Pros and Cons of WWE Moving Back to Raw, SmackDown Matches on Every PPV

Pros and Cons of WWE Moving Back to Raw, SmackDown Matches on Every PPV

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Alexa Bliss and Charlotte Flair both competing at Battleground. Braun Strowman and Shinsuke Nakamura both battling for gold at Payback. It all may be a reality as the distance between WWE Raw and SmackDown‘s worlds may soon grow smaller. 

There’s reason to believe WWE will do away with its brand-specific pay-per-views. The brand split wouldn’t end in terms of TV, just the PPV side of things.  

As Raj Giri pointed out on WrestlingInc, Backlash will apparently incorporate both Raw and SmackDown‘s rosters. Rumors and speculation have followed about whether WWE will do the same for all PPVs. If that’s the case, fans will be left with mixed emotions.

While the move would boost shows in terms of name power, the cards won’t have enough room for some of the rising stars from the red and blue brands. Just like the decision to give Raw and SmackDown their own PPVs, the reverse has a number of plusses and minuses. 

 

Con: Fewer Opportunities For Midcard Talent

Aside from the monster events like SummerSlam and WrestleMania, there are typically about seven or eight matches on any given PPV card. If every PPV features both Raw and SmackDown stars, that only gives each show around four clashes to insert their talent.

So while six women from the Raw women’s division got a spot on the stage at TLC: Tables, Ladders & Chairs last year, that wouldn’t be the case with a dual-branded approach. Sasha Banks vs. Alicia Fox likely wouldn’t make the cut.

That’s going to be the norm.

WWE may leave Mojo Rawley off a number of shows thanks to a lack of room. Elias may not get called upon nearly as often. Fewer spots at the table will be bad news for the rising stars from either brand.

 

Pro: Concentrated Star Power

WWE had to often stretch its roster thin for brand-specific shows. Aiden English vs. Tye Dillinger at last year’s Battleground, for example, was pure filler.

The company won’t have to go that route as it will have far more names to choose from each time out.

Pittsburgh Tribune columnist Justin LaBar commented on the increase in drawing power that we’ll see:

As is stands, AJ Styles misses several PPVs a year. We don’t see Strowman‘s special brand of destruction at SmackDown-only shows. Asuka is only around for Raw and the Big Four PPVs. That would change should WWE shift its approach.

Suddenly, even the B and C shows would have more talent to boast about.

 

Con: Lack of Brand Identity

It just won’t feel like a true brand split with dual-branded PPVs.

The way it is now allows SmackDown and Raw to compete, to each try to deliver the better show. Some events have a Raw feel, some have a SmackDown air to them. The red brand’s shows offer the cruiserweight division; the blue brand has a red-hot tag team scene.

Merging it all will blend everything together.

And shows like WrestleMania, Royal Rumble and Survivor Series that feature the full WWE roster won’t feel quite as special. They won’t be the only times to see Styles and Lesnar on the same event or Asuka and Becky Lynch both mix it up with their foes. It will all be commonplace.

That’s not a huge deal in the big picture, but more overlap will dampen brand identity. 

 

Pro: Less Overloaded Schedule

One would assume that if WWE is going the dual-branded direction, the company could cut down its list of shows. There would no longer be a need to run two PPVs in a month as WWE did in June, July and October, and moving away from 18 PPVs a year would be refreshing.

A thinned-out schedule would help make these events feel more special. For even the most ardent of fans, it’s hard to get pumped about a PPV when it feels like there’s one every other week.

There’s a chance to cut costs here as well as avoid viewer fatigue. No one is going to shed a tear if shows like Roadblock: End of the Line go away. 

As a bonus, an event like Elimination Chamber could either feature its signature match with a mix of Raw and SmackDown stars or else twice ask wrestlers to enter Satan’s Prison.

The potential move to Raw and SmackDown sharing their stage at every PPV gives fans reason to celebrate as much as it will leave behind aspects the audience will pine for. There’s no perfect answer to this situation, no plan without its faults.

Breaking Sports News

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February 13, 2018 at 12:59PM

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