Word coming out of the Hart Family recently is they think WWE should split their roster down the middle, much like the days of having a RAW roster and a Smackdown roster. This is an idea that has floated around the WWE for some time now, believing that it may spark the attendance and viewership in the Smackdown brand; although, I personally believe they’ve seen the benefits of having the full roster at their disposal at any given moment. When you’re able to take top-tier talent and put them on your smaller shows like Main Event, you’ve got a good thing going. The difference between what has been done before and what the Hart Family is proposing is that instead of merely splitting the roster as they did during the Raw vs. Smackdown days, this time they would send the other half of the roster out of the United States.
The basis for the idea is that the UK and Eastern Europe have proved to be huge wrestling fans, while countries like China and India are untapped markets that WWE would have a great chance of getting into. If they send half the roster to Europe and the rest of the eastern world, building the brand there while keeping the Raw roster here, they would see unimaginable business gains.
When the WWE does their European tours, the shows nearly all sell out, practically guaranteeing 8,000-plus fans every single night. The argument could be made that the reason the tour is so successful is that they only travel over there once or twice a year, sometimes every other year, and they have almost the full roster on the tour. Having a foundation built over there, where the crowds all know that they could go any week they want to instead of having to wait a year or more to get the opportunity, may cause the fans to lose interest in the live shows. While everyone believes that the PPVs and primary shows — Raw and Smackdown — are where the WWE makes their money, they actually make the majority of it from live shows and merchandise. So causing a loss in interest would (obviously) be detrimental to the brand they’re attempting to establish. If the live event numbers drastically increase around the world and they don’t carry over stars like John Cena on that type of venture, they more than likely wouldn’t pull the types of numbers they would hope to maintain, especially after several months of being there.
The easy solution here is to bring in independent stars who are from the area, build them up and establish not only a huge superstar, but also solidify a grip on the region. Fans love wrestlers/entertainers they can relate to, even if it’s just the fact they’re from where the fans are from. I can’t imagine it would be very difficult to find a diamond in the rough in areas like India — where there are over 1.2 billion people — if you have your roster and scouts stationed there.
I can get behind moving part of the roster overseas on a permanent basis, as long as PPVs reunite the stars here and there. It would be very difficult to try and make happen, but at the end of the day, why not try to build something spectacular overseas? A lot of money would be required to enter new markets, but if WWE managed to break through, millions would be spent, billions would be made.