On July 19th, the show currently known as Thursday Night SmackDown will be moved to Tuesday nights and become the WWE’s second live television show known as Tuesday Night SmackDown. And with the news of a live SmackDown show comes the news of the revival of the brand split. At some point in time a draft will be held and the current roster will be split between Raw and SmackDown. There have been many discussions about how WWE should divide the roster, what ideas the WWE should stick with, and which ones they should leave behind. However, one of the biggest pieces of information to come out is the potential return or establishment of another World Title.
In the earlier years of the Brand Split, the WWE made the decision to have the WWE Championship exclusive to SmackDown while Raw would have the World Heavyweight Championship. At the time, this made sense do to the massiveness of the roster and the huge star power throughout the company overall. However, with the current state of the product, two World Champions seem likes it would be another failure for the company in its attempts to create stars. However, there are several people who would love to see the WWE go back to the two-World Champion system.
And so, to argue both points of either bringing back/establishing a new World Title or keeping the one World Title they have now as the only belt, this article will be arguing seven points for two World Championships and seven points against to see whether this would be a benefit or a detriment to the company overall.
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15 Con - Potential of Two Money In The Bank Matches
It is possible to have too much of a good thing. While fans excited for the Money in the Bank match ever year, the match definitely lost its value during the initial brand split, as both shows had their own Money in the Bank match, making the event feel far less special. Imagine if there was another briefcase holder running around while Seth Rollins held the briefcase. Would his cash-in have been as successful? We heavily doubt it.
Now, it's not a certainty that the WWE will go back to having two Money in the Bank matches if they bring back a second world championship, but based on history, we'd be that they do. What we'd suggest, because we know everyone at WWE is reading this, is to have a single MITB match between brands, making it feel like the absolutely huge honor that it is.
14 Pro - More Merchandise
Money is always one of the biggest motivators for why any company does anything, so it’s best to get it out of the way early. Bringing back the Big Gold Belt or creating a new World Title would mean that WWE would have more merchandise for fans to buy and would ultimately mean more money in the pockets of the company. Each current title by WWE has multiple forms including the mini-replica made of plastic, the commemorative title made of some type of metal, and the exact replica which needs no explanation. With at least three new merchandise items and depending on who would be crowned the new World Champion, WWE would surely be able to get a couple thousand people to buy some of these titles. Whether they pick it up at big vendors like Target or Wal-Mart, order it online at th eWWE Shop, or buy them at local events, there will be money to be made with an extra world championship.
13 Con - Plenty of Title Belts Already for Sale
However, as far as reasons go, that one is definitely one of the weakest. The WWE does make a lot of money off of the title replicas they sell as several can be seen during live events. However, the titles aren’t all the current incarnation of the World Title; in fact, there are often multiple titles seen throughout the arena which only proves that another title isn’t really necessary. The people interested in buying replica belts already do and most likely won’t buy another one due to the price of the items. But even if price was no object, there are multiple different title belts already for sale online from plastic to exact replicas. And considering people's willingness to purchase the title depends on the design, that money would not be guaranteed if the belt design is disliked overall. No one can fault the WWE for trying to make as much money as possible, but with the plethora of titles they already have for sale, they might as well wait until a time when the WWE title needs a new look; not to create another one.
12 Pro - Shows Their Commitment to SmackDown
A great reason for another World Championship to come back would be that it would either be a brand new World Title or WWE would utilize one of their previous designs for it. Either way, this would provide the WWE an opportunity to do right by this new World Championship and not go back to the days of the World Heavyweight Championship opening up PPVs like a midcard championship. A brand new World Title would definitely be a fresh start for the newly important SmackDown and would help to show the WWE’s commitment to making SmackDown a more relevant show. Aside from going live on Tuesday nights, the WWE needs some reasons for people to watch SmackDown. And while a roster with significant star power could help to establish this, a World Title unique to the brand would make the show that much more interesting. A new title and a new World Champion would send a message that the brand split would be here to stay…hopefully.
11 Con - A Brand New Title Would Need to Be Built Up
On the other hand, having a new World Championship would still pose a problem because of the need to make it a relevant title. Similarly, to the revival of the World Heavyweight Championship for Monday Night Raw during the days of the original brand split, the title would need to be established by giving it to top stars and sustain itself with build up or some form of prestige. However, due to the clear difference in star power and interest from 2002, establishing the championship would be much harder than in previous years. In the early years, not only did huge Superstars like Triple H, Shawn Michaels, and Goldberg hold the title, but the championship would be closing out shows as big as WrestleMania. With the clear lack of star power, not only would prestige be a problem but main eventing big shows would probably be out of the question. Who would need to win the title in order for it to matter? John Cena? AJ Styles? Chris Jericho? Triple H? Seth Rollins? Who on the current roster could make that title matter? Or can anything really be done to make this new World Championship not feel like a mistake?
10 Pro - Elevating Midcarders
One of the biggest reasons why most people want the World Championship to come back would be because it would help to elevate midcarders into the main event stratosphere. Wrestlers who are stuck at a midcard level like Cesaro, Kevin Owens, and others would benefit from being able to compete for their own world title as opposed to only going after the WWE World Heavyweight Championship while Roman Reigns is in the middle of his push. Giving SmackDown its own World Championship would allow for WWE to continue their push of Reigns while other wrestlers could begin their pushes with different opponents because winning midcard titles only means so much nowadays. Kevin Owens has won the Intercontinental Championship multiple times, but with no title in sight at the moment or any other midcard championship, there seems to be no reason as to why he wouldn’t be pursuing a World Championship. And as stated earlier, the WWE clearly isn’t gonna disrupt The Shield push anytime soon, so creating a second World Title would provide them the opportunity to take the next step in their careers.
9 Con - Elevation is Dependent on Booking
While, in theory, the creation of a new World Championship would elevate some of the talents, the fact remains that this ideology of elevation ultimately depends on how the WWE books their wrestlers. Seth Rollins, for example, had a nice first title reign after his cash-in with a total of 220 days as the champion, but anyone who was watching his reign at the time knows it was far from prestigious or some form of elevation. He was often overexposed by appearing in every hour of the three-hour Raw, almost always needed some type of help to beat big names, and never really did anything memorable outside of his Money in the Bank cash-in at WrestleMania to the point where the ratings started to decline. After yesterday, it appears that they're ready to let him beat some big names, but we'll have to see how they book him going forward. On paper, it was nice to see him sustain a long reign as champion but if the quality of the reign isn’t there than it doesn’t really matter. And if they were willing to do that to one of their top heels, imagine what lackluster effort they would put into guys lower on the totem pole.
8 Pro - Adds to Brand Competition
If there was one thing that was lacking with the Brand Split after the first couple of years, it was a sense of competition. The WWE Championship and World Heavyweight Championship would trade off PPV main events early on, but as time went on only the WWE Championship would be deemed as main event worthy. With a serious focus on both belts this time, a two-World Championship system would help to add to the sense of competition between SmackDown and Raw as both brands would have their definitive leaders/faces. And if the brands are actually going to be separate for the long haul, then having two World Champions on separate shows could make some matches even more interesting when certain wrestlers cross paths for the first time. Imagine the possibilities with John Cena as one World Champion and Roman Reigns as the other or with Seth Rollins winning one World Title while AJ Styles wins the other. The possibilities would be interesting to say the least.
7 Con - One World Champion Produces the Same Results
Though it is a fair point that a two-World Championship system would make the brand competition better, the fact remains that the same goal could be accomplished with just one World Champion. In a previous article I wrote, there was a point made about the idea for the World Championship to float between the brands, but for the champion to be signed to a definitive roster. Using this system, the WWE can create a sense of competition by playing up a scenario in which the brand to whom the champion was drafted means more money or exposure for that brand. And as far as the matches go, with one World Champion and two rosters, the WWE would just have to stick to their guns the exact same way they would need to if there was only one World Champion. So long as the rosters don’t interact too often and the brands are kept as separate as possible, those big matches between the two brands can still be a big deal.
6 Pro - Lightens the Load
One of the most important reasons as to why having one than more World Champion would be good for the WWE is because it would lighten the load for the current champion. We’ve all heard wrestlers talk about the rigorous schedule that they embark when going on all of these tours and live television tapings, and the results of that were seen in full last year when almost all of WWE’s biggest stars were injured. To avoid the possibility of that happening again, especially to their World Champion, having two champions for two separate rosters would allow the WWE to do separate brand tours and give their bigger stars more time to heal and recover. This same logic could also apply to other wrestlers on the roster, but for the World Champion it would work the best because the worst thing that can happen is for the top stars to be out for months on end. Two champions lighten the load on each other and makes it easier and more efficient for everyone involved.
5 Con - Just Make the World Champion Attractions
The logic in lightening the load for the champion makes a lot of sense. After all, with all the dates and tours WWE does both internationally and domestically, it seems like a smart business move not to over work your top stars. However, wouldn’t an easier solution be to just make the champion more of an attraction? Looking at the way Roman Reigns was being utilized as champion is the perfect example. Reigns typically wouldn't fight until the PPV on TV and, if he did, it was no more than once or twice a month. Excluding his matches and appearances on tours and other WWE related events, that schedule is a great template for them to follow. It prevents people from resenting a champion for not appearing enough like Brock Lesnar, but gives the audience just enough of the champion to keep him topical and relevant. Plus, following this formula, this would allow the midcard champions to step up more and be given more time to develop good feuds and storylines on TV.
4 Pro - Gives SmackDown Identity
Without a shadow of a doubt, SmackDown has all but lost its identity over the years. From the Attitude Era to the Ruthless Aggression Era all the way to the current era, SmackDown has went from a dominant show to an afterthought no different than Superstars or Main Event. And while elevating midcarders and midcard championships is great, SmackDown having its own World Title would help to define the new identity for the show and make it matter even more. While star power, good writing, good booking, and good matches will all play an important role in making SmackDown must-see television, a new championship not only helps to show their commitment but would show the difference between the two brands. If the WWE is splitting their audience between casual viewers and hardcore wrestling fans, then giving SmackDown its own world title and having great technical wrestlers hold the belt would satisfy the needs of the hardcore fan base while establishing the importance of what will soon be called Tuesday Night SmackDown.
3 Con - Defeats the Purpose of Title Unification
A new championship would make SmackDown matter a lot more, but the fact remains that creating a new World Champion completely defeats the purpose of the title unification that took place years ago. Many people would cite the end of the brand split as the reason why the belts were unified and why a new brand split would warrant a new title once again. However, what would happen if this brand split isn’t a success and they have to go back to their current format. What purpose would there be in negating what was a huge deal at the time? From a long-term standpoint, this title’s lineage traces back to the earliest days of the WWE, but for continuity purposes, this title is still relatively new. And with only a handful of people being able to call themselves a former or current WWE World Heavyweight Champion, what would destroying one belt’s credibility just to create a second one really accomplish?
2 Pro - More World Champions
The biggest reason as to why there could be a reason to bring back or establish a new World Title is because it will help aid WWE in creating new stars. The earliest days of the Brand Split helped to either increase the star power of established wrestlers like Kurt Angle and Triple H and helped to create new ones in Brock Lesnar, Batista, John Cena, Edge, and others. Even today, all of the biggest stars in the company today have once held a World Championship. So by creating a new one or reviving an old championship, more champions are created and it could lead to an increase in stars for the WWE. And with more star power comes more money for the WWE to continue to grow and develop. It doesn’t happen all the time, but becoming a world champion can make you a bigger deal than just being a top midcarder especially in an age where fans believe the World Championship is some sign of respect.
1 Con - Not Everyone Should be a World Champion
A new World Title can mean that more stars and more World Champions are created, but should there be more World Champions is the million dollar question? In the past 10 years of the WWE, we’ve seen a good number of wrestlers go onto become big stars by becoming the World Champion, but there have been just as many who haven’t. Can anyone honestly say that Sheamus, The Miz, Dolph Ziggler, Jack Swagger, or Rey Mysterio’s drawing power really increased from their title reigns? Most of the people on this list fell right back into wherever they were on the card before a World Championship, which goes to show that the title reigns themselves don’t mean much. Shouldn’t “World Heavyweight Championship” be a title that is placed on some of the bigger stars of that period? If more wrestlers become world champions and the timing and booking isn’t right, then their title reign will be forgotten. There have been several big stars throughout WWE history have never won world titles such as Jake “The Snake” Roberts, Rowdy Roddy Piper, Mr. Perfect, and others. And if they became stars despite winning the title, then that ultimately drives the point home that the title doesn’t make the guy, but rather the guy makes the title.
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