The WWE held a live draft this past Tuesday night for the ninth time - dating back to the very first one that took place in 2002. SmackDown was a dying brand that needed a fresh start in order to gain some relevance. Shane McMahon, alongside with his newly named GM of SmackDown, Daniel Bryan, took charge of drafting team SmackDown while Stephanie McMahon and her handpicked GM, Mick Foley, did the drafting for Raw. The draft worked as followed:
Since SmackDown is a live two-hour show and Raw is three hours, for every three picks Raw got, SmackDown would receive two. For example, the first round would see Raw getting the first pick, followed by SmackDown, then back to Raw, back to SmackDown one more time then ending the round with Raw. Each round would follow the same pattern. At the end of the day, a total of 59 Superstars was drafted between both brands.
Although the initial idea was to have every superstar on the active roster drafted, almost a dozen superstars were left without a new home. Whether some of these superstars are currently sidelined with an injury or just missing in action, they will eventually need to find a new brand to represent.
Here's a list of 10 Superstars That Were Left Undrafted And The Reason Why.
10. Heath Slater
It was a given that Seth Rollins would be drafted number one overall during the SmackDown live draft. How about Heath Slater? 10th? 15th? Last? How about not drafted at all. This might be the oddest one of the bunch because Slater is currently healthy and part of the weekly WWE program.
Slater is currently part of a three-man stable known as The Social Outcasts, featuring Curtis Axel and Bo Dallas. The other two guys were drafted, but the leader of The Social Outcasts was left hanging. Now you're probably wondering how he reacted to this debacle? His tweets say tell it all.
Guess who is the Hottest Free Agent... Yeah!!!! Me!!!— Heath Slater (@HeathSlaterOMRB) July 20, 2016
It can't be declared at the moment what role he will play, but it's highly possible he could make sporadic appearances on both shows until he eventually finds himself dedicated to one roster.
9. Tyson Kidd
On June 7th, 2015, WWE announced that Tyson Kidd suffered a severe neck/spinal injury during a dark match with current NXT champion Samoa Joe. Several weeks later Kidd announced that he would be out of action for the minimum of a year, after receiving a potential career ending injury. Kidd would also tweet that only 5% of people survive his injury and that he received 16 staples, 4 screws and a rod inserted in his neck during surgery.
So the reason why he wasn't drafted to Raw or SmackDown hints that Kidd is still sidelined without a timetable date of return. It's still highly possible he could never wrestle again, though we hope that isn't the case.
8. Tamina Snuka
I'm sure you're wondering why the daughter of WWE Hall of Famer Jimmy "Superfly" Snuka has been off of TV for the past two months. Tamina Snuka's manager Dany Garcia posted on social media back in May that she underwent successful surgery in Miami, Florida, to repair torn ligaments.
The last match Snuka wrestled was during WWE's post-WrestleMania European tour in Malaga, Spain. Little is known about how long she will spend on the DL.
With that said, you should expect to her jump to move to either brand when she makes a full recovery.
7. Rosa Mendes
Rosa Mendes welcomed a baby girl named Jordan into the world on March 8th, 2016, with fiancé Bobby Schubenski. The Total Divas star is currently on a maternity leave. Mendes has plans to make a return to the ring, but has her focus on enjoying the first few months with her newborn. In the meantime, she has been working hard to get her incredible figure back in wrestling shape.
Mendes isn't too far from making her return to the ring. On the other hand, she, along with a dozen others that have been out for medical reasons, wasn't drafted to one of the major brands.You can expect to see her move to a brand in the coming month.
6. Luke Harper
We may be seeing The Wyatt Family wrestle their last match together at Battleground. During the live draft, we saw Bray Wyatt and Eric Rowan get drafted to SmackDown while Braun Strowman was drafted to Raw. The only man who was left undrafted from the faction was Luke Harper, who is currently recovering from an ACL injury. Towards the end of the show, Harper posted the following tweet:
Thank you.— . (@LukeHarperWWE) July 20, 2016
See you soon.
Harper, who is still months away from fully recovering from his ACL tear, is left without a brand to make a return on. We could possibly see Harper return to SmackDown to reunite with the original members of The Wyatts. Joining Strowman over on Raw would also be a possible choice. Regardless, we will hopefully see him in a ring by the end of the year.
Following Tuesday night’s WWE Draft, Ryback took to Twitter to comment on his WWE status following his contract dispute earlier this year.
Update for the good ones. One month left for nose before I resume wrestling/jiu jitsu/boxing regimen for return. Ear get cleared in 6 days— The Big Guy (@Ryback22) July 19, 2016
For weights. Contract up August 8th or Oct 17th depending on certain circumstances. The future is going to be great! #FeedMeMore— The Big Guy (@Ryback22) July 19, 2016
"The Big Guy" has been in an ongoing dispute with the WWE for the past three months. It's not clear what exactly took place that led to these circumstances, but his absence from the draft made it clear that he won't be returning to the WWE anytime soon.
4. Nikki Bella
Nicki Bella held the WWE Divas Championship for a total of 10 months, lasting from November 2014 to September 2015. She holds the record as the longest reigning Divas champion of all time. Since her title loss, Bella has been sidelined from the WWE with a neck injury, which eventually required surgery. Although her future with the company is uncertain, she has been very positive during her absence, hoping that she could eventually get back in the ring. After a positive cat scan, she took to Twitter today to show her excitement:
Good news from the Doc! Next stop.... N pic.twitter.com/TCr0xxilTm— Nikki & Brie (@BellaTwins) July 21, 2016
Things are looking good for Fearless Nikki and we're excited to see her get back in the ring.
3. Triple H
Just a few months prior to defending his WWE World Heavyweight Championship against Roman Reigns at WrestleMania 32, Triple H had been working full time as the leader of The Authority and a part time wrestler. The Game, now 46 years of age, is still in tremendous wrestling shape and has what it takes to step into the ring at any time necessary.
Triple H hasn't been seen on Monday Night Raw since March 28th, the Raw prior to WrestleMania 32. Since his loss, The King of Kings has been leading the way for the future stars of the WWE down in NXT. As this year's draft approached, that there was some speculation that we might not see him drafted to either of the Flagship brands.
While it's possible The Game will make some appearances on the main roster, he will continue to work down in NXT. When he does return to the ring, it's likely he'll be involved in a feud with his wife, Stephanie, and brother-in-law, Shane.
2. The Rock
This should be a given. Unlike Brock Lesnar, The Rock's appearances on TV are as rare as The Undertaker's. Every so often, we will get a surprise return from the Rock.
There are no future plans, as of now, that we will see The Rock in action. We have seen glimpses of a potential WrestleMania bout with Triple H, but that seems to be drifting out of sight. The last time he made an appearance on WWE programming was during WrestleMania 32 where he had a match with Erick Rowan, in the shortest match in WrestleMania history.
Even though The Rock wasn't drafted, the fans would welcome him back with open arms.
1. The Undertaker
The Demon of Death Valley did not make the cut to be a part of this year's draft. The Undertaker, for the past six years, has been wrestling as a part-timer. A case could be made that he should have been drafted to where he wrestled for the most part of his illustrious career, SmackDown, but drafting someone that only wrestles a handful times a year does nothing but get fans hopes up.
Now 51 years of age, The Deadman could be closing in on the final years of his career and there have even been rumors that he wrestled his last match at WrestleMania 32. Continuing to reserve him as a once a year tradition would be the better choice if they plan to have him wrestle in one or two more WrestleMania matches. He may not have been apart of this year's draft, but make no mistake, SmackDown will forever be Undertaker's playground.
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