If you are a fan of the WWE, then you have been hearing about the brand extension on July 19th. Well, the Draft came last night and it was an OK night. In all honesty, there were more mistakes than surprises.
Overall, it is a safe bet that RAW ended up coming out on top over Smackdown. Prior to the draft last night, the feel around some of the WWE universe was that WWE should make both shows feel unique. Unfortunately that was not the case last night as it was made clear as day that RAW still came off as being the Flagship show of WWE.
Let’s look first at the six picks from NXT who got the call up last night. The NXT stars who got called up last night were Finn Balor (Raw), American Alpha (Smackdown), Nia Jax (Raw), Alexa Bliss (Smackdown), Mojo Rawley (Smackdown), and Carmella (Smackdown).
I thought Nia Jax and Mojo Rawley were surprise picks. If you look at Mojo Rawley who was called up towards the end of draft, he did not have any major matches that I can think of in NXT or a wrestler from another company. I could see him possibly getting paired up with his HypeBros partner Zack Ryder who was also drafted to Smackdown. If they let him have a singles run, then he will get lost in the shuffle.
On the other side, Nia Jax I thought got called up to the main roster to early. The issue she has is her built. Between Mojo Rawley and Nia Jax, I am curious to see Nia Jax as far as how she performs on the RAW roster. Overall, I feel the other NXT stars will do fine on the main roster.
If you look at RAW, I thought some of the picks were a bit odd. For instance, Braun Strowman was the only Wyatt Family member drafted to Raw and since he came up to the main roster last summer, he has never been on his own. Also Cesaro who was drafted towards the end was a bit of surprise. Leading up to the Draft, the word was Smackdown was going to be lean more wrestling and Cesaro would have fit perfect.
If you look at Smackdown, I thought it was interesting they drafted wrestlers like John Cena, Randy Orton, and Kane because Shane McMahon kept saying how Smackdown was going to be about giving more opportunities. It is interesting, if you combine the years of experience of John Cena, Randy Orton, and Kane it totals at 47 years, so why do they need to still get opportunities.
It is also interesting to note that Smackdown end up losing out on championships last night. Raw ended up getting the United States Championship (Rusev), the Tag Team Championship (The New Day), and the Woman’s Championship ( Charlotte). On Smackdown, they ended up getting the WWE championship ( Dean Ambrose) and the Intercontinental title ( the Miz).
While the superstars found new homes last night, there was also a shake-up with the announcers. Corey Graves has joined Raw and JBL is making the jump from Raw to Smackdown. Jerry “the King” Lawler ended up getting removed and is now doing the preshow panel.
I still have a few questions about the draft as far as going further. Since the women were split up, what happens to the women on Smackdown since Raw got the woman’s title. How do you build up Summerslam with having two separate rosters?
If it was me who would have booked the draft, I would have waited until after Summerslam to do the draft. Then you can just head for the two pay-per-views a month,which is what will be happening come the fall. Overall, I thought as the draft went on that it got to a grade of B -/ C+.
I would give it that grade because after you got past the first few rounds, the picks were becoming illogical in some points. Prior to the draft, I made a comment to someone about the WWE draft that I was afraid that WWE would screw this up. Unless they book better in the next few weeks, then this will blow up in the face of WWE.