March 14, 2017
The Brand split went into effect in July of 2016. When they first announced it I was curious to see how they would execute it and to my surprise it’s went way better then anyone would have expected but not for the reasons you’d think. This week we’re going to break down the Brand split, how it’s made the two shows different and who, in my opinion is winning the brand war. Last, we’re going to break down how the split has affected certain superstars, and there are a few that are getting a serious spotlight due to the less crowded rosters.
The Raw after the brand split came out firing on all cylinders. It culminated with a massive main event that saw Sasha Banks win the Women’s championship in hell of a main event. A lot of people thought that Raw was going to be on fire going forward. But, as many expected, the Smackdown guys really got a chip on their shoulder because they were being called the B-Show guys. They came out and started slow, but have consistently built themselves upward as not only the A show, but an actual can’t miss wrestling show for the first time in years.
But what about Raw? Raw is suffering due to a number of factors, the most notable of which is the third hour of programing. In a given week we’re exposed to 6 hours of Programing on the Raw side, and 5 from the Smackdown side depending on the PPV. But it’s more then just length, it what is brought to the table during those programs. For Smackdown everything is concise, you’ve got damn good matches, and shorter 5-6 minute segments that help build EVERYONE that is involved with them. Smackdown has consistently brought a product that has everyone talking for one reasons or another. Most of it is because of the stellar wrestling matches and great stories not only being told outside the ring, but inside it, that’s something that Raw severely lacks and regardless of what they thing, WWE at it’s core is a wrestling company and people are excited for Smackdown every week while most watch raw now due to a desire to see it get better, but never really being sure if it will.
So if I had to make an assumption, or draw a line a winner from the two of them, I’d have to go for Smackdown due to a number of factors. But I’m not the only wrestling fan that thinks that, not by a mile. In fact it’s been a common running theme through the Wrestling Community that Smackdown is consistently a better show every single week then Raw.
Wrestlers Benifiting From The Split
There are some Wrestlers who have taken the chance to excel and do some exceptional work as part of this brand split. Ironically enough MOST of them are actually located on the Blue Brand. Below is a list of some of the wrestlers who have seemed to come into their own with the split.
If there was one big success story from Raw it would be Strowman. Since his split from the Wyatts back in July the big man has continued to improve and came into his own as a performer. Even to the point that he’s become a top member of the card and the crowd loves him. Even without a decent ability to speak, Strowman continues to wow the crowd every weeks with his continued improvement and awesome feats of strength.
Owens wasn’t taken lightly before the split but since the split Owens has quickly become one of the top heels on the roster, not just Raw. His storyline with Jericho has been excellent and I do expect these two to tear the house down at Mania. I think there are some big things in Owens future and there’s absolutely nothing wrong with rewarding a man whose busting his ass night in and night out for you.
Barron came up last year at Wrestlemania and won the Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal. I’d be lying if I said he didn’t sort of float away a little after the win but with the draft Corbin found himself in the upper middle card pretty heavily and looks poised to take his first singles title at Mania against Dean Ambrose.
In the last few months, we’ve seen the Mix really come into a new character with his feud with Bryan, and now his feud with Cena. The man has a natural ability to dig at your skin and he uses it. That and his intensity isn’t matched by anyone on the Blue brand. I personally would like to see a Miz Title run in the next 6-8 months depending on how things go with the final superstar I’m going to mention.
If I had to pick one wrestler that the Draft has helped more then any other it’s Bray Wyatt. The man, who went from bouncing in and out of situations for years, and never seemingly winning anything now finds himself going into Wrestlemania the biggest night of the year carrying the WWE World Heavyweight Championship. He’s going into a match against Randy Orton which has been built to be a fantastic personal battle and as long as Wyatt comes out on top of that match at Mania then I think he’s going to have a very bright future as one of the top members of the blue brand.
Overall, the Brand split has been a very god thing. It’s done a lot to help just about every wrestler on the card and has offered up some fresh matches, and some interesting combinations. I’m interested to see where they continue to go with this and hopefully they don’t pull the breath out of it like they did the last one. As long as they continue to put their foot forward on creating stars, I think the Brand Split might be one of the best things that they’ve done in recent memory. I just wish that Raw would get booked in a way like they cared they were losing to Smackdown.
Next Week, I’m going to be discussing one of favorite times of the calendar year, Wrestlemania Season. I’m going to be talking some of the already booked matches I think will steal the show, and some matches that may not be booked at the time of writing (Mind You I’ll be almost 3 weeks out) but I’m pretty sure will happen. That’s coming next week but for now I’m Kyle Robinson picking up the pencil and closing the book on this subject.