As WWE ushers in The New Era of their product, it is also time for them to develop the dynamic of the Shane and Stephanie era. After this year's WrestleMania, Shane and Stephanie were both put in control of Monday Night Raw by Vince McMahon himself.
They have been sharing most of their television time and have seemingly been arriving at partisan decisions, with conflict consisting of a few light hearted jabs at one another. While this has been a fun couple of months and an interesting change from the days of The Authority, this couple of power siblings will soon run its course, if it hasn't started to already.
In recent WWE news, it has been announced that there will soon be a return to the brand split, with Raw and SmackDown having their own respective rosters once again. This has raised many questions about the future of not only both television shows, but Shane and Stephanie's involvement as well.
On a recent edition of Raw, Shane and Stephanie were involved in a segment with New Day. The New Day were concerned about their future as a group together and also wondered who would be in charge of what show. Stephanie assured the team that this was a work in progress and they really haven't tackled those questions yet. This is reflective of the questions wrestling fans are asking on Twitter and Facebook, as no one has any good indication of what the future holds.
WWE also aired a vignette about how this new brand split has blown up across the internet. As they always say, anything is possible in the WWE, but we won't know what's going to unfold until it happens. Until then, let's discuss some possible booking scenarios that could unfold involving Shane and Stephanie. Remember, some are more possible than others, but you never know what may happen.
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12 Draft Separation
A likely scenario, although not as ground breaking as some ideas floating out there, is that one McMahon sibling will be appointed to run Raw and the other to run SmackDown. Separating the two entirely would establish more discrepancy between the shows. Halting any interaction between Steph and Shane on television would be a key element if WWE was truly trying to separate the two brands as much as possible.
11 Control Of Both Shows
It's a possibility that Stephanie and Shane could both continue to control Raw, while also controlling the SmackDown brand. This could have the potential to be interesting as it creates a common link between the two shows, which is likely a dead give away that there will be cross promotional matches or events. Perhaps it would be more interesting to separate them and save the cross promotional aspect for down the road. Although, there's still a great deal to be considered concerning this scenario.
10 Triple H Returns
Who knows what Triple H's involvement will be as this story moves forward. It's assumed that Triple H won't be appearing as a television authority figure, as he's doing work with NXT and talent acquisition. Don't count The Game out just yet, though. As he's proven in the past, he can be an influential entity both on and off screen. Hunter could rise to power and run a show on his own. Perhaps WWE would be so bold as to have Triple H struggle against his own wife and brother-in-law for power. He remains the consummate wild card, as his involvement can really help to steer this feud even further.
9 Goodbye Shane
No one in the online world of wrestling reporting has said for certain that Shane's presence will be long-term. There's the possibility that WWE may find a way to pit the McMahon's against one another once again. Maybe in the ultimate act of heat garnering, Stephanie uses some under-handed method to remove Shane from the picture completely. When more is revealed about Shane's future, the more we may be able to accurately predict the future of Raw and SmackDown.
8 Triple H Takes On-Screen NXT Control
While it's almost certain that WWE is going to keep NXT as a completely separate entity from Raw and SmackDown, we can't be sure. In reference to our 10th entry, maybe Shane inherits Raw, Stephanie takes SmackDown, and Hunter establishes himself as an NXT only guy, given his hands on work with the show. It's unlikely that there will be any major moves in the area of how all of this will affect NXT, but we can't count it out.
Since the separate rosters will still be strong but perhaps not quite as strong, maybe each show could have a weekly NXT showcase. One thing we can hope for is that NXT remains unscathed by anything that may happen.
7 Someone Else
It's possible that Stephanie and/or Shane stay in control of Raw and are tasked with electing someone for the SmackDown job. It could be someone we've seen in power before, like Vickie Guererro or Teddy Long. Or it could possibly be someone we've never seen in an authority position like Daniel Bryan perhaps. It's even possible that we have new authority figures all around. WWE could stand to drift away from McMahon's as power figures on television, but I wouldn't bet on it.
6 The Draft Lottery
It hasn't been confirmed yet that a draft will be the method of Superstar selection for each show. In the instance that Shane and Stephanie each get their own show, how will the rosters be determined? A draft is always exciting and is the most likely method, but as Stephanie and Shane said on Raw, they haven't gotten that far and this is a work in progress. Perhaps a series of matches of some sort to decide who goes where, leaving Superstars to do various things to go to a more favorable show or stay on Raw. Steph and Shane could have a great conflict about who gets who, which could make for interesting television.
5 Team Shane vs Team Steph
As we've seen before in WWE, sometimes authority figures like to assemble teams to battle one another, with the winners getting their share of some sort of authority. If one McMahon has to make an exodus from television, this would be a good way to decide who gets to stay in power. This potential match could stem from a number of circumstances, but would likely occur after any brand splitting is done. Look for Survivor Series in Toronto this year to be highlighted by this type of encounter.
4 SmackDown vs RAW Invasion Angle
In the likely scenario that Shane and Stephanie get a show a piece, WWE could potentially be quick to pull the trigger to start a SmackDown vs Raw angle again. It would probably be an ill advised move to do right away, as people wanting a brand split would feel like nothing changed. This is something that mighr be fun, but is best saved for later. Much, much later.
3 World Heavyweight Championship
Here's a fun think piece for you guys. If the brands split, what is the future of the WWE World Heavyweight Championship? Will it be a title shared between two shows, with each brand trying to bring it home at all costs? Will they create a new or secondary main championship for SmackDown? How will the new champion be crowned? Regardless of how it happens, there is much to think about and look forward to concerning the World Championship. For that matter, we must mention the Tag Team Championships. Would the be shared between shows? WWE's tag-team depth, although improved, still leaves a little to be desired.
Maybe that's what they were teasing when the New Day was worried about being split up as a team, that tag team wrestling would be cross promotions and that he siblings would need to fight for their attention.
2 Invasion Angles Involving NXT
After the dreadful Alliance Invasion following WWE's acquisition of WCW and the somewhat more effective, but still not masterful Nexus invasion, is it possible that WWE has another future invasion angle up their sleeve somewhere? If Shane and Steph, whether together or separate, wanted to cause the other some trouble they could invade the others show, sure.
However, we could see a less predictable invasion angle on one show or another with NXT also being involved. However, instead of one McMahon declaring war on the other, perhaps it would be more of a silent invasion, only to reveal later that one sibling was secretly trying to sabotage the other.
Invasion angles are fun if done right and some sort of secret invasion would be something new and interesting for WWE fans, especially with an NXT involvement of some sorts.
1 Vince Returns
One thing that's almost certain is that Vince will have an on-screen hand in the fate of WWE's political power system. Vince might task Shane and/or Steph with working together to make SmackDown an equal counterpart to Raw. With SmackDown moving to an earlier night in the week, Tuesday, and going live, it's important that it no longer be viewed as a "B show." Vince himself, Triple H, or a new figure could stay and man Raw (Although we should avoid any anonymous General Managers).
Regardless of what happens, it will be interesting to see Vince's role in all of this. A live SmackDown creates a new dynamic for the show, so it almost seems elementary that efforts to make it better will need to be implemented.
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