I can imagine Vincent Kennedy McMahon sitting back and laughing “Oh, they are all talking about us now!”, even bad publicity is good publicity in the world of wrestling. Oh, unless you are Ric Flair, in which case they will remove your iconic WOOO! from the program intros without a second thought. I see you, Vince!
So, it is time for the draft, with AEW breathing down their necks, sometimes overtaking them in the golden ‘demographics’, WWE has to do something impactful. This means Vince shaking the dice, moving all the pieces and giving us the chance to see new matches and new storylines that were never possible before. It is always interesting, but this year it seems a little…confused.
The two shows are now on Friday and Monday, rather than consecutive nights, so the theme of running the draft over two shows does not really work. Also, this year instead of Raw getting more picks because it is a longer show, it is just one pick per brand, this is fine. The problem is you look at who they picked, more on that in a minute and your first question is “Where was Becky Lynch?” or “Where were The Usos?” Oh, they are choosing from a certain number of specific superstars on each show. Fine, if we know what they are, but keeping us in the dark, seeing Happy Corbin picked before Seth Rollins just seems dumb.
Now let us look at the picks. Smackdown going first, picking Roman Reigns makes total sense, he is the biggest star in the company, fans have warmed to him, ironically given his heel turn, and he is selling all of the merchandise, great pick. Then Raw picks…Big E. Now I know I am in the minority of fans who are not warming to this new champion, I just find the constant joking around tedious, there is only so much bug-eyed gag making I can stand before I am literally gagging and not in the way meant. Aside from my own beliefs that this is just a mid-carder elevated too high (hey Jinder, remember when they did this to you?), I wonder why Raw did not just draft The New Day and get three for the price of one. Nope, they let the other two go to Smackdown. Obvs, I find the whole New Day thing tedious and have been waiting for an Xavier heel turn forever, they are a massive draw and so it makes no sense for Raw not to grab them all.
The Smackdown picks seem much more futureproof than Raw’s, with the red brand getting Edge and Randy but Raw grabbing Moss and Corbin and McIntyre. The pick of Hit Row must be applauded, as long as they are not neutered on the main brand. Also, this leads to the question of…were the whole of NXT eligible to be drafted, or just certain ones? Why would you not just draft Ciampa? Or Roderick Strong? Austin Theory got moved to Raw with quite the applause, even though he has been around before before being sent ‘back to developmental’, so it did not seem like a big get. Nice to see Keith Lee picked early though, though not sure what this new ‘Bearcat’ name is all about, the commentators seem embarrassed to have to use it, says it all.
In the past you always wanted to be drafted, watching the screen waiting to be called up or sideways. Now, if you don’t get drafted you can choose where you go. Er, what? So it is better to not get picked and you can just go wherever you prefer, which destroys the entire point of the draft. Give me strength!
So, now we have to wait for tomorrow to see where the rest of the crew goes, but having such a gap between the shows, it seems like a lot of the air has already been let out of the balloon. We’re already looking forward to Reigns VS McIntyre and once again, it seems like the one time b-show, Smackdown, is going to be the best wrestling show. Except it also now goes out the same night as AEW Rampage and we only have so many hours in the week to watch wrestling. *lays head on table*