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Triple H Ends The WWE Brand Extension On RAW

John Cena Randy Orton Brand ExtensionTriple H made news this past Monday on RAW when he did something that most fans had hoped to see for the last five years. The WWE COO declared that WWE RAW will now feature Friday Night SmackDown superstars, thus ending the brand extension for at least one night a week.

As a result of declining RAW ratings, bad SmackDown house show attendance, and just an overall creative frustration, the WWE brand extension is theoretically over for at least one night a week. From here on out, SmackDown superstars will appear weekly on RAW indefinitely.

This should come as no surprise after a summer that saw the WWE produce some of the hottest weeks in months on RAW only to be disappointed with stagnant RAW numbers. A combination of frustrating factors from both brands will now intermix the rosters on RAW which should give RAW a huge boost in addition to angering a number of SmackDown wrestlers who will see their families less each week.

Triple H made the announcement this week on RAW. I really like where the Triple H COO character is going. He is obviously doing his best to come across as a fan friendly executive. Obviously at some point he is going to turn heel and when he does, it will be big. This is all building to one big explosion that will likely see another era of the heel G.M./executive on RAW somewhere in the future.

Unfortunately the intermixing of talent will undoubtedly impact WWE superstars both good and bad. Tonight for example, you saw Sin Cara get a nice spot with a big win over Jack Swagger on RAW. In addition, for someone like Sheamus, it is a nice bump to see him standing next to John Cena in the main-event. These are the kinds of boosts that the younger talent won’t get on SmackDown.

The bad is well, the mid-card WWE RAW superstars that will have to do their duty to put over the new SmackDown talent. Jack Swagger is a prime example of a guy that suffered tonight, having to put over a SmackDown wrestler that probably wasn’t seen at his level before tonight. Undoubtedly some of the already struggling RAW wrestlers will not be happy with the new influx of talent.

One thing I have to question is what the Sy FY channel thinks of this? What is the point in watching SmackDown if all of the major stars will be appearing on RAW every week? It is a dangerous game the WWE is playing here by robbing Peter to pay Paul. Sure, the SmackDown stars may get a boost but if fans choose to skip SmackDown and just wait to see them on RAW, the SmackDown ratings could take a big hit.

In addition, the WWE creative team has done nothing to give me confidence that they won’t tarnish whatever star power a handful of the SmackDown superstars have. Take CM Punk for example. Punk is coming off a huge push and in two weeks hasn’t pinned anyone. For all we know in three months the RAW creative team may wind up turning the few big names Smackdown has into just average mid-carders that are of no use to either brand.

I do hope that at some point this whole talent exchange ends with one undisputed WWE champion. I think it is long overdue. I think one champion bouncing back and forth between both shows could really enhance the storylines on both brands if done properly. While I have zero interest in seeing another Randy Orton vs. John Cena pay per view match, it would make sense to see the two faces of the brand battle it out to determine one true WWE champion. I love Alberto Del Rio but a Cena vs. Orton winner takes all match between the brands makes the most sense in this case.

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Eric G.

Eric is the owner and editor-in-chief of the Camel Clutch Blog. Eric has worked in the pro wrestling industry since 1995 as a ring announcer in ECW and a commentator/host on television, PPV, and home video. Eric also hosted Pro Wrestling Radio on terrestrial radio from 1998-2009. Check out some of Eric's work on his IMDB bio and Wikipedia. Eric has an MBA from Temple University's Fox School of Business.

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