The WWE Draft Tuesday evening was a rousing success with great matches, a superb WWE championship match, and the WWE Draft. Despite what many fans and pundits claim was a one-sided affair, both shows got their stars to take them into the next era of a brand split. WWE’s only mistake Tuesday evening was Stephanie McMahon’s consistent burial of Smackdown Live, but that was to be expected with Raw as the flagship show of WWE.
As far as Raw’s heavy hitters, it started with Seth Rollins and ended with Gallows and Anderson. Smackdown Live’s big stars were Dean Ambrose and AJ Styles, but they got huge steals with John Cena and Randy Orton. Here is a list of the first four rounds of the WWE Draft:
Round No. 1
1. Seth Rollins – Raw
2. WWE Champion Dean Ambrose – SmackDown Live
3. WWE Women’s Champion Charlotte – Raw
4. AJ Styles – SmackDown Live
5. Finn Bálor – Raw from NXT
Round No. 2
6. Roman Reigns – Raw
7. John Cena – SmackDown Live
8. Brock Lesnar – Raw
9. Randy Orton – SmackDown Live
10. WWE Tag Team Champions The New Day – Raw
Round No. 3
11. Sami Zayn – Raw
12. Bray Wyatt – SmackDown Live
13. Sasha Banks – Raw
14. Becky Lynch – SmackDown Live
15. Chris Jericho – Raw
Round No. 4
16. United States Champion Rusev (with Lana) – Raw
17. Intercontinental Champion The Miz (with Maryse) – SmackDown Live
18. Kevin Owens – Raw
19. Baron Corbin – SmackDown Live
20. Enzo & Big Cass – Raw
There were no major surprises that allowed Monday Night Raw to gain the upper hand in the talent department. They have a three-hour program to fill, and as it says above, Raw is the priority of the WWE. Remember when Paul Heyman wrote Smackdown, and they consistently out-performed Vince McMahon’s flagship program? Heyman was sent back down to OVW to prevent both shows being seen as equals.
Even though the WWE Draft was best for business, there were some names left off the bill that had the WWE Universe curious. No, Brock Lesnar and Roman Reigns weren’t left off in light of their recent drug test failures. In fact, they were picked in the first few rounds. Three major stars, all of whom are part-time performers, were excluded from the draft.
WrestleZone.com compiled a list of WWE stars who were not drafted.
Emma (out with a back injury)
Heath Slater (not drafted)
Luke Harper (Injured with a torn ACL)
Nikki Bella (out with a neck injury)
The Rock (Only makes special appearances)
Rosa Mendes (Currently on maternity leave)
Ryback (Currently amidst a contract dispute)
Tamina Snuka (Injured with torn ligaments)
Triple H (Only makes special appearances)
Tyson Kidd (Out with a spinal cord injury)
The Undertaker (Only makes special appearances)
Looking thru the not drafted list, Undertaker, Triple H, and the Rock never had a chance of being drafted. HHH had the best chance, but he’s still off WWE TV, and he has been since WrestleMania 32. There’s no word as to why he’s staying off television, but there are constant rumors of him coming back to face Shane McMahon at SummerSlam.
If that’s the case, then consider this piece of fantasy booking for a moment. Mick Foley and Stephanie McMahon’s relationship will come to a head soon. When that happens, she will most likely fire Foley and hire Triple H to take over the duties on Monday Night Raw. Shane and HHH will finally meet face-to-face, and there are backstage reports saying they have a tumultuous relationship in real life.
The best feuds in WWE are the ones that stem from real animosity or adversity. CM Punk and the WWE, as well as Daniel Bryan’s rise to stardom, are the best examples in recent memory. Cesaro is starting to take that path after his excellent promo at the WWE Draft. He was taken in the 10th round and felt he deserved a higher pick.
It’s that real world frustration that can help get WWE stars over in the current product. Beginning on Raw next week, it will be the start of a new era, and everyone will benefit from it. Dean Ambrose and Bray Wyatt will be the future of Smackdown, while Finn Balor and Seth Rollins will own Raw. It’s a great time to be a WWE fan.
[Image via wwe.com]