While there's been no official announcement yet, things are changing rapidly in WWE. It is speculated that Vince McMahon's wrestling promotion will announce two new TV deals— one with NBCUniversal to keep Raw on the USA Network and another with Fox to move SmackDown Live to Fridays on a new network. Both deals are massively lucrative and set to make the WWE in excess of $400 million per year.
There is also speculation that WWE might be extending WrestleMania 35 in time by almost an hour, the company will be heading back to Saudi Arabia at the end of the year and the company might be avoiding releasing talent to keep them away from independent promotions and shows like Cody Rhodes' All In.
If all this is true, WWE is going to be hanging onto a lot of WWE roster talent.
The success of these new TV deals sparked rumors that Fox will want to add another WWE show. Yet, with longer pay-per-views and more international travel, could there be room for another brand? One that will ease the load of the current roster and allow WWE to fill in gaps they are creating with these new changes?
Here are a few things that could happen if WWE adds another brand to the mix.
It's logical to assume that if another brand is introduced to the company, NXT will be the immediate benefactor. The brand is already popular and almost exclusively airs on WWE Network. If another tv deal could be worked out—one that might add another show to FS1 on Fox—this would create a platform to move NXT to cable TV and allow it to expand an already captive audience.
Hopefully, it would also mean that WWE wouldn't change the formula for what makes the show work. It would be a shame if NXT changed just to appeal to a bigger group of viewers. It should stay at Full Sail University, keep the smaller live crowds (except when it tours) and maintain that intimate fan to wrestler relationship. That's one of the things that makes the show so great.
This would be a huge platform for guys like Ricochet, The Undisputed Era, and Aleister Black who may not be so quick to jump to the main roster. It would also mean a bigger payday.
If another brand is introduced to take the place of NXT which is likely to get a bump up, that brand would need to offer something unique. Would WWE look at making a show out of its UK roster? Or, perhaps focus on other international talents? Would they put more emphasis on 205 Live? What about a women's only show?
The WWE Universe is already being asked to watch a lot of WWE programming between Raw, SmackDown Live, NXT, 205 Live, their original shows on WWE Network and their weekend recaps like Superstars and Main Event. If the company adds something else, it needs to be unlike anything they currently offer. Still wrestling, but a unique experience.
Another brand might mean opening the door to reviving a show or brands like WCW Nitro or ECW. There have been rumors circulating in the past that WWE might consider something like this and they have revived WCW pay-per-views, not to mention, there are likely some names backstage who would like to see it happen. Could this be the opening the company needs?
Clearly, it would be hard to bring back names from the past. But, WWE could offer someone like Sting as the commissioner or Goldberg to kick off the show, while Ric Flair, Hulk Hogan, the NWO and others make appearances. Try to mix new talent who get introduced to viewers by the old talent and you might have an audience willing to check it out just to see what the brand is all about.
Would another brand create the need to not only find extra talent but remove some of the existing competition? Fans would go crazy if WWE bought up a promotion like Ring of Honor and kept a huge portion of the talent pool. It's not as crazy as it sounds.
WWE is having a huge year financially so they could afford to pay whatever it took. They'd be buying the video library, the merchandising and copyrights, the talent contracts and more which would be a huge opportunity for additional revenue beyond just another TV program. And, because ROH has a hardcore audience, WWE would have a guaranteed viewership upon their first broadcast.