The women’s division should not be split. That is the sentiment I have held for months now, but with the draft less than a week away, it seems inevitable that it is going to happen. If you want to read about why they shouldn’t be split, click here.
However, since it is going to happen, it needs to be done right (or less-badly), so here is how the WWE should split the women’s division. For this draft, only three NXT performers are eligible, with the rest being deemed either too important to the developmental brand, or simply not ready to be called up.
Pick 1 (RAW): Charlotte
Charlotte will be the Women’s Champion at the time of the draft making her the obvious selection for pick one. Though it’ll be interesting to see whether she still has the title after Battleground, considering her and Sasha will be split up. If they want to get at least two Charlotte/Sasha matches out of this feud, including one at SummerSlam, it’d make sense for Sasha to win the title at Battleground to force the rematch.
Pick 2 (SmackDown): Sasha Banks
Which means Sasha will be taking the Women’s Championship with her to SmackDown. Raw will probably get a new title after SummerSlam and that will be the end of the division’s crossover. Sasha has always wanted to be on the blue brand and she is the clear number one star in the women’s division. Expect the SmackDown roster to be built around her.
Pick 3 (RAW): Becky Lynch
Picks one and two write themselves, but from here it gets a little trickier. Drafting the top heel in Charlotte makes taking the top babyface in Becky an easy decision. While Paige and Sasha are both faces, they are more anti-heroes, while Lynch is the genuine babyface. On top of that, she’s easily one of the best wrestlers in the division and deserves more spotlight post-draft.
Pick 4 (SmackDown): Bayley
The first of two NXT women being called up is the obvious one, Bayley. Bayley and Sasha need to be kept on the same brand because of their chemistry together and so this works out well with Bayley going at four. Bayley is another wrestler you can build your entire brand around and building her up into a credible champion will be a vital part of SmackDown’s first few months.
Pick 5 (RAW): Paige
Preferably, the Total Divas cast should be kept on Raw as much as possible. SmackDown needs to be a wrestling show, while Raw, given it has an extra hour, can occasionally indulge in a Total Divas segment. Having said that, Paige is one of the few un-drafted superstars that you’d be comfortable putting the Women’s Championship on and with the depth thin enough as it is, Paige will be an integral part of the brand.
Pick 6 (SmackDown): Emma
Despite being injured, Emma is another one who is good enough to be Women’s Champion and long-term thinking needs to be considered when putting this draft together. Emma’s never been given a chance to reach her full potential, but will thrive with the added spotlight here on SmackDown.
Pick 7 (RAW): Nikki Bella
Nikki is an obvious choice for Raw, given she’s the poster-girl of Total Divas. She wouldn’t quite fit the mould in a wrestling heavy show and she would be more useful with the mainstream audience of Raw. Whether she can get back to her best and compete at an acceptable level considering her neck injury will be the issue.
Pick 8 (SmackDown): Natalya
Breaking up Natalya and Becky means their feud only goes the one pay-per-view. Unfortunately, the draft is going to cause a few problems like that. Natalya is a veteran and while she probably isn’t quite the calibre to be the Women’s Champion, she will provide some great depth to the SmackDown roster, especially as a heel.
Pick 9 (RAW): Alexa Bliss
Bliss is going to be a superstar of the future and she’s a steal at pick nine. She has the charisma, look, promo skills of a champion and her wrestling has improved out-of-sight in the last year. She will fit in perfectly on Raw and will fill a similar role to Bayley on SmackDown early on.
Pick 10 (SmackDown): Naomi
Naomi has been both injured and off filming a movie so her return date is unknown. However, SmackDown will give her the opportunity to prove what she can do she’ll either sink or swim. She’ll need to turn face, considering the amount of heels already on the blue brand, and this will give her an opportunity to use her athleticism to get over with the crowd.
Pick 11 (RAW): Carmella
Carmella should go wherever Enzo and Cass go, but you can probably bet they’ll stay on Raw. Carmella shouldn’t be called up immediately as too many debutants at once could take away from their shine. Carmella is another who will fit in very well with the mainstream Raw audience and has shown in recent months that she has a lot of untapped potential. In a perfect world, she stays in NXT for the rest of the year to continue her development, but the draft forces a need for immediate depth.
Pick 12 (SmackDown): Summer Rae
We’re starting to get into the depth picks here and that begins with Summer who can hold her own in the ring, but gets to the number 12 spot because of her diverse skill set. She has better promo skills than most of the division, can play a manager role and work as both a heel and a face.
Pick 13 (RAW): Dana Brooke
Brooke and Charlotte need to be kept together at all costs. Dana is NOT ready to go on her own whatsoever. She’s probably not even ready to be on the main roster in general, but the WWE have booked themselves into a corner by featuring her prominently. In reality, her promo skills are deplorable, she’s very prone to botching spots and she’s still too inexperienced to keep up with the better wrestlers. Because of all this, she needs to stay attached to Charlotte and kept out of her own spotlight for her own good.
Pick 14 (SmackDown): Alicia Fox
Fox is a veteran who has been out injured in recent months. Her role is also as a depth player, but she can hold her own in short, television matches which makes her quite useful. While she probably won’t be used every week, she’s certainly handy to have on a roster.
Pick 15 (RAW): Eva Marie
Say what you want about Eva, but she generates boos. Those boos may be more to do with her not deserving her spot, but they can be used effectively to get her opponent over. Obviously, she’s not someone you’d want to use every week (or every month), but she’ll be useful every now and then. She’s also perfect to send to red carpet events and the like which means the real wrestlers don’t have to worry about it.
Pick 16 (SmackDown): Tamina
Tamina is in a similar boat to Dana, but with Naomi turning face, it gives the chance to have a quick feud between Tamina and Naomi to break them up. Tamina should remain a heel and simply be used for quick squash matches when needed. She doesn’t have any promo skills and her wrestling is one-dimensional at best and so she’ll probably find herself used scarcely. Considering there are only eight women per brand, she might find herself used more often than she otherwise would have if the roster had stayed together. Whether that’s a good thing or not, I guess we’ll find out in a year. Let’s hope the women’s division hasn’t imploded by then.
|Dana Brooke||Alicia Fox|