Is It Really Unification Season in WWE? - Triple Threat POV | Smark Out Moment

Is It Really Unification Season in WWE? - Triple Threat POV

Posted by Dallas Allsopp Friday, April 22, 2022

Welcome to another edition of Triple Threat from Smark Out Moment, where three of us get together to discuss three questions based on one big topic going down in the week of professional wrestling.

This week, Dallas Allsopp, Tony Mango and Callum Wiggins discuss whether or not it is Unification Season in WWE.

WWE has confirmed it's second Unification match in the space of a month, which begs the question - is this a sign of things to come?

Question 1: The Usos and RK-Bro will be defending their respective Tag Team Championships in a Unification match at WrestleMania Backlash. Do you expect a clean winner, and if so, should the titles be truly unified? Or is this just a temporary measure?

ALLSOPP: The Usos need to win, purely to use their victory as the next step on the road to utter dominance for Roman Reigns. It would make sense for this to be clean to reinforce just how dominant The Bloodline truly are, but I’d prefer a screwy finish instead. In terms of the titles being unified, I fully anticipate them to remain combined for the better part of the year, only separating at WrestleMania 39. The tag team division is pretty stale at the moment, so it’s not like it would matter much either way.

MANGO: Despite their status as heels, I do think The Usos will win this match relatively clean. WWE has gone a long way in making The Bloodline look as credible as possible, playing around with some shenanigans here and there, but never shying away from how they can still get the job done. There might be some sort of "referee didn't see that RK-Bro had the pin" type moment, but I don't think anyone will interfere to cost RK-Bro the match or anything like that. As far as the titles being unified, since WWE doesn't give a damn about the tag team division in the long run, I fully expect the belts to stay unified for a long while. They probably look at the crossover women's tag team as a benefit where they can book half the feuds, maximize the team variety in storylines and put people on Raw or SmackDown any week depending on their preference.

WIGGINS: WWE appears to be on the trend of unified or undisputed champions now, so this will likely stick around until the point they want to reinforce a strict brand split again in 3-5 years time. WWE can be fairly cyclical in this way. The Usos I believe will win as Randy Orton and Riddle, despite making for an excellent team, have more scope to excel as singles stars beyond RK-Bro.

Question 2: Would there be any benefit to unifying the WWE Intercontinental Championship with the WWE United States Championship?

MANGO: It's a double-edged sword situation. Having only one midcard title would make it mean more, as a bigger pool of better talent would be vying for the same price. Scarcity promotes value. But that means WWE would have half as many options to potentially experiment with someone who might not be at the top level. In the past, WWE has shown a tendency to only give the midcard title to main event or upper-midcard talent if there is only one world title. That would be where someone like a Seth Rollins would be champion if the focus of the world title is on Roman Reigns. In doing so, someone like Austin Theory wouldn't get a shot with the belt and he'd have a harder time establishing yourself. If you're down with a guy like Ricochet being pushed further down the hierarchy in order to upgrade the championship when it gets passed around between Bobby Lashley and Drew McIntyre, that's your trade-off.

WIGGINS: Considering how little these championships mean in the current context of WWE, it would seem like a logical set. But personally I appreciate the concept of these titles being the "Raw" and "SmackDown" championships, that can only be contested for by people on their respective brands. This then allows the Men's and Women's World and Tag Team Championships to be cross-branded, and these titles to mean a bit more than simply midcard titles. And good golly they need something to make them feel more special after the last few years in particular.

ALLSOPP: Ultimately, it would result in less opportunities for an admittedly bloated midcard, which is why I want the titles to remain separate. Especially with the Undisputed WWE Universal Championship almost guaranteed to remain in the hands of The Tribal Chief, both the WWE Intercontinental and WWE United States Championships would benefit from Seth Rollins, Kevin Owens, AJ Styles, and even Edge competing for them. It would also give Theory and Ricochet as the current holders with some higher level of credibility if they can retain.

Question 3: Why do you think WWE is promoting Unification matches as of late? Is this a preview of a more long term approach to titles in WWE?

WIGGINS: There's no such thing as a long-term approach in WWE. The fact is that Vince McMahon could wake up on the other side of the bed a few months from now and separate all the belts again. Unification is just his latest buzz word, in the same way the brand split and superstar shake-up was a few years back. I think they believe unification makes the matches sound more epic and must-see, but it doesn't have longevity - you can only unify so many titles until there are none left. So I envision these unified titles to be around for a year or two, when they then revert back to multiple world champions so they can "elevate" other superstars while the real guy (i.e. Roman Reigns) can stay on top for as long as they like.

ALLSOPP: It’s 2022 WWE, where ideas are thrown at the wall to see what sticks. Making Roman Reigns vs Brock Lesnar a Unification match was a poor decision, and that appears to have bled into current storylines to justify it’s use. Is it a sign of a long term approach? I’m loathe to say it is, as I do not want to give Vince McMahon any credit whatsoever.

MANGO: It has to be a combination of factors. Someone figured a title unification would make the Reigns/Lesnar match a bigger deal after the WWE Day 1 fiasco. Then, Vince got it in his head that they might as well do that with The Usos to make The Bloodline get even more heat. But on top of that, I think they're loving the idea that they don't have to create twice as many storylines. For about five years now, they've been extremely lazy with copying and pasting feuds, booking repetitive matches and segments (e.g., how many times did Bianca Belair do the KOD to Doudrop and we were supposed to act like we had never seen it before?) and just not caring about the overall quality of the product, rather than the quantity of content hours. I think this more simplified approach of wanting to trim things down applies to not just the roster talent pool itself, but their creative output, too. Vince misses a time when all he had to worry about was "Who is Hulk Hogan fighting?" and he wants to go back to that. Unifying titles makes it so you can have one group of stars spread over the 2 shows and 5 hours, rather than trying to book 2 groups of talent. They want the brand split, but they don't want to book the brand split, essentially, and unified titles allows crossover for "Wow! Guys! This person from Raw is going to appear on SmackDown! Isn't that special?"

Those are our thoughts on the issue, but where do you stand?

Let us know your answers to these questions in the comments below!

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Dallas Allsopp is a writer with two main interests, Pokemon and wrestling. He has been writing for a few years for his own personal blogs and is now taking his passion for wrestling and putting it into his writing. You can follow him on Facebook.


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