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Vince McMahon believes WWE brand split is ‘working extremely well’

We’re more than six months in to the second “brand extension” in WWE history. This one began when SmackDown became SmackDown LIVE in July of 2016.

Most diehard fans would probably call it at least a partial success. With two live broadcasts each week and distinct rosters working Monday and Tuesday nights, critical appraisal and ratings are up for SmackDown, and Raw is at least thought of the same as it was prior to the draft.

How are things from a business perspective? Honestly, it’s probably too early to make a definitive judgement, as analysts look for trends in live attendance numbers and in Network subscriptions.

Of course, as with all things WWE, one man’s opinion matters more than everyone else’s. And Chairman & CEO Vince McMahon is naturally going to tell his shareholders and the investment press that he’s bullish on the change, but that doesn’t mean we as fans shouldn’t pick apart his words every bit as much as a stock broker or business analyst would!

So here’s what McMahon said about the brand split on his Feb. 9 conference call on WWE’s Q4 2016 financials:

It's working extremely well, it's working exactly like we thought it would. There is some crossover, which is what we wanted. But at the same time, we're introducing new viewers.

You have fresh talent coming from one brand to the next. So in essence, if you haven't seen a Roman Reigns on SmackDown, then when he does - if and when he does - then that's really a big thing. It freshens up talent, and it gives us a much longer range in terms of the use of those talents and the IP that goes with them.

If you have only one show, or two shows with the same talent, it's difficult to create new stars because the tendency is to keep the larger talent on top all the time. So it allows other stars to climb the ladder of success.

Oh Vince. Even when talking about making new stars, he’s booking Reigns on two shows...

Jokes (?) aside, that sounds about right, no? It’s hard to imagine that men and women like Kevin Owens, Sami Zayn, AJ Styles, Miz, Alexa Bliss... the list goes on... would have the same opportunities if the same wrestlers from Mondays were still being featured in a tape-delayed show on Thursdays.

What’s your assessment of the brand split six-plus months in, Cagesiders? Is it going how you thought it would? Better? Worse?

Sound off below.

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