The WWE Draft concluded Tuesday night leaving many to wonder if the payoff was worth the wait and if one show made out better than the other. The first live Tuesday edition of Smackdown aired six rounds of the WWE Draft with the remaining five rounds taking place during WWE Draft Center Live on the WWE Network.
Questions are still pouring in as to why the Wyatt Family was split up, why AJ Styles was separated from the rest of The Club, how Heath Slater went undrafted and how real-life couple Paige and Alberto Del Rio feel about not being on the same show when The Miz and Maryse and Rusev and Lana were kept together. Several of the WWE superstars even voiced their frustrations on camera in regards to their draft position or the brand they were selected to.
Be that as it may, here is a look at how the first six rounds of the WWE Draft unfolded Tuesday night, as covered by WWE.com, paying especially close attention to the first 10 selections.
Round No. 1
- Seth Rollins – Raw
- WWE Champion Dean Ambrose – SmackDown Live
- WWE Women’s Champion Charlotte – Raw
- AJ Styles – SmackDown Live
- Finn Bálor – Raw from NXT
Round No. 2
- Roman Reigns – Raw
- John Cena – SmackDown Live
- Brock Lesnar – Raw
- Randy Orton – SmackDown Live
- WWE Tag Team Champions The New Day – Raw
Round No. 3
- Sami Zayn – Raw
- Bray Wyatt – SmackDown Live
- Sasha Banks – Raw
- Becky Lynch – SmackDown Live
- Chris Jericho – Raw
Round No. 4
- United States Champion Rusev (with Lana) – Raw
- Intercontinental Champion The Miz (with Maryse) – SmackDown Live
- Kevin Owens – Raw
- Baron Corbin – SmackDown Live
- Enzo & Big Cass – Raw
Round No. 5
- Gallows and Anderson – Raw
- American Alpha – SmackDown Live from NXT
- Big Show – Raw
- Dolph Ziggler – SmackDown Live
- Nia Jax – Raw from NXT
Round No. 6
- Neville – Raw
- Natalya – SmackDown Live
- Cesaro – Raw
- Alberto Del Rio – SmackDown Live
- Sheamus – Raw
While it’s certainly understandable how the WWE would slot the WWE Champion Dean Ambrose, and one of the current top two contenders for the title, Seth Rollins, as the first two picks of the WWE Draft, that wasn’t originally how it was supposed to play out. According to Wrestling Inc, the first overall pick in the WWE Draft was supposed to be The Beast Incarnate, Brock Lesnar.
Things have been fluctuating for months backstage in regards to the draft and subsequent brand split. Once the decision was set in motion, plans called for Roman Reigns and Seth Rollins to headline RAW, while John Cena and AJ Styles top Smackdown. Interestingly enough, all four were drafted to those particular shows, however, Roman Reigns’ Wellness Policy violation and John Cena’s limited schedule forced the WWE to audible a bit at the top of each roster.
Also, while it may not have always been the plan, Lesnar was slotted as the top pick of the WWE Draft as of last week. Things changed when it the UFC revealed that Brock failed an out-of-competition sample collection as well as an in-competition drug test, flagged both times for the estrogen blocker, Clomiphene. What’s odd about Lesnar as far as the WWE and the draft is concerned, is that even though he fell to the 8th overall pick, it wasn’t a significant enough slide to turn into a major story. Perhaps they would have been better suited to make him the top pick, or have him slide considerably to the point it was addressed on the broadcast, creating some extra buzz.
In the mock-up that saw Brock drafted first, Dean Ambrose would have gone second, followed by Seth Rollins and then John Cena. Things clearly shifted quite a bit with Rollins going first overall, despite not being the WWE Champion. Charlotte slid into the third spot, with AJ Styles rounding out the top four and Cena dropping to seventh. But as noted, the shows they were drafted to remained the same as originally planned for.
[Image via WWE]