Separation is often a scary thing which can lead to anxious feelings and distorted thoughts. The first steps away from home and separation from one's parents can cause great distress for a young person living within the ever-wicked world. This person must learn to cope with the "real world" and suffer the fate of being an adult.
What happens out there away from the comforts of home can turn the innocent into something evil in an instant. The restrictions and regulations that come along with Mom and Dad's abode no longer apply. The rules are subject to change as the young react to their new-found reckless freedom. This is all considered to be a "rite of passage."
Of course, in the Peter Pan Age, leaving home has become less desirable as times and attitudes have changed. There is a vast collection of knowledge disposable to the modern youth and no longer must they leave home in search of some dated everyman dream. Mediocrity is not a must.
The biggest problem facing The Generation that Can Change the World is that they won't change anything. Why? Even though the world is at their fingertips, said fingertips are more concerned with updating, posting, swiping, and liking. Separation from the social media melee ... this is their biggest fear.
Where is a good place for separation to occur? Perhaps in the world of professional wrestling where WWE once split their entire roster in half, creating two individual brands with two entirely different feelings. The original Brand Extension happened back in 2002 with a draft between Ric Flair (Raw) and Vince McMahon (SmackDown).
With the recent return of Shane McMahon, there has been much speculation in regards to another Brand Extension; with the idea being Shane would run one show while Stephanie McMahon and Triple H ran the other. While this worked in the past, could it possibly work again? The short answer is no as today's product is not equipped for such a move.
These are the top 12 reasons a WWE brand split would be a bad idea:
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12 Repeating History
There is a proven concept that one cannot repeat the past. When WWE decided to resurrect ECW a decade ago, it would prove a colossal failure. Why? Because they could not recapture the magic of the original brand.
Such is the case with a brand split. When this first occurred, it was new, interesting, and provided WWE with the feeling of a war within the company. Essentially, breaking up the roster at this point would be a bad attempt at repeating history.
Where do you find real wrestling in WWE nowadays? Down in NXT. When the brands were originally separated, Raw served as more of the "soap opera" show while SmackDown was providing the "wrestling" aspect.
This would need to happen again. However, with the red-hot-action of NXT, the die-hard fans (those who want wrestling) simply would not buy into the rehashed concept. Raw and SmackDown are Entertainment, NXT is Wrestling.
10 Spreading the Roster Thin
Hypothetically, WWE cold bring up a number of NXT talent to help with a brand split but many of these wrestlers have been labelled with the "non-WWE type" tag and wish not to suffer the same fate of Tyler Breeze.
With the main roster in its current state, breaking up the guys and gals would spread the locker room too thin. The original brand extension was made possible by an influx of talent following the purchase of WCW.
9 Vince McMahon
It is now painfully obvious that Vince McMahon is damn near out of his mind and no longer understands his audience or the product his company produces. If a brand split occurred once again, McMahon would ruin any opportunity to make it matter.
Who would serve as top dog on SmackDown? Braun Strowman? If this were the case, WWE could bid adieu to its SmackDown audience. Vince McMahon would not know how to make one show stand out from the other.
8 Creative Team
Where have all the great WWE storylines gone? Sitting through an entire month of WWE programming, one will take notice that the once intriguing angles which kept fans on the edge of their seats are a thing of the past.
The WWE Creative Team have certainly arrived in some stagnant place. During the early days of the brand extension, Paul Heyman served as Head Writer of SmackDown; making the show even more exciting that Raw. Who will accomplish this now?
7 Commitment Level
Something that has taken place far too often in recent years has been the scraping of ideas before they are allowed to flourish. There were once "big plans" for guys like Dolph Ziggler and Wade Barrett but WWE gave up on those plans.
One of the biggest problems nowadays is the lack of commitment level. The company is too quick to give up on something that has was never really given a chance to walk. Should a brand spilt seem slow, WWE would quit quickly on the split.
6 Interest Levels
Ask any WWE official and you will hear: "everything is fine within the company." However, take a good look: the product is hurting and is no longer evolving the way a promotion should. Hence, people have lost interest.
Would WWE be able to entice their audience to tune in to both Raw and SmackDown? No. They can barely do it now with everybody eligible to compete and appear on both programs. The interest levels are way down.
5 Secondary Titles
As soon as John Cena lost the United States Championship, the title once again fell into a familiar place of obscurity. The Intercontinental Championship is holding its own but has also seen better days (The IC Champ was once regarded as the #1 Contender).
One of these titles would need to serve a strong purpose on SmackDown but with the way they have been presented, it would be difficult to provided either belt with that much of a "high-purpose" value on the brand.
4 Primary Titles
In the event of a brand split, would each show once again have its own Major Championship or would the WWE World Heavyweight Champion serve on both programs akin to the original split?
The problem is that Raw would obviously function as the "A Program" while SmackDown would always sit in second as the "B Show" causing SmackDown challengers to the main title not seem like formidable opponents.
3 Raw is Sub-Par at Best
Monday Night Raw is known as the WWE's "flagship program." However, in recent years, the show has not exactly lived up to that title. Raw is somewhere in-between good and God awful and three hours is unnecessary.
WWE will always cater to Raw before SmackDown and a brand split will favor Raw while SmackDown suffers through a "what's left of the roster" situation. Raw needs to matter once again and currently that requires the efforts of everybody.
2 SmackDown Rebuild
Currently, WWE is attempting to make its SmackDown program more appealing. With a change at the announce table, appearances from Brock Lesnar, and Monday-night-type segments taking place on Thursday, there is a valiant effort taking place.
However, it would appear as though it is too little too late. SmackDown has been irrelevant for so long now that fans will refuse to view it as a "must-watch" program. Hell, even Monday Night Raw is no longer "must-see" television.
1 Lack of Star Power
If we can look back at the WWE Draft of 2002 and the top-four draft selections, we had: The Rock, The Undertaker, Kurt Angle, nWo as a whole (Kevin Nash, Scott Hall, and X-Pac). Notice the star power?
What would happen now? John Cena seems like the obvious top choice, even though he is injured. This would be followed by the likes of Seth Rollins (injured), Dean Ambrose, and Roman Reigns.
While this is certainly a strong cast, they are not quite in the same league as the class of 2002 (with the exception of Cena). The options of drafting Brock Lesnar, Chris Jericho, and The Undertaker remain but what's the point of selecting part-time performers?
This new brand split would require more star power in order to stand a fighting chance.
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