By: Troy Boesen
The WWE Draft has come and gone, and we are still left with more questions than answers. RAW got 41 superstars, and Smackdown got 31 superstars. This would be fine, except for the fact that RAW will have at least 10 to 15 more superstars to fill out their Cruiserweight division, as well as most likely getting Bayley. I have broken the rosters down to Main Event, Midcard, Tag Division, Cruiser Division (For RAW), and Women’s division. Let’s look at the rosters:
RAW Main Event:
Rollins and Reigns makes a lot of sense here, as does skyrocketing Balor to main even status. The problem is part timer Lesnar and Chris Jericho. Lesnar isn’t even booked to face a Raw superstar until possibly next year as his SummerSlam opponent is Smackdown’s Randy Orton. They do have the opportunity to bring Sami Zayn and Kevin Owens up to the main event, or Rusev and Cesaro.
Smackdown Main Event:
I actually give Smackdown the immediate advantage here, but RAW has Balor, Zayn and Owens as the future, whereas Smackdown has Wyatt, Ambrose and Baron Corbin. Styles will be given the chance to run as a singles heel, with Wyatt as the number 2 heel. Orton is your Jericho here.
Big Show on Raw makes more sense here; Strowman getting a singles push is a terrible idea. Rusev, Zayn, Sheamus, Owens, and Cesaro are a great midcard. Any of them can be pushed to the main event at any moment. The real question here is if we get the US and IC belts swapped at Battleground. Axel is again out on his own.
Alberto Del Rio
This isn’t a terrible midcard, but there's not a lot of potential Main Event talent here. I will be putting the Hype Bros in the Tag Section as well. Kane is a throwaway here. Crews vs Corbin continues, and Erick Rowan gets yet another singles run. Raw gets the advantage now and in the future here.
RAW Tag Division:
The Realest G’s (Enzo and Big Cass)
The Dudley Boys (Bubba Ray and D-Von)
The New Day (Big E, Kofi Kingston and Xavier Woods)
The Shitty Stars (Primo and Epico)
Golden Truth (R-Truth and Goldust)
The Club (Karl Anderson and Luke Gallows)
Potential Raw Teams:
Big and Slow (Big Show and Braun Strowman)
Prime Time Players (Titus and Darren)
Creative has nothing for you (Curtis Axel and Jack Swagger)
Wyatt Family (Strowman and Luke Harper if he returns to Raw)
Six teams on Raw and Six teams on Smackdown. No doubt that we will get Smackdown Tag titles. We know that the Tag Titles will remain on Raw as they are not on the line at Battleground. Enzo and Big Cass, The Club, and The New Day will be the top teams here with the rest being enhancement talent. Raw has the three hottest acts here while Smackdown will have to build up American Alpha and they have little else in terms of established teams.
Smackdown Tag Division:
The Vaudevillians (Jacked up Math Teacher Aiden English and Simon Gotch)
American Alpha (or The American Alphas) (Jason Jordan and Chad Gable)
Fabreeze (Fandango and Tyler Breeze)
The Uso’s (Jey and Jimmy Uso)
The Ascension (Viktor and Konnor)
Potential Smackdown Teams:
The Hype Bros (Mojo Rawley and Zack Ryder)
Fire Crotch (Kane and Rowan)
Wyatt Family (Rowan and Harper if he returns to Smackdown)
We will need a Smackdown Tag Title here, and only the Uso’s are former WWE Tag Champs. Looks like The Ascension are getting a push, and American Alpha will be what the division is built around. We could still see The Revival join here if they drop the belts to Gargano and Ciampa.
We have five, maybe six Cruisers right off the bat, with Kota Ibushi, Drew Gulak, Kenneth Johnson, Akira Tozawa, Tajiri, Zack Sabre Jr, Noam Dar, Ariya Daivari, Rich Swann, Lince Dorado, TJ Perkins, Cedric Alexander, Tony Nese and Brian Kendrick all options once the CWC is done. Still no word on if we will have the Cruiserweight championship back, or if we will just use the division as a curtain jerker.
The drafting of the Women make no sense. Not only do we not know if we will have two Women’s belts, but the breakdown of talent is very lopsided here. Charlotte, Nia Jax, Paige, Sasha Banks and if Bayley joins the roster gives RAW the top five Women in the company. Paige or Nia Jax on Smackdown would have given the division more legitimacy. Fox, Rae and Brooke are all enhancement for the top stars. It’s obvious that the Raw women are far superior to the Smackdown women.
Having Eva Marie on the roster shits on not only the division, but Smackdown’s New Era. Having Alexa Bliss be drafted on the post show already buries her and Carmella being the final pick also hurts. Emma returning to Smackdown would help, but I do not want to see Nikki Bella on Smackdown. The division will be built around Lynch and Natalya, with Bliss, Carmella and most likely Eva Marie as the future of the division. Naomi presents an interesting option here as they could make a legit black champion. Asuka would make this division more interesting if they decide to bring her up. Bayley would be a better choice for Smackdown with Naomi, Natalya, Marie and Bliss as heels to face her.
I know that my expectations for the draft ruined the experience for me, but I really felt that not having any real surprises hurt here. No returning name like Kurt Angle or John Morrison, and not having the NXT talent appear on the show was a waste. They should have cut to the performance center to show the reaction of the newly called up talent. I also would have liked to see the superstars actually come out instead of just doing a promo package for each.
The biggest issue I had was Stephanie McMahon’s need to be center of attention and her constantly dogging her own GM. Shane and Bryan seemed like a cohesive unit, and having Steph and her GM at odds not only sets up a feud I care nothing for, but makes her seem really stupid for picking Foley. Steph needs to leave television for a while and let Foley run the program, but I doubt that will happen.
Even kayfabe, most of the picks didn’t make sense when they happened or who picked them. Having Shane get upset that he lost The Real G’s, after picking Baron Corbin made him look incompetent. We also waited until the post show to actually split up talent, so all the buildup of tension in teams didn’t matter. The only teams that were broken up were the Wyatt Family and the Social Outcasts. Strowman will get a singles push and the Outcasts will go back to obscurity. No consequences there.
Battleground will be full of hyperbole like “We will never see this again” and “The final time these guys will team with each other”, despite the fact we have four special events where both brands will be at and we will have people jump shows from time to time. Battleground will also be very odd when you have such uncertainty regarding what titles will be on what show and what new titles will exist.
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