the date was March 25, 2002, and Vince McMahon thought it would be a good idea to split his roster into two separate brands. back then, WCW had recently gone out of business, and Vince had yet to come up with the gawdawful idea of resurrecting ECW. for the record, The Rise and Fall of ECW dvd is excellent, even tho they don’t mention anything about New Jack. the subsequent One Night Stand pay-per-view in June 2005, was pretty good, featuring the unadvertised spotfest between Mike Awesome and Masato Tanaka. a match that stole the show!
anyways, Triple H came out this past Monday to announce that Smackdown superstars would be appearing on RAW, and I would assume, vice versa. I was never in favour of the brand extension, b/c I don’t think they have enough talent worthy of tv time, to have two separate shows. in the pantheon of Vinman’s ideas, the brand extension ranks right up there with the XFL. Smackdown has suffered ever since Edge was forced to retire with a career-ending neck injury, shortly after WrestleMania. it’s no secret that Smackdown has been looked at as the “B” show for quite a while now.
in anticipation of the Labour Day weekend, WWE moved Smackdown from it’s regularly-scheduled Friday 8 PM time slot, to a live show on Tuesday nite. ratings jumped more than 10% from the previous week’s taped airing. I don’t watch Smackdown, b/c it’s on Friday nite, and I usually just read the spoilers. if Smackdown continues to air live, and use wrestlers from both brands, I will probably start watching it more. I caught most of the show this week. John Cena beats Wade Barrett for the 28th time, Randy Orton beats Christian for the 16th time, yadda yadda yadda, it kept me entertained. Alberto Del Rio was not there, b/c he was in Mexico, renewing his work visa. we were treated to an appearance by his fantastic ring announcer, Ricardo Rodriguez.
bottom line is combining the rosters will make for better tv, and help improve attendance figures at house shows. I like the direction WWE is going in, even if it means CM Punk has to go back to jobbing at every pay-per-view.