Last week, WWE announced that SmackDown would be going live on Tuesdays. They also said that the new programming will include an exclusive roster, championships and writing team, hence, the return of the brand split.
This is exciting for mainly WWE’s mid-card, as the opportunity provides the chance for many of its lower card to elevate their characters on screen and be involved in meaningful storylines.
Here’s a look at five superstars that should thrive when Raw and SmackDown become separate enteritis again.
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Alberto Del Rio
The four-time World Heavyweight Champion has struggled to really gather the same momentum he had in the past few months.
After his surprise return in October, Del Rio has captured the United States Championship twice, only to lose the belt to Kalisto with both reigns. Ultimately, this booking decision has made Mexico’s greatest export look a tad weak.
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In 2013, Del Rio was white hot as a babyface and heel World Champion. This is mainly because he was pretty much exclusive to the SmackDown brand. With the split coming up, WWE fans can expect him to do the same again.
The opportunity may give him the chance to return to his main event status, and close out the shows with some excellent match-ups with the company’s elite.
Ambrose has been WWE’s best fan favourite over the past two years. His in-ring ability and crafty skills on the microphone have made him one of WWE’s best characters.
However, after losing to Brock Lesnar at WrestleMania, and having a lacklustre feud with Chris Jericho, Ambrose’s rise up the card has fallen just a tad flat.
Ambrose has done just about everything but win the World Championship. He has come ever so close a couple occasions, and with the top superstars virtually being halved across the two brands, there’s potential for an opportunity for Ambrose to win his first World Championship.
WWE’s plans may still be a triple threat match at SummerSlam between the former Shield members, and more main event TV time for Ambrose could be the catalyst in him walking out champion.
The 11-year veteran benefited originally from being exclusive to the SmackDown brand, where he won two World Championships. The WWE universe got behind the show-off, but after some terrible booking decisions, he has found himself in the lower mid-card.
His current feud with Baron Corbin hasn’t helped his, nor Baron Corbin’s character development, as the two have wrestled too many times on television.
The fear for Ziggler’s current situation is that he could end up not even with the company in a year or two. We have seen WWE make hard call on Cody Rhodes recently, and even though (like Ziggler) how talented he is, if his character becomes too stale, then they will let him go.
With a brand split, Ziggler should hopefully be given the opportunity to shine again. If he was on SmackDown again he could find himself in the main event picture, and if he is on Raw he could become a credible mid-carder again and regain his momentum form late 2014.
Nevertheless, the brand spilt could get Ziggler back on track and find himself useful in WWE storytelling.
WWE will want you to believe that Daniel Bryan’s main event victory is the best underdog story in WrestleMania history, however, in reality, Zack Ryder's ladder match victory will take the cake.
Unfortunately for the Long Island Iced-Z, after that moment, WWE ran out of time to give him a meaningful storyline.
With the brand split, Ryder could be given something to do each week, rather than sporadically appearing. Fans got behind him at WrestleMania and they will again if Ryder is given constant appearances on television.
A storyline, weekly appearances and maybe even a character change could all be on the offer for Ryder with the brand split. More importantly, he should be given an opportunity to shine.
In late 2015, Tyler Breeze finally got the call-up to the main roster. After a strong showing in NXT, Breeze joined the roster because he was able to get over as a heel with a very unique character to the WWE universe.
Since then, he had an ‘okay’ feud with Dolph Ziggler and then has virtually done nothing. Now he has been paired up with Fandango, and although he also is a tremendous in-ring competitor, Breeze could do so much better.
The brand split provides the opportunity for Breeze to actually have a meaningful singles storyline. The issue when he joined the main roster was with WWE’s programming not having enough time for him to really cut his teeth into.
It’s a chance for Breeze to maybe win his first championship in WWE, or slowly begin his climb up the ranks.
Who else do you reckon will benefit from the brand split? Let us know in the comments sections.