On Tonight’s Smackdown, the WWE draft kicks off with it ending Monday Night Raw on October 14.
Not only has this been seen as the battle of the brands, but also the battle between US networks with Smackdown recently moving to Fox while USA still holds Raw. It’s also the real start of the executive producers control their brands.
As Paul Heyman will likely make Monday nights more entertainment-based and likely more adult then Friday nights at Fox under Eric Bischoff is going to become the more sports-based show.
It’s going to interesting to see how it all plans out because WWE are taking this 100% seriously with Stephanie McMahon handling the draft as the commissioner unveiling which superstar goes where, similar to sports like NFL and NBA handle their drafts.
Additionally, celebrities will be involved and the brand who gets the first overall pick is being settled by a match between Universal Champion Seth Rollins and Roman Reigns.
This is how the format and rules for the WWE Draft:
- Pool: 71 Superstars – 30 on Friday, 41 on Monday
- Picks: For every two Smackdown picks, Raw gets three (As Raw is on for three hours compared to Smackdowns two)
- Tag Teams: Count as one pick, but teams can be split up
- Free Agents: All undrafted superstars can sign with either brand.
Finally, NXT isn’t involved but I’m sure we’ll see some names moving from Wednesday nights and others joining the yellow brand.
I’m going to use the list WWE has provided to predict some of the big names moving and for the sake of argument I believe Reigns will win the match giving Smackdown the first overall pick:
Roman Reigns – SmackDown
As a thank you for getting the win and will likely be pushed as the face for Fox, Reigns will stay on the blue brand.
Becky Lynch – Raw
The hottest thing in the company and current Raw Women’s champion it’d make sense for the lasskicker to be Raw first pick.
Charlotte Flair – SmackDown
Flair has just become Smackdown Women’s champion and it’s hard to see Fox not wanting her to stay and help promote the show.
Ricochet – SmackDown
Ricochet has been a bit disappointing since his move from NXT and barely being used on Raw. The athleticism this man possesses is the perfect reason for WWE’s superhero would be perfect for a sports-based brand like Smackdown.
Randy Orton – Raw
Orton has been on Smackdown for what feels like the first-ever superstar shake-up and could be good for him to move and possibly do well under Heyman.
Sasha Banks – SmackDown
Flair will need a rival heel and that should be Banks having failed in her attempt to clinch the Raw title, moving to Friday’s could be the re-energising needed.
“The Fiend” Bray Wyatt – Raw
Despite not winning the title at Hell in a Cell, keeping Wyatt on Raw is ideal and continues to be a must-see on Monday’s. Now move him away from the title picture and for the next few months focus on these next two men to feud.
Daniel Bryan – Raw
Bryan has been a Smackdown guy since his return from injury and has done everything on the blue brand. Moving him to Monday’s in his first promo could be interrupted by an episode of the Firefly Fun House.
Wyatt can talk about his excitement of seeing Bryan looking healthy and strong as he’ll need to be because the Fiend hasn’t forgotten what he did.
Aleister Black – Raw
Black needs something, anything to get his main roster career started and I think under Heyman it could be possible. Ideally, I’d have him involved in the Universal title picture and start a feud with another superstar moving to Raw.
Brock Lesnar – SmackDown
Lesnar won the WWE Champion in seven seconds because Fox needs him for Friday nights as a headline star to draw an audience.
Alexa Bliss – SmackDown
The team to be broken up is Alexa Bliss and Nikki Cross as Bliss a fantastic singles wrestler and it would be great to see her return to Smackdown as that was the brand she got the call up, but this time she’ll be the top face.
Drew McIntyre – SmackDown
We haven’t seen McIntyre since the King of the Ring and I believe in the Scots we have someone to have a long(ish) feud to take on Lesnar for his WWE title.
The Kabuki Warriors – Raw
Having the Women’s Tag title exclusive to Raw could be a good sign or if the title can float between brands then making Asuka and Kairi Sane exclusive to the red brand would be a smart move.
As it seems Asuka is being lined up to challenge Lynch for the Raw Women’s title but Asuka could be setting Lynch put to face the newest member of the Kabuki Warriors.
Io Shirai – Raw
The first shock call up will be Shirai and go straight into a program with Lynch for the Raw Women’s title and join the tag champs turning the Kabuki Warriors into a stable.
Ali – SmackDown
Tonight I’d have an Intercontinental title match and finally give Ali the title because I think under him and staying on SmackDown, he could make that title incredibly important and those matches some of the best.
Seth Rollins – Raw
Having defended the Universal title at Hell in a Cell it’s clear Rollins isn’t going anywhere and I think would be the smart move to feud with the likes of Black and an (if my prediction comes true) former IC champion.
The Revival – SmackDown
They’re current SD Tag Team Champions and having them permanently on the blue brand makes sense and the perfect chance to build the tag division around them.
The Street Profits – Raw
Heyman is clearly a massive fan of these boys and I would be surprised if they’ll Raw Tag Champs in a couple of months. Also with Montez Ford on their books, you could have the next biggest WWE superstar to potentially match the levels of The Rock.
Shinsuke Nakamura – Raw
My final Raw pick is Nakamura as he should’ve moved during the recent superstar shake-up and could be the ideal person to join Raw and take on Rollins. However, to get there he’ll have some stellar matches against Black for the number one contender.
Matt Riddle – SmackDown
Keeping with the sports theme for SmackDown, in Riddle you have a former MMA fighter and he has the potential to be not only the face of SmackDown but also the face of the company.
Riddle is an incredibly good looking, ripped bloke that women would love and men want to be friends with him. I’d also have him booked to be the man to take Lesnar’s WWE Championship and long down the round retire the Beast.
Kevin Owens – SmackDown
The New Day – Raw
Samoa Joe – Raw
R-Truth – SmackDown
Braun Strowman – Raw
The IIconics – SmackDown
Mandy Rose – Raw
Cesaro – NXT
EC3 – NXT
The Viking Raiders – Raw
Sonya Deville – SmackDown
Cedric Alexander – SmackDown
Sami Zayn – NXT