Last summer, WWE brought back the brand extension and split the entire main roster between Monday Night Raw and SmackDown Live, but it may be faltering already. In April of this year, a Superstar Shake-Up took place and moved a bunch of names around, but very little movement happened before then. Well, it certainly appears as if things simply aren’t working out and that the brand split isn’t as strong in place as it was supposed to be.
It is obvious that the main roster of WWE combined with NXT has given the company an influx of talent that needs to be presented somewhere. They’re not going to get more TV time, and the brand split seems to hinder things in a way as trying to keep two main event scenes going ends up making things a tad stale.
WWE may have realized this at this point, and while the brand extension was meant to keep the two brands entirely separate…well, that simply isn’t happening.
Over the course of the past month or so, there have been a number of signs pointing toward the brand split ending or at least, weakening. The falling ratings could have a lot to do with it, but let’s check out the signs that things just aren’t working.
It has been known for a while now that WWE Universal Champion, and Raw superstar, Brock Lesnar would be working a few SmackDown Live house shows later this summer. His opponent wasn’t known until recently as Cageside Seats revealed it would be none other than Samoa Joe who is yet another Raw superstar.
That’s right, two superstars from Monday Night Raw will be headlining two SmackDown events on July 29 in Detroit and the Aug. 12 date in Tampa. Cageside Seats even stated that this is a sure sign things aren’t looking good for the brand split at this point.
Let’s not forget that Seth Rollins also worked a Team Blue house show back in June, too.
Adding a bit more to the whole idea that the brand extension isn’t as strong is the storyline with Jason Jordan. As reported by Bleacher Report, Kurt Angle did announce that Jordan is his long-lost son and that they were to be reunited on Raw which sounds like a great story, but how does that just happen?
In the past, superstars couldn’t move brands on their own unless their “contract” was up. Remember when Jack Swagger’s Raw contract “expired” which allowed him to sign with SmackDown last year? How did Jordan just end up leaving Team Blue and heading to Monday nights unless it is nepotism?
That’s not even mentioning the fact that he left Chad Gable, his teammate in American Alpha, without a partner. Not only does that have Gable absent from TV, but it takes yet another team away from the tag-team deprived SmackDown.
There are plenty of other little signs that WWE could be rethinking the brand split and looking to end it soon as well.
- Renee Young is now a correspondent for both SmackDown Live and Monday Night Raw.
- John Cena’s free agent status upon his return from a rather long hiatus. WWE did a lot to build it up as he was coming back, but he has yet to step out of the realm of Team Blue.
- Wrestling Inc. is reporting that another Superstar Shake-Up is already rumored to take place after SummerSlam. Not only would this move more superstars between Raw and SmackDown, but some may even be sent from the main roster back to NXT.
If WWE finds the need to shake up the rosters again just four months after doing it the last time, that can’t mean anything good.
All of these signs really don’t spell a lot of good news for the brand extension, but they don’t necessarily guarantee an end of the split is coming either. WWE may simply be doing a few things to get through the long summer and make it to SummerSlam and Survivor Series before making it to the “Road to WrestleMania.” Still, it’s hard to deny that these things don’t really make it seem as if Monday Night Raw and SmackDown Live will be separate entities too much longer.
[Featured Image by WWE]