It’s been reported that WWE wants to disband separate live events for Raw and Smackdown later this year. Although this does not mean the company is entirely scrapping the brand extension it started back in 2002, it does pose an interesting scenario for future WWE live events.
The main reason the company is looking to change up live events is because the “Smackdown” brand has failed to draw audiences for the past year or so. Unlike with Raw branded live events, Smackdown events have not lived up to expectations as of late.
You could say this is WWE’s own fault with the way they have been advertising Smackdown for the past couple of years. Back when the brand extension started, you had guys like Kurt Angle, Brock Lesnar and Undertaker on Smackdown, while Raw had the likes of Triple H, Batista and Randy Orton. A few years after that, Cena became a huge draw card for Raw while Batista was the main man on Smackdown.
More recently though, the Smackdown brand started to lose its luster and there was no main focal point star that was popular enough to draw the crowds. This is why Orton has been kept as a babyface for so long because Sheamus did not become as popular as WWE thought he would be. Raw events continue to be popular because of Cena and now CM Punk as well.
At some point in 2013, you can expect to see both stars from Raw and Smackdown now in live events since wrestlers now compete on both shows anyway.