Let’s split ’em up!
So the WWE announced recently the fruition of months of rumors in that the brand split will take place when Smackdown moves live to Tuesdays on July 19th. There seem to be a lot of positives and negatives that the idea of another brand split brings up from fans and hopefully the company is looking back to see what did or didn’t work the last time. They really can’t afford to screw this one up, considering what is going on in their TV ratings. But the TV, Network, and the pay per view events after the split is for another article.
It’s draft time!
I figured with another brand split draft, it would be interesting to put together a mock draft and see what I come up with. See what would become of the two shows. So after compiling the names from the main roster, it’s time to split them up!
I’m going the most optimistic route with that lottery. Unlike the last time the company had a brand split, The WWE Champion Dean Ambrose, The Tag team Champions the New Day, and the Women’s champion Charlotte will be able to appear on both brands. We don’t need twice as many belts being zoomed around for a bunch of forgettable title reigns like last time, ESPECIALLY have two world title. When you have a “world title” curtain jerking, it’s not really important anymore is it?
Also, I’ve disqualified both Mark Henry, The Undertaker, and Brock Lesnar from the draft. Mark Henry is pretty much retired at this point. He had a long career and hasn’t been a real contributor for a while now. Brock Lesnar shows up so few and far between that Vince will just have Brock do whatever he wants, so having him “drafted” won’t fool anyone. The Undertaker is only around once a year and like Brock, does whatever he wants.
With that out of the way, let’s get to the picks!
The Main Eventers:
RAW: Seth Rollins, AJ Styles, Randy Orton
Smackdown: Roman Reigns, Bray Wyatt, John Cena
These are the headliners that are the right now. You aren’t going anywhere without top level guys like this to build your roster, or even a future roster, around. Here I wanted to keep the Shield guys away from each other. Given the chance Trips would have his boys face each other 5 billion times. Keep them apart keeps thing from going south right out of the gate. Also felt that if people are going to take this, and Smackdown , seriously, then Cena needs to be on the show. If not than Smackdown will just look like the second brand it has been for years now.
RAW: US Champion Rusev
Smackdown: Intercontinental Champion: Miz
This is the perfect opportunity to elevate both titles. Make THEM the regular focus of the shows. Make the rosters want these belts to get the title shots, not just some shit prop. Whomever holds them is irrelevant if the belts are made to look a lot better than they are.
RAW: Alberto Del Rio, Seamus, Baron Corbin, Sami Zayn, Cesaro
Smackdown: Kevin Owens, Titus O’Neil, Chris Jericho, Apollo Crews, Dolph Ziggler
This is where the key to this draft lies. These are these guys that can be put into main event scenes without an issue. A much as people like to see them wrestle, I’m splitting Zayn and Owens separated after Battleground. Owens is on his way to a world title sooner than later, let them face off when he wins the title. Until then, let them wrestle other people.
RAW: Sasha Banks, Becky Lynch, Natalia, Naomi, Emma
Smackdown: Paige, Dana Brooke, Summer Rae, Alicia Fox, Tamina
This is a tough one since there are so many injuries in the women’s division right now. I’m leaving out Nikki Bella since she won’t be back until well after the draft, and despite what the WWE will think, I don’t think she will be the “star” she once was. I think the division passed her by.
The Tag Teams:
RAW: The Club, Enzo/Cass, Shining Stars, Vaudvillians, Dudley Boys
Smackdown: Wyatt Family, Usos, Lucha Dragons, Ascension, Breezedango
The draft tends to split up tag teams, but I think that is crazy. You have enough teams to make it work on both shows, don’t go splitting them all up just so you can have lame feuds leading to “creative has nothing for you” runs afterwards. I’d keep the Club with Styles and the Wyatt family together but on different shows. They can be used in teams or singles. I kinda like how Breezdango is working as a team so let’s keep them together and see where that can go.
RAW: Darren Young, R-Truth, Curtis Axel, Bo Dallas, Big Show
Smackdown: Goldust, Neville, Heath Slater, Zach Ryder, Jack Swagger, Kane
The star have to beat somebody. These guys may not headline shows without a lot of restructuring, but they still have a place. I’d split up the Social Outcasts since that story is dead. Adam Rose is gone so there isn’t much of a point. I’d also split up Golden truth. The story is over and there really isn’t much farther it needs to go.
The NXT pick-ups:
RAW: American Alpha, Finn Balor, Nia Jax, Hideo Itami
Smackdown: The Revival, Tye Dillenger, Bailey
The draft is PERFECT for bringing in new talent to the main roster. You can’t take all of them but you can add to the roster while the getting is good. With Finn, even if he doesn’t join the club, having that tension is a story waiting to happen, so putting him on the roster with A.J and the boys should be a no brainer.
The Broadcast Teams:
RAW: Mauro Ranallo, JBL, Byron Saxon, Renee Young, Jojo
Smackdown: Michael Cole, Corey Graves, Booker T, Tom Phillips, Cathy Kelly.
First, with Jerry Lawler’s status up in thee air for a while, it’s best to just leave him out. Despite a less than stellar showing on the MITB preshow, Graves deserves a chance at the big time. Mauro I think is more than ready for RAW. Give him JBL to work with and see what they can do together. And for crying out loud don’t have Byron do double duty on both shows and give him a character and a spine as well.
I’m probably not going to be even close, but it will be fun to see where the WWE takes the split from here on.
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