Opinion: The brand split has become meaningless and needs to end
In a not so shocking turn of events last night, SmackDown Superstar Shelton Benjamin appeared on RAW and attacked Seth Rollins, leading to a match between the two. Rollins won but this is just another example of why the current brand split has become meaningless and needs to end.
Disclaimer: The views of the author do not represent the views of Sportskeeda
When the brand split was reintroduced in 2016, there was some excitement, as fans thought it would mean more Superstars would get a chance to shine and win titles since RAW and SmackDown would be separated again. However, that ended fairly quickly with the Randy Orton v. Brock Lesnar feud from SummerSlam 2016, when Orton would appear on RAW to attack Lesnar in the build to their match. That wasn’t a huge issue though since Lesnar rarely appeared and WWE had to build the feud somehow.
The issue has been in the past two years with Superstars appearing on the opposite brand for no apparent reason. This trend began last year when Big Show, who was last seen on RAW being destroyed by Braun Strowman, was on SmackDown teaming with The Bar.
The most recent example is Matt Hardy, who was last seen on RAW after losing the Tag Team Championships, appeared on SmackDown to team with his brother Jeff. Another example, and the most annoying example, is Kevin Owens who was last seen on RAW being taken out by Bobby Lashley, appeared on SmackDown (where he was banned from after losing at WrestleMania last year) to challenge Daniel Bryan for the WWE Championship.
Superstars appearing on other brands wouldn’t be an issue if there was an explanation behind it, like a trade between RAW and SmackDown or something like that, but there are no explanations at all. This is just diminishing the purpose of the brand split and if WWE is going to continue doing this, then they should just end the brand split already. What's to stop Daniel Bryan from showing up on a RAW and claiming to be the Undisputed WWE World Champion since Lesnar is never there to defend the Universal Championship?
Another issue that this has caused is that it has devalued the SmackDown Women’s Championship. Ever since the Royal Rumble, Becky Lynch and Charlotte have been appearing more on RAW than their own brand, which is SmackDown. This has left Asuka overshadowed and without a clear opponent for WrestleMania. At this point, it wouldn’t surprise me if she defends the title on the kickoff show at WrestleMania, and Asuka and the title deserve better than that.