Quick Takes on WWE's Broken Brand Split, MJF as AEW World Champion and More

Graham GSM Matthews@@WrestleRantFeatured Columnist IVSeptember 19, 2022

Quick Takes on WWE's Broken Brand Split, MJF as AEW World Champion and More

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    The official demise of WWE's Brand Split may be on the horizon. (Credit: WWE.com)

    Despite Triple H assuming creative control of the company over the summer and quickly righting several wrongs, WWE's Brand Split has remained in a state of flux with no indication that any effort will be put into improving it.

    Raw and SmackDown continue to feature crossover of talent on a weekly basis without any explanation. The timing couldn't be worse with Survivor Series, the one night of the year built around brand supremacy, a mere two months away.

    A case can be made for AEW needing a brand extension of its own, but what can't be questioned is that MJF must be crowned AEW World champion sooner rather than later.

    Having been the best part of the product for the past year, it's more a matter of when than if MJF will be holding gold. Jon Moxley and Bryan Danielson will face off for the vacant title on Wednesday's Dynamite, but how the championship picture will be booked from there remains to be seen.

    This week's Quick Takes will focus on why MJF is AEW's uncrowned champ, the pros and cons of Roman Reigns vs. Logan Paul at Crown Jewel, WWE's women's tag team division, and more.

WWE Must Either Adhere to Brand Split Rules or Eradicate It Entirely

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    Since bringing back the Brand Extension in the summer of 2016, WWE has played fast and loose with its rules and has poorly defined to what extent Superstars should be appearing on the opposing program.

    While that isn't a major issue in itself, it devalues the annual battle for brand supremacy at Survivor Series, a theme that has simply never meant much as a result. Nothing has changed during the Triple H regime and thus it might be time to eradicate it all together.

    In recent weeks, The Street Profits have competed on SmackDown, Aliyah has wrestled on Raw (prior to winning the WWE Women's Tag Team Championship), and Alpha Academy have appeared on SmackDown. Zero explanation was provided for any of these instances.

    In theory, the Brand Split works to create new stars and ensure top talent aren't overexposed. If the two rosters are kept separate, the Draft (which should be saved until after WrestleMania) and eventual matches between certain Superstars feel more special.

    Ignoring the rules of the Brand Split only serves to insult the intelligence of viewers.

    It would be in WWE's best interest at this point to outright announce the end of the imaginary border between brands for the foreseeable future or put forth more of a conscious effort to make it matter.

Another Heel Faction Will Not Fix AEW's Booking Woes

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    AEW has not been shy over the years about adding members of the roster to random factions when they can't find direction on their own.

    Ethan Page, Gunn Club, Lee Moriarty. W. Morrissey and Stokley Hathaway are the latest example of that.

    Collectively known as The Firm, the Hathaway-led faction explained on Wednesday's Dynamite that they merely exist to serve as MJF's "stable on retainer." In other words, they will not appear on television together regularly and will only join forces when needed to fight MJF's battles a la The Avengers.

    Each of them have their sights set on gold, but considering they've been given an official faction name, it's safe to say The Firm is here to stay. At a time when AEW should be looking to shake things up and push fresh faces, the arrival of yet another heel faction is far from necessary right now.

    It's essentially a lateral move for someone such as Page, who jumped from one group to another. Additionally, MJF was already involved in a superior stable that disbanded earlier this year (The Pinnacle), so giving him another group of cronies so soon is an unoriginal route to take.

    Everyone in The Firm would benefit from individual attention creatively, so it's smart to keep them separated and get fans familiar with what they're capable of that way.

Pros and Cons of Logan Paul Challenging Roman Reigns at Crown Jewel

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    A week ago, the idea of Logan Paul challenging Roman Reigns for the Undisputed WWE Universal Championship would have been comical. Even after it was made official at Saturday's Las Vegas press conference, it still is.

    Paul last competed at July's SummerSlam event, where he defeated The Miz in impressive fashion and seemed to win over a significant portion of the audience. There was no timetable on his return to the ring until he resurfaced on Friday's SmackDown and randomly threw down the gauntlet for a match with Reigns at Crown Jewel on November 5.

    As has always been the case with the Saudi Arabia's super-shows, WWE's primary goal with Crown Jewel is to stack the card with star power and book as many marquee matches as possible. That's why last year's installment featured Brock Lesnar in the main event, Edge in the opener, and Goldberg in the midcard.

    Thus, if he's available to appear, Paul competing at Crown Jewel is perfectly plausible and welcomed. Him facing Reigns is undoubtedly an attraction, but the Undisputed title being up for grabs is what's so absurd about the situation.

    It makes a mockery of the main championship picture when Paul can win two matches (only one being a one-on-one affair) and instantly earn himself a shot at the straps. This could have easily been resolved by making their matchup non-title.

    If nothing else, the buildup should be must-see for the promos alone. Paul's devotion to honing his in-ring craft also means it should be quite the spectacle.

WWE's Revived Women's Tag Team Division Isn't off to the Strongest Start

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    WWE's announcement in August to bring back the WWE Women's Tag Team Championship that had been dormant since May was met with mixed criticism from fans and understandably so.

    Aside from the first few months of the titles' existence, they have never been treated with much importance.

    WWE putting together a tournament to crown new champs in the weeks preceding Clash at the Castle was a step in the right direction, but the makeshift team of Raquel Rodriguez and Aliyah (who lacked chemistry as partners from the get-go) winning the whole thing was certainly a questionable call.

    It would have been acceptable if the duo went on to have a dominant run, but they quickly lost the titles within two weeks to Dakota Kai and Iyo Sky. That left fans to wonder why they fell short of becoming champs in the first place.

    It doesn't help that there currently isn't too deep of a division for them to defend against. There are a handful of makeshift teams, but more will be needed to make the belts worthwhile.

    The likely call-up of Toxic Attraction will be a big boost along with Ronda Rousey and Shayna Baszler potentially joining forces at some point.

When Will MJF Win the AEW World Championship?

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    AEW's ongoing tournament to crown a new world champion, which will culminate this coming Wednesday on Dynamite, doesn't make a whole lot of sense considering MJF was already in possession of a title shot following his win in the Casino Ladder match at All Out.

    Realistically, he should have automatically been awarded the title when CM Punk was stripped of it due to his suspension and injury. Instead, he's had to sit on the sidelines until the tourney is over to announce his intentions to cash in his earned opportunity.

    From a booking standpoint, it's logical that Tony Khan would want to hold off on MJF as AEW World champ since it would be robbing fans of that long-awaited moment if he were to have it handed to him. Now the question is when it should finally happen.

    There hasn't been any confirmation on whether MJF can choose to contend for the title immediately following Jon Moxley vs. Bryan Danielson at Grand Slam or if he has to announce it in advance. Doing the former would make for more of a shock, but waiting until Full Gear would give Moxley or Danielson a little longer of a reign.

    Either way, it's merely delaying the inevitable.

    MJF in chase mode will be money, but MJF as champion is extremely overdue. Executing it at Full Gear would be ideal, but regardless of when it comes to fruition, The Salt of the Earth is who AEW needs to build the brand around in order to deliver the most compelling product possible.


    Graham Mirmina, aka Graham "GSM" Matthews, has specialized in sports and entertainment writing since 2010. Visit his website, WrestleRant, and subscribe to his YouTube channel for more wrestling-related content.

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