Brand Expansion

At WrestleMania, Shane McMahon faced The Undertaker inside Hell In A Cell with control of RAW on the line. This had many people speculating about whether WWE was going to use this storyline as a catalyst to do another Brand Split, into RAW and SmackDown like they did back in 2002. RAW & SmackDown doesn’t get me too excited. Those are different colors with the same flavor. It works with beer on St. Patrick’s Day but doesn’t work for year-round wrestling. What I’d like to see is two separate major brands that would make the fans feel like they had more of a CHOICE again. I want WWE & NXT.


WWE could keep RAW on Mondays, and NXT could have SmackDown. The rosters would combine at Pay-Per-Views / Network Specials. The rosters would never have inter-promotional matches on TV, only at the special events & maybe the Slammys (which should maybe be moved off of RAW, retooled, & put onto the Network anyway). WWE would maintain its “sports entertainment” flavor, and NXT would maintain its “pro wrestling” vibe. WWE would stay PG, NXT would be TV-14. This is the trick used by Disney where they don’t release Rated-R movies under the “Disney” label, but they release Rated-R movies under studios they own (For example: “Deadpool” from Disney-owned Marvel Studios). WWE can still be a family-friendly brand, whereas NXT can have more freedom.

I’d have NXT keep running different style of venues like concert halls and theaters, but the biggest ones possible in big cities. WWE would have 3 hours of RAW, NXT would have 2 hours of SmackDown, plus a 3rd hour in their current WWE Network time slot that would be used for the newest stars trying to get TV time and experience. That show could be called NXT Breakout or something, and could still be filmed in Orlando.

This past summer Daniel Bryan spoke about the benefits of a brand split.

WWE Brand

Owner: Vince

GM: Shane

Tier 1

  1. John Cena
  2. Brock Lesnar (Heel Turn – he’s a natural heel.)
  3. Seth Rollins (A babyface turn and a NXT switch at some point could be exciting, refreshing, and beneficial for all parties involved)
  4. Roman Reigns
  5. Undertaker
  6. AJ Styles (Push. On WWE roster because his career is winding down)
  7. Sheamus (When Samoa Joe eventually comes over to WWE, I would send Sheamus over to NXT. For a big man, he’s great at having quality matches with smaller, faster, more athletic performers. He & Barrett would form the NXT branch of League Of Nations)
  8. Alberto Del Rio
  9. Bray Wyatt (Push)
  10. Bully Ray (Bubba’s edgier meaner character from TNA days would fit better in TV-14, but he could still get it over within PG restrictions)
  11. Chris Jericho
  12. Big Show
  13. Kevin Owens (He’s a good heel, which is rare these days, and I don’t have enough faith in the NXT crowds to let him BE a heel. It would also make Owens Vs Zayn at a major PPV that much more special)

Tier 2

  1. Big E (Push)
  2. Rusev
  3. Sami Zayn (Push)
  4. Apollo Crews (Push)
  5. D-Von Dudley
  6. Kalisto (Push)
  7. Sin Cara
  8. Ryback (Push)
  9. Mark Henry
  10. The Miz (Miz could garner some great heat in NXT too)
  11. Darren Young
  12. Kofi Kingston
  13. Xavier Woods
  14. Kane (Lose a retirement match against Bray Wyatt)
  15. Big Cass
  16. Enzo Amore
  17. R-Truth
  18. Goldust
  19. Tyler Breeze (He got MAJOR kid heat from the live crowd in Chicago. Kid heat = PG Brand. If he doesn’t go as over-the-top with the “Tyler voice” and displays more aggression, he should be in the IC & US Title pictures. Pair him with Fandango for some modern metrosexual male team. Vignettes of them at clubs, the gym,  at restaurants ordering super complicated healthy orders).
  20. Fandango
  21. Jimmy Uso
  22. Jey Uso
  23. Erick Rowan
  24. Rhyno
  25. Primo
  26. Epico
  27. Kishan Raftar
  28. Jeet Rama
  29. Doc Gallows
  30. Karl Anderson
  31. Aiden English
  32. Simon Gotch

Tag Division

  1. New Day
  2. The Usos
  3. The Lucha Dragons
  4. Dudley Boyz
  5. League of Nations (Sheamus, Del Rio, Rusev)
  6. The Wyatt Family (Bray, Rowan)
  7. Tyler Breeze & Fandango (Modern Males / The Chick Magnets)
  8. Doc Gallows & Karl Anderson (Bullet Club)
  9. The Golden Truth (R-Truth & Goldust)
  10. Enzo & Cass (Push – Best Tag Team Act in the company)
  11. The Vaudevillains (I think their gimmick fits best in a PG world.)
  12. The Colons

Divas Divison

  1. BAYLEY (Perfect for PG, kid-friendly world)
  2. Charlotte
  3. Sasha Banks
  4. Becky Lynch (Push)
  5. Naomi (Push)
  6. Tamina
  7. Paige 
  8. Natalya
  9. Alicia Fox
  10. Summer Rae
  11. Lana
  12. Nia Jax

Divas Tag Division

  1. Team BAD (Naomi, Tamina, Nia Jax)
  2. Paige & Alicia Fox
  3. Becky & Natalya
  4. Charlotte & Summer Rae
  5. Sasha & Bayley (Modern-day,  female Rock N Sock mix of “Cool” Tweener Face & loveable “geeky” babyface)

Recommended Signings

  1. Magnus
  2. Kurt Angle (Undertaker Schedule – WrestleMania, SummerSlam, could team with American Alpha at Survivor Series)
  3. Ethan Carter III / Derrick Bateman (When TNA contract is up)
  4. Rob Van Dam
  5. Eric Young (I feel like the writers would love to have his range at their disposal)
  6. Gunner
  7. David Hart Smith (KES)
  8. Lance Hoyt (KES)
  9. Matt Morgan (If he can be convinced to come out of retirement. 39 sounds old, but he’s 8 years younger than Batista.)
  10. MVP
  11. Shelton Benjamin (Mic skills have always been weak spot, what if Kurt Angle is his manager? MVP as manager?)
  12. Bobby Lashley (When TNA contract is up)
  13. Jeff Hardy (When TNA contract is up)
  14. Matt Hardy (When TNA contract is up)
  15. Drew McIntyre / Galloway (When TNA contract is up)
  16. Crimson
  17. Moose
  18. Michael Elgin
  19. Donovan Dijak

NXT Brand

Owner: Triple H

GM: William Regal

Assistant GM: Daniel Bryan (if he can be convinced to come out of retirement. The fans who come to NXT shows love & respect Daniel Bryan)

Women’s GM: Stephanie McMahon (Stephanie is praised for her mic work, but gets criticized for emasculating male talent that can’t retaliate against her, this could solve that problem)

Assistant Women’s GM: Brie Bella (if she can be convinced to go back on the road as on-air talent)

Tier 1

  1. Finn Balor (Push): Think of the interpromotional feuds / matches you could have at Summerslam & WrestleMania with Balor vs competitors he’s never faced on TV.


  2. Dean Ambrose (His character just feels kind of caged and misplaced in a PG world) Dean Ambrose NXT
  3. Samoa Joe (Push. Eventually, I’d have Samoa Joe win the NXT Title. Tyson Kidd would eventually challenge him, unsuccessfully – ala Bob Holly vs Brock Lesnar at Royal Rumble 2004. This would lead into Cesaro taking it very personally and taking on Joe and winning the NXT Championship. Samoa Joe would then face Tyson Kidd in a Loser Leaves NXT and lose, before making a Kevin Owens-type splash in the WWE and feuding with longtime friend but never-time opponent John Cena)
  4. Cesaro (Push – in front of crowds that have been clamoring for him to be in main events) Cesaro NXT                                                                  
  5. Cody Rhodes (Push. So many fresh matches & feuds.  Cody’s family has deep ties with the NXT brand)
  6. Dolph Ziggler (Push -Finally. I’d like to see his segments and promos without PG restrictions) Dolph Ziggler NXT
  7. Austin Aries (Push)
  8. Wade Barrett – on his way out, but the WWE is leaving money & untapped potential on the table. He is a unique talent. (Push)
  9. Luke Harper (Big push as a nasty heel. Let him talk on the mic. He’s better than WWE fans know)                            NXT Luke Harper   
  10. Neville         
  11. Randy Orton (Been around so long I think WWE crowds are a little numb to him. NXT puts more focus on wrestling – the thing Randy is best at. Turn him back heel & see what he can do in a TV-14 environment)
  12. Hideo Itami
  13. Shinsuke Nakamura
  14. Bobby Roode

Tier 2

I would give NXT at least one more championship, as a stepping stone to the NXT Title. It would be called something like the Future Championship, or Destiny, or Prodigy – something along those lines. The title could only be won once and never competed for again after it was lost, or you couldn’t compete for it after winning the NXT Title. Something to keep it fresh and meant to designate future champs and main event stars. With a TV-14 rating, you could also institute a Hardcore Championship if needed.

  1. Baron Corbin (Push – and first 2nd-Tier champion)
  2. Damien Sandow (Push)
  3. Jack Swagger (I feel like if he didn’t have a lisp, and he had more intensity, he’d be getting pushed as Brock Lesnar light. Maybe put Heyman with him? Since WWE already has Brock Lesnar, maybe he would be more unique and valuable in NXT)
  4. Zack Ryder
  5. Mojo Rawley
  6. Tyson Kidd
  7. Tomasso Ciampa
  8. Johnny Gargano
  9. Tye Dillinger
  10. Jason Jordan
  11. Chad Gable
  12. Alex Riley (Push – His most return to NXT & promo had a “chip on his shoulder” feel to it that reminded me of Steve Austin in ECW. I’d let him build steam in competitive but winning feuds over Gargano and Ciampa, establishing him as a top heel in the 2nd tier)
  13. Elias Samson
  14. Braun Strowman (I feel like he could generate massive heat from NXT crowds tossing around more skilled and more beloved performers than him)
  15. Rich Swann
  16. Curtis Axel
  17. Heath Slater
  18. Adam Rose
  19. Bo Dallas
  20. Scott Dawson
  21. Dash Wilder
  22. Blake
  23. Murphy
  24. Konnor
  25. Viktor
  26. Angelo Dawkins
  27. Sawyer Fulton
  28. Tucker Knight
  29. Riddick Moss
  30. Bronson Matthews
  31. ZZ

Tag Division

  1. American Alpha
  2. The Revival (Dash & Dawson)
  3. Hype Bros
  4. BAM (Blake Alexa Murphy)
  5. The Ascension
  6.  Kidd & Cesaro
  7. Ciampa & Gargano
  8. Social Outcasts
  9. Wyatt Family (Harper & Strowman)
  10. Dirty Heels (Austin Aries & Bobby Roode – probably only for Dusty Classic. It’s time for these guys to stay singles stars in the hunt for the title)

Women’s Divison

  1. Carmella
  2. Asuka
  3. Eva Marie (So miscast as a babyface in WWE right now)
  4. Cameron
  5. Amanda Saccomanno
  6. Emma
  7. Dana Brooke
  8. Alexa Bliss
  9. Peyton Royce
  10. Billie Kay (Push)
  11. Santana Garrett (Push)
  12. Liv Morgan
  13. Deonna Purrazzo
  14. Blue Pants
  15. Aliyah
  16. Athena

Women’s Tag Division

  1. Eva Marie & Cameron & Amanda
  2. Emma & Dana Brooke
  3. Liv Morgan & Deonna Purrazzo
  4. Blue Pants & Aliyah
  5. Peyton Royce & Billie Kay

Recommended Signings

  1.  Ricochet / Prince Puma (Long reign as Destiny Champion)
  2. Jay Lethal
  3. Batista (Complains about PG Era. Could be free of that in my TV-14 vision for NXT)
  4. Sonjay Dutt
  5. Matt Jackson (The Young Bucks)
  6. Nick Jackson (The Young Bucks)
  7. Alex Shelley (Motor City Machine Guns)
  8. Chris Sabin (Motor City Machine Guns)
  9. Ricochet
  10. Homicide (Latin American Xchange)
  11. Hernandez (Latin American Xchange)
  12. Cody Hall (son of Scott Hall)
  13. Justin Gabriel
  14. Evan Bourne
  15. Low-Ki / Senshi / Kaval (Why so many names for one gimmick?)
  16. Roderick Strong
  17. Amazing Red
  18. ACH

About Joe McCaffrey

Sometimes I teach. Sometimes I write. Sometimes I give advice. Sometimes I make people laugh. Sometimes I party. I write stuff for the comedy website and I do some stand-up comedy.
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