In just a few hours from now, WWE will be kicking off the first part of its much-hyped brand draft on Friday Night SmackDown, and Fox is reportedly pulling out all the stops to make sure this event lives up to its advance billing. For one, several celebrities — primarily those from the world of sports — are scheduled to appear on tonight’s episode of SmackDown and on the second part of the draft, which will be held on the October 14 Monday Night Raw. But beyond all that, there has been a lot of talk about certain wrestlers and the brands they may be representing going forward.
Earlier this week, Dave Meltzer noted on Wrestling Observer Radio that two of SmackDown’s less frequently-used performers — Aleister Black and Buddy Murphy — are among those that could end up on Monday Night Raw. This was followed up on Thursday, as the WrestleVotes Twitter account shared a post that specified two wrestlers who are reportedly being targeted by Raw executive director Paul Heyman in the WWE Draft.
“Draft info is being kept tight lipped, rightfully so. They are trying to make this a big deal. With that said, I know Heyman has fought for Bray Wyatt & Aleister Black to land on RAW.”
Given Heyman’s history of favoring darker, edgier wrestlers, it’s no surprise that Black and Wyatt were mentioned among his most likely draft picks. While Wyatt is coming off a high-profile match — one where he failed to defeat Seth Rollins for the Universal Championship at Hell in a Cell — Black hasn’t gotten that much exposure on television since moving from NXT earlier this year. He was, however, featured in a Raw “Draft Showcase” match earlier this week, where he defeated Samir and Sunil Singh in a handicap match, as noted by Wrestling Inc.
Apart from partly corroborating Meltzer’s report and adding that Wyatt may be another favorite of Heyman’s, WrestleVotes added in its tweet that Fox officials are hoping to keep Roman Reigns and Charlotte Flair on Friday Night SmackDown as two of the blue brand’s top stars.
While the outcomes of WWE’s past brand drafts have largely been based on the company’s storylines, this year’s draft may be different, as USA Network and Fox representatives will “legitimately have a say” in the results, WrestlingNews.co explained. As separately reported by The Inquisitr, rules of the upcoming draft have just been released, and while they have some similarities compared to previous iterations, several new twists will be introduced as WWE hopes to make the event feel even more like a professional sports draft.