WWE SmackDown is moving to Tuesday nights, and a Brand Split may return!
The entertainment business is always evolving to make itself better. No other company takes that to heart like WWE. The company has announced that SmackDown is moving from Thursday to Tuesday nights… and it will be LIVE for the first time ever! The official move begins July 19th at 8PM on the USA Network.
WWE has promised that SmackDown’s roster will be unique compared to Raw’s. According to the Wrestling Observer, WWE is planning to have dual-brand episodes of Raw just for the two big PPVs of the year (SummerSlam and WrestleMania). There are also plans to have different announce teams switch between calling certain matches, just like the old days. With this news breaking, it is believed that WWE will go back to something they haven’t done in years: A Brand Split!
In a press release on WWE.com, Vince McMahon stated:
“WWE’s flagship programs will both leverage the incredible depth of our talent roster, distinct storylines and the unpredictable nature of live TV. This move will undoubtedly build more excitement and deepen engagement with our fans around the world.”
A new leader for both shows? If true, you know what that means? We could also see the return of the WWE Draft!
Although he lost at WrestleMania to the Undertaker, Shane has shared control of WWE’s TV programs with his sister Stephanie.. The proposed split that would’ve happened if he were to win that match may actually happen now (Which when you think about it makes no sense considering the initial storyline. I’ve learned not to think too hard when it comes to these things). It will be interesting see how this plays out. I wouldn’t be surprised if it will lead into an eventual McMahon vs. McMahon storyline to see who has the most dominant brand.
Even with three hours of Raw to be filmed, there apparently isn’t enough time for other talent to shine. With WWE’s roster as big as it’s ever been, the split would help give more opportunities for various wrestlers. We could see a new version of the “SmackDown Six” thanks to the move; wrestlers that stand out above all the others.
SmackDown can greatly benefit from this, as could WWE as a whole. Under its current taped format, spoilers for the show get released every Tuesday/Wednesday. The results are known, so people aren’t inclined to watch a show they already know the results for. With this new change, more viewers = more profits for the company. NXT may suffer if more talent is taken though. In order to get people to tune in, there may be an influx in new, exciting stars on every roster.
Just for a second, think of this lineup:
Sunday: Possible PPV
That is a lot of TV time for the wrestlers in the back. It is a good thing that some shows like NXT and Superstars are taped earlier. Although there are also house shows, this new schedule may give talent more time to rest up. This will also give WWE another edge as the leading wrestling organization for the majority of the weekday. Will there be a chance of WWE overload? Possibly, but a break is never the worst thing, especially when there are other programs to look into (Lucha Underground, TNA Impact, Ring of Honor).
There are rumors that WWE will bring back two world titles with the move. I am personally not a fan if that happens as it devalues a one true world champion. There are also rumors that the Intercontinental Title will be exclusive to one brand and the United States Title will go to another, while the Women’s and Tag Team Titles will be used for both. I would be OK with the United States and Intercontinental Titles being separated, giving both a chance to become important. It could be a revival of the titles along with the talent.
Many fans aren’t fond of a brand split after the inconsistency of the last one. I’m indifferent only because I’m curious. Will this be booked better than the last time? Will talent get more time to shine? There is only one way to find out, and that’s to tune in on July 19th. Are you ready?
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