Monday saw WWE pull the trigger on the brand split, with the announcement of a draft between Raw and SmackDown that’ll take place on the first live episode of SmackDown in four weeks’ time.
Of course, the 2002 brand extension saw the WWE utilise a draft, with Vince McMahon for SmackDown and Ric Flair on Raw naming ten wrestlers/groups that they wanted for their show, with the remainder of the rosters being padded out via the WWE website shortly afterwards. In the spirit of providing alternatives, here a good idea and some bad ideas that we should be grateful that WWE didn’t go ahead with…
Bad Idea – Coin Toss
It’d be a quick way to get through everyone on the roster, and theoretically it’d be totally random… but its simplicity is also its biggest flaw.
If WWE were to give the impression that guys are only on a show because of a coin toss, rather than because they were coveted by someone would mean that everyone suddenly becomes as important as the bottom tier guys. Plus, who the hell would watch a 3 hour episode of Raw-is-Coin-Toss?!
Good Idea – Bidding
Some sports, like cricket’s Indian Premier League, utilised a fixed roster with players being bid on; kind of like how fantasy sports work.
On the plus side, it gives a clear impression as to who’s deemed as valuable, and would give the fans a tip-off in terms of whom they are being directed to care about,but it keeps the major negative of highlighting who isn’t wanted, and how little the company (via their storyline proxies) value, say, the Social Outcasts.
Bad Idea – Negotiations
During the last brand split, we saw numerous cases where superstars were courted by both Raw and SmackDown. Guys like Brock Lesnar and Scott Steiner were the storyline target of televised contractual discussions, with Lesnar’s eventual decision to join SmackDown leading to the creation of Raw’s World Heavyweight Championship.
Whilst that would again give us a big hint as to who WWE wants us to care about and cheer, but there is no way they’d be able to do this for more than a handful of people on the roster. Sure, we may care about where Roman Reigns and John Cena lands up, but who really is going to invest in segments over which brand takes ownership of the Golden Truth?!