It was revealed on SmackDown that The Brian Kendrick will be taking on Kalisto at Survivor Series, with the challenger’s victory meaning the entire cruiserweight division will shift to the blue brand. The cruiserweights have been on RAW for a while now and the division hasn’t gained much steam, but you can hardly blame the wrestlers for that. The booking of the division has made them feel like a separate entity from the rest of the show and debuting 10 new members of the roster at once and trying to push them all just leaves fans confused as to who to support. Especially when they’re given no character development – see: the Divas Revolution.
But does that mean the division should be uprooted and moved to Tuesday nights? Well there are a lot of pros and cons to moving the division that have to be weighed up before a decision is made. Let’s look at them now.
Pro: Roster depth
If there’s something SmackDown needs badly, it’s roster depth. They need it infinitely more than RAW does and adding an entire division of cruiserweights would give SmackDown all it needs for a long time. However, this is predicated on using these superstars as more than just cruiserweights. Bring in Gargano and Ciampa as a tag team; use Cedric Alexander in the mid-card and so on.
Con: The Intercontinental Championship
There has to be a trade-off and that would be the Intercontinental Championship moving to RAW. Unless you have SmackDown completely clean sweep RAW at Survivor Series, SmackDown will have to give up its mid-card belt to bring in the cruiserweights and that trade isn’t worth it. Yes, SmackDown’s mid-card is basically non-existent beyond The Miz and Dolph Ziggler, but the Cruiserweight Title would leave bigger superstars with nothing to chase without being in the World Championship picture. If SmackDown can gain the Cruiserweights and keep the Intercontinental belt, then it would be a massive win for the brand, but otherwise there’s no need for the belt trade.
Con: RAW has THREE HOURS TO FILL
Last week’s RAW featured The Shining Stars versus The Golden Truth and that was on a show where the cruiserweight division filled a segment. Imagine the under-card garbage RAW will be dishing up if you take away the cruiserweights. If they get back the Intercontinental Championship, then that helps fill an extra segment, but it doesn’t off-set losing an entire division. Having both mid-card championships on RAW also seems like a poor move. Both titles would lose value.
Pro: 205 Live
The WWE’s newest cruiserweight venture 205 Live is set to be filmed after SmackDown shows. If the division is being moved, then it would make sense and coincide well with the new show. This could also be a con though. The crowd would have already seen the division and that might reduce the reactions superstars get.
Con: There are better options for Survivor Series
Simply put, there are more interesting outcomes from Survivor Series than moving the cruiserweight division. Have Sami Zayn, whether he wins the Intercontinental Championship or not, move to SmackDown after the pay-per-view. SmackDown gaining the entire division is surplus to its needs, but it definitely needs main-event talent like Zayn who could thrive there.
Pro: A fresh start
SmackDown has proven to contain the superior booking team and has done well developing characters from the top all the way down to the bottom of its roster. The case in point of this is the entire women’s division being utilized on a weekly basis. It would be interesting to see the cruiserweight division in the hands of people who actually know how to develop individual characters.
It seems to make more sense to leave the division where it is. RAW needs segments to fill its three hours (unless we all want more R-Truth every week) and SmackDown is ticking along fine without changing up the weekly dynamic. SmackDown certainly needs more depth, but that can be achieved through guys like Sami Zayn or Neville joining the brand and eventual NXT call-ups. So should the cruiserweight division be moved to SmackDown?