Monday, April 12, 2010

Guest Post - End the Brand Extension?

This is a guest post from Rich, the creator of the wrestling news site, The Superplex, http://www.thesuperplex.com/. Feel free to follow the site on twitter at @thesuperplex.

Being an old school wrestling fan the Brand Extension has always been a bit of a conflict for me. When it was first introduced by Vince McMahon I wasn't sure really how to think about this new concept. On the one hand, WWE had just acquired a second roster and it was clear they were still adjusting to being the only game in town. Honestly, this was the best way to handle such a large amount of talent. As the time went on the two seperate brands of the WWE started to form and it really felt like we were watching two seperate companies working under one roof. This provided for some good television and great "dream" matches. Take Goldberg vs. Lesnar as one example. Despite it's letdown it was a match all of the smart marks were salvitating to see. New wrestlers were given the time to shine... whether they ready for it or not.

That was then and this is now. We are in a world where the brand extension is merely a gimmick. No more is it a huge deal that a wrestler has shown up on Smackdown or RAW. Compare HHH's draft pick to Smackdown to today and things are far more common. HHH shows up on Smackdown and there is not the same amount of excitement. The line between RAW and Smackdown is now blurred and at times it can be tough to even know who is on what roster.

Besides this we now have championships that have no real meaning anymore. Though I will say the title scene in the WWE is much more simpler than the days when WCW first sprang up in it's own poor attempt at an invasion. This doesn't take away from the fact that having multiple World Champions lessens the credibility of both titles. You can't win the WWE title? Why not try for the World's title. It worked for Jack Swagger and I'm sure it will work for you! This carries over to many of the lesser titles such the the US/IC and Diva/Woman's title. Why should I care about one title when there is another just like it. I can now care less about who is champion on either spectrum because i can just focus on the other. Sure it adds choices but it also allows the WWE to lose focus. Gladly, the Tag Team Titles have been merged into one set.

This brings up the dwindling Tag Team divison. I yearn for the days when Tag Teams had value and were featured on a prominent spot in the card. Today, we would be lucky to be able to count the number of real tag teams on one hand. It's sad to see teams in such a sad shape when we've had such successful tag teams in the past. We are now in an age where tag teams are formed within a split second and then are broken just as fast. What do you when you have two singles competitors with no storyline? Put them in a team and hope the idea sticks.

After these points I just don't see the value in keeping the split rosters. There is no full potential being reached today. Would we really lose focus on some superstars? No. Just because John Cena and HHH can appear twice a week it doesn't mean they have to be given 90% of the spotlight all week. I know it's hard to remember a time when the WWE actually worked under a full large roster but it can be done again. All it takes is smart booking and creative use of it's superstars.


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