It was assumed going into WWE Payback that Vince McMahon would go with Shane McMahon as the controller of WWE RAW. Clearly, WWE likes having Shane back, and due to WWE RAW being better lately, casual fans believe him running it would be good too. However, there needs to be some parody in WWE, of course. What is pro-wrestling but the male version of a soap opera, right? It was expected that due to the need of a villain also having control, WWE would go with an interesting proposition.
The rumor mill claimed that WWE was set to hand over the keys of WWE RAW to both Shane and Stephanie McMahon. This would be interesting to see as both siblings would sort of fight to be considered the real best for the show. Of course, this plan made sense as well. Shane would still be around and have stories with his sister. Meanwhile, if he had to be gone for business ventures, Stephanie would still be on hand to handle the show on her own.
Now, it seems this concept may not be where WWE is headed at WWE Payback. According to Daily Wrestling News, Vince McMahon will reportedly hand WWE RAW to Shane McMahon as originally assumed. It is said that the story going back to well before WrestleMania 32 was to give Shane WWE RAW and then hand WWE SmackDown to Stephanie and Triple H. The idea for this is to give both sides a show to run that would make sense for them.
This would make us assume that WWE will be going with the brand split much earlier than we all thought, if this report holds up. The rumor earlier on was that we would be seeing the brand split happen this year for sure, but the timing was not completely known. However, most saw it happening toward the end of the summer at the earliest. This could be WWE’s way of handling the ratings crisis for both of their shows. It also makes sense now more than ever that WWE has been hyping up this “new era” ideology.
WWE has been trying to pass off WWE Payback as the first PPV of a new era. This is quite telling. No one has really considered what they have been saying, but this could have been WWE dropping hints for the last couple of weeks without us seeing it.
This brings up the question, with both Shane and Stephanie having a show to run….would that bring back the WWE Draft and official brand split? That would be the assumption, but WWE could be holding off on an official brand split for a little while. Shane and Stephanie McMahon could alter the titles and force problems for the competitors each week, which would later on force WWE to do the official split.
Just because Shane and Stephanie are running their own show does not mean a split occurs as WWE could be pulling this off later. Clearly, most fans you talk to about the brand split say it should come back. It would make sense to do this now, especially with the ratings issue. That said, it should be assumed if WWE goes this direction with Shane and Stephanie that a WWE Draft would happen within a week or so.
WWE apparently really enjoys having Shane McMahon back on television and want him to stick around. That said, WWE RAW is the perfect spot to have him each week and having him control a brand would be the best thing you could do with him right now. This is also a very good thing for Triple H and Stephanie McMahon. Many believe they will get full creative reign of WWE SmackDown, and that very well could make it “must-see” as Triple H has proven with WWE NXT that he knows what fans want to see from a pro-wrestling product.
[Image via WWE]