyatt Family Reformed - (Bray & Stroman could have World Title Runs)
    Owens face turn and reteaming with Zayn
    Other heels - Mahal, Rusev, The Revival
    American Alpha re-surfacing

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