With Survivor Series getting closer and closer, the theme of Brand vs Brand is apparent. We have the champions of each brand fighting it out to prove that they are the better representatives of the respective belt. Of course, there are the traditional five on five matches, one for women and another for men. On top of all this, members of Smackdown have invaded Raw in a recent episode, taking out any superstar that would stand in front of them. However, in this modern era where kayfabe is pretty much dead, could such a storyline work?
To begin with, we can all remember when the brands have split once more, when Vince McMahon himself came out and announced that the brands would compete against each other in sales and fans. What followed was Smackdown and Raw getting different rosters with separate championships to represent their divisions. The siblings Shane McMahon and Stephanie McMahon would try and up each other each week in order to prove that theirs is the superior show. However, this kind of dynamic was not going to realistically last once the advertisements would show up.
Viewers and fans alike would see Smackdown advertise Raw PPV’s and vice-versa, throwing away everything that was built up by McMahon during the brand split. While it is understandable that the WWE needs to market their shows as much as they can, when they sell a story that sees the two brands as rivals in everything, seeing something like this is simply mind-boggling. The storyline seemed to diminish over time since then, with even the Survivor Series that followed feeling lackluster. It was supposed to be Smackdown versus Raw, but the outcomes of the PPV were never really addressed thereafter.
To further the ruined legitimacy of the storyline, superstars from the supposed rival brands have appeared in pictures together. This practice is very common, with superstars pretty much beating the dead horse that kayfabe is. When wrestlers are supposed to be at each other’s heads, the higher-ups should ban the posting of pictures that do not respect the ongoing storylines, and should punish those who break those rules. This is why we cannot have nice things as fans. The rise of the internet era has destroyed any chance of wrestling being taken seriously, which brings us to the conclusion.
No matter what efforts the bookers make to make this storyline legit, a Raw versus Smackdown storyline will not work for the reasons showcased above. It is highly probable that after Survivor Series, just like in 2016, many storyline progressions will not be addressed or just be left forgotten. Raw and Smackdown will probably continue to promote each other as well. However, this does not mean that the PPV will not be enjoyable, with matches that have potential to blow everybody away. Yet enjoyable does not always mean reasonable…