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I've been thinking about this a lot and I'm getting really bored of the RAW/Smackdown! brand split as it stands right now. In my opinion, they need to make some serious adjustments to the format of the split, or end it all together. Sorry about the length of this post but I want to try explain it really well so you can understand the vision that is in my head and see the positives that I see.

What I don't like about the two shows is that they are too much alike and they are never trying to one-up the other. It doesn't have the same feeling that the Monday Night Wars had. I know WWE isn't really trying to portray that angle right now, but they should!

What made the Monday Night Wars so good was that we knew it was Vince vs. Ted/Eric, and real money and survival was on the line. The whole format and production of each show was totally different from the sets, the pyro, the lighting, camera angles, promos, match styles, championships, etc. We had two huge wrestling shows that were different from each other in every way, and both equally financed. The reason we would watch is to compare how each show was being run and make up our minds about what we like/dislike about each company.

With RAW and Smackdown!, the shows are essentially the same. The only differences are as follows: red/blue and the different talent. Now one could argue that we have a huge contrast in production between WWE and TNA and that we have the ability/privilege to compare the two, but it's just not the same. TNA has a much smaller budget than WWE. They are not evenly matched in the way that WCW and WWE were, as well as the way Smackdown! and RAW are right now.

But back to the main point. I would basically like to see RAW and Smackdown! be 100% different from each other in every way. I want to have the illusion that the people running these shows (managers, writers, etc.) are under pressure to beat the other show in every aspect. So this is how I would propose doing things if I was Vince:

Take the General Manager position and make it a legit position in the company. Assign a GM or President for each show that is legitimately running the show behind the scenes and calling all the shots on everything. Vince will still be the overall filter, but other than that, that individual is in control of the writers, the production, everything. Vince can hold a press conference announcing the change in format and state that there is a huge annual bonus for the GM and his/her staff for producing the show that creates the best results (ratings, PPV buys, etc.) Now the people making the show have more motivation than ever to give us a quality product.

The next step is to take Smackdown! and make it 100% different than RAW, and vice/versa. Give the GM free reign to make as many changes as they wish, as long as they are all approved by Vince of course. I would encourage them to change everything from the colour/size of the ring, the announce table, promo formats, title belts, anything they wish. Make us feel like it's a totally different company calling the shots.

Now we are left with two shows that are equally funded, two separate staff teams that are hungry to be the best, and a huge contrast between the two programs. I think it would also be great if WWE did a one-time "WWE Confidential" type show to give us look into the lives of the GM and the staff to see how they work to put on a better show than the competition. Essentially, we will now be cheering on the GM and the writers and it would be good for the fans to make a personal connection with them, in the same way that we had a personal connection to Eric Bischoff and Vince McMahon.

I would start this all up in a legitimate draft after Wrestlemania. Both GM's will bid on what show they want to run and will ACTUALLY pick the talent that they want. They could pick their top 10 picks on RAW and then do the rest behind the scenes and let us follow the progress over the Internet. This would be a good thing because whoever the GM picks to be the main eventers on their roster, they obviously have plans and reason for picking them and would feel like they could put on the best shows using those superstars specifically. I also feel like this should be the one time when Vince has no final say. Just let the two managers build their own rosters as they see fit. I also don't think it would be a bad thing if Vince was allowed to see who each GM was interested in and offer his consultation.

After all the superstars, announcers, referees, etc. are drafted, there should also be some trading negotiations between the two GM's. After all is said and done, there will never be a draft again. It would have never happened when WWF and WCW were two separate companies, and that is what we are going for. We want certain guys to be trademarks of RAW and others to be trademarks of Smackdown! for years at a time. This way, if things aren't working out for a superstar on one particular show, they can switch to the other brand and work with a whole new management staff and roster. It would be like totally switching companies, with the exception that they still work under Vince overall. When a wrestler's contract is up, or one of the GM's has nothing left for a wrestler, creatively, the other GM can approach that wrestler and offer them a spot on their roster. Same way it works in the real world between two separate companies.

With all this being said, Smackdown! wrestlers showing up on RAW would almost never happen. If I was the RAW GM, I wouldn't want my talent going on Smackdown! and boosting their ratings, and vice/versa. I would propose that for once a year, they do a "Bragging Rights" type PPV and during the four weeks leading up to the PPV, any superstar can be written in to any show, the GM's would pitch their ideas to Vince for feuds, whatever Vince likes better is the ones that would happen. This way, there would be no arguing between GM's as to whose talent will go over who. The Royal Rumble match would be the only other "interpromotional" exception with 15 superstars from each brand competing. Wrestlemania would have both brands on it but no interpromotional matches (usually). Outside of that, I would do a separate PPV for each brand every 6-8 weeks, which would allow for better build-up on each show. This will make Bragging Rights more important cause it would be the equivalent of seeing WCW superstars wrestling WWF superstars on PPV back in the day.

Overall, I think all of these changes would make the brand split more meaningful. Right now, it's like they only do it to take it easy on the talent. I have nothing against that but I wish they would make it out to be more of a dynamic, real-life competition between the two shows. And if that can't be done, I would be happy to merge the brands, make RAW go for three hours every week, and let us watch all the top talent all on one show. The midcard and undercard talent would still get tons of time between RAW (3 hours), Smackdown! (2 hours), and Superstars (1 hour).

What do you guys think? Do you feel this is a realistic idea? If WWE went this route, would you be more inclined to check out both shows every week? Post your thoughts! And for those who suffered through the entire post, thanks for reading!
 

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the split has been dead for awhile now guys go between shows all the time. The idea of the split was so that WWE could have a sense of competition between RAW and Smackdown. The rivalry between the two brands was great between 2002-2004. The GM's especially Eric and Steph made it believable that they really wanted to be the number 1 brand in the WWE and was entertaining now we have a laptop and teddy long who just are there. WWE just needs to bring back the rivalry between the two brands again to make it a whole lot better and to not keep it the way it is
 

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The Brand Split pretty much lost its credibility in 2006 with Rey winning the Rumble and no one asking him if he wanted to challenge Cena/Edge for the WWE Title at WM like they did if the previous Rumble winners. I remember when two wrestlers from the two different brands would face each other being a big deal epsecially with thos interbrand macthes at WrestleMania and Survivor Series but once we entered 2006 it wasn't the same thing.
 
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