On this date in WWE history (Mar. 25): The brand extension & draft splits the roster in two

jmw-designs©

WWE buys WCW and has too many stars for one show. What to do? Brand extension!

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?

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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

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25 MAR 2012
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  • 25 MAR 2011
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