Source: The Ross Report
On episode 123 of The Ross Report, Jim Ross, the legendary professional wrestling broadcaster, spoke in detail about WWE's upcoming brand extension.
"If you are going to have true brand separation, then one brand doesn't exist to the other except in a very structured and promoted manner." Ross added, "I'd like to see the brands separated and stay clean, stay pure. And I really think that's important."
In Ross's view, the WWE brand extension should be "pure" so that when there is crossover between the brands at major shows, it would feel special.
"I'm really thinking that that's how I'd like to see it structured, absolutely pure as snow and no crossover. And that way, if you could be disciplined enough in your booking and your creative, then when you finally integrate, it's a big thing, it's really a big thing. And slow the process down for God's sakes."
In a world where WWE has no real competition, J.R. suggests that WWE create its own internal competition by providing the rival writing teams with financial incentives for outdoing each other.
"I really like the mindset, whether it ever happens or not, to where the writing groups are competitive enough. I would set up a thing where I would look at the ratings and whatever writing team was adding the most audience, some fair way of measuring growth - keyword growth - and the team that could incur the most growth on their particular show would win some cash incentives. All legal and above board, obviously, but bonuses and the more cheese they get on their Whopper, the better their show does. I would create some competition and if it creates some better ratings, then, it's a good idea and also put some cash in some deserving people's pockets, so that's one idea."
According to Ross, WWE Chairman Vince McMahon probably would not like the idea of having the United States Championship and the Intercontinental Championship float between brands.
"I'm not one to urinate on others' ideas, but if that idea was being pitched to Vince, I'm guessing, strictly guessing, that he would say, 'you can't be half pregnant', so it's all brand split or no brand split." Ross continued, "I think Vince would do the old half pregnant thing on the US and IC title. There [are] a lot of ways to do it. No doubt. Personally, I would just keep them clean. The US title to one brand [and] Intercontinental title on the other and call it a day."
Interestingly, Ross discussed the idea of having apparent free agents on WWE programming.
"You also got to have some guys that are somewhere that are on your miscellaneous list. They're free agents, so they don't really belong to a brand, but they're available. You could cover that in commentary. It's logical if you're contracted [to] WWE and you're not on one of the three brands, you're considered a free agent and you're able to negotiate short or long term deals with any brand at any time. What the hell, right?"
In addition to wanting to see so-called free agents on RAW, SmackDown, and NXT, Ross would also like to see veteran professional wrestlers filling roster spots in NXT.
"I think there'll be some good guys come up too, some key additions from NXT onto the two main rosters, but I also think that some of the guys that WWE is allegedly talking to about returning to work, some of the, as I've heard them described, '40+ year old former Superstars', those guys are perfect to go on NXT tours of 1,500 to 2,000 seat venues and they could work with green guys who need to learn to work with an experienced guy who'll slow down and tell a bit of a story, so the audience can process what they see in a smaller venue of these NXT arenas or venues are typically promoted. So that's how I'd look at those guys. If you've got somebody that you need to give a good win to somebody on TV or something, I get that and I understand that, but their duration of their time, unless they sign a one-year deal, most of that year might be in NXT on the road, using their name identity to sell tickets."
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