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31.10.14 0424
The W - Pro Wrestling - Why Can't We Have It Both Ways? (The Brand Extension)
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Ringmistress
Lap cheong








Since: 15.1.02
From: Philly

Since last post: 2683 days
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#1 Posted on
It's been on my mind for a while and I have to ask. I actually brought this up in another thread, but I wanted to put more thoughts into this. Ever since the split last year, we've seen a tale of two shows. Either Raw is tanking while Smackdown is rocking, like in the fall of last year. Or, Raw is climbing while Smackdown's sputtering along (like much of the spring into summer). Was there a time when both shows played strong (to their respective strengths) at the same time? I don't think there was. What are your opinions on this?



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CANADIAN BULLDOG
Andouille








Since: 5.3.03
From: TORONTO

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#2 Posted on
Simply put, I don't think Vince McMahon has enough energy to put a focus on both programs at any given time right now. And because he's pulling the strings, it's not like anyone else in creative is able to step up to the plate to improve the product (except for Heyman, and we all know what happened to him).

I figure Vince focuses for a few weeks on one show, then shifts his attention to another. He plans out both, but can only put his energy into one.

Must be nice.



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Matt Tracker
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Since: 8.5.03
From: North Carolina

Since last post: 13 hours
Last activity: 6 hours
#3 Posted on
My theory: Once something starts to gather natural momentum, someone tinkers with it so they can navigate it and get credit. Then it goes to hell. Bulldog's right and that extends to whoever has Vince's ear that week.

Injuries and talent turnover play a part too. SmackDown got a helluva lot better once Piper and Hogan left.




"To be the man, you gotta beat demands." -- The Lovely Mrs. Tracker
H-and-a-half
Weisswurst








Since: 27.7.03
From: New York

Since last post: 4077 days
Last activity: 3956 days
#4 Posted on
I never liked the brand extension idea, and I predict a point in the future when the WWE will find itself facing serious damage control for it. The more the brand extension resembles two completely different promotions, the more it risks falling into a pattern of two rival companies. In other words, it doesn't matter if the WWE tries to "balance" the talent and storylines of both -- one of them is going to end up leaving the other behind, much like the WWE did WCW. Right now, the arrangement is new enough that fans for the most part are still wavering between the two to see how each turns out, but I think many fans will eventually gravitate to one or the other.

I think RAW will end up taking the plunge. The Kane storyline and the appearance of Goldberg seem to be the source of RAW's recent boost, but neither one can last forever...
RKMtwin
Boudin rouge








Since: 1.3.02
From: Denver, Colorado

Since last post: 2191 days
Last activity: 1634 days
#5 Posted on
I agree with what's been pointed out already. But I think that this is the reason why WWE ought to let one of the brands be operated by someone who acts with a certain degree of autonomy, only answerable to Vince when it comes to BIG decisions, like main event programs and what-not. For instance, let's say that Eric Bischoff is allowed the opportunity to use his own creative powers (to a degree) which allow him to pick his bookers, agents, and so on. Then, WWE has a liason who acts as a go-between from the RAW brand to Vince McMahon and vice versa. If WWE wants to create a real air of competition, this could be one of the ways to do it.

Further, WWE could create a distinct feel for each primary broadcast by bringing in different production teams. The vignettes, entrance music, camera angles, etc., would differ. Also, the rings' and setups' appearances could also be tweaked just to cause a further separation. For matches, make certain rules differ. For instance, one brand uses tag ropes while the other doesn't. RAW could have a 20 count outside of the ring rule, and SD! could have DQ's called when a wrestler is thrown over the top rope. One brand has the climb-over-the-cage-to-win rule, while the other has pinfall only in a cage match situation. Heck, why not have one brand use a WCW-type ring (keeping it the size of a WWE ring, though)?

Also, move Confidential to the Sunday early evening time slot in the place of Sunday Night Heat. On Saturday night, instead of having Velocity or Heat, merge both shows into a two hour, SportsCenter-type program, hosted by a neutral broadcast team, which features highlights (because both shows already do) and first run matches which would customarily air on the two brands' minor shows, and even feature expert analysts who break down each brand for that week.

Also, on this program, show exclusive interviews and even a PTI-like segment where wrestlers or other personalities from each brand square off face to face, discussing the pertinent issues of the week, thereby providing a different perspective of each brand from the other side. A program like this could certainly bring back a Prime Time Wrestling element too, which I feel is sorely missing today.

Think about how this separation of familiarity of brands could boost house show attendance, if there are occasions where a big market city gets an event where the main is a brand vs. brand six man match or something. For instance, HHH, Y2J and Flair take on Lesnar, Angle and Benoit. Could you imagine that? And both brands would make a big deal out of it. I'd definitely check that out.

All in all, if WWE creates a situation where two distinctly different teams are responsible for each brand, then Vince can alleviate the burden he has of keeping directly involved to the degree that he gets burnt out. Furthermore, each brand would naturally want to outdo the other to a certain degree, in friendly competition, so each side would try their best to put out the best product. If RAW and SD! are truly unique from one another, then fans would feel that they DO have a choice, and they can pick their favorite brand, follow both, and so on. Ultimately, it could lead to greater viewer interest overall.

(Sorry for the long-windedness!)



(edited by RKMtwin on 7.8.03 0031)

Notorious F.A.B.
Pepperoni








Since: 4.2.02
From: Dudleyville's Gay Ghetto

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#6 Posted on
I agree with most of that but if Internet scuttlebutt is true, Vince doesn't want there to be any competition between brands.

On the unique "look and feel" tip, I think they should switch up the "hard camera" side for Raw. On TV, both brands enter from the left. They entered from the right on Nitro. Something like that would go a long way to creating a sense of difference.



It's just you against the group mind.
Hogan's My Dad
Andouille








Since: 8.6.02
From: Canada

Since last post: 7 days
Last activity: 1 day
#7 Posted on

    Originally posted by Ringmistress
    It's been on my mind for a while and I have to ask. I actually brought this up in another thread, but I wanted to put more thoughts into this. Ever since the split last year, we've seen a tale of two shows. Either Raw is tanking while Smackdown is rocking, like in the fall of last year. Or, Raw is climbing while Smackdown's sputtering along (like much of the spring into summer). Was there a time when both shows played strong (to their respective strengths) at the same time? I don't think there was. What are your opinions on this?


Even though Smackdown wasn't great at certain points, I have always found it to be by and far the most consistently entertaining wrestling show. There is just an uneven distribution of talent, there always has been. RAW is just weak right now, and if all that's on the horizon is Randy Orton, it isn't getting better anytime soon. Trips is falling apart, Shawn's a part-timer, Goldberg's a bad-in-the-ring part timer, Booker has been injected with mid-card poison and is bailing soon anyway, Jericho is a diamond in the rough, and rest of the show is the rough.


    Originally posted by Canadian Bulldog
    it's not like anyone else in creative is able to step up to the plate to improve the product (except for Heyman, and we all know what happened to him).


You know, Heyman's "improvement" was thirty-minute matches on free TV that crippled Edge and Kurt Angle. It may make for good television, but no one in wrestling history books more at the expense of the health of the talent than Paul E. He did the same thing in ECW, making walking insurance rejections out of a number of guys and then having nothing left once everyone was too battered to be great in the ring anymore. People forget, when Flair bumped around every night for 20 years or so, he wasn't taking the same kind of sick bumps everyone demands today. He was pacing himself, and he had the freedom to chain-wrestle or rest-hold his way through huge segments of a match without fear of losing the audience. Paul Heyman never understood that as a booker.






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CRZ
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Since: 9.12.01
From: ミネアポリス

Since last post: 13 hours
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#8 Posted on | Instant Rating: 8.65

    Originally posted by Notorious F.A.B.
    On the unique "look and feel" tip, I think they should switch up the "hard camera" side for Raw. On TV, both brands enter from the left. They entered from the right on Nitro. Something like that would go a long way to creating a sense of difference.
Although they do most of the time, they don't ALWAYS enter from the left...it depends on the arena.



CRZ
Notorious F.A.B.
Pepperoni








Since: 4.2.02
From: Dudleyville's Gay Ghetto

Since last post: 4034 days
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#9 Posted on
Outside of Raw during the Manhattan Center days and the odd PPV from (MSG?), I can't remember any instances where they've come in from "not the left."



It's just you against the group mind.
CRZ
Big Brother
Administrator








Since: 9.12.01
From: ミネアポリス

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#10 Posted on | Instant Rating: 8.65

    Originally posted by Notorious F.A.B.
    Outside of Raw during the Manhattan Center days and the odd PPV from (MSG?), I can't remember any instances where they've come in from "not the left."
Well, Fab, you're certainly welcome to not take my word for it, but I like to think I pay attention to such things...or at least I did at one time. ;-)



CRZ
Matt Tracker
Scrapple








Since: 8.5.03
From: North Carolina

Since last post: 13 hours
Last activity: 6 hours
#11 Posted on

    Originally posted by Notorious F.A.B.
    Outside of Raw during the Manhattan Center days and the odd PPV from (MSG?), I can't remember any instances where they've come in from "not the left."


They enter from the right in Atlanta. Remember the ECW/WCW alliance night?




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








Since: 2.1.02

Since last post: 4081 days
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#12 Posted on
Nassau Coliseum, too.





"Oh my God, Brian, there's a message in my Alphabits! It says, 'Oooooo!'" Peter Griffin
"Peter, those are Cheerios." Brian
Notorious F.A.B.
Pepperoni








Since: 4.2.02
From: Dudleyville's Gay Ghetto

Since last post: 4034 days
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#13 Posted on
The Alliance night! How could I have forgotten?

Is the Nassau Coliseum the place where Big Show took the title from Brock? Same place as the Austin / Undertaker match where Kane came out and didn't do anything? Or were they MSG? I can't remember the PPV names for those.



It's just you against the group mind.
tomvejada
Andouille








Since: 2.1.02

Since last post: 4081 days
Last activity: 4081 days
#14 Posted on
Big Show-Brock took place at Survivor Series 2002.

Austin-Taker took place at Summer Slam 1998.

Both events were at MSG.



"Oh my God, Brian, there's a message in my Alphabits! It says, 'Oooooo!'" Peter Griffin
"Peter, those are Cheerios." Brian
Notorious F.A.B.
Pepperoni








Since: 4.2.02
From: Dudleyville's Gay Ghetto

Since last post: 4034 days
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#15 Posted on
Danke.



It's just you against the group mind.
ScreamingHeadGuy
Frankfurter








Since: 1.2.02
From: Appleton, WI

Since last post: 756 days
Last activity: 756 days
#16 Posted on
The announcer position is different, and I can't help but think that the camera was on the other side of the arena tonight, too. Normally the stage is left, today it was right.
-from the Fashion Report, July 22, 2002 (dig through the old posts yourselves)

Yeah, some of the rest of us pay attention, too.



Fashion Reporter Extraordinare

Eric tries kicking a sheild held by Time Keeper Dan, but Time Keeper Dan is +3 with Sheilds and the Sheild carries a 2 Armor Rating with +4 v. Crappy Kicks, so it doesnt go well. Anybody who has played the WWE Backstage RPG would know better. Just ask Scott Stiener.
-Excalibur05's Raw Satire for 8-4-03

Notorious F.A.B.
Pepperoni








Since: 4.2.02
From: Dudleyville's Gay Ghetto

Since last post: 4034 days
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#17 Posted on
I must not have been paying attention, BUH GAWD! I sincerely apologize for the mental anguish this may have caused.



It's just you against the group mind.
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Well, after listening to Bruce for probably over an hour in combined trips home in his car, I have to say that he definently knows how the business runs.
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