Recent reports have suggested that WWE will be instituting the wild card rule once more which allows top-tier superstars to crossover into various brands. Last time this happened, though, it didn’t go off as planned with some stars being overexposed and others underused, getting lost in the shuffle.
However, seeing as the thought of this brand crossover between RAW and SmackDown athletes has once more entered Vince McMahon’s mind, it’s simply proof the brand split needs to come to an end with the world titles being consolidated into one.
In the past, RAW and SmackDown were part of one cohesive narrative, with stars just split between shows. This decision here shows McMahon’s creative team knows that they haven’t streamlined properly and are actually trying to course-correct and get back to those old days, as per the Attitude Era. Simply put, it’s easier to craft attractive storylines and also, build athletes when they’re stretched out over a week, rather than compressing everything into one show.
If there’s one actual champion, unifying the Universal and WWE Championship and the women’s belts, a lot more competition is created. As seen on RAW, Drew McIntyre doesn’t have that much competition after beating Seth Rollins, not unless Brock Lesnar comes back. Samoa Joe’s out injured so if there’s one champ across all shows, there are a lot more sharks smelling blood in the water, maybe even NXT’s Finn Balor and Keith Lee. Braun Strowman and Bray Wyatt isn’t that big a feud as well, so they could become some of the top dogs hunting the #1 contender’s spot as McIntyre seems to be the bigger draw.
What this scenario could also mean is that there are a lot more big names and high-level talent, not just challenging for the main title across the men and women’s division, but also for things like the U.S. and Intercontinental belts. Remember, guys like Triple H and the Rock elevated these titles. This allows the mid-card to have pomp and circumstance, with lesser names also getting a chance to be pushed and go over by beating more reputable ones. It’s a win-win for everyone involved, allowing McMahon to focus on the top, mid and bottoms levels across the entire company and not a bunch of shows which can get convoluted. It simplifies the equation, which as the COVID-19 cuts show, has gotten complex and just isn’t working.
This also helps when injuries occur because no one has to worry about wild cards or drafts. Credible replacements are there automatically, which could fix something like what Asuka’s experiencing now with Becky Lynch heading out on maternity leave. Only Shayna Baszler and Nia Jax are there to really push her as champ, which wouldn’t be the case if the brands operated as one. This helps McMahon build all three brands simultaneously and makes the company way more manageable. On top of that, there would be continuity, easy storylines to follow, a lot more variety as the pool widens for the champs and freshness that’s been lacking for some time.
The reported wild card rule and brand crossovers prove that WWE needs to end the brand split and unify their main shows.