July 19th is a crucial day for the landscape of the World Wrestling Entertainment or simply known as WWE. It was originally announced a few months ago that July 19th was going to be the brand extension as the WWE was going to have two separate rosters.
Last week on Raw, WWE CEO Vince McMahon announced that Raw and Smackdown will have commissioners. The commissioner of Raw will be Stephanie McMahon and Shane McMahon will be the commissioner of Smackdown. After Vince McMahon made the announcement, he added something else to the mix. He said he wants Shane and Stephanie to choose General Managers who will be running the day-to-day operations. The announcement of the General Managers will be made on tonight’s episode of Raw.
Here are 5 key things to look for in the WWE draft that will take place July 19th on the first live episode of Smackdown ( This article was written prior to RAW coming on air tonight)
Direction of show will be made clear
The last several weeks, past general managers of both Raw and Smackdown have been making appearances to put their name into the hat. My prediction for the General Manager roles is that Triple H will get the Raw GM position and Daniel Bryan gets the Smackdown GM position. If that is how it works out, you can expect Raw to get younger and more of the NXT talents. On the other hand, Smackdown would then get the stars who can put on clinics and work long matches.
Expect to see many NXT debuts
-Last night, the rules for the Draft were released through WWE’s official website. One of the things mentioned was there is expected to be 6 NXT debuts for the Draft. In the wrestling rumor mill, two of the expected NXT call-ups are Finn Balor and Nia Jax. Other NXT stars I can see being called up include Bayley, American Alphas, Blake and Murphy, Carmella, Samoa Joe, and Nakamura are some possible names that the WWE universe can expect to hear being called to either Raw or Smackdown.
Tag Teams will break up
When the Draft was announced, the first idea that went through was which tag teams will be broken up. There has been rumored teams that include possible the Usos ( Jimmy and Jey Uso), The Ascension (Konnor and Viktor) and the Certified G’s ( Enzo Amore and Colin Cassidy). The biggest one and the one that has been thrown around a lot is the current Tag team champions, The New Day who are currently in a storyline with the Wyatt Family. The way the storyline has it going, Xaiver Woods will be broken off from the tag team.
NXT quality will be hit
This should not come as a surprise to people. Once it was announced that the WWE draft was going to happen. It was known that many of the top talent from NXT will be leaving Full Sail university. If you look at any aspect of this draft, this is the most crucial part of it. WWE is currently having a Crusierweight Classic and it is figured that many of those wrestlers will sign with WWE. While I don’t think NXT will take a major hit, I except it to take a little hit.
The women of WWE will be featured on only one brand
In order to make sure you don’t run into the scenario of Raw being treated like a bigger show than Smackdown; I expect each show to feature certain brands so that each show can come off that it will be providing different things. One that I am expecting to see is the women to be on one brand. You know WWE won’t make a second title, so it is expected to keep them on one brand. The current talent in the woman’s division between Charlotte, Sasha Banks, Becky Lynch, Bayley, Paige and so on you don’t need to worry about not having a face of the division. Throw Bayley, Carmella, Asuka, and Alexa Bliss from NXT the level of competition will get much tougher.
Overall, I came back to watching wrestling in 2013 right before Hell in the Cell and this draft is one of the first nights I have been waiting to see. You can follow me on twitter @jon_blayne as I will provide live coverage of the event. The WWE Draft is happening tomorrow night at 8pm on the USA network as Smackdown goes live.