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Old 01-09-2017, 02:47 PM   #782
Noid
01/05/08
 
Posts: 45,340
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The brand split itself was an impulsive idea. They probably should have tried to make SmackDown good before they tried to make it "unique." There are real problems with having two World Titles. If the WWE want their fans to watch both RAW and SmackDown (which they clearly do), then having a "World Champion" and #1 Contender on each show means that at the very most you can say a guy is fighting for #3 position in the company as a certainty. Well, even that may be a stretch. The World Champion on SmackDown isn't necessarily better than a mid-carder on RAW.

You can create a Global Championship, Planetary Championship and Earth Championship while you are at it and call the guys who help it "World Champions" all you want. When you ask someone "Who is the best wrestler in the world?", a question that a World Heavyweight Championship is supposed to answer, you cannot answer it in WWE. By having two "World Champions" you literally have no World Champion.

I think there are similar problems with the Tag Team Championships and Women's Championships too. Who is the best women's wrestler in WWE -- Charlotte or Alexa Bliss? In fact, you can probably widen them up to the immediate challengers too. Who is the best women's wrestler in WWE -- Charlotte, Bayley, Sasha, Alexa, Becky or Nikki? See how it becomes really murky? When you put both Women's Championships on, say, a WrestleMania card, Joe Fan is going to watch and think "Hang on, why are there two Women's Championships?" The idea that the Women's Championship is the answer to a question is thrown out the window and as a result neither belt really matters as a tool to get someone over as anything resembling any sort of star.

If you want to go beyond the literal sense of what a World Champion is, and instead focus on who the biggest star and most credible wrestler in WWE -- the answer to "Who is the best wrestler in the world?" -- you have to go with either The Rock or Goldberg. John Cena, Brock Lesnar and The Undertaker are also in contention. The World Championship divisions aren't really the elite class of wrestler. Your real World Champion has an invisible belt that they can't exactly take off and hand to another wrestler. They're also part-time and, in at least one of those cases, not even signed to the company.

Having two separate "brands" isn't really an effective storytelling device for WWE at this point. It's exciting at first, because people associate it with change, movement, classification, and conflict. Is a guy going to be RAW or SmackDown? Who are their peers going to be and who are they going to be kept away from? It's build in a larger sense akin to what building to a match would be. But it doesn't actually create more opportunities for guys. Curt Hawkins and Jinder Mahal are just "there." Kevin Owens could have done his shit with Seth Rollins without a belt. Go back to SummerSlam -- the main event doesn't even have a belt involved (exactly what I mean about an invisible World Championship being there anyway). Nothing is really different except that SmackDown is now better than RAW because RAW is even more tedious than it was six months ago.
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