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Raw vs. SmackDown: Top 20 Picks of the 2016 WWE Fantasy Draft

The year was 2002, the WWE was fresh off winning the Monday Night War. They had bought out both WCW and ECW, leaving them with largest roster of talent they had ever had before. Something needed to be done to separate the talent. They eventually decided to split up Raw and SmackDown into two separate brands. In order to split the brands they would hold a draft. Ric Flair represented Raw, while Vince McMahon represented SmackDown.

By dividing up the rosters it meant that both brands would have their own separate championships and Pay-Per-Views (minus sharing the big four). A couple positives of the brand split were that both shows had their own distinct feel. Also, some of the midcard wrestlers would have not gotten the pushes they got, if they were still buried behind the same deep roster on both shows.

After nine years the brand extension experiment was officially over in 2011, as both brands were turned back into one. It's been five years since then, is it time for another brand split in 2016? The WWE as a company is whole lot different then it was in 2002. The roster is nowhere near as big as it was back then, but a brand split could still be a positive thing for the WWE.

The WWE is full of talented midcarders that deserve to be on the top of the card. A smaller roster will help those wrestlers get more of a push. With SmackDown's move to the USA Network, the show is in desperate need of shot in the arm. It has recently been nothing but a glorified Raw recap show. By separating the show, it can once again have it's own identity.

The list below is how the draft would go if it was held today. Part timers like Triple H, Undertaker, and Chris Jericho will not be included in the draft. The same rules that applied in 2002, will be applied here.

Without further ado, let the 2016 WWE draft begin.

20 1. Raw: Brock Lesnar

via wrestlingphoto.tumblr.com

19 2. SmackDown: Roman Reigns

via wrestlingorder.com

18 3. Raw: John Cena

via wrestlingnewspost.com

17 4. SmackDown: Seth Rollins

via sethrolllinsfans.tumblr.com

16 5. Raw: Dean Ambrose

via toobrother.com

15 6. SmackDown: Charlotte

via wwe.com

14 7. Raw: Randy Orton

via wwe.com

13 8. SmackDown: Kevin Owens

via wwe.com

12 9. Raw: Sasha Banks

via wrestlingphoto.tumblr.com

11 10. SmackDown:  The New Day

via reddit.com

10 11. Raw: The Wyatt Family

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9 12. SmackDown: A.J. Styles

via mindofcarnage.com

8 13. Raw: Paige

via fansided.com

7 14. SmackDown: Becky Lynch

via beckylynchsource.com

6 15. Raw: Cesaro

via sportskeeda.com

5 16. SmackDown: Dolph Ziggler

via phoenixnewtimes.com

4 17. Raw: Alberto Del Rio

via wrestlingnews.co

3 18. SmackDown: Neville

via worcestermag.com

2 19. Raw: Rusev

via tadkashadka.com

1 20. SmackDown: Kalisto 

via flipboard.com

Ever since Kalisto did a death defying Salida del Sol off a ladder at WWE TLC, the fans have quickly got behind the small luchador. The WWE is looking for the next big Mexican Superstar, and Kalisto might just be it. A long reign as United States Champion will go a long way in establishing that. The WWE just might have their next Rey Mysterio if they play their cards right as Kalisto continues to improve and grow on the fans each week.

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Raw vs. SmackDown: Top 20 Picks of the 2016 WWE Fantasy Draft