There are pros and cons to WWE’s brand split. One weird logistical wrinkle was how it left the SmackDown Live crew in the position of spending Mondays on the road without much to do (unless you were a top level star working a dark match after Raw, as guys like John Cena, AJ Styles and Dean Ambrose have the last couple weeks).
Beginning tonight (Aug. 29), that starts to change. While Raw is filming in Houston, SmackDown has a house show in Texarkana, Arkansas.
The idea, as explained by Daniel Bryan shortly after the Draft, is the red brand will tour Friday - Monday while the blue brand does Saturday - Tuesday. This should maximize live revenue for the company, keep wrestlers working an equal number of days regardless of which show they’re on and often give them an extra day off the road per week.
Some fans have questioned the idea of WWE competing with itself in this way. It will be interesting to see how attendance is for non-televised Monday night live events, but there’s a case to be made the once-in-a-great-while opportunity to see a John Cena or AJ Styles in person beats staying home to watch a show you can DVR (or, that’s frankly pretty skippable, even for the company’s most dedicated followers).
We should have some data to fuel the debate soon. After a week off from the new schedule next Monday (wisely figuring they didn’t want to compete with a major holiday, Labor Day, in the United States), SmackDown resumes Monday work on Sept. 12 in Fairfax, Virginia.
What do you think of this version of SmackDown vs. Raw, Cagesiders?