Bruce Prichard comments on the original brand split

Apr 17, 2018 - by Steve Gerweck

“It was around the Royal Rumble time. The WCW brand was dead. Nobody cared, so rather than try to revive a dead brand, you had two strong brands in Raw and SmackDown so let’s just really put the gas on both of those and do something from within. So, it was probably around the Royal Rumble time because we are thinking, holy s–t, now what? How do we split them? Who gets who? Vince McMahon presented the idea of creating our own competition and separating the brands. In Vince’s head, Vince saw it as Raw was one brand, SmackDown was the other brand and never shall the two cross that if you are SmackDown you have got 3-4 years on SmackDown before you could ever be seen on Raw again and vice versa. We all took it that you were able to build for an entire year so that WrestleMania was your Super Bowl. Whoever your SmackDown champion was he would face your Raw champion, that was the one time every year that the two brands would mingle together and merge and face one another. Vince McMahon was like, no, they are separate brands and they will remain separate, but WrestleMania will have representation from both, but they wouldn’t be against one another. It was kind of confusing, but to us it was an opportunity to build two guys and they get to meet one time a year where you get to see the mega matches, what would happen? Vince was like, no, they are separate brands, they will remain separate. At this time, we were still in the studios in Stamford, CT and we had a Writer’s Room. It’s funny because the Writer’s room I had designed a long time ago is what became in the studio at the time, but I had a big conference room in the center and around the conference room were actual offices for each of the writers to have their own separate offices where they can come together and meet in the conference room in the middle. The only difference with this space was that it wasn’t individual offices, there were desks around, you didn’t have any privacy to shut the door. So, if you had a conversation with somebody, the guy at the desk heard everything you said, and you had nowhere to go privately. I think everybody was excited about it. To my recollection, everybody was happy as they were saying thank God that we don’t have to have everybody on both shows anymore and excited about the possibilities of giving new guys opportunity because a lot of those guys who were stuck in the middle have the opportunity to step up and have new opportunities on a new show.”

source: Something to Wrestle With podcast

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