Like most things in professional wrestling, if not all forms of entertainment, there’s always aspects that never work out. Despite there being certain factors that lead to some success, the brand split certainly had it’s fair share of failure. After all, there’s a reason they decided to dump the idea of two different rosters.
Too Much GM Drama
Unless your name is Eric Bishoff, Paul Heyman, Stephanie McMahon, or Vince McMahon, there’s no reason the GM’s needed to be involved as they were. The great thing about the names I just listed is that they never took away from the focal point of their respective shows. Even when they were involved in the main event feuds, they’re characters that can add to the drama. With that being said GMs such as John Laurinaitis, Teddy Long, Vickie Guerrero, Guest GMs, and AJ Lee were completely unnecessary when being used in major story lines. I’m not saying they shouldn’t have been there, but the WWE asked too much out of them. I think it’s safe to say Vickie acted better as a manager, while AJ was obviously better as a wrestler. Along with this, it felt like GMs were changing at least once a year. Every time someone new was brought on board they were immediately involved in a major angle. The position eventually stopped feeling important. After a while, those Smackdown vs Raw feuds didn’t feel meaningful, because there was always two new GMs that didn’t have any history.
This time around, it’s important that the two key authority figures remain McMahons, as in Shane and Stephanie. Not only that, they need to keep their roles limited, and I know Stephanie has a hard time doing that.
Brand Exclusive Shows
Dave Meltzer had reported earlier this week that the WWE is likely to have two different PPVs a month. Did this really work out for them last time? There’s a reason they had gone back to inter-promotional PPVs. In theory, this sounds like a logical idea, because it kept the two rosters separate from each other. In actuality, they put pressure on themselves to create more storylines. While the whole point of the brand split is to give the entire roster member a chance at the spotlight, I feel separate PPVs will only force the WWE to create quantity over quality. That’s definitely one of the reasons it didn’t work before. The one monthly PPV allows the fans to watch the best of both shows on one show. If anything, that allows for the upper mid card to top tier guys to look more important.
Of course, this doesn’t mean all mid to lower card talent gets pushed aside on both shows. Those wrestlers are still crucial parts of the TV product, and are needed to keep fans engaged when main event programs aren’t on screen. If NXT has taught the WWE anything, it’s that nothings wrong with TV only feuds between mid to lower card talent.
Two Women’s Divisions
There’s no hiding that the Smackdown women’s roster from 2002-2011 was abysmal. The WWE essentially put all the non wrestling talent on Smackdown, which lead to some odd story telling (google Al Wilson & Dawn Marie). I’m sure some of the more raunchy storylines on Smackdown worked for a certain audience, but it definitely wouldn’t fly with today’s product. The women of the early 2000s had that appeal, however these days they’re seen as actual competitors. At the time, the company just had too many bodies in the women’s division, so it seemed like a smart idea to split them..The current division isn’t as large as it was 10 years ago, but they competition is much more stiff. In fact, I’d say this is the most skilled women’s division they’ve ever had. However, they still lack numbers, and because of this, the women’s division should remain on one show.
If they do choose to split the women up, would that mean another title get’s thrown into the mix? They really don’t have the numbers to support two separate titles. Also with all the emphasis they’ve put on the new Women’s Championship, it wouldn’t be wise to take the attention away from it.