This rumour is just one of many that emerged due to the recent introduction of Shane McMahon’s leadership on Monday Night Raw.
With Vince McMahon seemingly allowing Shane to run the flagship show ever since the Raw after WrestleMania - despite the fact Shane-O-Mac lost to The Undertaker - this had led many fans to the question ‘What was the point of the Wrestlemania stipulation?’
It is clear that something is in the works in with regards to this storyline, as Stephanie McMahon recently appeared on Raw to confront her brother’s claim to ownership of Raw.
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Given that Shane McMahon stated very firmly that he wanted to full control of Monday Night Raw in his return to the company, the reintroduction of the brand split might occur once more, with Shane McMahon running Raw, and The Authority running SmackDown.
For this to occur, a lot of changes would need to be implemented and many issues would need to be addressed first. For instance, the issue of Raw being a three-hour event, and SmackDown being a two-hour event. Should both events be three hours long? , or should they be cut to two hours?
The issue of the brand split is both advantageous and detrimental in terms of the overall product, as it puts further pressure on creating an equal product on both shows in order to achieve high ratings. With that being said, there were many times in the past where the brand split meant that fans could watch a diverse, varied product on both shows every week.
And if we consider recent developments such as the global cruiserweight series that WWE has introduced to the independent circuit, we may see a future return of the cruiserweight division. Older fans may remember it was a particularly big draw on SmackDown, being more exclusive to that show, whereas Raw tended to feature more aggressive matches, with the focus being on heavyweight superstars.
Another point to consider here is that Triple H might be slowly phased out of The Authority angle in order to focus on running NXT and on his backstage professional role within the WWE. As Stephanie McMahon has previously featured in storylines as the SmackDown General Manager, it might make more sense for her to return solely in this role in order to compete with her brother, and thus phase out The Authority angle completely, in favour of a competitive rivalry between the two siblings.
In this sense, a brand split may not be necessary as it might be more advantageous to let both McMahons compete in terms of utilising the whole roster on both shows, thereby allowing a long term storyline to follow.