This week on RAW, Mr. McMahon, Stephanie & Shane McMahon, and Triple H announced several changes to the way Monday Night RAW and Smackdown Live are run. These changes, they say, are meant to give Superstars more and better opportunities and give the WWE Universe a bigger voice. Whether or not that is true remains to be seen, but here is a summary of the changes made this week.
1) The McMahon Family will oversee RAW and Smackdown as a collective unit.
As a result, the roles of Commissioner and General Manager on both brands no longer exist. With Corbin’s failure to win on Monday night, he will return to being strictly a competing Superstar. Paige was officially dismissed as Smackdown General Manager on Tuesday, though without prejudice. Shane McMahon said that Paige “isn’t going anywhere,” though her future role is still unclear.
2) There will no longer be contractually obligated rematches for deposed champions.
In other words, if you lose your title, you go to the back off the line. This should help alleviate some of the redundancy that has plagued both brands.
These, of course, are the only changes that have been explained directly by the McMahons and Triple H on Monday. But there were some things either said or done that may indicate other future changes.
1) Stephanie says she is “done playing favorites” in the RAW Women’s division.
This could operate one or two ways. Number one is that opportunities will be earned by the Superstars and not handed out by management. Number two is that the top of the RAW Women’s division will no longer be occupied by the usual suspects (Alexa Bliss, Nia Jax, Bayley, Sahsa Banks). Both theories are supported by Natalya Gauntlet victory, but we will have to see exactly what happens.
2) Vince to Charlotte and Becky: “You got a problem, take it out on Ronda Rousey.”
I actually had to review the segment to make sure I got the exact quote, but as I said in my review for this week’s Smackdown Live, Vince McMahon all but gave Flair and Lynch carte-blanche to attack Rousey. With Marina Shafir and Jessamyn Duke making their in-ring debuts this week as well, the Four Horsewomen feud is well on its way.
3) Triple H to the WWE Universe: “You are The Authority.”
#PeoplePower is back, except this time, it’s meant to be true to its name. If that is the case, we could see the return of Cyber Sunday, as well as some championships return, namely the Hardcore Championship.
As the year turns, so does a new page in WWE. We will have to see if this is a true effort to return WWE to its former glory or simply a bid for time before reverting to the same old tactics.