The Pros and Cons Of WWE Going Back To Hybrid Raw And Smackdown PPV Events

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WWE reintroduced the draft back in 2016 in response to having a very large roster. What looked good on paper has not turned out well for the company as there will be no more one brand only PPVs anymore.

Even though the draft is still ongoing, PPV events from April 2018 onward will now be dual branded shows.

The single brand PPV concept originally started back in June 2003 and ended sometime in April 2007. The concept lasted for nearly four years until WWE decided go back to dual branded shows. 

The new single branded draft concept lasted even a shorter length than last time. The new draft only introduced single branded PPVs starting on September 2016 with the last one branded show being in March 2018. 

The concept this time around did not even last as long as two years! There are both pros and cons to the end of single branded PPVs, and we'll try our best to list them all down below. 

Pros - Bigger Crowds: There are pros to ending single branded PPVs and this is an increase in ticket sales.

Smackdown Live struggled last year with single branded PPVs as lots of empty seats were at the arenas as seen in Hell in a Cell, Battleground and more.

With both rosters now being on PPV, this might entice more people to buy tickets to see the shows in person.

Bigger crowds make the shows better since the atmosphere feels more alive and isn't dull with a quiet and sparse attendance.

Pros - Less shows means less fatigue: One of the problems that WWE has done recently is giving people too many shows in one year.

Thanks to the WWE Network, the company felt compelled to increase its PPV show count to well above the standard 12 per year like before.

As a result of this, WWE Network PPVs were aired within a span of two weeks or so from each other.

One week we just saw a Raw PPV, and then two weeks later fans had to get ready to watch a Smackdown PPV!

Viewer fatigue catches up if you want to watch everything that the WWE has to offer. Now with less shows, it will be much easier for casual fans to catch up with the action once per month. 

Pros - TV shows might be better: Back when the WWE had dual branded PPV events, build up for the TV shows would last for a maximum of four weeks.

When single branded PPVs were introduced, the gaps in the storytelling widened.

For example when SummerSlam ended on August 20th last year, Raw's next PPV of No Mercy was scheduled to be on September 24th which is just a one month gap.

Smackdown's next PPV however wasn't airing until October 8th for Hell in a Cell.

The seven week gap between SummerSlam and Hell in a Cell made the Smackdown TV shows very boring to watch.

This is because WWE would save big matches only for the PPV so the TV shows would purposely get boring until a PPV was near.

Cons - Same old wrestlers might get booked: One of the cooler things about single branded PPVs is that it made sure mid-card and lower-card talent had a spot on the big shows.

With dual branded PPVs coming back, these wrestlers might be relegated back to only dark matches and pre-show events.

WWE might use dual branded PPV events to showcase the same old wrestlers all the time.

Expect to see lots of Roman Reigns, Ronda Rousey, John Cena and Randy Orton on PPV a lot while people like Tye Dillinger, Bray Wyatt and the Cruiserweights get shafted off the main shows.

Cons - WWE could make every PPV 4 hours: Right now WWE has the biggest rosters of all time thanks to them acquiring lots of indie talent and other wrestlers from around the world.

The roster is getting so large, there's not enough time to showcase everybody.

Usually PPV events are only 3 hours long which is the standard length it has been for many years. The only time WWE do 4 hour events are at Royal Rumble, WrestleMania, SummerSlam and Survivor Series. 

With dual branded PPVs coming back, there has been talk that EVERY PPV from now on will be four hours long! Sure less shows as I aforementioned is a good thing, but longer shows is also a problem...

Bottom Line: It's too early to tell if doing dual branded PPVs will make WWE much enjoyable to watch. Watching 3 hours of Raw and 2 hours of Smackdown each week is hard enough in itself right now.

That said, bringing both rosters on a PPV is sure to make the shows more exciting for casual audiences.

The problem with single branded PPVs the last time is that it forced WWE to fill the card with meaningless and boring matches.

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