Monday night marked the end of another WWE Draft – a time when everything gets shaken up and we get to see fresh new matches like Dominik Mysterio vs Seth Rollins…but you know, on SmackDown. WWE usually holds the draft after Wrestlemania, but in this uncertain 2020, well, anything can happen at any time.
A lot of people have complained about WWE’s presentation of the Draft, which is great if you enjoy seeing Stephanie McMahon reading index cards. One thing interesting about the way it was done, though, is we got a pretty clear picture of how WWE ranks its roster.
So let’s do some analysis.
Let’s kick off with the big names – the 1st Round Draft Picks! Here’s my best swing at how WWE rates its main eventers on each show based on their draft number.
- Roman Reigns (Universal Champion)
- Bayley (SmackDown Women’s Champion)
- Seth Rollins
- The Street Profits (
RawSmackDown Tag Team Champions)
- Big E
It’s no surprise that WWE views its two champions as the biggest draws on their #1 show (make no mistake, SmackDown became priority #1 over Raw about 2 hours before Brock Lesnar F5’d Kofi Kingston’s WWE Title reign to hell on Fox).
It can only be viewed as a promotion for Roman Reigns’ former Shield-mate Seth Rollins to make the jump from Monday Night Messiah to SmackDown Savior. Unfortunately, it looks like he’ll be bringing his feud with the Family Mysterio with him, but who knows – maybe seeing Dominik beat up in blue will look better.
The Street Profits could be viewed as the Draft’s biggest winners. To go first round, basically swapping places with longstanding top draws The New Day, is a huge vote of confidence for Tez and Dawkins. No doubt their first feud will be with Nakamura & Cesaro, which may lead to some great matches.
Lastly is Big E. Technically, Big E is a 4th Round pick, but that was done for the sake of a big ending on SmackDown (imagine, writing the Draft with the purpose of making a good show.) Everyone is broken up over seeing E part ways with Raw-bound Kofi & Xavier just as both returned from injury, but if it leads to Big E finding success with a new side of his character, it’ll all be worth it when they reunite.
- Drew McIntyre (WWE Champion)
- The Fiend Bray Wyatt
- Randy Orton
- Asuka (Raw Women’s Champion)
- The New Day (
SmackDownRaw Tag Team Champions)
- Charlotte Flair
- The Hurt Business
What an odd top of the field for Raw, huh? No surprise to see McIntyre and Orton near the top, since they’ve been feuding over the WWE Title for about a month too long now.
Not sure who The Fiend pissed off to end up on the shit show that is Raw. My only guess is WWE saw Monday night circling the drain and called an audible with their most bankable character. The Fiend had his first TV match on Friday night, but it’s going to take a lot of Fiend matches to save the Red Brand. At least they kept the Fiend/Alexa Bliss pairing alive.
The remaining New Day guys were 4th Round, but the same rule applies. WWE certainly saw that Raw was losing its biggest tag team and tried to fill the gap with a couple of bankable stars. Hopefully, we’re looking at a New Day/Hurt Business feud in our immediate future.
Speaking of The Hurt Business – wow, have those guys’ stock risen in the past few months. Before MVP stepped in, you’d be seeing all three of those guys finding out their brand on Tuesday’s Raw Talk. If Street Profits are the biggest winners on Smackdown, Hurt Business certainly got a big vote of confidence on Raw.
And how did every injured wrestler keep their name out of the draft pool except Charlotte Flair??
The upper midcard has been clogged in WWE for years. Did WWE do anything to fix it in the Draft? Probably not.
Looking at 2nd Round SmackDown and 2nd/3rd Round Raw draft picks here, because math.
- Braun Strowman
- AJ Styles
- Matt Riddle
- Jeff Hardy
- Nia Jax & Shayna Baszler (WWE Women’s Tag Team Champions)
- Alexa Bliss
- Keith Lee
Wow, did the upper midcard on Raw go crazy or what? My only guess is WWE got tired of having Andrade and Angel Garza in every other Raw match.
Braun Strowman is the top of the heap here. Not sure if he’s there to put a spotlight on Raw Underground or just to give Raw some much needed star power. Braun has been lost in the shuffle on Fridays since Roman came back, so I see this move as a positive for him. Hell, he was showing up to work on Mondays anyway, might as well give him a job.
Don’t get me started on AJ Styles, who just moved to SmackDown like a few days ago and now he’s back on Raw. The Face That Runs The Place looked much more at home on SmackDown. I guess since they moved most of the people he’s been fighting to Raw too, it won’t be much of a change. Key words there. Same goes for Matt Riddle and Jeff Hardy. What did Matt Riddle do? Sneeze in front of Vince McMahon?
It’s hard to put Naomi here, even though she was a 2nd Round draft pick on SmackDown. She’s been a non-entity on Friday Nights for a while, so a shake up can only help her. Alexa has her Fiend thing, so naturally she followed him. Maybe that unholy duo can take on Baszler and Nia for the Women’s Tag Team Titles.
Keith Lee and Retribution have been screwed since jumpstreet on Raw, and I think to move them to Smackdown would’ve just been admitting that.
It was genuinely nice to see Elias make his big return on Monday night. His explanation for attacking Jeff Hardy was the kind of longterm continuity we NEVER see in WWE anymore, and also hilarious. Elias went in the 4th Round, but that was just so he could interfere in the triple threat.
- Sasha Banks
- Daniel Bryan
- Kevin Owens
- Aleister Black
- Bianca Belair
- Jey Uso
- Lars Sullivan
I am really happy to see Kevin Owens head over to SmackDown. He’s languished since Wrestlemania. There are some good feuds over there, and I hope KO finds one. Same for Aleister Black. The KO/Black feud could also benefit from a change of scenery.
Bianca Belair is a big winner in the Draft and they’re promoting her like the second coming. Something tells me Bayley’s championship reign clock is ticking. Will we see Sasha help the EST finally shut Bayley up, or are we still slow burning a Sasha/Bayley title match for Mania? Our luck it’ll be a fatal fourway – Zelina Vega will find her way in there too.
The current contender for the Universal Title was pretty late in the Draft, don’t you think Uce?
Lars Sullivan – yuck.
- Rey Mysterio & Dominik Mysterio
- King Corbin
- Sammi Zayn (Intercontinental Champion)
- Dolph Ziggler & Bobby Roode
Kind of hard to care about this crop. Sammi is terribly underrated, and I actually think this is low for King Corbin too with the work he’s been doing.
I couldn’t have told you what brand Ziggler was on before, but he’s back on SmackDown now. I do like pairing him with Roode. They’re basically the new Miz & Morrison on Friday nights now, just less entertaining.
The Dominik Mysterio experiment continues, and I guess he’s not old enough to attend SmackDown without his dad. Once WWE stops milking the Seth Rollins thing, it’ll be interesting to see what we have in the younger Mysterio. I think he’ll be a nice addition.
- Mandy Rose
- Miz & Morrison
- Nikki Cross
- R-Truth (24/7 Champion)
- Lacey Evans
Not much going on here. Miz & Morrison moving to Monday nights to fill some sort of entertainment void. Nikki Cross is there now. I guess Nia Jax and Shayna Baszler to squash somebody – better find a new tag team partner Nikki! Hey Lacey Evans!
- Cesaro & Shinsuke Nakamura
- Apollo Crews
The biggest loser of the entire Draft may be Otis. It seemed like the big guy was getting a huge push a couple of months ago, but they put Otis on ice big time. First they split him up from Mandy, now he doesn’t even have his tag team partner OR The Miz, who he’s been feuding with. Somebody should crack open that Money In The Bank Briefcase and make sure it doesn’t have a pink slip in there.
Poor Apollo Crews had a good run with the US Title earlier this year, but after the Hurt Business dispatched him, he didn’t really have a place to go. Here’s hoping Smackdown will see a new angle on him.
Nakamura and Cesaro are the workhorses of the tag team division. The only thing they have going for them is that they are one of the few actual tag teams in the company right now. Well, until they split them up.
- Dana Brooke
- Angel Garza
- Peyton Royce
- Akira Tozawa
- Titus O’Neil
The only thing you can say about this group is that they at least got drafted on TV. Peyton Royce has been split from her IIconics partner Billie Kaye permanently, so it’s sink or swim time for her.
They sure didn’t care much about those Raw Underground guys, huh? I half expect Sheamus to show up scrapping there, which could be a good fit for him, honestly.
Angel Garza got the final word in his longstanding program with Andrade. So now he can…
AT LEAST THEY HAVE A JOB
All of these superstars were drafted in Supplemental rounds on the WWE Network.
- Humberto Carrillo
- Drew Gulak
- Riddick Moss
- Arturo Ruas
The one thing I’ll say for Drew Gulak is he’s already been fired once this year, so it’d be silly to fire him again, right?
I think it’d be kind of fun if they did a Tucker/Mandy team-up on Raw that turned into a love story, with Otis having to watch as it all unfolded from the sidelines. But in reality, I hope you enjoy Main Event, Tucky.
- The Riott Squad
Is it just me, or does it seem like Murphy was straight forgotten in the TV drafts? I mean, the guy is part of a longrunning storyline, he has to have some stock, right?
Bold prediction: The Riott Squad will prosper on SmackDown.
How many more drafts until Natalya becomes an agent?
WE DO STILL HAVE A JOB, RIGHT?
This crew didn’t even make it to the Supplemental Draft and were instead announced on Twitter. Yikes. Better be watching for texts from the office, guys.
- Lucha House Party
When you saddle a guy with the name Erik, you’re really limiting him when his tag team partner is out hurt. I really hope the Viking Raiders get back on track when Ivar returns.
Lucha House Party was at least part of a Draft storyline, as Kalisto was separated from the group when Lince Dorado and Gran Metalik were shipped to Raw. Of course, they were cruising toward breaking up anyway, so it seems odd not to have that natural feud.
- Shorty G
- Billie Kay
- Zelina Vega
Zelina Vega has been incredibly prominent on Raw over this year, so to see her, Andrade, and Angel Garza taken so low is baffling.
UNDRAFTED “FREE AGENTS”:
- Mickie James
Don’t even know what to say here. Hoping there will be a storyline reason why these two were left out. Andrade seemed to be climbing to the top earlier this year, and Mickie James is often hailed as a future Hall of Famer. Word is that Mickie is hurt, but then why put her in the draft pool?
That’ll do it until next draft. Thanks for reading me trying to make sense out of something that makes no sense!