The WWE Draft is going to be held Monday, July 19th at 8:00 pm EST, on Smackdown. With it will come some drastic changes to the landscape of WWE. Following Tuesday night, the product as we know it will be extremely different.
Each superstar will be assigned to a show, and from the way WWE is portraying it, these superstars will be exclusive to their respective shows. Monday Night Raw will be run by Stephanie McMahon, and Smackdown Live, which will now be held on Tuesdays, will be run by her brother, Shane McMahon.
It has not yet been determined how the championships will be handled. Will the WWE Championship remain the one and only major title? Or will a second Heavyweight belt be introduced? I am of the belief they will want a major champ on both shows, and a new title will be brought in.
Will the Tag Team and Women’s titles be held to one show? And if so will all the women be on one show while all of the tag teams on the other? My best guess would say they split the tag teams and women amongst the shows, and the show that does not have a belt will offer matches to gain title matches on Pay-Per-Views.
During the draft, Raw will get three picks to every two for Smackdown given Raw is a three-hour show and Smackdown is only two. Raw will get the first overall pick, and there will be 6 picks from NXT, which is WWE’s minor league system of sorts.
So now let’s get to the good stuff. Who will end up on which show? Fellow writer Jon Blayne and myself set out to do a mock draft, with Jon picking for Stephanie and Raw, and myself picking for Shane and Smackdown. Below you will find the full results of our mock draft.
Raw – Seth Rollins
Seth Rollins is a former WWE Champ who technically never lost his title. He also has a history with Stephanie, so having her go with her former top guy makes sense. Rollins easily can be the face of a show, as he has proven in the past. Let him handle the bulk of the load for Raw, with the chance to be the new Heavyweight champion assuming WWE adds a belt. Rollins is a very safe bet to be the top selection of the evening.
Smackdown – Dean Ambrose
The current WWE Champ would be perfect to be the face of Smackdown Live. He is extremely over with the crowd and supplies the high flying offense that crowds eat up. He has proven he can handle himself as the champ and the face of the company. Add in the fact that Shane has been a major supporter of the Ambrose Asylum, it would make perfect sense to have him be Shane’s first choice. Look for the WWE Champ to bring some prominence back to Smackdown as it goes live.
Raw – AJ Styles
Many people will be expecting to hear John Cena’s name here, but WWE needs to give us a bit of a curve. So why not have the evil Stephanie go with a heel, who has clearly been climbing the ladder. Styles is poised to be a top name going forward, so pairing him with another top heel in Rollins could be interesting. The show would have two of the most condescending wrestlers on the roster, and could lead to some fun clashes when those two share screen time. Styles on Raw just makes sense, as he has become a true focal point of the product in recent months.
Smackdown – Roman Reigns
Roman Reigns is currently out on suspension but before his suspension he was being considered the next John Cena. The fans were always split on their support of him, with half the crowd cheering and the other half booing. Upon his return, a heel turn seems like a very strong possibility. So what better way than to have him join Smackdown, where he can go toe-to-toe with former Shield member and best friend Dean Ambrose? The fact that he remains in the WWE Championship match at Battleground proves the company has not lost face in him being a top star, so having him be a high draft pick remains a very strong possibility.
Raw – Finn Balor
If WWE wants to electrify the crowd early, why not bring in NXT’s top talent to round out the top five picks. Balor has a history with Styles, and that could easily be incorporated into a storyline. He could also be pushed right to the head of the line and go up against the best in the business, Seth Rollins. Balor is a star in the making, and having him become such a prominent player on Monday Night Raw could help solidify him. Let him go up against Styles, Rollins or the next man to be drafted to Raw, John Cena!
Raw – John Cena
Cena is not going to fall any farther than this. He is the man the company is known for, and having him slide a bit will not hurt him one bit. Keeping him on Raw with the setup we have here makes sense, as he has been feuding with Styles and could easily face either of the other men. Rollins vs Cena could help pass the torch along to Rollins once and for all. Or Balor vs Cena could help the fresh face become the household name he is destined to be. It really does not matter which show Cena ends up on, as he will get his share of spotlight no matter what.
Smackdown – Charlotte
Smackdown has the potential to become the jumping off point for another revitalization of women’s wrestling. Charlotte is at the top of the division, and having her drafted so high would help show the importance the company wants to put on women’s wrestling. Charlotte would become one of the top three performers of Smackdown, and easily will find plenty of screen time week in and week out. So look for Charlotte to be a top ten pick, with Smackdown providing for a nice stage to boost the division.
Raw – Brock Lesnar
Raw is going to have the more loaded roster given it will get more picks. So it can afford to have a part timer on its roster as one of its top talents. Lesnar is simply not going to be around every single Monday, but that is fine. The show is in great hands with its top picks, as all of them could be considered the face of the show moving forward. Bringing in Lesnar will only add extra excitement when he does appear. Plus who wouldn’t love to see him face off against Rollins, Styles or Balor?
Smackdown – Cesaro
Cesaro is a typical Shane McMahon pick. The fans love him, and he is a young and upcoming talent. He will provide electricity to the show every week, and giving fans the chance to see Reigns take a few Cesaro Swings is very enticing. Also it will allow him to pair up Ambrose, which will provide instant entertainment when they go the tag team main event route. Smackdown has always put a heavier focus on actual wrestling, and Cesaro is the perfect candidate to bring that every week.
Raw – The Club
The Club, made up of Karl Anderson and Luke Gallows, will likely be kept with Styles. They are serving as his muscle of sorts, while also being an intimidating tag team. They become a top tag team for the show while also being in the mix when Styles goes out and wrestles. They could survive on their own, but there is too much potential to break them away from Styles.
Raw – Kevin Owens
Kevin Owens is flat out fun to watch, and fits the heel laden roster Stephanie is going to start with. A future matchup with Lesnar is very enticing as well, as is one with Balor. Owens has gone to Steph on several occasions recently, so having her bring him on board would make sense. He provides an instant jolt to the microphone game on Raw, and if they wanted to turn Rollins face, these two could have a classic feud. The potential is sky high for Ownes, and surrounding him with the talent that is set to be on Raw is very enticing.
Smackdown – Bray Wyatt
To keep things balanced with faces and heels, another top male heel is needed. So enter the head of the Wyatt Family, Bray Wyatt. Wyatt and Ambrose have had their fair share of solid battles, and will provide enticing matchups whenever they need to square off. The Eater of Worlds provides the second top heel to go along with the newly turned Reigns, and certainly gives fans a reason to tune in every Tuesday night, given his major following.
Raw – Sami Zayn
Sami Zayn and Kevin Owens can keep going at it for all I care. These two have great chemistry with one another, so keeping them together makes sense. Even when their feud ends, having them interact with one another every so often makes this decision the right one. Plus this allows Zayn a chance to go against some of the best heels in the game, as he instantly becomes one of the top faces.
Smackdown – Sasha Banks
Keeping Sasha and Charlotte together would be an extremely smart move. It would give one of the two shows an extra emphasis on women’s wrestling by having the top two names on one show. It would also allow for their battle to continue for several more months, which ideally should be the goal in this rivalry. Sasha would become the top face for the women on Tuesdays, as her and Charlotte can show the world what they are capable of, as they would be a top storyline every single week. Splitting the two up would kill all sorts of momentum and take a story away from the fans that they want to see in the women’s division.
Raw – Paige
Raw needs a diva to run the show. Paige has been out of the spotlight for some time, and this could be what she needs to get things going again. She would be the top name of the women’s division on Monday nights. She can re-establish herself, and prove she should be back in the title picture. The talent is there, but if she is facing the likes of Charlotte and Sasha every week, she is going to continue to be pushed to the back.
Raw – New Day (minus Xavier Woods)
Stephanie is going to do something that is going to have the whole audience hate her even more. And that is break up the New Day, by leaving Xavier Woods out. She will say he never really wrestles and is not worth having around. This give the team some adversity and also a chance to go up against the Club for the belts at some point. Woods will find his way to Raw, but for the time being, he will be left to fend for himself.
Smackdown – Enzo/Cass
The tag team division is going to need a face on Smackdown. Enzo and Big Cass have been one of the top new teams in WWE. The fans love them, and they bring a big time entertainment factor with them. Having them become the top tag team of the show would be a smart move. Shane is a big supporter of the New Era, and Enzo and Cass are some of the top members of that new era. So Shane seems like a strong bet to be the one who drafts the team.
Raw – Jericho
Jericho is the type of performer that would work on either show. He can wrestle. He can talk. And he brings out the best in just about anyone. A future match against Zayn needs to be high on the list, so keeping those two together would be wise. Jericho is a great guy to get younger talent over, no matter which show.
Smackdown – Samoa Joe
Samoa Joe provides a new face. A big time name in the wrestling world, Samoa Joe can be introduced to the main roster by becoming one of the top names on the new and improved Smackdown Live. He could be introduced as either a face or heel, so there are plenty of storylines they could go with him.
Raw – Bayley
Bayley gives Raw’s women’s division some momentum. She will be a fresh face that people are going to want to see. But she needs to be kept away from Charlotte and Sasha for the time being. Let her battle Paige to prove herself. Paige needs to win some matches as well, so having the two exchange wins would make for a compelling feud. The climax could see the winner take on Smackdown’s women’s champ when the time comes, whether that is Sasha or Charlotte.
Raw – Usos
The Usos provide solid tag team depth. They can easily join forces with the New Day from time to time, as well as face off with the Club. They are solid in ring performers who will bring excitement to whichever show they get drafted to. A shot at the tag titles is also not out of the question, and maybe a heel turn if they go against New Day.
Smackdown – Rusev
The US champ could easily be one of the top heels of either show. Given the smaller roster on Smackdown, he will have a better chance of bringing the US title back to relevance if he gets drafted to Smackdown. The Bulgarian Brute can easily be showcased as one of the top heels of the show, and he would have several appealing opponents. Samoa Joe or Cesaro could easily put on entertaining matches against Rusev for his belt.
Raw – Randy Orton
Keeping Orton with Lesnar makes sense. The two are set for a Summerslam matchup, so it would kill any build to have them on opposite shows. Therefore the Viper will follow the Beast, and also give the show another top name it can pit against anyone. Look for the Viper to be a face if he ends up with this roster, as Raw is pretty heel heavy on top.
Smackdown – Apollo Crews
Crews is another top performer of the New Era, and he brings a high octane offense. Like Cesaro, he provides top-caliber wrestling, and fits the overall feel that Smackdown will likely look to display.
Raw – Baron Corbin
Corbin is a fresh face who will bring his power to Raw. A future bout with Orton would be very compelling, as would one with Zayn. He could easily slide into a slot for either show.
Raw – Dolph Ziggler
Ziggler provides Raw with another face to take on the top heels. He can go against the top talent or the mid-card talent. He is one of the company’s top performers and is underutilized. This spot in the draft seems like the perfect spot to slot him in, and gives him plenty of potential opponents.
Smackdown – American Alpha
Some more new faces, American Alpha brings some more excitement to the tag team division on Tuesday nights. They could easily put on some fun matches against Enzo and Cass.
Raw – Breezango
Raw’s tag team division is in need of another heel group. Breezango have been on a slight roll of late, so they can be considered on the rise. Maybe a feud with the Usos could help establish them as legit contenders.
Smackdown – Sheamus
A former WWE Champion, Sheamus brings star caliber to the show. He can go against some of the younger names and help put them over, or just as easily be thrown into a title scene. He could also get back together with Rusev in a tag team if WWE decided to go that route.
Raw – Neville
Neville should be close to returning from injury. He would provide Raw with another high flying face who could be after Jericho, as it was a match against Jericho that put Neville on the shelf. Neville vs Kevin Owens also would make for extremely fun matchups.
Raw – Becky Lynch
Becky is a solid performer for the women’s division who has had her fair share of battles with most of the roster. Keep her with Bayley, as those two could make for fun television. It would likely require a heel turn however. But for the time being she appears out of the title hunt.
Smackdown – Natalya
One of the best women wrestlers one the roster, Natalya provides the flexibility to be a face or heel. She could provide solid matchups for either Charlotte or Banks week in or week out.
Raw – Miz
The Miz will brag about his Intercontinental Championship and then complain about falling in the draft. He is simply the perfect champ to see slide down the board. Bring back Neville at Battleground to challenge Miz for his belt moving forward. It is a great feud that could give both men some solid matches.
Smackdown – Braun Strowman
With Wyatt on Smackdown, bringing in his “family” member would only make sense. Strowman would not fare well without Wyatt, as he needs a mouthpiece. He will go where ever Bray does.
Raw – Alberto Del Rio
Alberto Del Rio needs a change of pace. While he is better as a heel, maybe give a face run a chance. On Raw he could be afforded that chance. There are plenty of baddies he could step up against. He is the type of performer who would work well for either show.
Raw – Dudley Boyz
The Dudley Boyz have fallen to the background. Keeping them with the current tag team champs could mean we see them back in the title hunt. If they are not in the title hunt, they really have not had much to do.
Smackdown – Xavier Woods
WWE has been hinting at breaking Woods away from the New Day. Keeping him with the Wyatts will also allow for that angle to continue. A future matchup to allow Woods to jump shows could be in the works, but for now, separate him and keep him going against the Wyatts.
Raw – Zack Ryder
Woo woo woo, you know it. Ryder is an underdog, and there are plenty of monsters he could step up against on Raw. He probably will not get to hold the US title that Rusev currently holds, so give him a non-title feud. Raw allows plenty of options for him, with the Baron Corbin being a potential fit.
Smackdown – Golden Truth
Another tag team to give the division some life. The comedy duo will provide a team that could go against just about anyone, and turning them heel could be an interesting possibility. Enzo and Cass could have some fun exchanges with R-Truth and Goldust.
Raw – Kalisto
Kalisto is a high flyer. He will bring the fun wrestling people want to see, without needed a storyline. He is the kind of guy you pit against the likes of Rollins or Styles any given Monday just to get some solid action.
Raw – Kane
Kane is a bit of a wildcard right now. He has recently taken back on the Demon Kane mantra, but I am still not really sure if he is a face or heel. So bottom-line is he can face off against just about anyone.
Smackdown – Eva Marie
Eva Marie is someone the WWE has been itching to push, but she simply has not been any good. Having her go against the top performers in the division (see Charlotte, Sasha Banks and Natalya) will help mask any deficiencies she may still have in the ring.
Raw – Summer Rae
She is simply here to provide the women’s division with some depth. Smackdown is where the talent is, but depth is needed on both shows.
Smackdown – Erick Rowan
Like Strowman, Rowan needs to be kept with Bray. He will be the third and final member of the Wyatt Family to join Smackdown.
Raw – Sin Cara
Keeping him with Kalisto allows for the potential for them to team back up again.
Raw – Blake and Murphy
A fresh new tag team from NXT that will provide fresh matchups. Look for Raw to be the home of tag team wrestling, while Smackdown focuses on the women.
Smackdown – Titus O’Neil
Titus is the kind of wrestler who brings the power, and has some upside. Putting him on the smaller show gives him the chance to climb the ladder faster.
Raw – Alicia Fox
See Summer Rae.
Smackdown – Dana Brooke
Brooke is Charlotte’s sidekick, so keeping them together is a strong possibility. I am not convinced Brooke will make it on her own, so let her ride Charlotte’s coattails a bit longer.
Raw – Heath Slater
Breaking Slater away from his group can provide some funny moments. He could go on the hunt for some new partners.
Raw – Naomi
See Summer Rae and Alicia Fox.
Smackdown – Darren Young
Darren Young currently has himself a matchup against the Miz for the Intercontinental Championship. I do not see that going past a single match where Miz retains, so splitting the two up would not be anything earth shattering.
Raw – Mark Henry
Henry provides the big body someone like Baron Corbin can throw around to get over. He will simply be there to help young guys like Owens, Zayn, Corbin and Neville.
Smackdown – Social Outcasts (minus Slater)
Curtis Axel and Bo Dallas would bring some more depth to the tag team division for the show.
Raw – Vaudevillians
A tag team that is currently struggling. They will provide a nice punching bag for the top teams like the Usos and New Day.
Raw – Jack Swagger
Jack Swagger adds some extra depth to the roster. He can go against anyone, and take a loss. He has no real momentum, so feeding him to the likes of Owens or Corbin any week makes sense.
Smackdown – Carmella
Carmella would provide another new face for the show, and also allow for her to start her main roster career against the best in the business.
Raw – The Ascension
See the Vaudevillians.
Smackdown – Shining Stars
The Shining Stars have been a total disappointment upon their reintroduction to WWE, and will simply be depth in the tag team division.
Raw – Big Show
See Mark Henry.
So there you have it. That is how Jon and I see the WWE Draft unfolding. Who do you think will end up on each show? Tell us in the comments!