WWE | Pro Wrestling

Let’s Pretend The WWE Brand Split Were Today — Here’s How The Draft Would Be Different

via WWE

via WWE

It’s been two months since the brand split and both RAW and SmackDown seem to be finding their feet, but neither roster is perfect. RAW has too much mid-card talent, SmackDown doesn’t have enough, and neither brand got the balance of heels and faces right. So, starting from pick one and taking into account the performances of each superstar so far, let’s re-do the WWE Draft.

Before we get started, we’re changing the rules WWE set slightly. RAW will still get three picks for every two SmackDown picks, but only for the first four rounds. Anything more than that would cause far too much imbalance between the rosters as we’re seeing now. Not to mention RAW has the full Cruiserweight division coming its way. There will also be no limit on NXT talent being called up, because limitations suck.

Pick 1 (RAW): Seth Rollins

Pick one is unchanged from the draft. Rollins has carried RAW’s main-event scene since the split and will soon be RAW’s top babyface.

Pick 2 (SD): Dean Ambrose

This pick doesn’t change either simply because Dean was the WWE Champion. There’s no need to move this around.

Pick 3 (RAW): Charlotte

The same goes for Charlotte. Picking the Women’s Champion here was a very smart move by Mick Foley.

Pick 4 (SD): AJ Styles

The changes are coming, I swear. For now, the draft remains unchanged. Styles was SmackDown’s best non-champion pick up by a very long way.

Pick 5 (RAW): Kevin Owens

Obviously we couldn’t have seen Finn Balor’s injury coming, but Owens, as the Universal Champion and the guy who’ll carry RAW’s main-event scene for the rest of the year, deserves to be much higher.

Pick 6 (RAW): Finn Balor

We’re just pushing Finn back slightly. Get well soon, champ.

Pick 7 (SD): John Cena

No change is necessary here. Most of the changes will come later on in the draft.

Pick 8 (RAW): Roman Reigns

Roman hasn’t been in the main-event scene of RAW, so we’ve pushed him back one selection, but he’ll obviously be a crucial part of the brand for a long time.

Pick 9 (SD): Becky Lynch

Lynch has broken out on SmackDown, showing how good she can be when the company is fully invested in her. She would be close to the top babyface reaction wise on SmackDown and deserves to be moved accordingly.

Pick 10 (RAW): The New Day

Still the Tag Team Champions and the number one tag team on the main roster.

Pick 11 (RAW): Chris Jericho

Jericho is currently the most entertaining member of either roster and given his hall-of-fame calibre career, he should’ve been picked earlier.

Pick 12 (SD): Randy Orton

Orton hasn’t been cleared to compete for a month and his match with Lesnar didn’t live up to the hype. His feud with Bray is faltering too because of the injury and so we’re downgrading him to pick 12.

Pick 13 (RAW): Sasha Banks

Banks will probably be a two-time Women’s Champion by the end of 2016 and the face of the RAW women’s division. Probably deserves to be picked higher than this honestly.

Pick 14 (SD): Sami Zayn

Because of course Zayn should have been on SmackDown. Why on Earth would you have him in the RAW undercard when he could carry SmackDown’s upper mid-card for the rest of the year?

Pick 15 (RAW): Brock Lesnar

Lesnar won’t be seen again on RAW until the Royal Rumble. Picking someone so early for one match in 2016 isn’t worth it, no matter who it is.

Pick 16 (RAW): Rusev

Despite being on a honeymoon recently, Rusev has main-evented RAW multiple times and his feud with Reigns should continue for a few more months. No need to change his selection

Pick 17 (SD): The Miz

The Miz has been SmackDown’s MVP. The only reason he’s still being picked this late is because we wouldn’t change a single thing about what’s been done with him, except maybe have Zayn as his challenger rather than Crews.

Pick 18 (RAW): Enzo Amore & Colin Cassidy

While they haven’t really been given much to do so far, they’ll prove invaluable members of the brand for obvious reasons.

Pick 19 (SD): Cesaro

For the exact same reason as Sami Zayn.

Pick 20 (RAW): The Revival

RAW is in desperate need of tag team depth. Let these guys do double duty across RAW and NXT for the rest of the year and have them feud with Enzo and Cass before going after The New Day.

Pick 21 (SD): Bray Wyatt

This stays unchanged from the draft, but Bray gets dropped back to make way for Cesaro and Sami Zayn.

Pick 22 (RAW): Sheamus

Because of course you pick Sheamus before you select The Big Show. That goes without saying.

Pick 23 (SD): American Alpha

This stays unchanged from the draft.

Pick 25 (RAW): Luke Gallows and Karl Anderson

This stays unchanged from the draft, just a bit later on.

Pick 26 (SD): Dolph Ziggler

Ziggler has done a lot of work for SmackDown so far and with this altered roster, he wouldn’t be as prominent, but it’s still worth giving him his shot against Dean Ambrose at SummerSlam. Have him turn heel afterwards though to help balance the roster.

Pick 27 (RAW): Austin Aries

Aries is doing nothing in NXT and won’t be in the title picture, so why not bring him up to RAW and use him here.

Pick 28 (SD): Alexa Bliss

Why put Natalya here when you can elevate Alexa Bliss by selecting her during the draft broadcast and by picking her so high?

Pick 29 (RAW): Nia Jax

Keep it the same as her actual selection.

Pick 30 (SD): The Usos

The Usos have been fantastic since turning heel and with no other legitimate heel tag team on the roster, Jimmy and Jey will be vital to the division.

Pick 31 (RAW): Paige

Even though she hasn’t appeared on the show yet due to her suspension, Paige will still be a vital part of the show and a very important part of the women’s division.

Pick 32 (SD): Baron Corbin

Corbin will play an important heel role on SmackDown. His pick downgrade was coincidental and not a reflection of his performance.

Pick 33 (RAW): Neville

Virtually unchanged for Neville, he’ll be valuable come the Cruiserweight Division.

Pick 34 (SD): Natalya

Natalya is more or less unchanged from her selection in the draft, just a bit later to better represent her value.

Pick 35 (RAW): Apollo Crews

Crews goes to RAW rather than SmackDown to offset the losses of Zayn and Cesaro and allows you to continue his feud with Sheamus if you so choose.

Pick 36 (SD): Kane

No reason to change Kane’s selection from the draft.

Pick 37 (RAW): Kalisto

Because having Kalisto on SmackDown when there’s a Cruiserweight Division coming is a little silly.

Pick 38 (SD): Darren Young

Young has simply been swapped for Kalisto. He will be used in the SmackDown undercard for singles depth.

Pick 39 (RAW): Big Show

We might as well get Show out of the way now.

Pick 40 (SD): Naomi

Naomi has proven to be a fantastic selection for SmackDown. Unfortunately that can’t be rewarded with a bump up in her selection, but that’s not her fault.

Pick 41 (RAW): Titus O’Neil

O’Neil will be kept babyface on RAW to help offset the loss of Cesaro and Zayn. Though you could turn him heel and have him feud with Kalisto.

Pick 42 (SD): Zack Ryder

Ryder deserves to be taken a little earlier than he was. Unfortunately it’s only by one spot.

Pick 43: (RAW): Carmella

Keep Carmella with Enzo and Cass. SmackDown can manage without her as they’ll soon be getting Nikki Bella and Emma.

Pick 44: (SD): Breezango

They are great and worthy of being upgraded by two selections.

Pick 45 (RAW): Sin Cara

You might as well keep Sin Cara and Kalisto together. You never know when you’ll need tag team depth.

Pick 46 (SD): Tye Dillinger

Dillinger deserves the call-up and all of a sudden, the SmackDown mid-card has enough talent to last the rest of the year without falling apart.

Pick 47 (RAW): Golden Truth

Unfortunately they needed to be picked eventually.

Pick 48 (SD): The Vaudevillains

Even if they’re going to be jobbers, at least pick them before 50 to show they still have some value before you completely bury them.

Pick 49 (RAW): Braun Strowman

Strowman’s pick is unchanged.

Pick 50 (SD): Erick Rowan

Rowan’s pick is also virtually unchanged.

Pick 51 (RAW): Mark Henry

Henry’s pick is also virtually unchanged.

Pick 52 (SD): Jack Swagger

He was being wasted on RAW and made the switch to SmackDown, so we might as well just do it here.

Pick 53 (RAW): Bo Dallas

Bo’s repackaging mightn’t lead anywhere, but at least it gives him something to do.

Pick 54 (SD): Eva Marie

Eva has been used intelligently on SmackDown so far and that needs to continue.

Pick 55 (RAW): Alicia Fox

Fox’s pick is unchanged. Let her put over Jax.

Pick 56 (SD): Summer Rae

Summer hasn’t even appeared on RAW yet, so might as well get some usage out of her on SmackDown before Emma returns and to fill the hole left by Carmella in the meantime.

Pick 57 (RAW): The Ascension

The Ascension simply don’t fit in on SmackDown, they’d be better suited feuding with Enzo and Cass on RAW than the tag team that currently is doing so.

Pick 58 (SD): The Shining Stars

This team would probably work better on SmackDown too as the blue brand is more wrestling focused.

Pick 59 (RAW): The Dudley Boyz

Leave them on RAW considering they’re retiring, but that certainly devalues their selection.

Pick 60 (SD): Alberto Del Rio

Hindsight is 20-20, but if you’re only going to get two matches out of him before he quits, there’s no point picking him.

Pick 61 (RAW): Curtis Axel

Axel’s pick is unchanged from the draft.

Pick 62 (SD): The Brian Kendrick

Slot Kendrick in at the end as a surprise selection. His connection to Daniel Bryan explains it and he can still be used in the CWC.

Pick 63 (RAW): Dana Brooke

Brooke slots in basically in the same spot she was taken in the actual draft.

Pick 64 (SD): Mojo Rawley

It makes sense to have an NXT guy as the last person picked in the draft, so we’ve slotted Rawley in here.

Undrafted: Heath Slater

There’s no way you’d change Slater’s journey from how it has been portrayed.

RAW

SmackDown

Seth Rollins

Dean Ambrose

Finn Balor

AJ Styles

Kevin Owens

John Cena

Roman Reigns

Randy Orton

Kofi Kingston

Sami Zayn

Xavier Woods

The Miz

Big E

Cesaro

Chris Jericho

Bray Wyatt

Brock Lesnar

Chad Gable

Rusev

Jason Jordan

Enzo Amore

Dolph Ziggler

Colin Cassady

Jimmy Uso

Scott Dawson

Jey Uso

Dash Wilder

Baron Corbin

Sheamus

Zack Ryder

Luke Gallows

Kane

Karl Anderson

Darren Young

Austin Aries

Tyler Breeze

Neville

Fandango

Apollo Crews

Tye Dillinger

Kalisto

Aiden English

Big Show

Simon Gotch

Titus O’Neil

Erick Rowan

Zack Ryder

Jack Swagger

Sin Cara

Epico

R-Truth

Primo

Goldust

Alberto Del Rio

Braun Strowman

The Brian Kendrick

Mark Henry

Mojo Rawley

Bo Dallas

Heath Slater

Konnor

Curt Hawkins

Viktor

Shelton Benjamin

D-Von Dudley

Luke Harper

Bubba Ray Dudley

Curtis Axel

Jinder Mahal

Tommaso Ciampa

Johnny Gargano

Noam Dar

Cedric Alexander

TJ Perkins

Akira Tozawa

Gran Metalik

Lince Dorado

Rich Swann

Jack Gallagher

Charlotte

Becky Lynch

Sasha Banks

Alexa Bliss

Nia Jax

Natalya

Paige

Naomi

Carmella

Eva Marie

Alicia Fox

Summer Rae

Dana Brooke

Emma

Bayley

Nikki Bella

Tamina Snuka

What went wrong with Dean Ambrose’s title reign? Click here for this week’s bite-size editions of the Glorious Wrestling Podcast and subscribe to see all eight parts!

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