World Wrestling Entertainment’s brand split has its supporters and its critics. On the one hand, certain superstars only appearing on Monday Night Raw or only on SmackDown Live prevents overexposure. On the other hand, the thinned out rosters appear even more thinned out when split that way. One thing that most on both sides agree on, the championships on both shows have lost their luster. Brock Lesnar is rarely around, so storylines revolving around the championship are pointless. Jinder Mahal has the look of a champion as well as the entrance…and that’s about it. His ring work is still lackluster. And he still feels like he’s reading off of cue cards when delivering promos. One solution would be to unify both championships. We at The Scrum Sports discuss if it would be wise to take this course of action.
GENE: No. Not in a hundred years, or a thousand years, would I unify the championships. The entire purpose of the brand split is to at least give the appearance of the shows being two separate entities. One floating champion between the two kills that entire concept. What’s worse, what if we have a lackluster champion? They will get double the exposure, which will devalue the championship twice as fast. I am fine with having two separate champions. Now having them actually around or having one that is worthy of being champion, that’s an argument for another time.
MARCUS: Given the current roster, incoming talent, and talent rumored to be coming to WWE, it’s best that the titles be split. There’ll always be an argument to be had about the best utilization of personnel, that’s a part of any job. One could say there’s an overabundance of talent. Resurrecting titles such as the Hardcore Title, ECW’s TV Title, and the Women’s Tag Team belt could be a remedy that addresses the number of the current herd and gives a chance for underutilized talent to get some shine as well. The possible upcoming exodus of talent, headed by Neville, make it sensible to keep the titles separate since there will be an inevitable influx of new faces. The uncertainty of the futures of Impact, ROH, and Lucha Underground make the number of possible new faces that could show up increase that much more.
NATHAN: With the planned match between Brock Lesnar and Jinder Mahal at Survivor Series, I think this would be the perfect opportunity for the WWE to revisit the idea of unifying the two brand world championships. This would allow WWE creative something that they either haven’t had lately, or have chosen to ignore. That “something” would be options. In times gone by, the IC strap used to really mean something. It was essentially the unofficial indicator that if you held that belt, you were the #1 contender. This could easily be the case again, and the same could be done for the U.S. Championship. Let’s do a little fantasy booking.
Let’s say that Finn Balor held the Intercontinental Championship and AJ Styles is the United States Champion. In the current state of the WWE this match could not happen without moving Heaven and Earth with another Superstar Shakeup. You would also have the issue of the writing team creating a good story for them, with months of waiting. I understand that these two have a built in storyline with their history, but never underestimate WWE Creative’s ability to ruin a good thing. If the WWE did adopt the unification model, now you could easily have them face each other for the opportunity to face the World Champion on either brand’s show or the next big PPV (Oh I’m sorry Mr. McMahon, network exclusive).
Again, making a Unified World Championship would be a great idea that could elevate the meaning of the U.S. and IC belts and provide WWE Creative the opportunity to write some fantasy booking into reality. Another consequence of this format would be that all the singles matches on both shows could really mean something. You could still have your personal feuds, but the rest of the time you could have bracket tournaments. The current product has too many matches that don’t have any real stakes, no sense of urgency. These two things will ultimately produce drama in the ring, and then the storyline will write itself.
JOEL: Where to start. Quite frankly, at this point I think it’s a bad idea. You aren’t going to have Brock Lesnar lose to Jinder Mahal, who in all honesty, has failed to deliver as a quality world’s champion. You don’t want to see the belt rarely defended as it would be in the case of the special attraction that Lesnar is, and should be. The fact is, get the belt on some quality talents that can actively compete like a Strowman or a Nakamura and be done with this tomfoolery. I’m all for a match between the two, but I hope Lesnar quickly dominates Mahal and puts an end to this façade.
It would appear that we have a three to one vote in favor of keeping the world championships separate. What say you, Scrum Sports fans? Would you unify the Raw and SmackDown championships, or keep them separate?