WWE chairman Vince McMahon announced the company's 2016 second quarter earnings results on a conference call from WWE headquarters in Stamford today and detailed exactly why the brand extension was necessary.
This is the first time in nearly five years the Raw and SmackDown rosters have been divided in two and the first splitting draft since 2002.
One of the primary reasons the original concept came to a close was because of a lack of talent and roster depth that saw the likes of The Miz become the company's world champion.
With regards to the WWE Network, the service launched in six new countries in the past year and revenue was up $7.7 million from this time in 2015, McMahon reported.
With regards to the brand extension, according to Nick Paglino of Wrestlezone.com, Vince said due to Triple H’s work in NXT, WWE now has a “plethora” of talent which is why the brand extension makes sense.
He's not wrong, either. If you look at Sasha Banks, Charlotte, Finn Balor, Baron Corbin, Apollo Crews and many others, the WWE roster is now filled with fan favourites that can legitimately draw them money.
McMahon, 70, added you can’t exploit all that intellectual property when you have it, so the company decided to go with two brands. Vince noted the brand extension allows for more PPV, live event and income opportunities, as well as the opportunity to create new personalities for merchandising and licensing purposes.
Essentially, McMahon knows that by dividing and showcasing his vast assets, there is more money for the WWE to be made.
SmackDown has also been floundering as a B show since the brand split came to a close, so this is welcome news for fans who had lost interest in the show. Not only that, but if the show becomes more valuable to networks, that means more money for McMahon and the WWE again.
Things are certainly looking up for Vince and co.