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How WWE Could Have Structured the Championships After The Draft

Main Thought

One of the tricky parts about the brand split are the Championships. They are hard because, before the split we had 1 main Championship for the Men, the Women, and the Tag Teams, with 2 additional secondary belts for the Men. Now, we’ve got 4 singles titles for the men, 2 singles titles for the Women, and 2 titles for the tag teams and we don’t know which ones are ‘more important’. Now, you could think that these Championships would be named according to the respective brands, like the Raw Championship and the Smackdown Championship and so on, but no, it’s not that simple. 

Here is the current structure of the Championships:

Raw

  • Universal Champion
  • WWE Women’s Champion (used to be the top Championship for Women, maybe still is?)
  • WWE Tag Team Champions (used to be the top Championship for Tag Teams, maybe still is?)
  • US Champion

Smackdown

  • WWE World Champion (used to be the top Championship for Men, maybe still is, though based on a mid-card slot at Summer Slam, maybe it isn’t?)
  • Smackdown Women’s Champion
  • Intercontinental Champion
  • Smackdown Tag Team Champions

Hopefully you can see the inconsistency in the naming conventions. The biggest hurdle to jump when attempting a brand split and Championship expansion is how to integrate the new Titles with the pre-existing ones. This can be very tricky, as illustrated by the above list, especially when you consider that WWE wants us to believe that Smackdown is on equal footing with Raw, even though the new Raw Championship is the ‘Universal Championship’ and Smackdown’s is the humble ‘World Championship’.  Also of note, there are no Raw branded Championships, while Smackdown now has two branded Titles. 

My point is this, I wish there was a more clear and logical structuring of the Championships in WWE. Here is my proposal:

Raw

  • Men’s Champion
  • Women’s Champion
  • Tag Team Champion
  • US Champion*
  • Cruiser Weight Champion**

Smackdown

  • Men’s Champion
  • Women’s Champion
  • Tag Team Champion
  • Intercontinental Champion*

WWE Championships

  • WWE Men’s World Champion
  • WWE Women’s World Champion
  • WWE Tag team Champions

Here is how this would play out. Each brand would have their respective champions as laid out above, but the only way to become a WWE Champion, in your respective division, is to beat your counterpart at one of the 4 joint PPV events per year: Royal Rumble, Wrestlemania, Summer Slam, or Survivor Series. 

This would mean that at Wrestlemania the Raw Men’s Champion could face the Smackdown Men’s champion for the WWE World Championship. The loser is still the champion of their brand but the winner gets to take home the big gaudy belt that only the top person in each division, across brands, gets to own. 

But what happens if the WWE World Champion, in any division, loses a title match to someone on their own brand? For example, let’s assume Charlotte has the WWE Women’s World Championship belt because she beat the Smackdown Women’s Champion at Survivor Series. But she loses a Title match to Bayley at a Raw specific PPV event. Bayley would become the WWE Women’s World Champion, and if she were to lose that Championship to, say, Becky Lynch, at the Royal Rumble, she would still be the Raw Women’s Champion. 

This system allows for brand specific hierarchy and at the same time a company wide hierarchy of Championships, both with a clear naming convention. This also provides for brand specific rivalries over the Championships and inherently builds up the hype for a Raw Champion vs Smackdown Champion at one of the 4 power PPV events. Allowing for the WWE Championships to switch hands on a specific brand also provides added importance to the matches of whoever is WWE World Champion of their division. So WWE wouldn’t suffer the PR hit of only having ‘big’ matches at 4 shows per year. 

In summary, this system allows for ‘big’ matches at any show, provides a clear hierarchy for brand-specific titles and company-wide titles, and the names of the Championships actually make sense. 


* I included these only because there is no way WWE gets rid of these belts.

** Currently Raw has exclusive rights to the Cruiser Weight Division, this I think is the only fly in the ointment per se. Though over time, it is certainly possible that Smackdown gains the Cruiser Weights as well and introducing a WWE World Cruiser Weight Champion would be a piece of cake.


Things of Note

  • The sets keep getting better. Seriously, they’ve majorly upped the game here. 

  • There will be a Women’s Six Pack challenge at Backlash to determine the new Smackdown Women’s Champion. Also at Backlash, there first ever Smackdown Tag Championships will be decided. 

  • I really hope this Heath Slater thing turns into him winning the Tag Titles, that would be amazing. It would definitely not be normal WWE, and that would be refreshing. 

  • Interesting twist, if Styles beats Ziggler tonight he faces Ambrose at Backlash but if Ziggler wins then it will be a Triple Threat match at Backlash. AJ = not pleased. 

  • Wyatt interrupted Orton’s monologue, which was teased last week I believe, when Wyatt stared Orton down as they crossed paths on the ramp. So no real surprise here from that angle but I am excited to see these two feud, this should be fun.  

  • Shane said that ‘This thing between him and Brock Lesnar is far from over.” Please don’t make him fight Lesnar, that would be so dumb. 

  • Slater found a partner in Rhyno, which I thought would be a possibility, but wasn’t for sure. Not sure how this is going to go for them though.  

Matches

Becky Lynch vs. Alexa Bliss

Hey, Becky got a win!! It’s about time. 


The Ascension vs. The Usos

This match went as expected, The Usos win. 


Carmella vs. Nikki Bella

No match. Carmella went crazy and beat the crap out of Nikki.


American Alpha vs. Breezango

This match was really fun. Breezango performed very well even though we knew they were going to lose. Best match of the night thus far, though I suspect Ziggler vs Styles will take that honor later on. 

American Alpha win. 


Dolph Ziggler vs. AJ Styles

These guys, jeesh. Both of them are so dang good. This match was wonderful. I feel bad for Ziggler though. 

Styles wins. 

Show Grade

A-.

The last 2 matches were very good. The belts look great. I hate the normal Tag Team belts but the blue and silver ones look great, as does the Women’s belt, very classy. They also did a good job of building up Backlash so quickly after Smackdown. This is what I was hoping for post Summer Slam.