On March 25, 2002, World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) would hold a special Monday Night Raw from the Bryce Jordan Center on the campus of Penn State University in State College, PA, to kick off its brand extension, beginning with an official "draft" that would split the roster and send half the talent over to SmackDown!
That kind of thing happens when you buy your biggest competitor and acquire most of its wrestlers.
Here's how the roster was separated (via PW Insider):
RAW: The Undertaker, The nWo (Scott Hall, Kevin Nash & X-Pac), Kane, WWF Intercontinental Champion Rob Van Dam, Booker T, Big Show, Bubba Ray Dudley, Brock Lesnar, WWF European Champion William Regal, Lita, WWF Hardcore Champion Bradshaw, Steven Richards, Matt Hardy, Raven, Jeff Hardy, Mr. Perfect, Spike Dudley, D'Lo Brown, Shawn Stasiak, Terri, Jacqueline, Goldust, Trish Stratus, Justin Credible, Big Bossman, Tommy Dreamer, Crash Holly and Molly Holly.
SmackDown!: The Rock, Kurt Angle, Chris Benoit, Hulk Hogan, WWF Tag Team Champions Billy and Chuck, Edge, Rikishi, D-Von Dudley, Mark Henry, Maven, Billy Kidman, WWF Cruiserweight Champion Tajiri, Chris Jericho, Ivory, Albert, The Hurricane, Al Snow, Lance Storm, Diamond Dallas Page, Torrie Wilson, Scotty 2 Hotty, Stacy Keibler, Christian, Test, Faarooq, Tazz, Hardcore Holly, Val Venis and Perry Saturn.
***WWF Undisputed Champion Triple H and WWF Women's Champion Jazz were ineligible to be drafted and would wrestle on both shows. Steve Austin was also ineligible to be drafted and would make the decision as to which brand he wanted to be on the following week.
The brands remained separate for years, for the most part, aside from pay-per-view (PPV) events and some migration from Extreme Championship Wrestling (ECW) while it was still in existence. Recently, fans have seen quite a bit of mixing and matching thanks to the Raw "Supershow and the advent of the "Three-Hour Raw"
Separate brands... was it a good thing or a bad thing?
And now, from the desk of the CSS Senior Editor, for your viewing pleasure we bring to you:
Additional posts dusted off from the --
25 - MARCH
25 MAR 2012
25 MAR 2011
- TNA issues get worse: Kurt Angle arrested for drunk parking on median by bix Mar 25, 2011 8:54 PM CDT
- Work or Legit? The Feud Between UFC Light Heavyweight Champion Jon Jones and Rashad Evans by Kaleb Kelchner Mar 25, 2011 1:17 PM CDT - 5 comments
- GLAAD forces WWE and John Cena to knock off the homophobic jokes by Keith Harris Mar 25, 2011 7:06 AM CDT - 9 comments
25 MAR 2010
- Why stop at eight WWE wrestler deaths before the age of 50, when there's plenty more to choose from? by Keith Harris Mar 25, 2010 7:16 PM CDT - 6 comments
- TNA & Spike TV To Experiment With Moving Impact An Hour Earlier On April 5th by bix Mar 25, 2010 6:00 PM CDT - 1 comment
- Bill Goldberg contemplates working with WWE again despite his past hatred of Vince McMahon and HHH by Keith Harris Mar 25, 2010 3:33 PM CDT