If the rumors of the upcoming split are true, it would make sense that Flair and Vince will continue to feud until WM18. To do so, the nWo would have to remain Vince's cronies up to that point - heel Vince & his forces vs. face Flair & his troops culminating in the big blowoff event of the year. Then after WM, they split the shows and have the nWo turn on Vince.
My one problem with the split has always been that there has to be something, one unifying factor, to draw viewers to both shows. Yes, I agree that the NWO must eventually dump Vince and go it alone (it simply would be a natural progression that fits their image), but in the meantime, I'd like to see Ric Flair reform the Four Horsemen strictly to feud with the NWO across both shows. There would then be that one unifying thing to tune into for both shows and make both shows "must-see". Otherwise, I think one of the two (most likely Smackdown!) is going to start to suffer horribly in the ratings, because most of the things they do on it the viewership won't care about.
I'm not much of an advocate of drawing the titles into this angle, but I think it's almost necessary if you were to do this.
New World Order Vince Jericho Hogan Hall & Nash
Four Horsemen Flair HHH Benoit (when he comes back) Edge & Christian (WM reunion)
Who wouldn't want to see this?
"Oh - oh! Well well well well! It's twenty-four hours after the Royal Rumble and GUESS who is still the Undisputed Champion of the World - ME! Yeah, and I tried to warn all of you - I tried to tell you I was not a joke. I tried to tell you to take me seriously, but what did you do, huh? What did you do? On Sunday, you invited all your little friends over to watch the Royal Rumble, you called up Frank and said, 'hey Frank, you wanna come watch the Rock kick Chris Jericho's ass?' And Frank said, Frank said 'oh sure, I wanna see the Rock win the Undisputed Championship and go all the way to WrestleMania.' I mean, it's a foregone conclusion, right? The Rock is gonna win! The Rock is gonna win! The Rock is going to win, EVERY SINGLE ONE OF YOU believed in your hearts that the Rock was going to win but GUESS WHAT HAPPENED. The Rock - The Rock - The Rock...LOST. CHRIS JERICHO - WON. And even if you don't like it, you have to appreciate and acknowledge all that I've accomplished, because everything that I've done is far too gigantic to be ignored!"
I do not want Jericho in the nwo. Immediately he'll revert back to WCW Jericho, buried underneath everyone. I do want Stephanie with him, that will keep him afloat after WM.
Plus I don't think its a good idea to reunite Edge and Christian. Edge is slowly getting accepted as IC level talent, why backtrack him? Christian/Storm would make a great tag team, with Christian for the first time being the lead dog.
When Benoit comes back, it should be him lobbying Flair to reform the Horsemen to combat the nwo. Benoit was starting to become an accepted part of the main event before his injury. Putting him in charge of the Horsemen would reestablish that image.
I think Raw/Smackdown will be fine as long as Austin/Rock/HHH/Taker/Angle/Jericho are equally divided. Mix in the nwo and the new talent coming up and people will watch. Remember, it doesn't matter how good the talent is if the writers don't produce compelling storylines. In 1998 the WWF only had Austin/Undertaker/Kane as main event level talent and it worked for a year because Russo and co. made tv interesting and built up new guys. Same thing has to be done now.
I don't want to see a new Four Horsemen. The only silver lining I can see in the NWO is that, after the split, they'll only be on one show. I don't want to see Jericho with Stephanie, because it breaks the logic for me, instead of merely bending it.
What I'm hoping is that all the people I really like wind up on one show, and the folks that I don't care about end up on the other. The only problem is that I'd sort of like to see both Vince and Flair go away for awhile. I'm not a Flair fan--he reminds me of everything I didn't like about WCW--and Vince is better in short bursts.
I want to see good wrestling with really bizarro storylines that have some semblence of internal logic, and less people that I don't like on TV.
Is that too much to ask? :-)
Oh, and I want to see the handbaby get a shot at the cruiserweight title.
Actually the thing that's bugged me the most about the NWO is the fact that they are coming in as Vince's boys. Maybe at some point it would have made sense for them to have Vince join them, but right off the bat? From the way they've played it on TV, they seem fairly content to point out that Vince has them under contract, which would mean Vince should be able to control them with threat of termination or some such thing. That's a lot different then the way they were played out in WCW.
While I think they need a Bischoff type of figure, Vince just doesn't cut it for me. Given his past history with Vince, I think Heyman would be more appropriate (and if you can keep the kids away). Give us someone who we can believe actually wouldn't mind putting Vince out of business.
I'm looking forward to the Knoble/Kendrick match. It should be pretty kick-ass, provided they give them at least 5 minutes. Hell, making it a feud would be all the better. And it'll be interesting to see the outcome to the Cena/Taker match next week.