WWE Draft 2019 Review: RAW gets better wrestlers, Smackdown is the A show somehow!! (Tuesday Editorial)
Overall, the 2019 WWE “Draft” was really dull; not bad, but dull. At least, when WWE tries to put some effort behind something and it comes out bad we can recommend them for making effort. But, when they seem to be as bored as the sports pundits who they big up to chime in on the draft, we can not do the same. This was the case here as WWE breezed through one of their most inconsequential, uninspiring drafts/shake-ups in history. Something about this draft felt a little bit off.
First, on both Smackdown and RAW it was the same format of Stephanie McMahon (the eternal tweener of WWE) reading out the picks to no reaction mostly. If you were flipping channels and you saw her reading out the picks on RAW, you would be rightfully mistaking that for Smackdown. Also, there was the “War rooms” where “Executives” from USA and FOX would gather planning their picks (apparently) and getting excited about drafting R-Truth to their brand (no offense to K-kwik but come on!). Alongside that, there was the pundits from different sports giving their “opinions” on the draft. Speaking of pundits, I personally felt insulted in my intelligence when i saw the Premier league pundits from NBCSN giving their opinion on the draft, well knowing that there is no Premier League these days as the International break for qualifiers is taking place currently (because i’m a Football/soccer fan too) which even for a nation like USA where they care less about Football (soccer) is still a bit on the nose.
Now, let’s focus on the important thing; the draft picks themselves which mostly kept the status quo with only a handful of notable moves. The biggest of these moves was Bray Wyatt going to Smackdown, despite his feud with RAW’s Universal Champion Seth Rollins still going. Elsewhere, Becky Lynch was the number 1# draft pick overall, Sasha Banks went to the brand matching her hair color (blue that is), Braun is gonna “give people these hands” over on Friday nights, and Street profits are finally done being the Greek chorus of RAW (hopefully they won’t be jobbers there because they are so good) after being drafted there. Aside from these picks, the first night of the Draft felt actually disappointing with no call-ups from either NXT or 205 live (the future former brand) despite having a vast draft pool of 70 superstars to pick of.
Fast forward to Monday, and we had a copy/paste job of the first night. However, the picks were even more predictable than before with Seth Rollins staying on RAW (of course), and with The New Day, Ali, Shinsuke Nakamura, Daniel Bryan, and Carmella all staying on SmackDown. There was a slight difference though, with Erick Rowan making the jump to RAW on his own (Where is Luke Harper?), Humberto Carillo, and Akira Tozawa making the jump (up) from a dying 205 Live brand, and Buddy Murphy moving to Mondays in hope of relevance. Aleicester Black is on RAW as well, as is Jinder Mahal (Ugh!!!).
To sum up, this draft was uninspiring in its presentation which affects how important the wrestlers picked are, and turns the fans away from a product they already have so many grudges with.
One can obviously see that this Draft was done to satisfy FOX, who have put some big cash to have a unique feel for the show they are buying. In turn, Smackdown will be the A show no matter what as it will be Vince’s new toy going forward. Usually, we criticize WWE for getting overexcited about something and overbooking everything to saturation. Here, it felt like they were walking through the gears with no real intent on having a meaningful draft. They cared so little that they announced some draft picks on WWE.com on the week-end which is just dreadful.
Generally, the draft should have been a stepping stone for some talents who are trying to find their footing in the company. Whereas, this half-hearted edition of it felt like a forced move by networks who want their respective shows to reign supreme. Hopefully it will help RAW thrive as they have some genuinely amazing talent under the (mostly) successful reign of Paul Heyman with less focus and pressure on them than the blue brand which is heavily pressed to prevail and grab some satisfying ratings for FOX to justify the 1 Billion dollar deal made for it.
In the end this is the Full list of draft picks on each brand as well as the undrafted and the non listed superstars. (this list is courtesy of CBS sports) https://www.cbssports.com/wwe/news/2019-wwe-draft-results-smackdown-and-raw-rosters-picks-pools-undrafted-superstars-rules-format/
- Raw (24): Seth Rollins (c), AJ Styles (c) [part of OC], Drew McIntyre, Randy Orton, Ricochet, Bobby Lashley, Kevin Owens, Andrade [w/ Zelina Vega], Rusev, Aleister Black, Samoa Joe, Rey Mysterio, R-Truth (c), EC3, Eric Young, Sin Cara, Cedric Alexander, Humberto Carillo, Erick Rowan, Buddy Murphy, Jinder Mahal, Akira Tozawa, Shelton Benjamin, Titus O’Neil
- SmackDown (16): Brock Lesnar (c), Shinsuke Nakamura (c) [w/ Sami Zayn], Roman Reigns, “The Fiend” Bray Wyatt, Braun Strowman, Kofi Kingston [part of New Day], Daniel Bryan, Ali, The Miz, King Corbin, Shorty Gable, Elias, Apollo Crews, Drew Gulak, Heath Slater
- Raw (9): Becky Lynch (c), Alexa Bliss, Natalya, Nikki Cross, Charlotte Flair, Zelina Vega, Kabuki Warriors (c), Liv Morgan
- SmackDown (5): Bayley (c), Sasha Banks, Lacey Evans, Tamina, Carmella
- Raw (3): The Viking Raiders (c), The OC (Luke Gallows & Karl Anderson), Street Profits
- SmackDown (6): The Revival (c), New Day, Dolph Ziggler & Robert Roode, Lucha House Party, Heavy Machinery, B-Team
- Undrafted men: Cesaro, Luke Harper, Apollo Crews, Mojo Rawley, No Way Jose, Luke Harper
- Undrafted women: Dana Brooke, The IIconics (Billie Kay & Peyton Royce), Sarah Logan, Fire & Desire (Mandy Rose & Sonya Deville)
- Undrafted tag teams: AOP (Akam & Rezar), Curt Hawkins & Zack Ryder
- Unlisted in draft pools: The Usos, Jeff & Matt Hardy, Sheamus, Lio Rush (c), Naomi, Lars Sullivan, Lana, Mike & Maria Kanellis, Nia Jax, Mickie James, Ruby Riott, Alicia Fox, The Ascension, The Colons
- Part-time / likely ineligible: Cain Velasquez, John Cena, Ronda Rousey, The Undertaker
In the end, this is only one man’s opinion. It is your opinions that matter the most so comment them down below or reach to me out on Twitter @OGouesmiHellRaiser. Till Next Time!!