The WWE has just released the rules for the upcoming WWE Draft that will commence on the first live episode of WWE Smackdown. The move to a live show also marks the move of Smackdown from Thursday nights to Tuesday nights (the time it actually happens). This draft is the latest in attempts at bringing more fans back to the WWE brand of sports entertainment. By splitting the programming it gives Smackdown a better chance at original programming- at the moment the second weekly show is more of a “recap” show. This brand split will give Monday Night RAW and WWE Smackdown exclusive talent and presumably exclusive championship belts. Supposedly the talent going to which show is secret but there have been obvious slips as to what teams will no longer be teams after the draft.
Here is the current roster for all of WWE “main roster” talent:
- AJ Styles
- Alberto Del Rio
- Apollo Crews
- Baron Corbin
- Big Show
- Braun Strowman
- Bray Wyatt
- Brock Lesnar
- Chris Jericho
- Darren Young (w/ Bob Backlund)
- Dean Ambrose – WWE Champion
- Demon Kane
- Dolph Ziggler
- Erick Rowan
- Jack Swagger
- John Cena
- Kevin Owens
- Mark Henry
- Randy Orton
- Roman Reigns
- Rusev (w/ Lana) – United States Champion
- Sami Zayn
- Seth Rollins
- Sin Cara
- The Miz (w/ Maryse) – Intercontinental Champion
- Titus O’Neil
- Zack Ryder
- Breezango (Fandango and Tyler Breeze)
- Enzo and Cass (Enzo Amore and Big Cass)
- Gallows and Anderson (Luke Gallows and Karl Anderson)
- Golden Truth (Goldust and R-Truth)
- Shining Stars (Epico and Primo)
- Social Outcasts (Bo Dallas, Curtis Axel and Heath Slater)
- The Ascension (Konnor and Viktor)
- The Dudley Boyz (Bubba Ray and D-Von Dudley)
- The New Day (Big E, Kofi Kingston and Xavier Woods) – Tag Team Champions
- The Usos (Jey and Jimmy Uso)
- The Vaudevillains (Aiden English and Simon Gotch)
- Alicia Fox
- Becky Lynch
- Charlotte – WWE Women’s Champion
- Dana Brooke
- Eva Marie
- Sasha Banks
- Summer Rae
The rules state that those listed as a tag team will remain such unless the General Manager of each show is interested in only one member of that team. This means we could possibly see The New Day break up, or newcomers Enzo and Cass. That could be bad but apparently Vince McMahon is high on Cass being singles after Enzo was injured earlier this year and Cass held his own quite well.
At least they didn’t list Kane as Demon Kane and Corporate Kane so he could be on both shows.
First up, they are listing guys like Roman Reigns (on suspension for failing the Wellness Policy) and Brock Lesnar (part time at best) but not anyone on the injured list such as Tyson Kidd (tag team partner with Cesaro who is listed as a singles competitor). That doesn’t bode well for Kidd and Cesaro staying a tag team upon his return, or even staying on the same show. Also, Eva Marie is listed as a main roster Female Superstar even though she has not been on RAW or Smackdown for a very long time and been in NXT. Other Female Superstars that have not been on either program in a long time include Naomi and Alicia Fox but they are listed here as members of the main roster. Is this an attempt to build up the rather weak women’s division in light of the looming split?
Also, notice that “The Club” a recent addition to the roster has been split into AJ Styles (Singles) and Gallows and Anderson (tag team). This can almost be viewed as a guarantee that they will not be on the same show. Also notice that the Wyatt Family are listed not as a tag team like The Social Outcasts (three members) and The New Day (also three members). This is probably setting up for Bray Wyatt to finally step out on his own and build a singles character to run for the main title next year. The Lucha Dragons are listed as singles competitors as well for some reason, rather than as a tag team. Mark Henry is on the list as an active main roster competitor – I could have sworn he was retired from active wrestling. I also could be wrong about that.
There will apparently be six picks from NXT. This is not very clear as to if it is six per show or three each. Another weird rule concerns the length of Monday Night RAW versus WWE Smackdown. Since Smackdown is two hours and RAW is three – for every two picks that Smackdown makes, RAW will receive three. This means the obvious majority of Superstars will be on RAW. Could Smackdown end up with a very poor tag team roster? Or a pitiful Women’s division?
So, we can almost be guaranteed to see AJ Styles split from The Club, the breakup of the Wyatt Family (at least one member could be lost to a different show) and there is a good chance that Enzo and Cass will remain together.
Who do you think will go to what show?