OK, I’m not excited about the brand split, but if done right, it could really help WWE satisfy multiple fan bases. I think they should make RAW the traditional and family friendly show and make Smackdown the “smark” wrestling show. RAW’s goal should be to completely obliterate what’s left of TNA Impact Wrestling and Smackdown’s goal should be simply to compete with Lucha Underground and New Japan Pro Wrestling.
This what I wish they would do, I’m fairly positive they aren’t going to this.
I think the idea of multiple top titles is paradoxical. The WWE, Women’s, and Tag Team Championships should travel between both shows. The Intercontinental and United States Championships should be the “brand” championships. So Dean Ambrose, Charlotte, and the New Day would be exempt for the draft and Rusev and the Miz would be the 1st two picks.
Round 1 – Brand Championships
Let’s just assume RAW goes first
RAW – United States Championship and Rusev. This makes sense as the belt for RAW as it has had the more traditional champions the past few years. Also, current champion Rusev is great an an old-school monster heel.
Smackdown – Intercontinental Championship and the Miz. The past few months this has almost become the hipster belt with Kevin Owens, Sami Zayn, and Cesaro as the primary contenders for it. Current title holder the Miz may not have the IWC (internet wrestling community) cred, but he’s a great foil for “New Era” guys.
Round 2 – the Headlining Faces
RAW – John Cena
Smackdown – Sami Zayn
John Cena is integral to RAW, especially if it’s going to be the family friendly product. There’s no way that Zayn will be drafted this high but if we’re making Smackdown the Internet Wrestling Community’s show Zayn would be the top face.
Round 3 – the Headlining Heels
RAW – Seth Rollins
Smackdown – AJ Styles
Rollins is so good he can headline either show. He’s the best natural heel in the company right now and seems to be poised to be the top baddie be for years to come. AJ Styles is so beloved by the smarks he will be cheered even as the top heel in Smackdown
Round 4 – Co-Headlining Faces
RAW – Roman Reigns
Smackdown – Cesaro
Kids (and women) still love Roman Reigns but he’s being mercilessly booed by the adult males in the audiences. If RAW was clearly the family friendly show Reigns could be getting the kind of reaction WWE is expecting a top good guy to get. Cesaro is such a fan favorite he could easily be helping carry Smackdown.
Round 5 – Co-Headlining Heels
RAW – Sheamus
Smackdown – Kevin Owens
These two probably deserve to go higher. Sheamus is great as a physically imposing bad guy. Kevin Owens is surprisingly versatile and impressive in the ring and is one of the best cry-babies working right now.
Round 6 – Top Tweeners
RAW – Randy Orton
Smackdown – Chris Jericho
Though Randy Orton is younger than Jericho I think Y2J would mesh better with the “New Era” wrestling style of this theoretical Smackdown.
Round 7 – Top Women Tweeners
RAW – Paige
Smackdown- Sasha Banks
The top talents in the women’s division aren’t clear-cut faces or heels. Paige’s style feels fresher against the older generation while Sasha is seemingly every smark’s favorite.
Round 8 – Top Women Faces
RAW – Natalya
Smackdown – Becky Lynch
I know Natalya just turned heel but she’s much better as a face. Becky Lynch and Sasha need to be on the same show because of their chemistry, whether they’re teaming together or feuding.
Round 9 – Stables
RAW – the Social Outcasts (Heath Slater, Bo Dallas, and Curtis Axel)
Smackdown – the Wyatt Family ( Bray Wyatt, Luke Harper, Erick Rowan, and Braun Strowman)
The Social Outcasts are inoffensively lame. They belong as an annoyance on the PG show. The Wyatt Family’s gimmick is going to make less and less sense unless they can start pushing the edges a bit on a more mature show.
Round 10 -Top Face Tag Teams
RAW – the Usos (Jimmy and Jey Uso)
Smackdown – Enzo Amore and Colin Cassady
Other than the New Day, the Usos are the favorite tag teams of kids. Enzo and Cass could keep their gimmick from getting stale if they were allowed to use rougher language and be a little more controversial.
Round 11 – Top Heel Tag Teams
RAW – the Club (Karl Anderson and Luke Gallows). While they’re one of the newer tag teams in the WWE they feel like an old fashioned heel tag team.
Smackdown – the Dudley Boyz (Bubba Ray Dudley and D-Von Dudley). While they’re one of the oldest tag teams in the WWE they could bring some of the Attitude Era back with more freedom on the PG-13 show.
Round 12 – Charlotte’s Bodyguard
RAW – Emma
Smackdown – Dana Brooke
Charlotte needs an ally on each show to continue to steal victories. Emma is the obvious choice for her other ally, as she already had an alliance with Dana Brooke. While both Emma and Dana Brooke are relentlessly annoying, Dana Brooke’s move-set is little more unique.
Round 13 – Part Timers
RAW – Brock Lesnar
Smackdown – Kane and the Undertaker
For part-time talents it doesn’t really matter. But if Kane and the Undertaker were on Smackdown they could at least be scary again. Lesnar comes across as scary no matter what.
Remaining Rounds – the Mid-carders
Apollo Crews Dolph Ziggler
Titus O’Neil Neville
Alberto Del Rio Baron Corbin
The Big Show Mark Henry
Alicia Fox Summer Rae
The Lucha Dragon (Sin Cara and Kalisto) the Vaudevillians (Aiden English and Simon Gotch)
The Golden Truth (Goldust and R-Truth) Breezango (Tyler Breeze and Fandango)
Jack Swagger Zack Ryder
The Shooting Stars (Primo and Epico) the Ascension (Viktor and Konnor)
Billie Kay Darren Young
It’s not quite as simple as just putting the newer talents on Smackdown and the old guard on RAW. Styles, characters, and balance between good guys and bad guys also has to be taken into account.
I really hope they shake up the commentary chairs as well, as the current sound has become tired. It seems like all of the legendary broadcast teams have been two-man pairings, but WWE seems insistent on having three positions for each show. They’re trying to do a play-by-play mic, a heel color commentator, and babyface character there more to just react. But they’re not executing it well, especially on RAW where no one seems to be able to follow their assigned role.
My fantasy commentary teams would be as follows.
Play-by-Play – Byron Saxton
Heel Color – John “Bradshaw” Layfield
Babyface Color – Jerry “the King” Lawler
I don’t know how well Byron Saxton could hold down the play-by-play liabilities, but it certainly couldn’t be worse than what Michael Cole has been doing. JBL is the best part of RAW announcing with his hate for all faces, save Cena. Lawler as a heel color on Smackdown just hasn’t been effective lately. He may work well against JBL and find his groove again as a face. Plus, I would love it if the one face Lawler just can’t stand is Cena, JBL’s inexplicable favorite wrestler.
Play-by-Play – Mauro Ranallo
Heel Color – Corey Graves
Babyface Color – Daniel Bryan
For the “new era” show let’s get all new blood. Ranallo is appreciated by a lot of fans because he calls matches as if pro wrestling was a real sport. He needs to cool it on the cheesy puns though. Graves is not a legendary heel commentator yet, but he has the potential to be. We’ve yet to hear Bryan call a match, but his analysis was enjoyable during the Cruiserweight Bracketology special.
So, that’s what I would do if I was in charge. It honestly wouldn’t change the RAW product much, but it would give Smackdown it’s own distinct vibe and style. And give me a reason to watch both shows.