I was reading an article the other day that was kicking around ideas to improve Raw's shitty ratings. One of the suggestions was ending the brand extension for good. However, aren't Fox and USA Network the reason there is still a brand separation? If you'll remember last year at this time we had the “Wild Card Rule” where the extension really wasn't followed at all, but then they went back to the brand separation in the Fall when Smackdown moved to Fox.
Yeah, the networks are apparently the ones who really want it.