Prior to Tuesday’s WWE draft, many assumed that WWE was planning on creating a second World Heavyweight Championship so each brand can have a champion. But according to Bryan Alvarez of the Wrestling Observer, WWE isn’t planning on creating a second world championship, at least for now.
On Wednesday’s Wrestling Observer Live, Alvarez reported that the WWE scheduling department has been told that the WWE World Heavyweight Champion will be working on both Raw and SmackDown. He also noted that there could be a second world title added after SummerSlam, but for now, there will be only one WWE World Champion.
“Whether this is permanent or not, it may only be something from now until SummerSlam, because at this point we still have to get through Battleground and figure out who’s going to be the WWE Champion, but as of this morning the [WWE] scheduling department was told that the WWE Champion is going to work both shows.”
As noted, the WWE World Heavyweight Championship will be up for grabs in the main event of this Sunday’s Battleground show, where Dean Ambrose will defend against both Seth Rollins and the returning Roman Reigns in a triple-threat match. Of course, Ambrose was drafted to SmackDown, while Reigns and Rollins were drafted to Raw, and many are assuming that Raw will end up getting the world title after either Rollins or Reigns wins Sunday’s main event, but, as Alvarez said, the championship won’t be exclusive to either brand.
There were several reports in the weeks leading up to the draft that WWE was going to create an additional world championship for the SmackDown brand, and that AJ Styles and John Cena would face each other at SummerSlam to decide the new SmackDown champion. As of right now, Cena and Styles are still scheduled to go one on one at the event, but it doesn’t look like a title will be on the line in their match.
Of course, Vince McMahon does change his mind quite a bit. So it’s likely that a second World Heavyweight Championship will be added at some point. WWE did try to have the champion work both shows when they did the first brand extension back in 2002, but they added a second world title just a couple of months later.
After Dean Ambrose defeated Seth Rollins in Tuesday’s main event, WWE really pushed the idea that the WWE championship was going to be exclusive to SmackDown. But, as previously mentioned, WWE’s scheduling department was told that the champion will be on both brands. So, if Reigns or Rollins wins the title on Sunday, they’ll be on both Raw and SmackDown while they hold the championship.
Even though it’s been planned for several weeks now, it looks like WWE still hasn’t figured out all of the details of the brand extension, and, much like everything else in WWE, the details are probably being changed on a daily, if not hourly, basis.
As for who’s favored to walk out of WWE Battleground, well, Bovada recently released the odds for the show’s main event, and they have Seth Rollins listed as the favorite. Of course, Rollins lost clean to Ambrose on Tuesday, which has made people think that he’ll be getting his win back on Sunday night.
Since Royal Rumble 2015, every WWE championship match has included a member of the Shield. pic.twitter.com/SWmJXdfuDP— Wrestling Facts (@WrestlingsFacts) July 25, 2016
It’s unclear what WWE is going to do with Roman Reigns after he returns from his wellness violation suspension, but it has been reported that Vince McMahon has soured on Reigns because of his failed drug test. Also, when Reigns was mentioned during the WWE draft show, he was heavily booed. So, there’s a chance that he may come back as a full-on heel.
[Image via WWE]