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The W - Pro Wrestling - Should the brand split end?
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Kawshen
Liverwurst








Since: 2.1.02
From: Bronx, NY

Since last post: 1904 days
Last activity: 164 days
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#1 Posted on | Instant Rating: 5.42
Well, it's become pretty clear that Smackdown is just not very high on the WWF/E's priority list right now. So I go around to other spots and apparently there seems to be a few people who think this brand split should just be ended.

That is - rejoining the rosters, trimming the dead weight, reunifying the World, Tag and IC/US Titles and go back to how it was before May 2002.

But there are problems with rejoining. Less TV time for some people who do get a lot and they risk an up and coming NWA-TNA swiping someone key a la WCW.

So what do you all think? Keep the split and wait for SD to get good again or just end it?




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Since: 13.7.02
From: Austin

Since last post: 11 days
Last activity: 15 hours
#2 Posted on | Instant Rating: 6.02
I think the bigger question is if the WWE has any intention of ever ending the split. All the talk has been about how the split has been good for business, how the competition has been created from within, and Vince saying he feels they might have been 'too successful" (OTR) with the split.

I personally haven't found time to watch either show in MONTHS, and from what I read of the re-caps, I'm not missing too much. And honestly, I'm not sure what it would take to get me back in... bringing in the Rock and Mankind for short runs isn't doing the trick. I think, now, the only thing that would interest me again is the handling of some of my favorite performers, but from the spoilers and re-caps, they're not doing too hot with them lately.

I wouldn't mind seeing them combined, but at what cost? Who suffers in that respect? I don't want to see Undertaker and HHH and HBK and JBL on the tops of BOTH shows, that's for damn sure.



"Maybe I'm getting off topic, but this thread already sucks, so I don't feel bad about it. " -LotusMegami
Matt Tracker
Scrapple








Since: 8.5.03
From: North Carolina

Since last post: 3 days
Last activity: 1 day
#3 Posted on | Instant Rating: 5.41
SmackDown has suffered from bad luck and a bad case of being hossblind.

Look at their recent roster: Angle's hurt, Brock quit, Nathan quit, Morgan wasn't ready, Benoit's gone, Show's hurt, Demott's hurt, Rikishi's hurt and Edge was hurt for a year and then lost to a lop-sided trade.

The majority of their roster are small guys: Akio, Orlando, London, Kidman, Rey, RVD, Shannon, Spike, Hass, Ultimo, Rico, Funaki, Noble, Nunzio, Scotty, Chavo and Chavo and Eddy's the champ. They need to pull the trigger and focus on these cruiserweights cause Gunn, Holly, Stamboli, the Bashams, Sakoda and Mordecai ain't getting it done right now.

The show has great performers, they just need to be used better. I doubt they would be used at all if the rosters were combined.



"To be the man, you gotta beat demands." -- The Lovely Mrs. Tracker
Spaceman Spiff
Knackwurst








Since: 2.1.02
From: Philly Suburbs

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#4 Posted on | Instant Rating: 4.05

    Look at their recent roster: Angle's hurt, Brock quit, Nathan quit, Morgan wasn't ready, Benoit's gone, Show's hurt, Demott's hurt, Rikishi's hurt and Edge was hurt for a year and then lost to a lop-sided trade.

Nathan, Morgan, DeMott, and Rikishi are nothing.


    They need to pull the trigger and focus on these cruiserweights cause Gunn, Holly, Stamboli, the Bashams, Sakoda and Mordecai ain't getting it done right now.

Stamboli, the Bashams, and Sakoda are all jobbers, so to say "they aren't getting it done" is stretching it. Bradshaw shoul dbe lumped in there, though. Burying Book & RVD didn't help things. I agree they should try to build around the smaller, more athletic guys, but they're intent on making SD the "extreme gimmick" show. That, forcing everyone to work exactly the same, and being content with SD being a "B" level show, are hurting SD. SD can become entertaining again if they'd only let it. Loosen up the reigns a bit, let some different styles be incorporated, and truly make it an alternative to Raw.



Mayhem
Scrapple








Since: 25.4.03
From: Nashville, TN

Since last post: 3 days
Last activity: 13 hours
#5 Posted on | Instant Rating: 4.89

I would love to see the brand unite again, they supposedly make too much cash to not have them separate. I am personally really bored with WWE right now and am to the point where I almost don't care if I watch it or not. Last night, for instance, HBK vs. Orton in the main event ... how many times can we see this match (or ones similar)? ...

Granted, there's always the "well, if it weren't for the separate brands then we would have breakout guys like Cena, Benjamin, Orton, etc." and that's true for the most part. But the shit is just getting really stale now. I know 8 year olds that are bored with it. That should speak volumes.




Go banana.
Matt Tracker
Scrapple








Since: 8.5.03
From: North Carolina

Since last post: 3 days
Last activity: 1 day
#6 Posted on | Instant Rating: 5.41
    Originally posted by Spaceman Spiff
    Nathan, Morgan, DeMott, and Rikishi are nothing.


I don't think they can be lumped together. Nathan flaked out after receiving an undeserved chance and push. Let's face it, Kane has been repackaged as Nathan v.2 and he's better at it.

Morgan never had a chance to show us anything (he squashed Shannon and got beat by Benoit). DeMott was packaged as a cruiserkiller when he was very over as Hugh Morrus in WCW.

Rikishi works for me. Maybe not on the level of Benoit or Eddy, but here's a 450-pounder who can do the Jannetty Roll off a clothesline. The kicks look sharp, the Rumpshaker is a credible finisher as is the KishiDriver and he wasn't that bad on the mic. It's the @!&$ dancing that's reduced him as a mere sideshow. He's not top-drawer, but he's shown me enough effort to watch his matches and be entertained.



"To be the man, you gotta beat demands." -- The Lovely Mrs. Tracker
Spaceman Spiff
Knackwurst








Since: 2.1.02
From: Philly Suburbs

Since last post: 3 days
Last activity: 10 hours
AIM:  
#7 Posted on | Instant Rating: 4.05
None of them mean anything in the grand scheme of things.

-Nathan sucked, and didn't add anything to the show. Losing him was good.

-Morgan was nowhere near ready to be used. Sending him back to OVW was good.

-DeMott got a mini-push as thanks for being a TE trainer. Aside from that "push", he was nothing more than a jobber.

-Rikishi is a low card comedy guy. Good to get the crowd hot (even though I personally hate him), but losing him hasn't hurt SD.

You can't even compare these guys to the losses of Angle, Brock, Benoit, Show, (and to a lesser extent) Edge.



Matt Tracker
Scrapple








Since: 8.5.03
From: North Carolina

Since last post: 3 days
Last activity: 1 day
#8 Posted on | Instant Rating: 5.41
    Originally posted by Spaceman Spiff
    You can't even compare these guys to the losses of Angle, Brock, Benoit, Show, (and to a lesser extent) Edge.


You're making my main point for me.

I made a distinction between the top-drawer guys and these fellows. But all these injuries, weak packages and departures left SD with no one else to use (and here's where my second point kicks in) so long as they continue to ignore the small guys.

Why do we have JBL challenging Eddy for consecutive PPVs? Because 1] these hosses have fallen apart or departed. I'd much rather have Eddy vs. Rikishi because the latter has more than JBL's three moves -- power bomb, rag doll slam and clothesline -- and the WWE has, as we're both saying, wasted him as a "low card comedy guy."

And 2] Haas is teamed with Rico, Chavo is protecting his dad's title, Mordecai is devouring cruisers, and others rarely even appear on SD anymore.



"To be the man, you gotta beat demands." -- The Lovely Mrs. Tracker
CHAPLOW
Morcilla








Since: 14.5.04
From: right behind you

Since last post: 74 days
Last activity: 74 days
#9 Posted on | Instant Rating: 1.51
A lot has to change on Smackdown for it to improve. I was gonna ask for a set change, because it would refresh the show in a way (you know, new titantron etc.) and set the mood for a new Smackdown, but then; who gives a damn?
It IS a problem of not using the talent they have properly; I mean, they do have good people!

MOST IMPORTANTLY THOUGH:
I THINK THAT SOMETHING EXTREME WOULD BE NEEDED TO IMPROVE SD! AND THAT IS THE REENSTATEMENT OF THE HARDCORE CHAMPIONSHIP. "Why" You ask? Why Not!!!

They should follow this up, not by letting it sit on someone's lap for months (see United States Belt)- but by actively setting up matches of various and diverse styles for it- Make Smackdown! a damn Extreme show. Its the only way it can ever change. I CAN ALMOST GUARANTEE THAT THIS WOULD IMPROVE SMACKDOWN!'s ratings, I mean- come on; wouldnt you watch it more? If the WWE wont go as far as bringing the title back, at least go EXTREME!!!




In the Florida Driver's Manual, under "Bad Driving Habits",
the book lists distracting things a responsible driver should not do while driving. This list includes, "Reading"
...*sigh* ...I have given up.

asteroidboy
Andouille








Since: 22.1.02
From: Texas

Since last post: 1375 days
Last activity: 283 days
#10 Posted on | Instant Rating: 4.95
    Originally posted by Spaceman Spiff
    SD can become entertaining again if they'd only let it. Loosen up the reigns a bit, let some different styles be incorporated, and truly make it an alternative to Raw.


THAT is the answer to the OP. The whole show stinks of forced restraint - by the agents or the bookers or whoever is programming the show. They're short-handed, but they've got PLENTY of wrestling talent to still put on great matches. But everyone's working this weird, slowed-down, work-on-one-body-part-and-use-headlocks-to-transition style that is neutering guys. And making for some boring fucking matches.

Sure the storylines suck, they're probably always gonna suck, but fans will still watch if the 'rassling is good.

Just watch Velocity and you'll see guys like Rey or Noble have very solid matches. But for whatever reason, quality is not a priority on the main show.

It's all disjointed, too, because they're trying to mash together a bunch of dissimilar elements. You have cruisers, but you've also got Undertaker as the elephant in the Smackdown jungle, who could swat the whole division with his might. And you've got the Latino contingent who get good heat, but don't really fit in, other than to spark crowd chants. Then there's a weird collection of castoff divas that pop up periodically to flash their tits. Add in Heyman, who occasionally gurgles and bellows and bugs out his eyes.

And Angle, probably the saddest case, has been turned into a bitter old cripple.

None of it is fun or remotely entertaining.



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Spaceman Spiff
Knackwurst








Since: 2.1.02
From: Philly Suburbs

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#11 Posted on | Instant Rating: 4.05
    Originally posted by Matt Tracker
    I'd much rather have Eddy vs. Rikishi because the latter has more than JBL's three moves -- power bomb, rag doll slam and clothesline -- and the WWE has, as we're both saying, wasted him as a "low card comedy guy."

I didn't say that. Rikishi's role *should* be "low card comedy/pop guy".



Snookum
Kishke








Since: 19.6.03
From: Louisville

Since last post: 2584 days
Last activity: 2565 days
#12 Posted on | Instant Rating: 7.08
Should the brand split end? Can't see any good reason for it to end. The problem isn't in the concepts of the two separate shows, or in the number of people on the shows, but in the creative end. If competition really needs to come into play between the two shows as a way to make them better, it really needs to be done at the foundation where the bookers and writers are.

I seem to recall last year when Heyman was getting heavily involved in Smackdown - and RAW was going through its worse time - that one of the McMahons (it may have been Steph, Vince of both) the Smackdown creative people that they did NOT want competition to be created between the two brands when it came to the writers and bookers. That probably sent a clear signal to all that there was no point in trying to creatively push the show because the McMahons wanted it to be "cookie-cutter."

In looking at the output of the two programs, I get the impression that there is a lot of "stop/go" thinking going on. You put on the cruiserweights on Smackdown, give the division some serious work, then fumble it just as it is starting to take off. You put a bunch of tag-teams together for RAW, then either split up the teams, or don't do anything with them to showcase that feature of the program. You make a big deal about HHH going to Smackdown, but then don't follow it up in the storyline(s) of the programs.

As I've said before, the concepts are not bad, the wrestlers are good, even some of the booking is humming along, it's the writing that's the problem. Allow the shows to REALLY compete against each other and I think you would have both shows excel in their own individual ways.

OMEGA
Lap cheong








Since: 18.6.02
From: North Cacalacky

Since last post: 1887 days
Last activity: 1855 days
#13 Posted on | Instant Rating: 5.64
The problem with ending the brand split is that the WWE roster is just SOOOO huge, that half the guys wouldn't be able to be written on TV. You think it's bad that the cruiserweights are relegated to Velocity? Well, wait until guys like Booker T, Rob Van Dam, Shelton Benjamin, & Christian are relegated to Velocity as well.

Also, how come everyone just seems to give up on SmackDown. Does SmackDown suck now? Sure. But, IMO, RAW sucked much worse in the fall of 2002. Hey, each brand has had it's up periods, and each brands have had their down periods. Yes, SmackDown is in a HYOOGE down period right now. But how about we give it some time before we declare it's time to just kill it off?

EDIT: I also wanted to add: SmackDown REALLY needs to start paying attention to it's midcard. Seriously, outside of the top three programs (Eddie/Bradshaw, 'Taker/Dudleyz, Cena/Booker), are there ANY feuds going on? We have those three matches for Great American Bash, but then what? Just slap together the rest of the card on the Thursday before the show? It's exactly what they did last month for Judgment Day (Eddie v. Bradshaw, 'Taker v. Booker, Cena v. Dupree, and we'll shove some other matches on the card at the last minute). The writers need to start realizing that, while the main event may be the biggest thing they need to worry about, it is NOT the only thing they need to worry about.

(edited by OMEGA on 8.6.04 1941)


The answer to WWE's financial problems...

Never 'Wiener of the Day', and is actually quite bitter about it.
Freeway
Scrapple








Since: 3.1.02
From: Calgary

Since last post: 251 days
Last activity: 1 day
#14 Posted on | Instant Rating: 6.01
I like the split.

I like RAW as the show where the big stars go to shine. It was like that during the big boom period and a lot of longtime viewers remember it like that.

The key thing now is giving Smackdown a focus. With all the talented workers, why not just have them make it the "good wrestling" show. Have Eddie defend in a 10-minute match each week. And have a couple Cruiserweight matches a show. That's it.



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Since: 12.5.04
From: new jersey

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#15 Posted on
In my personal opinion, knowing nothing about financial gains from the brand extention and such, I would love to see the brand extention end. I think everyone would love to see their favorite wrestler/s on both shows. They could also use this as an opportunity to trim dead weight off the roster. The problem that people have pointed out is that the roster is so huge, even if they did get rid of a few people, so many wrestlers would be relegated to Velocity/Heat. The only solution I can think of to this is that they could either try to make Raw into a 3 hour show (I have no idea about the logistics of this) or actually take Velocity and Heat seriously, as shows featuring midcard wrestlers as well as low-carders.
BigVitoMark
Lap cheong








Since: 10.8.02
From: Queen's University, Canada

Since last post: 3323 days
Last activity: 3233 days
ICQ:  
#16 Posted on | Instant Rating: 5.12
Ahhh, this debate again...

No, there's no reason for the brand split to end. Why all the nostalgia for WWE of May 2002? In May 2002 we had Austin vs. Owner pushes, a Hogan title reign, and lots of X-Pac. Immediately before that we had the abortion of the Alliance storyline. Honestly, even though a good part of Smackdown stinks right now I think the product OVERALL is as good as it has been since WM X7. No, we don't have the Smackdown Six anymore, but nor do we have the HLA and Katie Vick nonsense that we were getting at the same time. There's nothing that's obviously stupid; some works well and some doesn't work at all. To expect two distinct teams to be on the top of their game simultaneously may be asking a bit much, esp. when a guy like Vince has to basically run two separate shows and keep in mind twice as many storyline and character ideas as before.

Now, all excuse-making aside...

There are two solutions to the brand extension, either one of which could work:

1. Move four acts to Smackdown from Raw without having comparable value go back the either way. I would suggest Jericho be the first one to move since he's an afterthought week to week now anyway, followed closely by Test, Rhyno, and Maven. I know Rhyno just moved, but he's doing nothing right now and would be a perfect fit with Heyman. Test's absence hasn't been the least bit noticeable on Raw, but he could provide at least a somewhat fresh midcard heel on Smackdown while Maven has always, at least traditionally, gotten much better crowd reactions than his position on the card would justify. Raw wouldn't miss a beat without these guys, while Smackdown would suddenly have midcard depth that's worth watching.

2. Use the cruiserweights. I'm going to assume that this argument doesn't have to be reset yet again, and I realize it's not likely to happen anyway, but just quickly...let these guys feud either amongst themselves or with other midcarders, not necessarily involving the CW title, and they'll get over. Same as above, presto, midcard.

The conclusion, though, seems to be that they're happy to let Raw be the focus show while Smackdown is where they throw new ideas at the wall to see what sticks and where they send useless guys - Gunn, Holly - whose longevity make them difficult to release. The split is still as good a concept as ever, the problem just lies in the execution, which they don't even seem to care about right now.



I never thought I'd find a group of people worse than Leafs fans, yet there they are: the Calgary Flames bandwagon. It's just an offside...stop cheering you imbeciles!
OndaGrande
Kolbasz








Since: 1.5.03
From: California, Home of THE LAKERS!

Since last post: 43 days
Last activity: 1 day
#17 Posted on | Instant Rating: 2.77

Well, I agree that it isn't the talent,or the brand split. It's the writing/booking.
I think Raw should focus on a few Heavyweights who are wrestlers, Cruiserweights and a serious Women's Division.
Smackdown should be the Hoss/Sports Entertainment/family oriented male soap opera show. Room for "dead weight" can be made on Heat and Velocity by gutting the recaps (there are afetr all, 2 syndicated shows AND the Experience.)Those shows should also be given serious attention on the main shows and be part of the recap shows. For consistency, they should be taped seperately, I'm thinking turn the Friday house shows into TV tapings.

The booking should be done by the wrestling people and the TV writers should just be giving the wrestlers motivation for their characters, not actually setting things up.





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redsoxnation
Scrapple








Since: 24.7.02

Since last post: 425 days
Last activity: 425 days
#18 Posted on | Instant Rating: 5.37
I think a much bigger problem than having the brand split is the brand specific PPV's. They don't have enough time/pushed depth to create 7-8 matches per month for a stand-alone card. At best, they get 4 matches, while generally its 2-3. The rest of the card turns into crap/Torrie Wilson (actually, that is the same as crap). And double PPV months are going to be even worse, as they try to come up with 6 hours of PPV using 2 diluted rosters. Keep the split, but give up stand alone PPV's (or, if necessary, 1 special stand alone PPV for each show per year). It would give the option of 2 World Title matches, or putting a World Champ in a War Games style match while the champ from the other show defends, thus guaranteeing a world title belt gets defended. Throw in the fact that joint PPV's have done better financially and quality wise compared to split PPV's, and it makes little sense to insist on continuing down the stand alone PPV path.
Hogan's My Dad
Andouille








Since: 8.6.02
From: Canada

Since last post: 9 days
Last activity: 1 day
#19 Posted on | Instant Rating: 5.24
Sure, there are problems. Brand specific PPVs as Redsox said being the most prominent. But consider this: WWE is not even considering ending the split as of right now, so this conversation is kinda moot.



Hot Virgins-The World's Most Steadily Shrinking Commodity
StampedeFan23
Morcilla








Since: 12.1.02
From: BC, Canada

Since last post: 1998 days
Last activity: 1534 days
#20 Posted on | Instant Rating: 2.73
I feel the brand extension is working well. Smackdown just got some bad luck in it's way. How could you predict Lesnar, Angle and Big Show going out?

My solution would be to continue bringing the new talent into Smackdown, since Raw is a bit overloaded with talent. Why not move Kane over to Smackdown since there's a built in angle with Undertaker right there? Plus, you get the animosity between Bischoff and Kane (remember when Kane demanded not to be traded to the same show as Taker?). It also gives Eddy a mobile and capable opponent for a while until Show or Angle can come back, or another wrestler can work their way up the midcard.



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To me, Bret represented a true shift in what kind of hero the WWF produced. After years of seeing the hugely muscled Hogan as the top guy, Bret proved that skill and intellect could shine just as brightly as brute force (and be more entertaining to boot)...
- GodEatGod, Bret Hart's Popularity (2003)
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