With so much negativity going on in this article pertaining to the WWE draft, let’s take a page out the New Day’s playbook and use the power of positivity. The draft did have some feel good moments which are worth discussing. Obviously the pick that made most headlines was Finn Balor being selected to Monday Night Raw. This was the right move, especially when you consider that Balor is regarded as the face of the new era. His selection is so much more than just the pick, as Finn represents hope for change and that explains the massive roar that the crowd let out once the announcement was made.
Other picks were noteworthy as well, Cena going to SmackDown was significant although we all saw it coming. We can expect some big things from Cena with the Tuesday show, as he certainly adds a lot of brand value to the program. Other nice selections included American Alpha to SmackDown which added some much needed depth to the program and Enzo and Big Cass providing a similar role to the flagship program on Monday Nights. Also worth mentioning, Corey Graves to Raw replacing JBL got me out of my seat and it turns out the WWE does listen to its audience (to an extent of course).
With some good came a lot of bad, this article will document 15 of those cases. Without further ado, here are eight picks that made no sense and seven that nobody cared for, enjoy!
15 No Sense: Sasha Banks
We start this article off with perhaps the biggest draft blunder, Sasha Banks ending up on Monday Night Raw. She represents everything SmackDown brings to the table, something new, exciting and never seen before. It was like the 24 year old was built for the brand as a prominent face for years to come. Even Banks admitted herself that she would have elected to go to SmackDown.
Well, in typical WWE fashion, the company took the easy/selfish route and chose to put Banks on the flagship program, angering many fans. The pick made absolutely no sense, with Raw having a bulk of the women that are established and SmackDown looking like a brand of opportunity for less established females. The selection runs much deeper than Sasha, as Raw has a packed women’s division along with a full Cruiserweight class coming soon. So what exactly did SmackDown get? As far as divisional identity goes, not much to be quite honest and the company dropped the ball with this Superstar's selection in more ways than one.
14 Irrelevant: Braun Strowman
You heard it in the voice of the panel trying to sell us on how important it was that Braun Strowman was being drafted to Raw. Most fans really didn’t care for the selection and used that time to get a snack or something. Seriously what kind of an impact can Braun possibly make without Bray at this point.
He’s been on and off WWE television for the last couple of months, wrestling a handful of matches. The WWE Universe really doesn’t know enough yet and judging by what we’ve seen, this pick does nothing but add another pointless segment to Monday Night's three hour program. What will Braun even do? Feud with Big Show? Maybe Mark Henry? The best bet for Braun was to stick by Bray a little longer and establish some sort of identity with Wyatt and maybe even feud with his leader. But well, it’s too late for that now..
13 No Sense: Cesaro
This was probably the biggest head scratcher of them all, as Cesaro needed to go as far away as possible from the flagship program, but still ended up on Raw. To add to his terrible night, The Swiss Superman lost yet another match, this time to Chris Jericho.
He desperately needed a new start and SmackDown seemed like a heavenly fit for Cesaro to resurface his character. Though, as we’ve seen time and time again, the WWE went away from the obvious and threw a wrench into an ideal situation. The only positive we can take from this is the sort of kayfabe promo Cesaro delivered following his selection on the draft show. The former IC Champ told the world he wanted to be on SmackDown but things didn’t turn out that way. He furthered his anger by telling the audience he actually knows how to speak and cut promos, and in his closing statement he discussed that he hopes Raw will be about wrestling and not politics pertaining to Stephanie or Mick. Let’s hope this rebellious persona will continue and give The Swiss Superman some meaning once again.
12 Irrelevant: Neville
It's surprising that Neville, with so much talent, became irrelevant once he cracked the WWE’s main roster. The company can only blame themselves for things transpiring the way they did. WWE logic: let’s take a guy with plenty of talent and put a cape on him. Let's then follow that up by giving him absolutely no storyline whatsoever.
They dropped the ball badly with him and this pick should have been huge knowing what he did in NXT, but generally fans looked the other way, forgetting how special he really is. All is not lost with the in-ring stud and hopefully he will finally get the proper opportunity to showcase his talents on the flagship program. If booked correctly, Neville can be a force for years to come. Also, please let him take off that damn cape. We get it, he’s a high flyer, and we don’t need a cape to remind us.
11 No Sense: Eva Marie
Thanks heavens, Eva Marie is a member of SmackDown! All jokes aside, most fans may argue that this selection should go under the “who cares” category, but this pick was way too bizarre to pass up. She was sent to NXT in order to improve her in-ring skills, but has she done that yet? Well, no she hasn't. Plenty of edits go into her match from the NXT production truck, but she'll have nowhere to hide as SmackDown is now Live. The editing days are done and you have to believe that this selection was way too premature.
The only way this pick could have worked was if they sent her to Raw because her hair represents the same color as the brand. That's a terrible joke, but sending her to Monday Nights would have actually worked better, as she could have continued working alongside Nia Jax in a valet role. It would have helped to add fuel to Nia’s heel demeanor while protecting Eva and her in-ring blemishes for the time being. But, obviously the company has bigger and better plans for her and it’ll be interesting to see how this plays out.
10 Irrelevant: The Miz
In order to get the Intercontinental Championship, Daniel Bryan reluctantly selected The Miz to SmackDown, as he is still carrying around a prestigious championship which has lost plenty of value since KO gave up the title a couple of months ago.
The Miz can still work and provide depth to a program, as he’s a veteran that is needed, but at this point in his WWE career he cannot be holding a championship. A priority of the Tuesday show should be to reestablish the value of such a championship by giving it to a rising star. For The Miz to be relevant, his duty should be to pass along the championship while making a young talent look great in the process. This should go down sooner rather than later.
9 No Sense: Gallows & Anderson
Now for part two of WWE logic, let’s build up a relationship between The Club for several weeks, only to have them immediately split up. This one made no sense on many levels. Let’s face facts, AJ doesn’t need The Club to get over, as he's the best performer in the entire company at the moment and doesn’t really need any help at this point. His former Club members. however, need some help. What made the duo coming to the WWE that much more interesting was the fact that they’d potentially work with AJ and it would not only help Styles further himself as a heel, but it would also help the tag team get recognized.
Now, the only way this possibly makes sense is to have The Club resurface as a new group on Raw, with Finn Balor manning the ship. The Demon will be so over with the audience that it’ll be almost impossible for him to play a heel role. No matter what he does, the audience will cheer. Which leads us to speculate that The Club duo will be used to possibly feud with Balor, by putting the young face over and giving him an initial story to chew on. Regardless of what transpires, they were better off with AJ.
8 Irrelevant: Sheamus
He’s heading into his 40s soon, has won multiple championships and succeeded quite nicely in the past, but at this point, it’s hard to care about Sheamus with a new era of wrestling making headlines. We're not knocking his talents, as The Celtic Warrior can still hang with the best of them, his conditioning still looks off the charts and he's a smooth in-ring worker. Though at this point, it’s really hard to find anything of true meaning for Sheamus to be involved in.
Ideally, he should be used as an enhancer of younger stars, Sheamus can still work a solid program and his talents would be best used with a younger face that the company is attempting to put over. I know some of you won't like the idea, but an initial angle with Finn Balor can give The Celtic Warrior some sort of meaning, while giving him momentum, even if it means he’ll ultimately have to put Balor over. All and all, Sheamus will find it difficult to stay relevant in the long term.
7 No Sense: Paige
Logically with Sasha Banks and Charlotte on Raw, I figured they could salvage the situation by making SmackDown the brand for Becky Lynch and Paige, which had potential. Once again, a wrench was thrown and Paige was added to the Raw roster. Everyone all together now, WWE Logic.
No disrespect to Natalya who is a fine worker, but the Tuesday show desperately needed a face with some sort of recognizable draw value to rival Becky in the future. Knowing how great of a heel Paige can be, the company dropped the ball with this decision. SmackDown now has minimal amounts of experienced faces, while Raw is littered with female talents. The only way to salvage the situation at this point is to add one of the biggest names to SmackDown in Bayley. Asides from that obvious move, the division is in quite the conundrum at the moment.
6 Irrelevant: Alberto Del Rio
Once again, you can blame the WWE for this debacle and it seemed absolutely impossible years ago that no one would care for Del Rio, but well, with some poor decisions by the creative team, this is the problem Alberto faces today.
His return was booked beautifully, as he took out John Cena and became a champion holding a belt that was hotter than any other championship at that moment. His title run fell absolutely flat, as, creatively, the WWE pretty much took a fire extinguisher and sprayed it all over the championship. Everything Cena built was ruined once Alberto took over the title. Following a championship trade off with Kalisto, his next mission was a lackluster stable that disbanded after a couple of months following meaningless encounters. What started off decently, turned into a stable that put other talents over.
Alberto is still filled with talent, even if he is a little older and we hope the SmackDown brand can recreate his identity as a big game player once again.
5 No Sense: Chris Jericho
It's hard to find a 45 year old that’s performing better than Chris Jericho. When looking back at recent history, I can only think of two other individuals that still performed at an exceptional rate late in their careers, The Undertaker and Shawn Michaels. Like those two, Jericho has thrived in his role. Despite the PG rating, Chris has put that aside and managed to be a comedic heel. Not only that, he is still an excellent in ring performer. Heck he pulled a top rope Frankensteiner against Cesaro last night at the draft!
Like most fans of Y2J, we would have loved to see Jericho stick his nose into the Intercontinental Championship picture one more time. Another title run would be historical for Chris, making him a ten time champion and cementing his legacy as the greatest IC title holder of all time. For this reason, the fact that he was separated from The Miz was frustrating.
4 Irrelevant: Big Show
Even Shane McMahon and Daniel Bryan chuckled into the microphone after the selection of the Big Show was made by the Raw brand. Did this pick have to be announced Live on SmackDown? Could it not have waited until after the show when the dust settled. All the pick really did was remind us that nobody cares about Big Show, as the crowd booed and moaned in displeasure after the draft pick was made, doing much more bad than good to his name.
We get it, the WWE is loyal to veterans that have served the company for several years and even though we tend to forget, Big Show had a legendary career. The truth, at the moment, he represents everything we don’t want from the product, as he's a slow, outdated wrestler we’ve seen time and time again. With a New Era, comes fresh talent for the fan base to enjoy and, at this point, Big Show certainly does not fit that criteria any longer.
3 No Sense: Kevin Owens
How Sami Zayn and KO ended up on the same brand is beyond me, as the company has been hyping a match between the two like it’s their last encounter, yet both guys ended up on same show? I’ll never get sick of seeing them fight, but it makes very little sense.
Putting that aside for a second, the draft should have been Kevin’s coming out party. With a lack of heels on SmackDown, you figured Owens was a guarantee for the show, becoming a future WWE Champion with the Tuesday show. Instead, he got thrown to the wolves on Raw and if that’s not bad enough, he did nothing of significant on the draft show aside from taking a chokeslam from Kane. The draft was certainly one to forget for KO and let’s hope the company doesn’t forget him in the shuffle, as they’ve done time and time again with various NXT talents. His future seemed brighter than ever, but a ticket to Raw formed a cloud pver his future. Let’s hope it’s a minor bump on the road of his long WWE career.
2 Irrelevant: Roman Reigns
Nobody cared about this pick for various reasons. For one, I think we all knew, to quote a wise man, that there was “no chance in hell” that the projected future face of the WWE was going to end up on SmackDown, as he was destined for the flagship show. Putting the mystique factor aside, Roman’s stock is at an all time low at the moment. What should have solidified his status as the top dog in the company, turned to a disaster with the future face not even being in the lineup for the last month because of a suspension.
With big lows come eventual highs and Roman will need to dig deep in order for fans to once again care about the former WWE Champion. He has the look and the ability, but it is now all about bringing that together and becoming a star that deserves to be in the spotlight.
1 No Sense: The New Day
With plenty of hype surrounding the fact that teams could be broken, many speculated that this was the end of the road for The New Day. Though, a reoccurring theme in this article is the fact that the WWE steered away from the obvious. Asides from The Wyatt’s, most teams stayed the same and, ultimately, the 'teams will be broken' twist fell absolutely flat. The New Day ended up staying together and some liked it, while others hated the idea.
In a short term sense, it was a good move. The trio is as over as anyone else and is killing it in merchandise sales. But, in a couple of months, will fans still care? In a long term sense, the company got it wrong. We’ve seen teams like The New Day already and ending the group on a high note would be the right move. Instead the company will milk it until nobody cares.
The three are all extremely talented on their own, which would have made the group disbanding work, with the three Superstars thriving in new roles for both brands. Obviously, the WWE did not see it this way.