This year’s WWE Superstar Draft will officially begin on Friday evening, but it is going to be quite different from those of the past. In 2019, Friday Night SmackDown will have the first night of the draft, with Monday Night Raw having the concluding evening next week. Now, WWE has revealed the intricate and detailed rules for the Superstar Draft, which actually includes preliminary pools and free agency.
Earlier on Thursday, The Inquisitr reported that Seth Rollins will face Roman Reigns to open up Friday Night SmackDown this week. Each superstar will represent their current brand and the winner will win the No. 1 overall pick for either Raw or SmackDown.
As revealed by Wrestling Inc., a large number of celebrities will be present on both Friday and Monday to announce draft picks. Seeing as how Fox wants WWE to make this draft more like those in other professional sports, expect a lot of athletes to call out the selections.
Along with that announcement, WWE has revealed the official rules for the 2019 Superstar Draft, and they are rather interesting.
~ Over 70 superstars — tag teams included — can be selected in this year’s WWE Draft
~ SmackDown will draft 30 wrestlers, and Raw will select another 41
~ Since SmackDown is a two-hour show and Raw is three hours long, the former show will get two picks while the latter will get three
~ Tag teams will count as one pick unless Fox or USA Network want to pick just one superstar from the team
~ Any undrafted superstars will be placed in a free agent pool and will be allowed to sign with the brand of their choosing
This all means that any superstars not selected in the draft won’t just necessarily remain on the brand they are currently on. Once the draft is over, they will fall into a period of free agency and be able to sign with any brand they wish.
Seeing as how Friday Night SmackDown airs for one less hour each week, they will be at a slight disadvantage with their picks. Another interesting note with the new rules is that it seems as if most tag teams won’t be split up, but the option is there to do that if a brand wishes.
The official website of WWE has also revealed their preliminary WWE Draft Pools to showcase which superstars are available. Looking at the pools for both shows, here are some of the more interesting things to note.
- The Street Profits are listed as members of the main roster
- The O.C., despite being a three-man faction, is listed as one entity with AJ Styles, Luke Gallows, and Karl Anderson
- Sami Zayn is listed as accompanying Shinsuke Nakamura
- Mandy Rose and Sonya Deville are officially listed as the tag team of Fire & Desire