Making A Case: Why WWE Needs To Keep The Brand Extension


Ever since Roman Reigns unified the WWE and Universal Championships at WrestleMania to become the Undisputed WWE Universal Champion, rumors have been going around that we are going to see the end of the brand split.

Over the many years of WWE history, the company has only split the roster twice. The first brand extension took place in 2002 after WWE acquired talents from WCW and ECW and packed their roster to the limits. At the time, the company decided to take their two main television shows, Raw and SmackDown, and turn them into respective brands. The initial brand slit lasted nine years before coming to an end in 2011. The roster was merged back together but that wouldn’t last long. Five years later in 2016, the company announced the return of the brand extension and announced only the second full roster draft after the first in 2002.

As a fan of the WWE, the brand extension has always made things more exciting in my opinion. It made shows like Survivor Series more exciting since you were going to be able to see superstars wrestle each other from different brands that you wouldn’t normally see. It can create anticipation for the Royal Rumble with members of both brands fighting to get a spot on their brand’s side of the match. The draft lottery always causes excitement and hype to see who could possibly be moving to a different brand. There are multiple benefits to having a brand extension besides the obvious answer of giving more superstars an opportunity to shine.

However, it seems that the WWE may be thinking of doing away with the brand split again after six years. The rumors started circulating when it was announced that then WWE Champion Brock Lesnar and the Universal Champion Roman Reigns would fight at WrestleMania 38 with both world championships on the line. Roman went on to beat Brock and become the Undisputed WWE Universal Champion. At the same time, he solidified himself as the top dog on both Raw and SmackDown. Despite that, the brand extension didn’t seem to be in that much trouble just yet. However, Roman would make sure that the extension was soon in jeopardy.

After becoming the champion of both brands, Roman set his sights on his cousins doing the same exact thing. He sent Jimmy and Jey Uso to Raw to go after RK-Bro and bring the Raw Tag Team Championships to The Bloodline. After a few weeks of making the match and then canceling it for a six-man tag team match, RK-Bro and The Uso’s finally collided with the Raw and SmackDown Tag Team Championships on the line. Following in the steps of “The Tribal Chief,” The Uso’s brought both tag titles to The Bloodline and took the WWE seemingly took another step toward ending the brand split.

Besides the currently vacated Women’s Tag Team Championships and the 24/7 Championship that float between the brands, there are only four championships that are keeping the brands separated at this point. Even with that said, we have seen the new SmackDown Women’s Champion Liv Morgan on Raw teaming up with the Raw Women’s Champion Bianca Belair. While it made sense for Liv to get to say goodbye to the brand she was on, we also saw the Intercontinental Champion Gunther from SmackDown competing on Raw with little explanation.

The fine line of the brand split has been walked over for years. We have heard excuses from the company to explain for superstars showing up on different brands. However, the brand extension hasn’t quite seemed this much in danger. With two more simple unification matches and we could see the end of the brand extension. That becomes a threatening reality when knowing that Survivor Series is coming right around the corner. The past few years have had the show booked about champion versus champion matches. This year, those champion versus champion matches could end up being where the winner takes all.

This could be the end of the brand extension. We could see both brands come back together but I personally believe that it isn’t the right time to do that. Both brands are still stacked full of talent who are being overlooked despite multiple releases from the company. There are still plenty of people looking to find an opportunity to shine. If we bring the roster together, even more people are going to be lost in the shuffle. While some people are against companies having multiple champions, it simply gives more chances for stars to shine.

While I can see the argument for one world champion and women’s champion, we still need a brand split and two mid-card and two tag team titles. Although, I would personally have two world and women’s champions as well. Back in the early days of the brand extension, Raw and SmackDown felt like two true rivals and tried to outdo each other each and every week. While it may be tempting for the company to bring the roster fully together to rival All Elite Wrestling but there is an argument for them to have a brand extension as well. I truly believe that having an outlet for more stars to shine is the right decision.

There are too many talented stars that have been overlooked throughout history. Even those that made a big name for themselves didn’t mean they would win championships, let alone the world championship. Stars like Roddy Piper, Scott Hall, and Owen Hart just to name a few never won the world championship when they were in the company. If there would have been a brand extension back in their day, they would have had a much better chance of being world champions instead of us being left with all of these “What If” scenarios. In my conclusion, the brand split has been used to create careers as the full roster has been known to have them forgotten.

Related Story. Making A Case: Why WWE Should Sign Marshall And Ross Von Erich. light