It’s time to SHAKE THINGS UP again!
The WWE Draft is upon us and once again, Raw, SmackDown, and maybe even NXT and 205 Live will be left shook. Which wrestler will go where? How long will it be before WWE creative finds a flippant storyline to negate all of this? AIPT Wrestling is here to help you make sense of all this chicanery.
Jay Barrett and Darius Melton (Team Raw) and Jason Segarra and Shane Martin (Team SmackDown) took to the AIPT War Room to get a handle on the draft and a battle ensued. Insults were levied, intricate conspiracy theories were woven, and many feelings were hurt, but the carnage bore insight. Feast your eyes on the infographics below detailing what we think will happen on draft night.
To reiterate: this isn’t what we want to happen, necessarily, but how we think WWE will go with their draft. This takes into account things like current champions, current feuds, and anything else WWE would take into consideration when modifying their rosters.
All right, let’s get it on!
WWE’s Draft rules aren’t too different from previous years:
- Over 60 WWE Superstars are up for grabs.
- Raw gets three picks for every two that SmackDown gets, and specified tag teams are counted as one pick unless Fox or USA decide they want only one member.
- Viewers will argue on Twitter after the the dust has settled on Monday evening with their reasons as to why one side won and the other lost.
The opening picks were easy. Raw kept Drew McIntyre and SmackDown kept Roman Reigns. But, Jay and Darius made a ruckus when they drafted The New Day to Raw. Shane and Jason quickly drafted Sasha Banks to defend their flanks and Jay and Darius, likewise, drafted Asuka.
Team Raw took continued the momentum by drafting Nia Jax and Shayna Baszler, the reigning WWE Women’s Tag Team Champions. Jey Uso was then taken by Team SmackDown with the understanding that Jey will likely continue his feud with Roman Reigns. The conservative choices stopped there, however, as Darius and Jay poached AJ Styles from SD and Shane and Jason countered by rechristening Seth Rollins the Friday Night Messiah.
Darius and Jay chose to play it safe in the third round by taking The Hurt Business, Dominik and Rey Mysterio, and Mandy Rose in the draft with the thoughts that they would likely stay put on Raw while Jason and Shane took The One and Only from Raw and locked Naomi down for the blue brand.
You know who’d make a great addition to RETRIBUTION? Shorty G. Sure, they’d rename him Gangrene or something, but who’s been wronged more than Chad Gable? Other than that, Darius and Jay saw to it that Murphy, who finally is escaping Seth Rollins’ shadow, and Mickie James stayed put on the red brand. Meanwhile, Shane and Jason locked down Heavy Machinery and Lucha House Party.
Round 5 marked a new pool of wrestlers to choose from as per the rules posted by WWE, and it also marked when a full-on shouting match erupted in the AIPT War Room when Jay chose Bayley for Raw.
Darius pleaded with him, “Jay, she’s the current SmackDown Women’s Champion. She’s got miles left to go with her feud with Sasha. There’s a higher chance of CM Punk being drafted to Raw than her,” as Jason and Shane laughed at the draft pick. But Jay, citing that Bayley has beaten every person on the SmackDown roster — twice — and expecting Charlotte to be moved to SmackDown, figured Bayley would be placed on Raw. It was the most controversial choice of the draft, but Jay will never let anyone hear the end of it if he is right.
Meanwhile, The Fiend is still going strong on SmackDown and won’t likely be moved and his new friend, Kevin Owens, is likely going with him, which prompted Team SmackDown to choose them. Team Raw, similarly, chose to keep Keith Lee on Raw figuring he’s got a lot of glory left to bask in, but had the Strowman Express pull into Raw citing that he has nothing left on SmackDown but a whole “Underground” to explore on Raw.
Jason and Shane went for the gold this round by drafting the Intercontinental Champion and SmackDown Tag Team Champions: Sami Zayn and Nakamura and Cesaro, respectively. Jay and Darius likewise beefed up the Raw tag team divison by snagging The Street Profits, reigning Raw Tag Team Champions, and The Miz and John Morrison. However, this was yet another round of controversy for Team Raw as the future of one Randy Orton was obscure. It seems that there are no mountains left to conquer for him on Raw, but Jay predicts that Edge will return sooner rather than later and Orton will be lying in wait with the WWE Championship.
With The Fiend remaining on SD, Alexa Bliss can’t be far behind. And what would SmackDown be if it didn’t have Daniel Bryan? Jason and Shane made sure to procure them for Team SmackDown as Team Raw secured all of RETRIBUTION and Zelina Vega for the red brand. Raw also welcomes back the Charismatic Enigma because, well, Jeff Hardy always moves in the draft.
This round was filled with heartbreak as Team Raw was finally forced to admit that The IIconics had really broken up. With a heavy heart, Darius and Jason chose Peyton Royce as well The Riott Squad, WWE’s most criminally underrated team. Team Raw also picked up Robert Roode and Dolph Ziggler with the hopes that they would finally admit to themselves and everyone else that they look like your mom’s ex-boyfriends and run with that gimmick.
Team SmackDown wisely procured to the Original Bro, Matt Riddle, and the recently returned Carmella who has enjoyed a long stint of vignettes featured on the blue brand.
Raw Underground was made for the likes of Dabba-Kato and him not being taken by Raw makes no sense. Team Raw scooped him up along with Raw stalwarts Aleister Black and Apollo Crews. Meanwhile, Shane and Jason make the fracture of The IIconics complete by drafting Billie Kay to SmackDown along with Andrade.
Realizing she’s got unfinished business with Alexa Bliss, Team SmackDown kept SD’s Twisted Sister on the blue brand and continued to enjoy the reign of King Corbin. Meanwhile, Jay and Jason finish off the draft by taking Natalya, Sheamus, and the 3,050 time 24/7 Champion, R-Truth.
Our undrafted list has some expected folks (Lana), some injured folks (Elias, Garza, Erik), and also a major surprise in Charlotte Flair, but that choice came threefold: Raw thought she should go to SmackDown considering the Bayley pick; SmackDown thought she should be separated from the other Horsewomen, as SmackDown fully expected to keep both Bayley and Banks; and both sides agreed in the end that she (and the charmingly comedic Dana Brooke) would both thrive with free agent gimmicks. It’s a shame about Tozawa and Lacey Evans, though.
How do you think we did? Do you want to see this universe play out? Do you hate every pick and want to do it yourself? Are you so confident in our picks that you believe one of us is Vince McMahon and the other three are Michael Hayes?
Whichever way you feel, tweet at us @AIPTwrestling and check our site every day for more news and updates as we follow the 2020 WWE Draft!
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