Ryan: You know, he wouldn’t just be a body if there was a brand split, but that’s a conversation for another day.
Z: It would solve a good 75% of their problems, I just don’t see them swallowing their pride and saying they were wrong to get rid of the Brand Split in the first place.
Ryan: Then let’s book it!
Welcome to We Book Wrestling, where We Write Wrestling staff members get together and book wrestling. This edition is the Brand Split and was created due to a comment(which you saw above) I made when we were booking NXT Takeover: Dallas(which you can read here).
Editor-In-Chief of We Write Wrestling. He’s pulling his hair out trying to provide you all with the best content possible during WrestleMania week. He hopes he’s doing an okay job.
ZBestInTheWorld – Twitter
Z and Ryan go way back. He is the host of The Worked Wrestling Podcast with Trey Lee that drops new episodes pretty much whenever they feel like it(have time).
Trey Lee – Twitter
A teenage wrestling fan who has known both Ryan and Z around 2 years. Just like AJ Styles, he is a God fearing Christian. He was also at WrestleMania 30 and witnessed Undertaker’s streak end. Can we blame him for that? Yes, and we absolutely should.
General Brand Split Discussion
Ryan: YO Z!
Z: Yo Ryan!
Ryan: We’re here with another edition of We Book Wrestling, perfect for WrestleMania week seeing as we could get a brand split if Shane McMahon wins this Sunday, we’re here to discuss the brand split, if it’s a good idea, and how we’d book it. However, we’re not alone this time, we’re joined by Trey Lee, who, Trey were you watching wrestling when there was a brand split?
Trey: I was not. I started watching the night after WrestleMania 28, so the closest thing I had to a brand split was the titles split to the WWE and World Heavyweight Championships.
Z: Damn. He doesn’t know about the greatness Ryan. Not first hand anyway.
Ryan: Well, he could be here to create some greatness. Would a brand split help WWE right now?
Trey: I think so. It seems like both shows are really cluttered so a brand split could go a long way in organizing everyone, and it also could help build people up and create more organic and new storylines.
Ryan: I agree. Plus, we have all these injuries, these guys working half the schedule would do wonders.
Z: That, and it would make Smackdown relevant again. I’m sure Smackdown gets more views than most stuff on USA, but right now it’s just a re-run of Raw or random tag matches. You get Smackdown on its own, the big chunk of the roster that’s not doing anything can be a legit midcard, it’d be great
Ryan: Do you guys have any reasons how a brand split would be bad?
Trey: It could make PPVs/Network specials a little more boring. If you have just a SmackDown or Raw special, there’s going to be more pointless matches and jobber matches. That’s my only complaint.
Z: I feel pretty much the same. “Brand vs Brand Survivor Series” matches, “Brand vs Brand” based PPV’s like Bragging Rights, and Brand specific specials/PPV’s, such as a “Raw Only Special” and something of that sort are the only bad things I could see coming from a brand split.
Ryan: If they build big stars and have them separated, wouldn’t it be good for the occasional SmackDown vs Raw matches?
Z: You could definitely have mixed brand matches, I’m just saying, you don’t have to base a whole PPV around it
Ryan: I see your point. Alright then, how would you guys book the brand split?
Trey’s Version of the Brand Split
Trey: I would split the titles. Give whoever wins the Triple H/Reigns match the WWE Title on SmackDown, and then set up a tournament to decide the new World Heavyweight Championship for RAW. I would put Stephanie McMahon in charge of SmackDown and Shane in charge of Raw. I would also have the wrestlers be drafted via lottery picks (part timers aren’t drafted besides Brock), and set up a ranking system for each title to where the number one contender is obvious and deserved. I also would split the tag team titles and have two different sets of tag champions, one for each respective show. The rules for tag champs would be that if a tag team was together before the brand split and were separated in the draft, they could remain together if they were going after or obtained the tag titles. The teams would have to break up if they lost their titles or title opportunity. Trades could be made by both general managers, and if a superstar with a title gets traded, the title is vacated.
Ryan: Why is Brock drafted?
Z: Because he’s Brock fucking Lesnar, Ryan. I do have one reason why Brock shouldn’t be drafted though
Trey: Why is that?
Z: Well like we just said, he’s Brock fucking Lesnar, he does what he wants, when he wants, and goes on whatever show he wants.
Trey: Fair point, but if you have exceptions to the rules like that, it starts becoming harder to book because you have John Cena running around doing what he wants and eventually he will want to move shows cause he feels like it.
Ryan: My question hasn’t been answered. Why is Lesnar drafted?
Trey: Because he’s around more than most part timers and, like with everyone during the brand split, it would mean more to only see him on one particular show.
Ryan: So then guys like Undertaker can run around to whatever show he wants.
Trey: He’s only around one season a year. Brock is around more than him.
Ryan: Time matters?
Z: I say guys like Taker and Brock shouldn’t be drafted at all. They should be able to be on whatever show they want, whether it be that they have a problem with someone or it be they want a world title
Ryan: Trey, your point is to keep guys from bouncing around whatever shows they want if they aren’t drafted. Sure, Undertaker’s only around for about 3 months, but he can still jump around if he wants, shattering your point.
Trey: All I am saying is why waste a draft pick on someone who is only there for a short amount of time compared to guys that are there more than him.
Ryan: All I’m saying is why waste a draft pick on Brock Lesnar when he’s a part timer as well?
Z: If it’s only Taker and Brock and guys of that nature jumping around, it’s not a big deal. The point of the split should be for people that are here on a constant basis. They’re special cases, so them jumping doesn’t really matter
Ryan: Trey, my problem with drafting Brock and not the other part timers is that the draft is separating people, but you’re saying since Brock is around more than others, he’s drafted, but why aren’t others? You’re not okay with Brock jumping around, but okay with all the others doing it? Basing drafting Brock because he’s around longer than other part timers isn’t really a strong reason due to why you’re doing the brand split in the first place.
Trey: Who are the other part timers besides Taker who you would draft? Triple H? Nope, he’s running NXT and off TV after Mania. I can’t think of anyone else.
Ryan: I’m just wondering why Brock is being restricted and the other part timers aren’t. Yes, there aren’t many part timers, but that confuses me more because the one or two part timers have freedom to go to whatever show they want, but Brock can’t?
Trey: You could book it in storyline to where Brock pisses either Shane, Stephanie, or both to where he loses his privilege to do that, or Heyman could run his mouth, etc. They can move whoever they want to whichever show they want via trade.
Ryan: But that’s kayfabe, I’m looking for the shoot reason as to why you’re doing it, not how you’ll do it.
Trey: To book a strong show. If I have Brock Lesnar on one show, it draws attention to it. There’s always a looming possibility that he could show up. You could also center a show around him as a champion or challenger while he is there. He actually has been on TV more times that not since he announced his new contract.
Ryan: He’s a part timer though. Why can’t you do that with the others?
Trey: I guess you could, but, again like I said, who else is there to do it with?
Ryan: Alright, I don’t get why it’s just Brock, but alright.
Z’s Version of the Brand Split
Z: Well, I’d have Shane win at Mania, he controls Raw, Vince or Stephanie control Smackdown, that doesn’t matter too much. I’d split up the titles, WWE for RAW, WHC for Smackdown. But, I would redesign the WWE title, not sure why. The design just bothers me. I would do how Trey did for the WHC, have a good, strong roster for Smackdown and have a tournament filled with a few main eventers, but mostly upper mid carders. I wouldn’t split up the tag belts though. Those would be defended on both brands, so we just have one big tag division. However, for the first time ever, I would have the WWE Trios Championship. These too could be defended on either show, and we’d have a tournament based Network Special to crown your new champs. I would merge the US and IC titles, keeping only the IC title, and instead bring in a Cruiserweight title. Have IC dedicated to one show, CW dedicated to the other show. Something you could do with that is make the Global Cruiserweight Series for the Cruiserweight title, the champion would have a bye to the 2nd round of the tournament, sort of like PWG and the DDT4
Trey: That sounds good. You have a more open brand split compared to mine. Ryan, what do you think?
Ryan: I like the changes to the championships, makes the brand split even more special. I also like how the tag division exists on all shows and not just one. If you brought up the Trios title to me a couple months ago, I would say it wouldn’t work, but seeing what New Japan has been doing, a Trios title could be really fun in WWE. I also like how the Cruiserweight series is for that champions, however I’m not familiar with the “bye” concept for DDT4, how does that work?
Z: The champions are in the tournament. They either win the tournament and retain the titles or if they lose and new champs are crowned. In my version, the Cruiserweight champ wouldn’t have to wrestle round one and would automatically be in round two, gotta make it some what evened out. As for the Trios Titles, watch some of the stuff that Lucha Underground does with their trios titles, it’s a really creative, fun concept.
Ryan: That’s what I thought it is, I like it. I don’t have many problems with your booking, seems like it can be great.
Z: Ryan, how would you book the split? Would it be drastically different from mine and Trey’s versions or about the same?
Ryan’s Version of the Bran Split
Ryan: I would have Shane McMahon beat Undertaker to set up the brand split. The draft would happen the next week after WrestleMania and would be between Shane and Vince, it wouldn’t be a lottery. It’d take place on both Raw and SmackDown of that week. Half on each, obviously.
I’d keep the WWE title on Raw and after the draft, Vince says he need a top guy if he’s going to beat Shane’s brand, so he brings back the World Heavyweight title. Unlike you Z, I’d keep both the United States and Intercontinental titles and have the IC title on Raw and the U.S on SmackDown, at least not right when the split happens. I will explain that further in a moment.
The tag division would be one, everyone on a team would be able to be on both shows, but if that happens, those people would not be allowed to participate in singles action. So these wrestlers would be able to be on both shows, but they’re restricted while doing so, so the split doesn’t feel like it doesn’t matter. I’d also do this so we don’t have a bunch of bullshit tag teams, only the ones that we have a vision for are in a tag team.
I’d also have gimmicks for both the IC and U.S titles. For the United States, we’ll have the Open Challenge. Since we have the split, we’ll be pushing more guys so the midcard would be good to do this and this gimmick would give SmackDown a must-watch feel because the championship can be changed at any time. As for Intercontinental, I’d have the championship defended during any match the champion is in. It’s not really an Open challenge and such, but it’s a little similar and different at the same time. I mean any time the champion is in a match, if they are pinned or submitted, they lose the title. Even in a 6-Man match, whoever pins the champion will get the championship. These gimmicks will continue for about a year or so until the next WrestleMania when the two champions are pitted against each other to unify the championship. When that happens, that title will be won by the Intercontinental champion and that title will be on Raw. No more midcard championship for SmackDown because that’s a two hour show and we’ll use that for building the World title feud at the time, the tag team division, then the rest of the show are matches between wrestlers who are trying to become the World Heavyweight champion. Raw is 3 hours so it doesn’t need a midcard title. As for inter-promotional matches, they’d be rare such as only happening at Royal Rumble and various other times such as the occasional Survivor Series match. As for superstars moving shows, trades will happen and such once in a while, but most of it will happen around WrestleMania season.. sometimes. Sometimes we’d do a cross promotional match so we’ll have say a Raw guy come and attack a SmackDown guy or something or maybe a SmackDown guy gets thrown out of the Rumble by a Raw guy and wants revenge, etc.
As for draft participants, anyone who is a full time roster member will be drafted, meaning no part timers are drafted, no Trey, not even Brock Lesnar, this just leads to more unpredictability as they can show up on whatever show they want, even both when they come around.
Trey: I like the stipulations you put on the U.S. and IC championships. Adds a little more substance to the matches with the champs
Z: I really like the IC Title concept. Its one thing to win the title, its another to hold on to it, as any time you get pinned or tap out, you lose your belt. I disagree with keeping Raw three hours though. If you want the shows to feel equal, you cant have one be longer than the other, you know?
Ryan: Oh I agree, I’m just going with 3 hour Raw because it’s not exactly WWE who chose 3 hours.
Z: Yeah, I get what you mean.
Trey: Going back to the IC Title gimmick you proposed, I think it would make WWE book stronger champions and not job them out like they usually do with there champions. Champs won’t be chumps anymore. Unless you have a transitional champion, which would be easier to have if you had the IC champ always defend.
Z: Exactly. That would also save time if you have a transitional champ. You could get the job done in just one or two matches rather than 3 or 4
How would you book the brand split? Let us know in the comments below!