Last Wednesday, WWE announced the brand split will be taking place next month, with superstars exclusively competing on Raw or Smackdown as the blue brand goes live on July 19th. Stephanie and Shane revealed very little on Monday’s episode of Raw, leavng the WWE universe full of speculation. Earlier today the Wrestling Observer Newsletter led a discussion on who will be leading Raw and Smackdown.
The observer revealed what we already knew that plans are still very much in the air and plans can change quickly within WWE. With that they are very much reporting that current WWE World Heavyweight Champion Roman Reigns will be leading Monday Night Raw, whilst John Cena will be moved to Smackdown as it goes live. As top babyface, Reigns is set to continue his feud with Seth Rollins, who will become Raw’s top heel. Whilst on Tuesday nights AJ Styles will be the expected lead heel. Naturally this assumption is based upon the recent storylines.
The Observer discussed that Smackdown will be receiving a major creative push with its jump to live TV. In particular to combat the reduction in viewers due to a move in timeslot and day. The USA Network expected Smackdown to return to it’s former glory when it moved back to the network at the turn of the year. However the stigma of Smackdown being the secondary show for the best part of this decade hasn’t turned heads in the ratings. Moving John Cena permanently to Smackdown will give WWE the chance to fight the stigma and return viewers to Tuesday nights.
As Brock Lesnar became an exclusive wrestler to Smackdown in 2002, Raw was left without a champion, this opened the door for Eric Bischoff to reintroduce the big gold belt as the World Heavyweight title. The Observer noted that WWE’s plans include introducing a second world title to the brand without the WWE Champion. Logically this made sense, however the later years of the World title didn’t fair too well. Often being PPV’s openers and not receiving a fair chance in the limelight of the WWE title. In addition to two world titles, there is no news on the intention of the Woemsn and tag team divisions. It can be safe to assume that the Intercontinental and United States championships will be split across both brands.
This news can only be taken with a pinch of salt; moving John Cena to Smackdown is the logical decision to make. Move the top talent to the blue brand will help re-establish Smackdown as top brand. Of course plans will change over time and not doubt, the Observers news today will probably change as and when the draft is played out on Monday Night Raw.
Let us know what you think about John Cena moving to Smackdown? Does this make sense, would you watch Smackdown is Cena did move?