In late May, WWE announced that SmackDown would go live starting on Tuesday, July 19th. With this “brand split” announced to shake things up for a company that many longtime fans believe have been on the decline in recent years. This was then confirmed with the announcement that both brands would have unique and seperate rosters. As most are speculating a draft will be used for this, Athletes Hub will present to you our own 20 Round Draft and where we think at least some of your favorite superstars and divas will be going.
(Image Via bleacherreport.com)
The Roman Empire stays on Monday nights! One of the easier picks to make in this draft because according to The Wrestling Observer, the current plans are to keep Roman on Monday nights to be the focus of their flagship show for the foreseeable future. Whether you love him or hate him, it looks like Roman is gonna be here for awhile.
According to the Wrestling Observer, John Cena will also move to SmackDown. This move does make sense, if you don’t want two main event faces to headline one brand. This move may be to help legitimize SmackDown as a brand, and what better way to have a 16-time World Champion as a face of the brand.
By the time the draft arrives, Seth Rollins and Roman Reigns will still have unfinished business. With only one PPV scheduled until SmackDown goes live, this pick can help secure Raw’s too heel and keep the feud going.
SmackDown could go a number of ways with this pick but with Styles’ heel turn on Monday night, it looks like WWE is already trying to set up other main event feuds for the future. For years, Styles and Cena have been a dream match and now it seems a very real possibility that this will be the top feud on Tuesday nights. It also helps elevate AJ Styles as a relevant heel and their matches could draw alot of attention to SmackDown in the summer of 2016.
Dean Ambrose is perfect here just because he brings a lot to the table. All 3 former members of the shield fighting for the WWE World Title on Raw is a match many fans have been waiting to see. Even if it doesn’t happen right away, Dean Ambrose is an upper mid-card talent on his worst day and can easily work well as a heel or a face with his “Insane” gimmick
Sami Zayn is a star, there’s no doubt about it. He is a natural babyface and is great in the ring and on the mic. If booked correctly, Zayn can become a main event star on SmackDown.
4th:Raw(The New Day)
It is around here where the picks start to get lost in translation. However The New Day have been on fire lately are are one of the hottest teams in WWE right now. Whether SmackDown will have a tag team title on their own brand or The New Day will defend on both brands, it is smart keeping them on Raw.
4th:SmackDown(Luke Gallows & Karl Anderson)
If AJ Styles goes to SmackDown, then so shall the club. With the possibility of Finn Balor being called up any month now(maybe following his loss to Somoa Joe), it is only fitting that the club sticks with AJ when he battles Cena on Tuesday nights. They could also be the monster heel tag team for SmackDown and represent the best of their tag team division.
Much like The New Day, there is no word on whether Charlotte will defend her title on one brand or both. Either way Charlotte should be a mainstay on in the women’s division on her brand for years to come as a dominant heel.
Kevin Owens is going wherever Sami Zayn is going, that’s a fact. Owens and Zayn have been going at it ever since their indy days and it’s not hard to see why because their matches are fantastic. When that feud ends however, Owens could be one of those guys at stays at the upper mid-card level his wholecareer or he could(hopefully) be turned into a main event heel.
This is more of a wildcard pick but as of right now there isn’t really any other option. Natalya isn’t a believable top tier performer in a vastly growing Women’s division and Bayley would be better off as the star of her own brand. Sasha Banks is the number one pick to challenge Charlotte for her title and possibly win it at Summerslam.
As mentioned earlier, Bayley would be the perfect fit to be the top diva for the blue brand. She is over with the fans and her in ring ability is second to none. Would be a smart pick after Raw picks two divas in a row.
Cesar’s is an excellent upper mid-carder and can potentially flash in and out of the title scene when given the chance. He is amazing in the ring, and is one of the strongest men in the WWE today. Wouldn’t be surprised if he turns into a a workhorse for his brand.
The first champion taken since Charlotte at 9, it wouldn’t be that much of a shocker if both brands passed on him 6 times because there is so much potential in the top-tier of WWE’s roster. That said, however, Rusev is the current United States Champion and has the potential(as seen in his last U.S. title reign) to be a monster heel for his brand and to be a dominant U.S. Champion.
Aa man is a naturally born heel. Similarly to Rusev, The Miz doesn’t have as much potential as those drafted above him, especially since many think he is past his prime. That being said however, he is the current Intercontinental Champion and has been elevating the title ever since he won it from Zack Ryder the night after Wrestlemania(most recently his win in the fatal four way match at the last PPV, which was considered by some as a match of the year candidate). He is very good at drawing heel heat and can help elevate the newer talent that gets drafted to Raw while continuing to elevate the status of the Intercontinental title.
This may be the shock pick of the draft. He has a history with “The Club” in Japan so why not put them all on the same show? The storyline practically writes itself. He is facing Samoa Joe in a steel cage for the NXT championship but most predict Balor to lose so he can get called up to the main roster. The real question is if Balor would turn heel or remain a face in this scenario. Now that “The Club” is back together in the WWE, maybe there will be a double turn? Whatever the WWE has planned for them, it should be interesting.
Possibly the man with the most talent on the mic out of anyone on this list, and he would be higher on this list if he wasn’t currently injured. He is very charismatic and could easily be a main event heel if booked properly. He could be a mainstay in the WWE for awhile and we would like to see him get at least one title run before he turns into oblivion.
9th:SmackDown(Enzo and Cass)
It wouldn’t be a mock draft without them. They will probably be drafter earlier but hopefully they stay on SmackDown with The Club. They could challenge them for dominance over the tag team division on SmackDown and grow to be possibly the team of the future in the WWE.
Although the Vaudevillians aren’t as entertaining as Enzo & Cass, they are the only team that looks prime for a run at the titles. Enzo & Cass won’t be ready to challenge The New Day unless a possible heel turn from the latter(and The New Day is too hot to be a heel team, their merch sells like wildfire).Either way, the Vaudevillians are an established heel team that could be the top heel team for awhile. They has a really good match with The New Day(and although they came up short I believe that the Vaudevillians have a bright future as a tag team on Raw).
This man has potential, simply put. He may not have the in ring ability of a Sami Zayn or a Cesaro but this man has a lot of potential as a heel. The WWE is currently in need of more credible heels and Baron Corbin is it. From his walk to his look to the way he just looks at someone it gives off this “I am better than you” attitude. Even though hid in-ring work is average he is doing better on the mic. As soon as his feud with Dolph Ziggler is over I see Corbin moving on to bigger and better things, starting with him going to Tuesday nights.