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Ryan Reeves

WWE Brand Split Official Discussion

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On episode 328 of The Steve Austin Show, WWE Hall Of Famer, 'Stone Cold' Steve Austin talked about WWE's upcoming brand split. During the podcast, Austin contested Vince McMahon's assertion that WWE's talent roster is very deep. Austin claimed that WWE SmackDown must be presented on equal footing as WWE Monday Night RAW. Also, Austin said that he is in favor of having the WWE World Heavyweight Champion appear on both television programs.

In the press release that announced SmackDown would be going live on Tuesday nights, McMahon indicated that part of the rationale for the change is WWE taking advantage of its deep talent roster. According to Austin, there is a difference between having a deep talent pool and having many performers under contract.

"I'm quoting Vince from the SmackDown stuff. It says, 'WWE's flagship programs will both leverage the incredible depth of our talent roster, distinct storylines, and the unpredictable nature of live TV.' Okay, lets go back to the 'incredible depth' of the talent roster. I don't see 'incredible depth'." Austin continued, "it is a lot of bodies, a lot of people, and talented people, but I don't think you can say your roster's necessarily deep. But you do have a lot of players or people they're going to try out and we'll see how they do. Are they going to make the all-star team by getting over or are they just going to be bodies that go out there and occupy time on the television screen?"

'The Texas Rattlesnake' stated that SmackDown cannot be presented as a secondary show if it is going to be successful. Austin noted that SmackDown may even become the more popular show because RAW is too long.

"The SmackDown roster can't be the minor leagues. It can't be the NXT of the big leagues." Austin said, "SmackDown could become the hotter show just because it takes less time to watch it, and, man, you know everybody has attention deficit these days, so I don't know. To me, it could have the makings of making SmackDown the hotter, more popular show."


Finally, Austin professed that the WWE World Heavyweight Champion should appear on both shows. This suggests that Austin is of the belief that the title should not be bifurcated back into the WWE Championship and the World Heavyweight Championship.

"I absolutely think that the world champion ought to travel back and forth [between RAW and SmackDown]." Austin added, "if the champion is on RAW, Reigns, who has the championship, goes to SmackDown, to me, that in and of itself creates something that I want to see."

Wrestling Inc

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WWE Hall Of Famer Jim Ross recently updated his official blog at JRsBarBQ.com with his thoughts on a number of current topics. Below are some of the highlights. 

On his latest thoughts regarding specifics of the WWE brand split: 

The WWE brand separation should be perceived by logical, non knee jerk, pro wrestling fans as a good thing IMO. For those who build their arguments against this matter by saying that "WWE always screws thins up, etc" I suggest that those individuals retreat to their room and engage in more social media. 

The separation should be a clean split and feature no random intermingling and therefore making the opportunities for when both RAW and Smackdown rosters are together be special occasions. Both brands need tag teams, women, cruisers (placeholder name) a nice nucleolus of main event names and both brands need some new call up's. 

WWE has the number of talents necessary to pull this off especially after they hire a few more bodies to factor into their three brands.

I'd prefer to see only one, primary champion in the company, the WWE World Heavyweight Champion however that's unlikely I'm hearing. Certainly not a deal breaker but I can see the advantage of having one WWE World's Champion, the female equivalent of that and the Tag Team Champions appear in a timely manner on both shows. None of the champions need to be on all shows weekly or even be on TV every week. 

The US and IC Titles can be brand specific and by doing so they should both be revitalized. 

No one is likely to be 100% pleased with the final, final roster selections and I'd surmise that also includes many within WWE who has a dog in the hunt specially the two writing teams. Personally, I have no issues seeing how this matter plays out but I sincerely feel it wil be great for all fans if WWE has learned from their past attempt to separate RAW and Smackdown. 

The game has changed drastically so that Smackdown doesn't have to be considered the "red headed step child' as it often times was in the past. Going LIVE the USA Network is a hugely positive move for all involved. The less than positive perception won't change overnight but it should change in time to a much more equitable comparison of WWE's two primary television vehicles. 

I think having separate referees, announce teams, ring announcers, interviewers, etc are all smart alternatives for WWE to consider. I'd compare the brand separation akin to having two different companies under one ownership that can be strategically, creatively manipulated to produced compelling TV for all fans to enjoy while building viewership on the WWE Network. 

Perhaps think of WWE as the NFL and they govern both the NFC and the AFC but limit inter league play and feature it only on special, marketable occasions like the Royal Rumble and Wrestlemania.


On how NXT figures into the brand split: 

NXT also figures in to this matter prominently and I don't see WWE disabling their third brand whatsoever but NXT also doesn't need as many viable bodies to make it successful. That's not a knock but merely a fact as I'm a big, NXT fan.


On SmackDown competing against Impact Wrestling on Tuesdays: 

My suggestion to TNA is to tweak their Tuesday start time to avoid wrestling fan's having ot make a decision of which wrestling show to watch, a live, Smackdown or a taped Impact Wrestling. For TNA to go head to head against WWE on Tuesday nights is ill advised.

NoDQ

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I thin that they have more then enough players n the roster to make this brand Split work. I also believe Smackdown could become the hotter brand if he time remains the same because even me sometimes I get bored watching Raw just waiting for the main event. So in that aspect alone Smackdown could turn into something great, however I don't agree just having one world title unless it would lead to Smackdown vs Raw considering everyone would want that 1 title. I remember when both Raw and Smackdown were their own shows and I couldn't get enough, hopefully I can get that same feeling again.

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I think having separate referees, announce teams, ring announcers, interviewers, etc would make the feeling more exciting for the brand split. This is all any one is talking about so I hope that the brand split lives to the hype. As far as impact it would be in the best interest to change the times because f people had to pick between live and taped, well live wins all day.

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There's a list going around online that has rumored rosters for RAW and SmackDown after the upcoming WWE Draft. It should be noted that the list has not been confirmed as a legitimate leak. It's been reported that John Cena is scheduled for SmackDown but this roster has him staying on RAW. It also appears they have Funaki scheduled to work as a backstage interviewer but like the entire roster, that has not been confirmed.

The breakdowns look like this but should be taken as rumor for now:

* WWE World Heavyweight Champion Roman Reigns and WWE Women's Champion Charlotte on both shows

SmackDown:

Announcers: Jerry Lawler, Corey Graves, Mauro Ranallo

Other Announcers: Funaki, JoJo

Wrestlers: Rusev and Lana, The New Day, Apollo Crews, Becky Lynch, AJ Styles, Kevin Owens, The Vaudevillains, The Wyatt Family, Baron Corbin, Emma, Tyler Breeze and Fandango, Luke Gallows and Karl Anderson, Randy Orton, Dana Brooke, Big Show, Titus O'Neil, Tyson Kidd, Alicia Fox, Natalya, Darren Young and Bob Backlund, Goldust and R-Truth, Kane, Mark Henry, Jack Swagger, Tamina Snuka, Eva Marie, Finn Balor, Peyton Royce, Tye Dillinger, Johnny Gargano and Tommaso Ciampa, Austin Aries, Mojo Rawley, Billie Kay, Nia Jax, No Way Jose

RAW:

Announcers: JBL, Michael Cole and Byron Saxton

Other Announcers: Lilian Garcia, Renee Young

Wrestlers: The Miz and Maryse, Seth Rollins, Sasha Banks, Sami Zayn, Cesaro, Enzo Amore and Big Cass, Dean Ambrose, John Cena. Paige, Alberto Del Rio, Neville, Chris Jericho, The Dudley Boyz, Summer Rae, Kalisto, The Shining Stars, Zack Ryder, Naomi, Sin Cara, Sheamus, The Usos, Dolph Ziggler, The Ascension, Nikki Bella, The Social Outcasts, Bayley, Shinsuke Nakamura, The Revival, Carmella, Alexa Bliss, Bobby Roode, Hideo Itami, Liv Morgan, Blake and Murphy, Elias Samson

 

:mark

Source: Wrestlinginc.com

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WWE Superstar Sheamus recently spoke with Zap2It.comto promote his role as Rocksteady in the new TMNT 2 movie. Below are some of the highlights from the interview. 



On the WWE brand split: 
 

"I think it's great. I think the brand split is good. When I came into WWE in 2009, I had a huge opportunity and got a huge push. It was fantastic. Myself and Daniel Bryan made it because of Smackdown. We were doing two-minute segments on 'Raw' before we moved over to the blue brand. To me, Smackdown is much more the wrestling style show."



On new talents taking advantage of the brand split: 
 

"The great thing about Smackdown was, when things were separated last time, a lot of guys were able to breakout. We've got great characters and such a vast pool of talent that hasn't really gotten the chance to shine yet."

 

NoDQ


 

 

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This past Thursday WrestleZone Radio’s daily pro wrestling news show WrestleZone Daily welcomed former WWE Head Writer Ed Ferrara.

On his initial reaction to the news that Smackdown is going live for two hours every Tuesday night on USA:

EF: My initial reaction was that of… and, granted, it comes from a place of just being wary of the product… they seem to have started to get to get their mojo back a little bit on the creative end. A little bit. My reaction was, kind of, audience fatigue. I don’t watch Smackdown now. There’s already three hours on Monday nights. The fear is that they are going to glut the market with their product. Even tho they are the market they are going to put too much product out there and split their audience. Especially if they are going to go hardline split between the two brands which remains to be seen. 

On the decision to split the brands and have both shows operate with their own storylines:

EF: That’s what I think the problem is. That’s the sword that cuts both ways. Having the separate brands between the two shows it gives Smackdown a chance to discover and build it’s own audience. At the same time it might take some of the RAW audience away. Especially if Smackdown gives the audience something that RAW doesn’t. For example, if Smackdown starts becoming more “serious” and a little more “wrestling friendly” or “mature” in their storylines I’ll probably wind up drifting over to that and not watching RAW. Even tho in the back of my mind I know RAW is and always will be the main priority. That’s the risk that they take. If they don’t then they are really risking audience glut and audience burn out by having five hours. If it’s a matter of starting something on Monday and paying it off on Tuesday at the end of the show. When it’s 11:20 and the show goes off the air on Monday night. Are people really going to be psyched to watch Smackdown the next night? No, it’s going to become a chore. Just like the three hour episodes themselves have become. 

Wrestlezone

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I disagree with this guy completely. I don't tend to listen to "former" writers. Having one main show for three hours was startingvto get stale. Smackdown to me became useless. The fact that they will do a seperate storyline will spice things up more. You can have more intense rivalries instead of things shortened because other storylines need to take place. For a three hour show they cramp  a lot in at once, Smackdown has an opportunity to be a show. In theory, it should draw more fans to watch both Raw and Smackdown to follow all the storylines. 

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On 5/31/2016 at 3:20 AM, BrendenPlayz said:

I'm not buying it, there is no way that this company has already got their rosters sorted. They will pick the rosters on the night of the draft lol

Why wouldn't they plan ahead so they can get past the bumps and issues they'd need to iron out instead of waiting until the very last second to throw together a couple of rosters. I think this could be a smoke screen but I'm reasonably sure that they have there rosters set already.

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I don't like the fact that Roman Reigns is on both shows. It wouldn't make sense. He would have to have a raw rivalry and a smackdown rivalry which would be too confusing. That's why I think this is fake. Surely WWE wouldn't make us sit through two live good guy, bad guy THE guy promos. And didn't Shane and Stephanie mention that both brands will have exclusive rosters?

11 minutes ago, Yelich said:

I don't believe it for 1 reason and 1 reason only.

Sami Zayn and Kevin Owens are split up.

They're making money with that feud and are not gong to end it yet.

 

As far as I'm concerned, Owens and Zayn can feud until after Summerslam and I'd still be interested.

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13 hours ago, Jonathan said:

Why wouldn't they plan ahead so they can get past the bumps and issues they'd need to iron out instead of waiting until the very last second to throw together a couple of rosters. I think this could be a smoke screen but I'm reasonably sure that they have there rosters set already.

The "roster" looks cool however I don't think this is finalized nor do I believe this would be the set roster. Like Royback mentioned why separate Sami and Kevin when they have chemistry and a great rivalry going on. Second, I feel like Dean should be on Smackdown versus on RAW with Roman and Seth. I feel like Dean should have his own time to shine, leaving this three on the same roster always can lead to a triple threat "shield" match or a shield reunion which I don't want to see just yet. Both Roman and Seth has tasted the WWE Championship life and Dean hasn't won the title at all. However, anything can happen if these are the legit rosters either way I feel like Smackdown has the more potential to outshine Raw but we will see what happens. I'm leaning for more of a random Draft feel then a pre-planned draft.

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Former ECW / WWE star Taz recently spoke with Justin Barrasso for Sports Illustrated Extra Mustard’s Week In Wrestling. 

Taz, who currently hosts The Taz Show on CBS Radio, talks about the WWE brand split, including what other plans might be in store, who might be running RAW and Smackdown, how much he prepared for a career in broadcasting, and more. You can read some highlights below: 

Taz comments on the WWE brand split announcement: 

“It’s a layup to me. They’re doing a brand split, which I humbly say that I predicted three or four months ago on my show. I know how they book and I know what works. They’re actually a little late on the brand split, frankly, but the brand split works.”

Taz comments on who will be running RAW and Smackdown, balancing each show’s running times: 

“Stephanie and Shane have a kind of sibling rivalry, so Stephanie will run Smackdown and Shane will run Raw. Stephanie will ask, ‘Why do you get three hours on your brand and I only get two on mine?’ Then Vince can come out and settle the argument between his kids by making it plain and simple–‘Raw and Smackdown will both be two hours.’ When someone asks what happens to that third hour, then boom–you play Triple H’s music and you give NXT to Triple H.”

Taz offers another prediction that Roman Reigns and Seth Rollins will be on separate shows: 

“Roman Reigns has the ability to work, he definitely has the awareness now and popularity,” explained Taz. “I don’t know if he has the promo skills yet, and he needs to keep working on that, but they’ve put a lot of money behind him–millions–and they can’t give up on him and they won’t. They’ll build around Roman Reigns on one show, and they’re going to build around Seth Rollins. I do not think Seth Rollins and Roman Reigns will be on Raw together or Smackdown together. I would change one of their looks a little bit and some branding around the guys, but those are the two guys they’re going to run with.”

Taz talks about all of the work he put into becoming a broadcaster, finding the right format for his show: 

“This is my legacy and my history. This is something I’ve been trying to do for a decade, and that’s something people don’t know. If you sat down with Michael Cole and you asked him, ‘Are you surprised that Taz is doing a radio show that’s working so well?’ He’d said, ‘No, not at all.’ He knew how passionate and driven I was about radio ten years ago. It’s very, very hard to do. Anybody can stream a show or go on YouTube, but I’m proud to say that the platform I have–with a corporation as big as it is at this level with CBS Radio–this was ten years in the making. I look at this as my life’s work.”

“It works, but you’ve got to have the chops. While I was doing Smackdown as a broadcaster, I was studying and listening to radio, replaying stuff, going online and studying. This is something I had a passion for, and I worked and practiced on my own. I would record myself on my iPhone and practice by doing shows that no one even heard. I didn’t want to just do an interview format–there are a bunch of shows out there like that. Initially, I started that way and did the same thing as everyone else for the first two months. Then I said to CBS, ‘I want to do a topic-driven show, as opposed to an interview-driven show.’ Then it just took on a life of its own.”

Wrestlezone

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Enzo Amore and Big Cass were the special guests on last night’s ESPN Off the Top Rope segment hosted by Jonathan Coachman, and you can check out highlight videos below. The following is a brief recap of their appearance.

Regarding their “realest guys in the room” catchphrase, Enzo says it’s actually real, and that’s why it works. He says what you see on WWE TV is who they are, and added he has to turn the volume down a bit on himself, and the volume up a bit on Cass, which is why they work well together as a team.

On the upcoming brand extension, Cass acknowledges that he and Enzo could be split up, but he says that the draft will create competition amongst the superstars in WWE and that will be best for both the Raw and Smackdown brands. He says everyone is in a place where they want to make the WWE brand better, so while he hopes they don’t get split up, the brand split is the best thing that could have happened to them.

On the concussion Enzo suffered at WWE Payback, Enzo says it happened when his head hit the mat, and he’s blessed to be back on WWE TV and make a comeback. He added he’s not “sawft” and that he and Cass have their eyes on the WWE tag team division.

Wrestlezone

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