So WWE have just announced the rules to the upcoming draft this Tuesday night on SmackDown, here’s my take on the extra information we were desperately looking for.
Raw has the first overall pick
This one isn’t too much of a surprise for me. I thought they could’ve actually made a reason as to why Raw got the first pick, but it appears not. What will be interesting is who the first pick will be.. Dean Ambrose (or Seth Rollins after Raw) as World Champion right now has to be some of the names mentioned. Brock Lesnar’s UFC performance makes him a contender for the first pick, but will he actually be there every week? No. For this reason, I believe Raw will be picking John Cena as their first pick. Why? He’s the face that runs the place.
Since SmackDown Live is a two hour show and Raw is three hours, for every two picks SmackDown Live receives, Raw will receive three picks
This is a very important point to make, and it does make sense really. Raw will most definitely need more talent to fill the 3 hours they have booked on a Monday night. Ideally, we’d get a two hour Raw and a 2 hour SmackDown with the same size rosters, but that’s easier said than done. Will this get a little frustrating through the night? Maybe. It will mean Raw have a better chance of getting the higher names than SmackDown, which almost makes the draft unfair. Equally however, Raw will get more of the lower mid card talents compared to SmackDown, so the draft should even things out.
Tag teams count as one pick unless a Commissioner/General Manager specifically only wants one member of the team
At face value, this just allows for teams to be split up if they are needed to be. WWE get to keep tag teams together whilst splitting some up, so it’s a win win for them. One thing to notice however is that potentially both Commissioner and General Manager of the brands will be selecting draft picks. Might this tease a bit of tension between the GM and the Commissioner as a starting story line to come straight out of the draft? None of the current tag teams listed have a stand out singles guy that either brand would want however. Big Cass could be marketed as a singles guy, but would he be able to hold his own on the microphone without Enzo Amore by his side?
Six draft picks will be made off the NXT roster
Now this is probably the biggest announcement that has come from this bit of news. In theory, we could be seeing 6 NXT superstars on just Raw alone.. I don’t think that’ll happen however. The 6 I could see coming up from NXT would be Finn Balor, Shinsuke Nakamura, Bayley, Austin Aries, Samoa Joe and then either Bobby Roode, Alexa Bliss or American Alpha. These would all be amazing selections for either rosters in my eyes, and would be a great way to freshen up both brands.
A sensible thing to do would be putting AJ Styles and Shinsuke Nakamura on the same brand. Both can put a hell of a performance on, but Nakamura is familiar with Styles because of the history from NJPW. This way, the king of strong style can fit into the travelling schedule with those who he’s used to being around, therefore he’ll be more comfortable in the ring, and can show us some of the best matches this year.
Other notes to make on the draft
In the list of superstars, tag teams and female talent they have in the original article, the whole of the Wyatt family, excluding Luke Harper is listed a singles talent. Could we be seeing them splitting apart? Where does Luke Harper lie in this situation? To me, it makes no sense to split these apart. Bray Wyatt gives them a direction, so it’ll be hard to break that link.
They fail to mention drafting superstars that are not currently in WWE or NXT. May this mean that we don’t actually see any big name returns this Tuesday?
Kane is listed as “Demon Kane”. Is that his actual ring name these days?
So that was my little breakdown of the breaking news WWE have just released. Probably more unanswered questions than answered ones here, but that will be the case until a couple of weeks or so of getting used to the brand split. I’ll give you guys my thoughts after Raw, and I may even make a predictions for the draft.. Any questions on the draft? Ask me over on Twitter!