Honestly, I might have been more excited for this show than I was for any other WWE PPV this year. The WWE has done a superb job at creating hype for this episode, and I can confidently say they delivered.
Opening Segment – Round 1
I loved how this show opened with the first overall pick. It had to be done, and it put a ton of importance on the show. After the second pick was announced, I knew my mock draft would go down the drain. With that being said, I completely agreed with the picks that were made. The one that shocked me the most was Raw picking Balor. I was convinced that he’d end up on the same show as AJ, as it would have made sense for his first feud. Either way, he deserved to go in the top five.
John Cena vs Luke Gallows
I wasn’t particularly looking forward to this match, but I’m just glad they didn’t work a tag match.
To my surprise, this match wasn’t as boring as I thought it would be. The crowd was hot for the babyfaces, and the in ring action never fell flat. Of course Cena would go over, and that was the right decision, as it was the best way to keep the crowd hot.
I don’t know about anybody else, but I highly enjoyed Stephanie on this show. Usually I don’t find her funny, however each one of her remarks during the draft made me laugh. My viewing party couldn’t stop talking about how stacked this second round was, but that lead us to realize how stacked this roster was in general.
The Miz & Rusev vs Darren Young & Zack Ryder
I thought this match would have been lackluster, but I was proven completely wrong. From start to finish, the in ring action was completely fluid. It flowed well, and helped further both feuds that were involved. The main stand out in my opinion was Rusev. His work rate and trash talking were on point.
I honestly believe this match could have ended in a DQ, because there was no sense in making the Miz tap. I get he’s a cowardly champion, but he shouldn’t be losing clean on television.
Bray Wyatt vs Xavier Woods
The psychology and pacing to this match was brilliant. Having Bray beat down Xavier showed why he’s still a dominant force in the WWE. I don’t think I would have enjoyed the match if it was back and forth. The best way to tell the story was to have Bray completely destroy Woods.
Kane vs Kevin Owens
The only thing I could think off during the entrances was how KO could deliver a pop up powerbomb to Kane. Instead, we were given something a lot more fun. One of my cousin’s in my viewing party made a comment that Zayn vs Owens was similar to Peter Griffin vs the Chicken, and I couldn’t think of a better comparison myself. Also, their spot with Kane was quite enjoyable.
The only shock to me for this segment was the fact that nobody picked Kevin Owens. However, I did like the importance they put on the women. If you look at the draft from 2002, you’d notice how different times are in 2016.
I do believe they fumbled by not drafting one of the secondary champions. That would have given those titles much more credibility.
Charlotte & Dana Brooke vs Sasha Banks
Right when I thought I was fed up with seeing these three compete in the ring before the PPV, Sasha made me pop with her double knees to Charlotte from the apron. That spot automatically pulled me into the match.
Since Banks has spent the past few weeks making Charlotte and Dana look dumb, I thought it was smart to have her lose before the PPV.
Going into this show, I thought Owens and Zayn would be kept on separate shows. In my opinion, that would have been the better idea. I feel there will be too many times where they simply rely on that feud when they have nothing else for them.
Based on where Owens was drafted, he’d be considered a steal in a kayfabe sense.
Chris Jericho vs Cesaro
I feel like I’ve seen this match too many times. Cesaro has been cooled down within the past few weeks, and I can’t say he’s been that fun to watch. Honestly, I didn’t even care to see him on the show. That’s strange considering how great of a performer he is.
Based on how much more relevant Jericho has been, it only made sense for him to win.
Becky Lynch/Natalya Brawl
These simple brawls have done so much for their feud. They had cooled down within the past few weeks, but they heated this up pretty quickly. Believe it or not, the booking in this feud has been far more superior than the main women’s program.
Now that the Club and Balor are on the same show, Finn’s first storyline should be interesting.
The group I was watching with and I were so convinced Bayley would get drafted, that once Nia was announced we felt slightly swerved. Also, Big Show seemed like a wasted pick for Raw.
Out of all the rounds, this on felt the most underwhelming. After Neville was drafted, it didn’t seem like the GMs/Commissioners cared about Del Rio, Sheamus, or even Natalya.
Seth Rollins vs Dean Ambrose
Their decision to have the commercial break right at the start of the match was a terrible decision. When they came back from the break, it was tough to get back into the show. In fact, I don’t think this needed two commercial breaks.
Once the pace picked up, I applauded these two for keeping this match interesting. They had just competed on Raw and this could have easily been stale, but it wasn’t. The two continue to find new ways to innovate their in ring chemistry. With their in ring work being strong and the non finish from Raw, I was hooked to the screen. To my surprise, Ambrose won clean. Them not swerving the audience was a swerve in itself. I guess they had to give the fans a decisive win, as another draw would have been pointless.
Compared to the first ever draft in 2002, this one was miles ahead. The draft felt very sports like, and it made a lot of sense. I can’t say there was something in the draft that made me question their logic. The low point of the show was Jericho vs Cesaro while the high point was Rollins vs Ambrose. Overall, I give this episode of Smackdown an 8/10.
Along with the great sports theme to the entire show, it was showcased well on the WWE Network. Once I switched over to the network after each round, I was highly impressed with the all round coverage of the event. Switching back and forth between shows made me take this show much more seriously.
Draft Order (Show only)
1. Seth Rollins (RAW)
2. Dean Ambrose (Smackdown)
3. Charlotte (RAW)
4. AJ Styles (Smackdown)
5. Finn Balor (RAW)
6. Roman Reigns (RAW)
7. John Cena (Smackdown)
8. Brock Lesnar (RAW)
9. Randy Orton (Smackdown)
10. The New Day (RAW)
11. Sami Zayn (RAW)
12. Bray Wyatt (Smackdown)
13. Sasha Banks (RAW)
14. Becky Lynch (Smackdown)
15. Chris Jericho (RAW)
16. Rusev w/Lana (RAW)
17. The Miz w/Maryse (Smackdown)
18. Kevin Owens (RAW)
19. Baron Corbin (Smackdown)
20. Enzo & Cass (RAW)
21. The Club (RAW)
22. American Alpha (Smackdown)
23. Big Show (RAW)
24. Dolph Ziggler (Smackdown)
25. Nia Jax (RAW)
26. Neville (RAW)
27. Natalya (Smackdown)
28. Cesaro (RAW)
29. Alberto Del Rio (Smackdown)
30. Sheamus (RAW)