In what should have been a major bombshell announcement on Monday's Raw, but was only deemed worthy of a passing couple of opening sentences by onscreen figurehead Triple H, Raw and Smackdown wrestlers will now be able to appear on both shows. The obvious speculation after the dust had settled on the show was that this must mean the end of the brand split after nine and a half years of mixed results with the concept. After all, what's the point of having separate rosters for Raw and Smackdown when anyone can feature on either show at any time? That would seem rather silly even by WWE standards.
However, according to Dave Meltzer on his post Raw Wrestling Observer radio show that speculation would be incorrect. WWE creative are going to desperately cling to the brand split for as long as possible, even under such ridiculous circumstances, just like Linus clings to his blanket in the comic strip Peanuts. Indeed, Meltzer said that "with this writing crew it's absolutely impossible" to end the brand split and "you just couldn't do it." That's because the WWE creative team is so used to booking on the fly and wouldn't know how to plan their house show programs out several weeks in advance, so that management would have plenty of time to arrange hotel rooms and plane tickets for the touring talent. It doesn't help that Vince McMahon has become increasingly indecisive over the years, frequently demanding on a whim multiple rewrites of scripts as late as the day of the show that they're set to be performed on.
With the conservative mindset of "if it ain't broke, don't fix it", they're not going to drastically revamp the creative process until they stop being profitable, which ain't gonna happen any time soon. On paper, quick fix, easy solutions are the order of the day, which is why there will now be constant cross brand mingling to combat Raw's recent flat ratings even before football season begins and Smackdown's sluggish house show business. That may paper the cracks for a bit, but the real solution, the development of new top acts for a thin on star power WWE roster will be impeded by this move. With a lengthy opening interview for Triple H, key segments for the current big four of John Cena, Randy Orton, CM Punk and Alberto Del Rio, and the requisite Divas match, that doesn't leave much time for anyone else to get over. I suppose that problem, like usual, will be put off from being seriously dealt with until a rainy day comes, but it'll be too late then to prevent the company from getting any water damage.