From The Rumour Mill: Mid and lower card talents could suffer after PPV brand split ends
It seems that the end of the PPV brand split isn't good news for everyone
What's the story?
It has been speculated recently that WWE is set to go back to their dual pay-per-view format following this year's WrestleMania, which means that there will be a number of superstars who will suffer when there are fewer places on the pay-per-view events.
In case you didn't know...
When the brand split first came into effect back in the summer of 2016, WWE signed a number of new faces to make up the numbers on SmackDown and Raw as well as promoting a few guys from NXT which has worked quite well for them over the past 18 months.
There are a number of stars like The Ascension, Tye Dillinger, Heath Slater and Rhyno and a number of others who haven't been in very prominent positions on SmackDown or Raw over the past few months.
WWE now has more wrestlers working for their company than they have ever had which could become a problem when WWE makes their pay-per-views dual brand events once again.
The heart of the matter
The end of the pay-per-view brand split was the topic of discussion on the most recent episode of The Wrestling Observer Newsletter.
"The negative is a lot of the middle and lower card acts won’t be on PPV as much, if at all. And if they’re not on the PPV, they’ll be focused on less on television. One of the benefits of the brand split, which, when it comes to ratings has been a success since Smackdown is more popular and Raw’s massive slide has decreased, is that more wrestlers are being featured each week as stars. Since they have to fill hours of television, you’ll probably get more stipulation matches on the television shows that would have been on PPV with mid-level guys."
It seems that there could be room on television for many of these mid-card talents but there will no longer be room for them on pay-per-views. Whilst pay-per-views will be four hours long, it seems that this time will be split between Raw and SmackDown much like WrestleMania is, which means that there won't be enough time on the card for many lower card talents.
Elimination Chamber and Fastlane are the final solo brand pay-per-view events for WWE in the near future, so it will be interesting to see when the company are going to make the official announcement to mark the end of the brand split on pay-per-view.
WWE has more talent working for them right now than ever before and even though Raw and SmackDown are remaining separate entities, it seems that when superstars are called up from NXT following WrestleMania, we could realise that it's time to release some of their current talent that isn't being focused on TV as much. It's one of the worst parts of this change in format, but it seems that many talents aren't being used effectively right now, so they have even less chance in the future.