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ONE FALL: Why the WWE Brand Split Will Fail and a Solution to Solve It



charlotte flair

Second verse, same as the first.  WWE is currently in their second version of the brand extension which started back in the summer of 2016.  WWE’s brand extension sees the WWE main roster divided somewhat evenly between two shows: RAW and Smackdown Live.  This split is nearly identical to the split we saw when WWE introduced the brand extension back in 2002 following the acquisition of WCW.  The only major differences this time around is that RAW is a 3-hour program to Smackdown’s 2 hours and NXT is thriving as a third brand.  However, while the brand split was very successful and defined the Ruthless Aggression Era, it ultimately reached its demise in 2011 leaving the WWE roster unified.

One of the major reasons the brand split ended the first time was due to the departures of many notable top stars.  Names such as Shawn Michaels, The Undertaker, Edge, Chris Jericho, Batista, John Bradshaw Layfield, Jeff Hardy and Matt Hardy all left as full-time performers between 2009 and 2011 as well as numerous mid-card talent.  These main event spots were not getting filled as quickly as they were opening up causing the main event scene on both brands to be weak and lacking.


Source: WWE

However, this was not the first nail in the coffin for the brand split.  When the brand split was first introduced back in 2002, part of the concept was that RAW and Smackdown would hold exclusive pay-per-views that would usually alternate between each brand.  The Big 4 events: Royal Rumble, WrestleMania, SummerSlam, and Survivor Series became dual-brand events where both RAW and Smackdown superstars would compete.  But shows such as Backlash and Judgment Day would become RAW and Smackdown exclusive pay-per-views respectively.

This was a concept that lasted up until 2007 following WrestleMania 23.  Starting with the 2007 Backlash event, RAW, Smackdown, and then ECW all were featured on the PPV card.  This was the first instance of the brand split starting to falter. The key with the brand split was to make RAW and Smackdown seem like separate, distinct entities with little to no involvement with one another.




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Break It Down: Ranking Every Major Wrestling TV Show (Week #9)



Break It Down

It’s been another brilliant week of wrestling on the road to AEW Revolution, while WWE continues to build towards WWE WrestleMania 37. The week brought big title matches, celebrities competing in the ring, and some really strong build-up to the major events around the corner.

But which shows stood out, which had the best matches, and which was ultimately the most entertaining of the week? Let’s Break It Down and find out!

6. WWE Raw

WWE Raw had a few highlights, with the first hour of the show being really enjoyable as it flew by. The match between Drew McIntyre and Sheamus was PPV worthy and saw them bring the best out of each other, while The Hurt Business being so direct was excellent to see.

However, the decision to push back the WWE Championship match several times actually hurt the show overall. The flow and excitement really was taken out of the night. The show had so many lackluster segments, from squashing Naomi to the pointless Tag Team Championship match featuring Adam Pearce.

Charlotte and Nia Jax’s match failed to build any excitement either, with the show being full of smaller, forgettable matches. Of course, this episode did end with a bang though as Bobby Lashley became WWE Champion in dominant fashion, which was absolutely the right call.

5. IMPACT Wrestling

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It was another good episode of IMPACT Wrestling that featured a lot of nice matches, but nothing overly standout to make the show pop. The opening triple threat was a solid match for the X-Division, while the build of Tenille Dashwood was also effectively booked.

Sami Callihan’s segment, turning up at Trey Miguel’s training area was interesting and felt unique due to how it was filmed, which allowed that to thrive. It was also great to see FinnJuice, and the tension between them and The Good Brothers could lead to something special.

However, the best work of the night came between Matt Cardona and Brian Myers. With Cardona being the special guest referee for Myers’ match with Eddie Edwards, he tried to cheat only for Cardona to stop it, which adds tension to their friendship that was really well booked.



WWE NXT UK featured the best match of the week, as Kay Lee Ray defended her NXT UK Women’s Championship against Meiko Satamoru in what was an amazing match. They went back and forth in a hard-hitting bout that really felt like a big deal, with the women delivering on the hype.

However, the whole show was entertaining for the majority of it. Seeing Kenny Williams and Amir Jordan back was a nice boost for the tag team division, which created a good match. However, having Williams sneakily cheat to help Jordan win was nice booking, and teases issues between them down the line.

The Supernova Sessions segment failed to deliver once again here, with this talk show really feeling very awkward. The whole focus being on Tyler Bate and him being a vegan, which wasn’t entertaining. But what was entertaining was the opening match between Ilja Dragunov and Sam Gradwell. It was physical, but the character work was excellent as Dragunov’s anger issues overcame him once again.

3. WWE SmackDown

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The blue brand always does a great job of focusing its entire show on the upcoming PPV, and that’s exactly what happened with this episode. From the start, everything was about WWE Fastlane, with Daniel Bryan kicking off the show with a tremendous promo that was full of fire, really building his storyline with Roman Reigns.

The segment between The Street Profits/King Corbin and Sami Zayn fell flat, with all four feeling a little lost right now. However, the work between the Mysterio’s and Gable/Otis was far better, while the storyline work with Reginald throughout the night was excellently done, potentially leading him to work with Nia Jax.

Apollo Crews’ character change was fantastic and is exactly what he needed as a character. He feels far more interesting than he ever has done, setting up a big match with Big E, plus the main event steel cage match certainly delivered.


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Right from the opening tag team match, which was hard-hitting and full of great near falls, this show was enjoyable. Teasing Timothy Thatcher joining Imperium is an interesting idea that could lead to a fun storyline, plus the work with Cameron Grimes during the night was also very enjoyable.

Aliyah and Ember Moon had a nice match together, but the Women’s Tag Team Championship match just didn’t live up to the hype, with the poor finish being very disappointing. Seeing LA Knight appear was good, and while his promo was fairly generic, it was well put together.

It was good to see Lega Del Fantasma being booked stronger, making them feel like a threat again. But the main event was the treat of the night, with Finn Balor and Roderick Strong having a really solid main event to close the show.

1. AEW Dynamite

AEW Dynamite was an incredible show this week that really had something for everyone, creating one of the best shows the company has ever had. While the main event tag team bout and brawl as a slightly flat ending, everything else was brilliant.

The mixed tag team match featuring Shaq was better than it had any right to be, with everyone involved clearly giving their very best. The press conference segment was quite unique and put together well, with MJF and Chris Jericho having some great promos against The Young Bucks to build that match.

The six-man tag team match that saw Tully return to the rind was very fun, while the Women’s Tournament final was an excellent match, proving once again why the division needs more focus. Everything on the show built towards the PPV and it really did an amazing job of hyping up the show, showcasing how good a go-home show can be.

Sixth place= 1 point
Fifth place= 2 points
Fourth place= 3 points
Third place= 4 points
Second place=5 points
First place= 6 points

2020 results (each week, the points tally will be added up below):

WWE Raw- 17
IMPACT Wrestling- 31
AEW Dynamite- 45
WWE SmackDown- 27

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Match Of The Month: The Top 10 WWE Matches (February, 2021)



Last month I kicked off a new feature, where I run down the 10 best WWE matches of the month from across all shows and PPV events. January saw some very good matches take place (which you can check HERE), but the month of February actually saw that stepped up a notch.

So, without wasting any more time, let’s take a look at what my top 10 matches for February were in the world of WWE.

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Break It Down: Ranking Every Major Wrestling TV Show (Week #7)



Break It Down

It’s Sunday, you know what that means. As ever, it is time to Break It Down, as we take a detailed look back on the last week of wrestling, taking a look at what has worked, and what has fallen short, in what’s been another action-packed set of shows.

As ever, there have been some highlights and lowlights, but there have been some brilliant matches throughout the week which have kept fans entertained. But which of the shows was the true standout?


WWE Raw continued in its recent tradition of being a very long three-hour show, and while certain moments worked, and were enjoyable, there are too many moments that simply don’t work. The Miz TV opening segment wasn’t exciting, but it does make sense on his behalf to pull out of the Elimination Chamber.

The six-man tag team match featuring The Hurt Business against Riddle and Lucha House Party was a very average match, and the Lacey Evans announcement renders that recent storyline fairly pointless. It’s not been a great story anyway, and the fact a tag team match had Asuka as a bit-part player just showcases where the women’s division is at right now.

Kofi Kingston and The Miz did have a nice match against each other, which was great to see, but the overwhelming positive of this show was the gauntlet match. It’s a stipulation WWE typically does very good at, and this was no different.

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