The McMahon sibling rivalry storyline kicked it up a notch or two on the most recent episode of WWE’s Monday Night RAW. Last week, Stephanie proclaimed that she would be running both RAW and SmackDown, but only because Shane’s absence from the show did not allow for him to respond. This week, Shane returned, and near the end of the show, he claimed that while he will happily co-run RAW with his sister, he was taking full control of SmackDown.
In summary, nothing has been decided with the WWE brand extension scheduled to go into effect a little over a month from now. Teddy Long, and now Kane, have both thrown their hats in the ring in an attempt to be put in charge of the blue brand to no avail. In reality, the only thing about the brand split that has been determined (at least publicly) is that SmackDown is going live and moving to Tuesday nights. Who’s running what show, how many championship belts, and who will make up each roster is still very much in the air.
Granted, there is still a Money in the Bank event to book, but the next scheduled pay-per-view comes your way a week after WWE splits up RAW and SmackDown in the form of Battleground. Recent reports have indicated that each show will put on an exclusive monthly pay-per-view, meaning there will be two every month with the exception of those that host the likes of WrestleMania, SummerSlam, Royal Rumble, and perhaps Survicor Series. Whether that goes into effect pre or post-SummerSlam remains to be seen.
All that said, the WWE needs to fill out two separate rosters and have them in place by July 19, if not, for the WWE Draft, rumored to take place either July 11 or 18. The Inquisitr has already reported that WWE plans on raiding the NXT roster in order to sufficiently stock both RAW and SmackDown, but that still might not be enough to fill them out completely.
According to PWInsider (via Wrestling Inc.), WWE has already been reaching out, not only to NXT talent and independent stars but to former WWE superstars as well. The plan appears to be that WWE wants to balance out the roster between the current crop of WWE superstars, the new era stars of tomorrow (both already on the main roster and those about to be called up) and veteran wrestlers who used to work in WWE.
In the past year alone, we’ve seen the likes of The Dudley Boyz return to the WWE, which, in turn, saw brief cameos from Tommy Dreamer and Rhyno as well. As the brand split draws closer or is finally executed, we could bear witness to more of the same. There have been a few names that have come up more often than others in the past several months that may have already been in contact with the WWE or the WWE is planning to reach out soon.
Vince McMahon was reportedly very interested in bringing John Morrison back to the WWE, as officials were tasked with finding out his contract status with Lucha Underground where he performs under the name Johnny Mundo. Vince was also extremely unimpressed with the recent repackaging of The Shining Stars, but because there had been mutual interest in a reunion with Carlito, there’s a chance the act could stay on.
What’s puzzling about the sudden need for more talent is the recent exodus that occurred back in the beginning of May. There were even several reports that more releases were coming, but perhaps the brand split forced the WWE to hold off on any more pink slips for the time being. While the likes of Ryback, Cody Rhodes, and Adam Rose have slim chances of WWE comebacks, there may be plenty others who split more amicably that might be headed back within the next month.
Ringside News notes that due to their recent inclusion into the Cruiserweight Classic tournament, Brian Kendrick and Tajiri could be among those added to the current roster in a further attempt to bulk up the roster.
[Image via WWE]