At WWE SummerSlam later this month, Brock Lesnar and Randy Orton will be involved in what is expected to be a war. Both have taken shots at the other as Orton surprised Lesnar this past Monday on WWE RAW with an RKO, then Lesnar returned the favor by giving Orton an F-5 on SmackDown Live this past Tuesday. We all knew that things would get interesting when both men were drafted to different shows, but the problem is that it does affect their rivalry.
Due to the different show system, most expected no physical altercation to happen at all before SummerSlam — mainly because it couldn’t. However, unofficially, both men have shown up on the other’s show to make their mark on their opponent. WWE clearly wants to keep brands separate as they literally just started the brand split, but they also see the appeal of crossover.
Now according to Daily Wrestling News, we know Randy Orton vs Brock Lesnar won’t be the last time that WWE goes with a crossover match. While WWE will have each brand take on their own respective PPV, this will only happen eight months out of the year. The other times, WWE will come together for the big four PPVs, which include WrestleMania, SummerSlam, The Royal Rumble, and Survivor Series.
The idea is that WWE will want to try and do crossover matches between the brands for each of these shows. One would be the Royal Rumble match, obviously. The other times we’ll see something like what we see now with Orton and Lesnar, where one man will take on another. There could be an interesting dynamic at Survivor Series for instance where WWE RAW’s Team takes on WWE SmackDown’s Team in a 5 on 5 traditional elimination match.
WWE would really like to use some of the top stars from each brand in the inter-promotional matches reportedly, which would allow for more intrigue most likely. This would allow us to still see dream matches occur that fans want, despite the fact that brands will normally be separate eight months out of the year. This would only be for one match as well, so we would not see something like Bragging Rights pop up any time soon.
Like with any other television show that is connected to the same network or universe, crossover essentially is important to make sure both shows are getting love from the fans. Matches that fans want to see such as AJ Styles vs Finn Balor would be great, but the brand split keeps both men apart. This would not be the case with what may be known eventually as the “big four rule.” This rule would allow for the brands to make one match happen that would give the fans the match they want to see despite the split.
Crossover has always been important in traditional television shows across various markets all around the world and especially domestically. Take the case of CW shows Arrow and The Flash. Both are clearly shows about the DC Comics’ characters, but now that they are on at the same time of the year and just a day apart from the other on the same network, it allows for crossover to happen. It actually helps both shows and ratings reflect that. WWE would be doing something everyone else is already doing.
Due to the fact that both RAW and SmackDown are live shows on the USA Network, clearly the network would be all for these things happening if WWE could make it work each time. The only way to do so is by having it be a rare occurrence that only happens four times a year, or less. SummerSlam is essentially just a small taste of what is to come from the co-branded matches.
[Image via WWE]