The 2016 WWE Draft was built up to be the moment where WWE changed forever. It was the beginning of a New Era, but it seems that with the Superstars that were chosen for each brand, WWE was doomed to make the same mistakes.
Seth Rollins was Raw’s first overall draft pick at number one. Rollins was in with The Authority at this point and it was clear that the future of the company was not going to be wasted on SmackDown Live.
It has felt like Roman Reigns and Seth Rollins have been missing Dean Ambrose over on Raw and this is why rumours have begun about another draft that could see him join up with his long lost brothers. A.J. Styles has been the biggest star on SmackDown along with The Miz over the past few months, and despite the fact that Miz was one of the latter picks, he has come good for the Blue Brand.
Many of the WWE Universe have talked about what it would be like if they recreated their own WWE Draft and then see how storylines would work out for stars who were thrown together in different circumstances.
WWE could have set up the draft so much better and they could have given their roster a bigger boost. The following is an idea of what could have happened if the first 15 WWE Daft picks were different.
Note: Keep in mind how the draft process worked; Raw would have three picks to SmackDown’s two in each round.
1. Frist Round, Raw: A.J. Styles
A.J. Styles was SmackDown’s second draft pick after the WWE Champion Dean Ambrose was chosen as the first man on the Blue Brand. At the time A.J. was feuding with John Cena and was still a member of The Club. The WWE Universe were unaware of what he was able to do in a WWE ring, but now they will be able to see what he is capable of.
Raw should have gone and picked A.J. Styles as their first since he was the biggest star of 2016 and he has changed the face of SmackDown since he’s been there. It would also set up some interesting feuds for A.J. moving forward if he was given a place on WWE’s flagship program of Monday Night Raw.
2. First Round, SmackDown: Seth Rollins
The current and future star of WWE was deservedly the first draft pick overall and the one to go to Monday Night Raw. But since he has been drafted to Raw, all Seth has done is moan about the fact that The Authority is now against him and lose every time he’s fought for the Universal Championship.
Rollins should have been chosen to move to SmackDown as their first draft pick. Despite the fact that he wasn’t WWE Champion, he could have then gone on to defeat Dean Ambrose and Roman Reigns at Battleground and then gone on to be the face of SmackDown Live. Something that the brand needed in the early days before A.J. Styles emerged as such a breakout sensation over on the Blue Brand.
3. First Round, Raw: Bray Wyatt
‘The Eater of Worlds’ was split from his family during the WWE Draft as Braun Strowman was taken to Raw while Bray Wyatt was placed on SmackDown. But the best thing for Bray would have been to allow him to be drafted as the second selection to the Raw roster so that he could then feud with A.J. Styles and The Club along with The Wyatt Family. Bray could have gone over to Raw as the Intercontinental Champion and be able to feud with A.J. and The Club while also defending his title with his family’s help.
Braun would be able to go to SmackDown instead and continue thereign that he has had over the roster over the past few months. Meanwhile Luke Gallows and Karl Anderson as well as Luke Harper and Erick Rowan would have all followed their leaders over to their respective brand so that we can continue an incredible six-man rivalry.
4. First Round, SmackDown: The Miz
The voice of SmackDown over the past few months has had a fantastic run with SmackDown general manager Daniel Bryan, which means that I would prefer to keep The Miz exactly where he is. If Rollins was to turn face much like he has on Raw then the Miz can find a way of feuding with him instead.
They are two of the best talkers in WWE right now and it would be incredible for them to have big build ups to their matches because the promos would be amazing. Rollins will be WWE World Champion and having someone like The Miz pushed to the title straight away would prove that SmackDown really was the land of opportunity. The kind of opportunity The Miz would not see over on Raw.
5. First Round, Raw: Charlotte
Charlotte was originally Raw’s second overall draft pick and as the WWE Women’s Champion at the time, it was considered a worthy choice. She is still selected in the first round here and she is still heading over to Monday Night Raw. Charlotte has proved her place on the flagship show and she deserves to stay there moving forward.
Sasha Banks’ feud with Charlotte late last year was one that created a lot of history and broke a lot of records, but it is one that a lot of the WWE Universe failed to understand completely. Charlotte will remain as a heel and have Dana Brooke by her side as well so that she can continue her reign of dominance as the true Queen of the Monday Night Raw brand.
6. Second Round, Raw: Kevin Owens
The current Universal Champion will be heading over to Raw without a title and if Finn Balor never went on to face Rollins at SummerSlam, then maybe he faces Kevin Owens instead in a match that would have certainly stole the show. This would mean that Balor and Owens could rehash their incredible feud from NXT with the Universal Championship on Raw.
Owens and Balor could trade victories and have a lengthy feud before Chris Jericho joins Owens. From there, Balor can then be joined by Roman Reigns and suddenly it becomes a tag team feud and one that eventually turns into Jericho vs. Owens for the Universal Championship in a huge match that many fans have bene longing to see over the past few months.
7 . Second Round, SmackDown: Dean Ambrose
Dean Ambrose is just the second member of The Shield to be drafted, but once again he will be heading over to SmackDown. Dean and Seth had an incredible rivalry towards the end of 2015 and it would be a shame to paper over that. So instead, with Rollins as a face, WWE can now allow The Shield brothers to move forward.
Instead of the reunion between Roman Reigns and Seth Rollins on Raw, we will instead be given the reunion between Dean Ambrose and Seth Rollins and as a duo, they can take over SmackDown Live. The Miz will obviously bring someone like a heel Sami Zayn with him when he faces Rollins so this is where Dean Ambrose can come in, to even the numbers.
8. Second Round, Raw: Roman Reigns
Roman Reigns was a second round draft pick for Raw the first time around, and once again he will become a second round draft pick for the Red Brand in our re-draft version. Roman needs to be away from his Shield brothers so that he can establish himself as a star without rumours of the group reuniting hanging over his head.
If Roman makes the save when Owens and Jericho go after Finn, then he could easily stay with ‘The Demon King’ and mould himself into a fan favourite that way. This will take him away from Rollins and Ambrose and allow him to establish himself as Roman Reigns not as a former member of The Shield. Finn could easily help him with his in-ring work as well.
9. Second Round, SmackDown: Sasha Banks
Here we call a second round draft pick for the former NXT Women’s Champion. This would be fantastic for Sasha Banks who has had a great start on the main roster as part of Team BAD but hasn’t been able to step out on her own.
Sasha will be the woman to lead the SmackDown female division forward and then become the first SmackDown Women’s Champion. As a face Sasha can help a lot of talent who are coming up from NXT including the likes of Bayley and Alexa Bliss. But a heel turn for Sasha over on the Blue Brand can then lead to a fantastic rivalry between her and Bayley. ‘The Huggable One’ just doesn’t fit on Raw, and her chemistry with Sasha in unmatched in the Women’s Division. So, this would be the right move.
10. Second Round, Raw: Chris Jericho
Chris Jericho is a WWE veteran but he has still managed to be one of Raw’s second round draft picks. And much the real version of WWE’s Draft Day, Owens and Jericho will be paired back together, because they have been one of the greatest things on WWE TV over the past few months.
Jericho will help Owens overcome the fact that he can’t win the Universal Championship from Finn Balor and then even out the numbers before Roman Reigns steps in to help the former NXT Champion. This will lead to a feud between Owens and Jericho when it is realized by Y2J that Owens only won the Universal title because of the help of Chris Jericho. And from there, more magic will happen between the two Superstars.
11. Third Round, Raw: John Cena
Yes, this means that John Cena is heading over to Monday Night Raw. It means that he will be back to the brand where he truly found his feet, but because he goes missing so much to film documentaries and host award shows, he needs to be on a brand that doesn’t actually need him.
This will allow Cena to do what he does best and then he can come and go as he pleases. He can feud with A.J. Styles but when he leaves A.J. will have a feud with The Wyatts to keep him occupied so that he is never in a position where his title reign feels stale. Whenever Cena returns, their rivalry can continue over on Monday Night Raw in the same fashion in has on SmackDown Live.
12. Third Round, SmackDown: Brock Lesnar
He may well be the box office fighter and the one who sells all the tickets, but the best place for Brock Lesnar is on SmackDown Live. The two hour show means that Brock won’t be expected to perform a promo at the side of Heyman at every event and instead will be put in actual (squash) matches so that he can deliver what he is saying in the ring.
Goldberg will make his return and the feud will be the same, but it wont overshadow the feud between The Miz and Rollins. Instead SmackDown will book it correctly and allow all men to make a contribution to the show overall. Lesnar can then appear when he needs to and it won’t be the only thing that fans tune in for.
13. Third Round, Raw: Becky Lynch
The third woman and in the third round, Becky Lynch is heading over to Raw to become the main rival for Charlotte. ‘Straight Fire’ has proven what she can do by becoming the first ever SmackDown Women’s Champion, and hopefully a rivalry between Becky and Charlotte will be as entertaining as Charlotte and Sasha’s has been.
If Sasha and Bayley/Alexa are busy on SmackDown and Becky is busy with Charlotte on Raw then at least the split is much more even and it allows the women to gain as much attention as possible when it comes to the rosters in question. It means that The Four Horsewomen are always representing their respective rosters as well with an even split as opposed to one woman standing along from the rest of her group over on SmackDown Live.
14. Third Round SmackDown: Rusev w/Lana
Rusev would be a champion at this point and he will take the United States Championship over to SmackDown Live. This means that he can then slip into their mid-card and be able to bounce off whichever stars head his way.
Rusev will be the main heel on the SmackDown mid-card and take over where The Miz has been over the past few months. He can feud with the likes of Dolph Ziggler and Zack Ryder before moving into a proper feud with someone like Brock Lesnar in the new year. It would give Rusev something to work towards so that he has a purpose on SmackDown’s roster. And of course, anywhere Rusev goes, Lana must follow. So, SmackDown Live will also have ‘The Ravishing Russian Russian’ on their roster.
15. Third Round, Raw: Sami Zayn
Sami Zayn is the final draft pick here and he is heading to Monday Night Raw once again. But this time a heel turn for Sami will freshen up his career and even allow him to team up with his old buddy Kevin Owens at some point. They may even form a three-man alliance with Chris Jericho.
This way a face turn for Sami down the line would work and would allow him to move into a strong mid-card rivalry for the Intercontinental Championship. It gives Zayn much more options than his original move Raw did and will allow him to play around with his character much more than he has been able to in his feud with Braun Strowman, which has made him look strong at time but has not done much to advance his character.
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