If you ask me, I don't think the WWF will end up following through with the split at all. How many times did Linda McMahon say that WCW would eventually be run as a separate company? And how many times did their return date get pushed back, only to eventually be abandoned entirely?
I know I'm going against the whole here, but even if a split does happen, I'm not convinced it'd be good for the company at all. Especially if they're going to keep using the WWF name for both entities. It puts a severe limit on the number of possible matches in the WWF. If Jericho was on one side, and Rock in another, they'd never wrestle except at an annual PPV or whatever, and we'd be deprived of any more of the great matches they've had.
Add to that the need to create more championship belts. I'm willing to bet that most casual fans, during the WCW invasion, didn't remember who all the champions were. Especially since there were two shows that had three titles or more switching from Alliance members to WWF members on the same night. (Note that this never happened the other way around). It was like, “Uh, who are the champs now? I know that Angle's the WWF Champ, and Rock's the WCW Champ, and I'm pretty sure Rhyno is the WCW U.S. Champ, and Kidman's the WCW Cruiserweight Champ, but I can't for the life of me remember who the WWF Intercontinental Champion is.”
Title belts were more meaningful when there were only three to go for. It used to be if you wanted to hold a belt in the WWF, you had to go for the World Title, Intercontinental or Tag Team Title. And they didn't change hands constantly like they did during the Invasion (and they still do today, although not quite as frequently).
What's the need for one company to have two world champions again? Heck, what's the need for them to have two separate teams recognized as tag-team champions?
Basically, my opinion is that if they were going to split, they should have broken off WCW and run it as a separate company. But since they've probably eliminated that possibility, I just don't see any reason for them to have a “WWF1” and a “WWF2”-- it'll just create more championship belts, lessening their meaning; and create far fewer possible matchup combinations.
The only good reason I can think of for the split is to give more TV time to some of the younger guys in the company. But if the WWF's serious about doing that, maybe they could get Steve Austin to stop rambling on for twenty minutes about a man named Jed, pausing every five seconds for the crowd to say that annoying word. Perhaps they could eliminate pointless “15 Minutes of Crap” segments that do nothing for angle or character development. You know, what really bugs the hell out of me is that while Steve Austin was doing that whole Beverly Hillbillies shtick, we could have been watching a great cruiserweight matchup between, say, Billy Kidman and Chavo Guerrero Jr. But nooooooooo, Steve just had to keep talking and talking and talking about nothing at all, and then the WWF had the nerve-- the audacity-- the unmitigated gall to replay that segment in its entirety on Excess.
“You have the look of a man who accepts what he sees because he is expecting to wake up. Ironically, this is not far from the truth.”
I thought the Steve Austin thing was as funny as hell. There's a place in my wrestling program for promo's and other forms of entertainment! (as long as it's entertaining, anyway) I say the split will freshen things up on the undercard, and that makes me happy. I also say that they should deactivate the Euro title, to "Defend in Europe" only status and bring back the US title. Who the hell would want the Euro title as their secondary title??
Since I'm playing the role of MEGASTUCKUPSMARK right now.. I'm going to say that Austin and Underbiker felt that their position as top-super-duper-mega-over-best-thing-to-ever-happen-to-the-entire-world-WWF-superstars was being threatened by a big guy who used to be able to put on 5* matches and who could still put on pretty good matches with a good look.. so they buried him and put him in minor leagues or something (so he can't break out elsewhere, then 5 years later come back to kill their push!)
Or maybe he got hurt or there was a disagreement with Vince or something logical.
I partially agree with eke, mainly because I'm not sure myself as to if they'll even split. The fans have gotten used to 4 hours of (work with me here) constructive build-up to a PPV (pointless segments aside, you know what I'm getting at, don't nitpick); if the WWF was to ask fans to deal with 2 hours of build-up a week on twice as many feuds, they'd get confused. (Remember, in an intelligent world, fans wouldn't chant "What?" during the national anthem.)
Chances are the split wouldn't result in more time for the younger guys, mainly because you'd still be showing X number of people over 4 hours, even if it would be technically X/2 over 2. It still equals out. (X=4, (X/2)=2.) Now, I'm not ruling out the possibility that rising of the younger talent might happen... I just don't think it's likely with a split.
Also, I just realized an important point. There would HAVE to be one World Champion. Think about it for a second: how could a World Champ be credible when there's another World Champ who got there the same way the other one did (by beating the old World Champ)? It would devalue the mystique (again, work with me).
While I commend your use of algebra in a wrestling thread, the split would definitely mean more time for younger guys. you are cutting the main eventers time in half. Currently if Rock-Jericho gets 20 minutes every night, and HHH-Austin gets 20 minutes every night, that's 40 minutes of those 4 per night, or 80 minutes a week.
If the split happens, Rock-Jericho would get 20 minutes on RAW, and HHH-Austin would get 20 minutes on SmackDown! That's 20 minutes a night between thoses four, or 40 minutes a week. Someone else can figure out to express this algebraicaly.
Fans learn quick. They used to be used to an hour of squash matches a week on TV. They got used to PPVs. Then they got used to twice as many PPVs. They got used to two shows being on at the Goddamn same time, even though that's completely inconvienient and stupid from any fans point of view. They got use to the WWF doubling the amount of "must-see" stuff. They'll get used to this.
I think there are some creative ways to get two belts on different people without ruining the credibility of the belts. A match (and ending) similar to the "Euro-Continental" three-way between Benoit, Jericho, and Angle is one I've been hoping for for a while now.
Farooq is the man so hit your knees and start praying!
...being threatened by a big guy who used to be able to put on 5* matches and who could still put on pretty good matches with a good look
Whoa whoa whoa whoa whoa whoa WHOA.
There have been INCREDIBLY FEW five star matches (your mileage may very, o'course) that have taken place EVER, and I can fairly safely guarantee that Mike Awesome has been nowhere near any of them.
In my own personal Awesome viewing experience, his brightest moment was against Masato Tanaka at Heatwave 98, which you could make an argument for being a very good match (which it was), but I think it'd be really REALLY hard to call it 5 stars.
Of course, this is just me "telling" people what to think again, and then somebody will yell, and I'll deserve it and OH MY OVARIES.