What will the brands look like after WWE’s draft?

One of the most exciting staples of the WWE calendar has returned. With SmackDown moving to Fox, a hard brand split is being implemented once again. That means Raw and SmackDown will draft their own separate rosters for the foreseeable future. Starting Friday and continuing Monday, the men and women of WWE will be split up over both shows.

With a draft on the way, we couldn’t help but have a mock draft. Two of our writers, Kaden Hanafi and Justin Hix, took the reigns of the two shows to draft against one another. The rules for the draft were as follows:

  • 20 picks each
  • Stables & tag teams can be selected as a unit
  • All champions are available
  • No one from NXT is available, since NXT is now close to a third main-roster brand
  • “Special attraction” guys like Tyson Fury & Cain Velasquez are unavailable

With those instructions, Kaden (SmackDown) and Justin (Raw) gave us their draft picks. SmackDown had the number one pick overall. Check out their picks, and then read their roster rationale down below.

Rounds 1-5

  • SD: Brock Lesnar
  • Raw: The Fiend
  • SD: Becky Lynch
  • Raw: Charlotte
  • SD: The O.C. (A.J. Styles, Karl Anderson & Luke Gallows)
  • Raw: Seth Rollins
  • SD: Braun Strowman
  • Raw: Shinsuke Nakamura
  • SD: Ricochet
  • Raw: The Revival (Scott Dawson & Dash Wilder)

Rounds 6-10

  • SD: New Day (Kofi Kingston, Big E & Xavier Woods)
  • Raw: The Usos (Jimmy & Jey)
  • SD: Baron Corbin
  • Raw: Kevin Owens
  • SD: Asuka & Kairi Sane
  • Raw: Sasha Banks
  • SD: Buddy Murphy
  • Raw: Roman Reigns
  • SD: Drew McIntyre
  • Raw: Aleister Black

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Rounds 11-15

  • SD: Bayley
  • Raw: Alexa Bliss & Nikki Cross
  • SD: Rey Mysterio
  • Raw: Randy Orton
  • SD: Samoa Joe
  • Raw: Viking Raiders (Erik & Ivar)
  • SD: Rusev
  • Raw: Cesaro
  • SD: Heavy Machinery (Tucker & Otis)
  • Raw: Ali

Rounds 16-20

  • SD: Daniel Bryan
  • Raw: Rowan & Harper
  • SD: The Miz
  • Raw: R-Truth
  • SD: Carmella
  • Raw: Lacey Evans
  • SD: Andrade & Zelina Vega
  • Raw: Naomi
  • SD: Sami Zayn
  • Raw: Robert Roode & Dolph Ziggler

SmackDown GM Kaden’s Draft Breakdown

Since I was given Smackdown, I wanted more of a sports feel which is why I picked Brock Lesnar instead of the Fiend Bray Wyatt as my first overall pick. I also wanted the WWE Championship over the cursed Universal Title. The next important factor was drafting strong women to lead the brand. That is why I took Becky Lynch, Bayley, Asuka and Kairi Sane, and Carmella.

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Another factor to consider was tag teams, which I feel like I have the much better tag division. I have the two main factions, The OC and the New Day, along with Heavy Machinery. With the OC also came the US Championship. I selected multiple strong contenders for this belt, such as Ricochet, Buddy Murphy, Rey Mysterio, Daniel Bryan and Andrade. Smackdown will utilize the US Championship as it’s workhorse belt, similar to the IC belt.

Now to the big belt. I have chosen many contenders that are on the bigger side to challenge Lesnar, such as Braun Strowman, Baron Corbin, Drew McIntyre, Samoa Joe, Rusev, and the ultimate underdog Sami Zayn.

I chose superstars that are very athletic and can put on incredible matches that are also over with the fans. That is why I stayed away from Seth Rollins, Roman Reigns, the Viking Raiders, and Lacey Evans. Another key factor was thinking about how Vince Mcmahon books. That is why I chose not to pick the Revival, Shinsuke Nakamura, Kevin Owens, and Cesaro. I wanted to take people that I know Vince will let put on great matches and give them good storylines.

Raw GM Justin’s Draft Breakdown

Going into the draft having the second pick, I knew most of my selections would be reactionary to Kaden’s. I didn’t want to get too far behind on Championships, but I also hoped Kaden wouldn’t pick the Fiend first, fortunately he did not. The Fiend is the hottest act in Wrestling and I knew I wanted him. After Kaden picked Lesnar I took The Fiend even though there was the possibility Kaden could have both Lesnar and Rollins. If that was the case, I would just Eric Bischoff the rest of the draft and just plan on bringing back the World Heavyweight Championship. Fortunately that didn’t happen and I was able to get Rollins with my third pick.
Drafting Charlotte as the foundation of my Women’s division, and following that up with Sasha, Nikki Cross and Alexa Bliss, Naomi and Lacey Evans is a solid division for Monday Nights.
The rest of the draft for me was a balance between Champions like Nakamura and the Revival and future talent like Alistair Black and Ali. I also wanted some established talent like Cesaro and Randy Orton. My Tag division is a plus, with both shows Champions in The Revival and Roode & Ziggler, and throwing in the Viking Raiders, Usos and Harper & Rowan. I tried to draft based on in ring ability and not based on how WWE has booked the talent. Overall, I feel I have a solid Tag and Women’s Division, and some great single competitors for the Universal and Intercontinental Championships.

Final Thoughts

Those are the foundations of Kaden & Justin’s rosters post-draft. Who do you think had the better draft? Let us know on Twitter at @FPC_Wrestling, or in the comments below.

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