Quick question regarding the ‘World Titles’:
If WWE intended on doing the brand extension and carrying a pair of ‘World Titles’, should they have just passed on the Undisputed/Unified title in late 2001? They would not have needed to call it the WCW Championship, just take it back to World Heavyweight Championship (since the lineage predated ‘WCW’ anyway). Unifying the titles at a throwaway PPV in December 2001, only to invent a new one for HHH by late summer 2002 seemed a bit pointless, if the intention was to have separate brands with separate titles anyway.
I know this will probably come as a huge shock, but WWE is not exactly known historically as a company that thinks particularly far in advance. I can tell you that there was zero indication of this coming in the Observers around 2001, and it was basically a thing that they decided one week would happen, and stuck around for a decade afterwards. The original intention was not to have a RAW World title, but to use HHH to elevate the IC title (which he held in mid-2001, you’ll recall) and then unify it with all the secondary titles to create a SUPER TITLE which would act as the RAW belt. Didn’t work out that way, of course, although part of the plan was enacted in 2002 when RVD unified the Hardcore and Euro titles into the IC title, and then ended up losing to HHH anyway.