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Tuesday, July 19, 2016

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The WWE Draft Fallout

By @TrueGodImmortal

So... it happened. The WWE Draft has taken place... and man.... all I can say is that Smackdown got set up and fucked over. Now, don't get me wrong, Smackdown has some great wrestlers on the show and will likely continue to have some great matches, but they are lacking in the future of the WWE somewhat. The picks were no surprise, as similar to how it was done in 2002, the top two guys went to their respective brands. Seth Rollins is the no. 1 guy in the company, while Dean Ambrose is no. 2, and as expected, and still the WWE Champion. Going into Battleground, we prepare for a New Era in WWE so to speak. However, nothing really seems to be special about what WWE did with Smackdown. That's where we'll start on the draft. Smackdown.

So, Smackdown picked Dean Ambrose, the WWE Champion. Well isn't that special? They also picked AJ Styles with their 2nd pick, probably the most important pick of the entire draft on many levels. If you're looking for a possible WWE Title feud on Smackdown, look no further than that. AJ Styles vs Dean Ambrose. Unfortunately, that's likely the only big feud for Ambrose on the show, as I expect Ambrose to lose the title to AJ in the fall, when WWE decides to make a 2nd World Title for RAW. John Cena definitely was a huge pick and adds a veteran element, as does Randy Orton to Smackdown. The logical thing that I wrote months ago was that Smackdown would feature two of the stars from the last era and mix them with rising stars of this next era. I was sort of right. Bray Wyatt, Ambrose, AJ are all solid choices and guys who can perform, while Cena and Orton bring name value and recognition. The most disappointing part of this whole draft however came from Smackdown getting a majority of the NXT picks..... AND wasting them.

*NXT Picks
-Finn Balor Goes To RAW
-American Alpha Goes To Smackdown
-Nia Jax Goes To RAW
-Alexa Bliss Goes To Smackdown 
-Mojo Rawley Goes to Smackdown 
-Carmella Goes To Smackdown 

Now.... really??? No Bayley. No Samoa Joe. No Nakamura. No Austin Aries. The whole concept of 6 NXT draft picks feels insignificant because you really only needed 2. Finn and American Alpha are the only important picks from NXT. The rest are irrelevant. Alexa Bliss and Nia Jax may seem big, but Nia is far from ready. Her family heritage and their love for her bigger look is all that fuels her push to the main roster and being that she went as one of the televised picks, you'd have to expect a push coming her way. MEH. Alexa Bliss isn't bad, but she's now on a show that has no women's title, unless the plan is to introduced a secondary women's title (I'd be up for a Women's TV Title instead of a whole new World Title belt), and let Alexa, Carmella, Eva Marie (ugh), Becky Lynch, Natalya, and Naomi battle for it. Not as valuable as the Women's Title, but valuable enough for Smackdown.

Now, onto the rest of Smackdown and its roster. Dolph Ziggler? I just don't care and while I suspect he will get some TV time and a significant feud, it's very unimportant. Alberto Del Rio? Kane? Zack Ryder? The Usos? WWE 2012-2013 is full fledged swing here at least. The Ascension? Fandango? Tyler Breeze? The Miz? Baron Corbin? Shit, it really feels like the B show after all. I like the Apollo Crews pick and if given the opportunity to run with the ball, he could become an interesting character for the show. However, there's a bit of a worry on my end that perhaps he gets lost in the shuffle even with only 40% of the roster on the show with him. Regardless, Smackdown got the short end of the stick, and lacks the depth on the roster it needs. One big injury to a star and the show is in terrible position. So, how did RAW fare out?

Much better.

The # 1 pick was Seth Rollins. The # 3 pick was Finn Balor. That right there is all you need to know as to why RAW fared better, but there's more to it. Charlotte was the # 2 pick and while I'm not a fan of hers, that was a big pick. Roman Reigns and Brock Lesnar were the 4th and 5th picks, and while I could care less about either one of those, Brock staying on RAW is honestly a big deal if only for the possible implications the rest of the roster brings (just keep him AWAY FROM ROMAN). The New Day are on RAW and will continue to carry the WWE tag titles, Sami Zayn was selected early on oddly enough, the most over female on the roster Sasha Banks is on RAW, Chris Jericho, Rusev, and Kevin Owens were all amazing picks for RAW as well. Take Enzo and Cass, Gallows and Anderson, Neville, Cesaro, and Sheamus, and you'll see that the Raw roster won big time over Smackdown. The non televised picks for both brands was horrible, and RAW would end up with some terrible picks like Braun Strowman, The Shining Stars, Curtis Axel, Summer Rae, Darren Young, and Jack Swagger.

What makes Raw even better is that it'll have its own Cruiserweight Division. So, along with the Women's Title, the Tag Team title, and the US Title, RAW has a Cruiserweight Division, and some amazing talents. It does seem a bit off that guys like Zayn, Cesaro, Owens, and a few others on a show without the world title or IC Title, but they could contend for the US Title at some point. Either way, Raw won this draft without question. Now the question remains, how does the fallout and the future play out? Well, there's some Smackdown feuds that are going to be exciting. Orton vs Wyatt, the continuing of Styles vs Cena, Cena vs Ambrose again, Ambrose vs Orton, Styles vs Ambrose, Styles vs Orton, and Styles vs Bray are all great possible main event feuds for Smackdown. Finn vs Seth, the reuniting of Finn with Gallows and Anderson, Seth vs Owens, Cesaro vs Seth, Brock vs Owens, Jericho vs Cesaro, Jericho vs Finn, and more could make RAW exciting as expected. The possibilities are endless. I just wonder if this will work well enough for the WWE to really have a new Era started, and if it won't get boring quickly. The WWE roster is pretty thin. Look no further than this draft for the proof. Will the Draft and Brand Split be a success? After this first night, I'd have to give it a resounding no, but time will tell. As always.



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