As a former World Heavyweight champion, the sole survivor at the Survivor Series where Sting debuted in WWE, who's now fighting for time on pay-per-view (PPV) pre-shows, Dolph Ziggler is the kind of guy you'd have to assume is looking forward to the Raw/SmackDown brand split.
His interview with Brian Fritz at Sporting News shows you'd be right, too.
Ziggler points to increased opportunity for performers, but also a rivalry that should lead to more different kinds of stars and stories as the two shows try to top the other:
That brand extension is great for everyone. It will initiate more of a competition between the brands, which can only lead to good things. We're going to have to be throwing more things against the wall trying to see what sticks and running with it and there's going to be a ratings competition. There's going to be competition for bragging rights. And the most important part of this entire thing as someone who studies the business and wrestling and sports entertainment, the most important part is that it's an opportunity for several superstars and divas to go above and beyond and become much bigger and much more of an important part of their brand than they ever were before. That's the part I like.
Asked why this will be different from the previous brand split era, Ziggler does as many have and points to the the size of the WWE talent pool. He also makes a very good point - both shows being live will be a great equalizer:
Once you do the extension and set up the two different brands, it is now two "A" shows theoretically going head-to-head live one day after each other competing to be the best. That is a very cool part. That's the difference. It wasn't like that before.
Check out the whole interview for more from the Show-Off, especially about the upcoming second season of Swerved.
Do you think being live will help SmackDown avoid being considered a "B-show"? Will Dolph's fortunes be looking up with two distinct rosters?