A WWE brand split could be in the near future at the company’s next special event (Payback this Sunday, May 1), and already the Internet Wrestling Community (IWC) seems pretty divided as to whether it’s the right call.
While one camp believes it could be just what the doctor ordered for a product that has been consistently slipping in the ratings — particularly with its flagship show, Monday Night Raw — others don’t see the sense in thinning out an already injury-prone roster.
There is also the question of what becomes of NXT, WWE’s “minor league” that has consistently been boosting its profile as a separate and major brand over the last two years.
To make sense out of whether this is the right time to pull a WWE brand split, it is best to look at each of the valuations.
— Pro Wrestling Stream (@pwstream) April 30, 2016
1. The Injuries
WWE is a company that has had its fair share of injuries over the years. Just when the company seemed poised to launch a major Daniel Bryan run, the leader of the YES Movement got knocked out of action and never really had the chance to come back full-time before calling it a career due to a history of concussions.
The company has also seen hot commodities like Seth Rollins, John Cena, Roman Reigns, Cesaro, and Sting get banged up right when it appeared like the company was in the process of doing something with them (well, maybe not Cesaro).
With one major troupe of performers trying to hold down two weekly shows, Smackdown and Raw, along with a monthly special event, a WWE brand split does not seem like the best idea. However…
2. Talent Goes Deeper Than You Think
With the swerve that Stephanie and Shane McMahon will be vying for the Raw product — and that could be how a WWE brand split occurs storyline-wise — fans have gotten a chance to see some new talents from the NXT brand as well as some surprise imports from New Japan Pro Wrestling and TNA.
What many are finding out — who weren’t already ensconced in the IWC — is that WWE is actually in a very good position talent-wise for a split to occur.
With just four singles belts, World Heavyweight Championship, U.S. Championship, Intercontinental Championship, Women’s Championship, and the tag titles to feud over, there isn’t a lot of room to move for talents like Kevin Owens, Luke Gallows, Karl Anderson, Sami Zayn, Apollo Crews, Baron Corbin, Eric Young, and many of the WWE veterans who still have plenty of gas left in the tank.
Yes, injuries have been a problem, but the McMahons have done such a great job of acquiring and developing talent as of late that this is actually a perfect opportunity for a full-fledged WWE brand split. But…
How would a brand split work when they retired the divas title and unified the WWE/heavyweight titles
— Joey (@briebelIas) April 30, 2016
3. Where does that leave NXT?
NXT is Triple H’s baby, and he has done such a great job of bringing talents along while helping the brand build a name for itself that a WWE brand split could threaten to wipe out all of its momentum and essentially set it back to “minor league” status.
That’s a fear many weighing the validity of a WWE brand split are now looking at, but it’s also a good problem for the E to have.
By going through with the split, WWE can use their considerable in-ring talents to grow the two major brands and allow NXT to keep doing what it has done so well for so long — developing characters and storylines without the constraints of being overwritten and micromanaged.
It’s a system that has brought NXT this far. There is no reason to think it won’t continue to work, even with a new crop of talent.
But what do you think, readers?
Is the time right for a WWE brand split, and if so, should it happen at WWE Payback this Sunday? Sound off in the comments section below.
[Image via WWE]