1. The brand split
2016 was a big year in WWE but there was nothing bigger this year than the decision to once again break up Monday Night RAW and Smackdown Live. Actually, the blue brand going live was an event on its own but the brand split is undoubtedly the biggest story of the year.
When I first found out that this was going to go down, I was a bit skeptical and I’m still not fully sold on the process. Even when WWE was doing this years ago, I wasn’t a huge fan. I don’t like the idea of multiple “world champions” as I think it devalues them a little bit but I understand why they do it. You don’t get the same storylines on each show during the week, and with a roster as big as what WWE has, you do want to see more guys get some TV time. You do get to have some of those RAW vs. Smackdown matches like we got at Survivor Series and see some matchups that we normally wouldn’t see. Plus you get to have two brands of house shows running at the same time, which obviously means more revenue coming in. Honestly, I think it is working thus far.
Sure, there are a few changes I’d make to each roster and each show but that’s what we do as wrestling fans. We second-guess EVERYTHING, don’t we? RAW still doesn’t need to be three hours and the cruiserweights should probably be on Smackdown Live, but overall I think the brand split is going to work, at least for a while. They’ve put together a new schedule of pay-per-views for 2017, with each getting their own show at least once a month and teaming up for the Royal Rumble, WrestleMania, SummerSlam, Survivor Series and Money in the Bank. So while there may not be a need for all of these pay-per-views, that’s what we’re getting and the WWE Network will likely benefit from this, which was likely the reasoning behind all of this anyway.
So we’ll see how this continues to play out, and if doesn’t end up working a couple of years down the line, we’ll just get another series of title unification matches.
There you have it. I’m sure there’s something I missed in there so please feel free to comment below on what you think the biggest WWE stories of 2016 were. And make sure to check back in with FanSided later this week for the top 10 NXT matches of the year and for all your WWE needs.