This past week the WWE had the second draft in history which split the roster into two rosters. I for one enjoyed everything about this year’s draft. I thought the show flowed well and each draft pick was somewhat nerve racking. After all the excitement that ensued on Tuesday night, I went to several online forums to only see it wasn’t well received by many fans. Now I’m not writing this to say anybody’s opinion was wrong, as I don’t think there’s any right or wrong opinions about wrestling. I’m writing this post to maybe explain why the draft went the way it did.
NXT (More specifically Nakaura, Joe, and Bayley)
Fans being displeased with the NXT draft picks (or lack of) is what shocked me the most. Now before I explain, I’ll agree with the few that believe they should have given a reason behind Nakamura, Joe, and Bayley not being eligible. It would have made sens if they gave an explanation, but them deciding not to give a reason didn’t ruin the draft. I say this because anybody that watches NXT week to week can easily figure out why neither Bayley, Samoa Joe or Shinsuke Nakamura weren’t drafted.
While I understand the three names are huge amoung the wrestling community, why waste their debut (or announcement of debut) in a draft? Finn Balor was picked 5th overall, and that made him out to be a big deal. Unless those three were selected immediately after him, announcing their call up this week would have made no sense. At that point there were still others on the main roster that held priority over the top NXT stars. If they got called up they’d have to be a priority, or either get lost in the shuffle. As of now, the company has others that need bigger pushes, and that would be difficult if they were to throw in some newer faces.
The WWE has created something special with NXT, so special that they’ve become a touring brand. I’m aware NXT isn’t making the company any money, but having the brand do house shows outside of Full Sail probably helps with the costs they accumulate. With that being said, calling up Nakamura, Bayley, and Joe would seriously hurt the brands ability to draw for live events. Could they have called up all three and have them pull double duty? Sure, but they would only become overexposed and more injury prone. Once they have proper replacements, they can slowly call up those bigger names, so NXT won’t take a big hit at once.
Most importantly, let’s not forget that all three of those competitors are involved in NXT’s top two feuds at the moment. They’ll be headlining Takeover:Brooklyn, and it’s probably best they focus on that.
Raw being too stacked
I’ll admit it, Raw currently looks like the stronger roster. However, at the end of the day it’s still a three hour show, which from what we’ve seen isn’t the easiest task for the WWE.
I’ve heard many fans complain about the lack of fresh match ups with this new roster split, and I can understand where many of these complaints are coming from. After thinking about it, there’s still a few fresh match ups left on Smackdown without accounting for any heel/babyface turns. Here are a few just for example:
- Orton vs Wyatt
- AJ vs Orton
- Cena vs Ambrose
- Cena vs Miz (IC title)
- Ambrose vs AJ
- The Miz vs Orton (IC title)
Fans need to keep in mind that two hour show is much easier to fill than a three hour one. Smackdown usually starts with a promo with one of the main feuds and ends with a match involving a participant from a main feud. Off the top of my head, those two segments combined add up to 30-40 min (match with commercials). The of rest of the show can easily be filled with four matches along with some backstage promos. With Raw the formula isn’t as simple. They can’t have the main feud shown on every hour of the show, because that only leads to over exposure.
Let’s not forget that trades are still very much possible. After another month or so, there’ll probably a trade or two made. Hoesntly, I don’t expect Zayn and Owens to remain on the same show, their heated rivalry might actually lead to their split up. Also, based on Cesaro’s Network promo, I can see them trading him.
Like I mentioned above, everybody is entitled to their opinions about the draft. I’m not saying anybody is wrong for having negative reviews about the draft, but I hope my explanation made sense. At the end of the day, I’m a huge fan of the WWE, and I truly hope they manage to find success with the brand split this time around.