“What, another draft?”
There you go, that’s the first thing that went wrong with the WWE Draft. Much like Hell in a Cell, the WWE Draft has now just become a thing that happens once a year, rather than a meaningful night which actually changes something.
Being on Raw or SmackDown simply doesn’t matter as much as it used to, because you’ll probably be on the other show after the next draft, so who cares.
You want fans to be excited to see who is moving brands. Remember the early days of the draft, when you had The Rock and The Undertaker being moved from brand to brand and it was actually sold like a massive deal? That doesn’t happen anymore.
While I could sit here all week and write about the issues with this year’s draft in particular, I’ll try to narrow it down to a few main points.
My first point was the first sentence, so moving onto point two, the choices don’t make any sense.
From a kayfabe perspective, why the hell would you, as a group of TV executives, pick Kofi Kingston and Xavier Woods, and then not pick Big E? Whoever made that decision should be fired.
“Are you sure you don’t want Big E? He’s in the New Day so it wouldn’t count as an extra draft pick.”
“No, I just want those two. Three people is too many.”
In a world of storylines, this better have a good explanation in the next couple of weeks because it makes zero sense. For anyone saying it allows Big E to become a singles star, use your short term memory for a second and remember that Kofi Kingston was the WWE Champion last year, while still a member of the New Day.
This also goes for The IIconics and Heavy Machinery, who were both split up in the draft for no reason. Billie Kay is going to do nothing on SmackDown, so why not leave her with Peyton Royce, even if it’s just as a manager? Same goes for Tucker, who has been drafted onto Raw away from Otis. Yes, Otis is more charismatic, but Tucker is a great in ring worker who is about to get lost in the mid-card shuffle on Monday nights.
My next issue is the order of the draft picks and the people who were left undrafted, because in what world would anyone ever pick Titus O’Neill before they picked Aleister Black?
Did someone forget to read Black’s name out? Titus O’Neil, who has had FIVE matches in 2020, losing three of them.
Furthermore, in what world would anyone not pick Andrade, but choose Titus O’Neil. Sorry Titus, I’m not having a go at you, you’re just completely disposable as a wrestler right now, and someone like Aleister Black and Andrade should be seen as a genuine stars who each brand is dying to have.
Shorty G was pretty much left undrafted, because his SmackDown pick wasn’t revealed on the show. What this says to fans is “make sure you don’t get interested in this person, because we sure as hell couldn’t give less of a f*** about them.”
If you have dozens and dozens of people you don’t intend to use, either release them so they can go somewhere and actually be appreciated, or send them back to NXT. God knows NXT needs a ratings boost in the Wednesday Night war they lose every single week.
You have so many people who would be perfect fits for Wednesday nights, and you would probably find that a lot of them want to go there.
Alternatively, don’t hire them in the first place if you have no plans.
To my penultimate point. The 2020 Draft has completely killed SmackDown’s women’s division. Just take a look at this list below and look at the blue brand’s female wrestlers in comparison to Raw.
- SmackDown: Bayley, Sasha Banks, Bianca Belair, Liv Morgan, Ruby Riott, Carmella, Billie Kay, Tamina, Zelina Vega, Natalya.
- RAW: Asuka, Naomi, Charlotte Flair, Shayna Baszler, Nia Jax, Alexa Bliss, Nikki Cross, Lacey Evans, Mandy Rose, Dana Brooke, Lana, Peyton Royce, Mia Yim.
Add to that RAW list a returning Ronda Rousey and Becky Lynch, and it’s pretty ridiculous.
I really like lots of the people on the SmackDown roster, but aside from Bayley and Sasha Banks, I have been given zero reason to care about any of them. Ruby and Liv Morgan have just been losing and losing on Raw, Carmella hasn’t been around for months, Billie Kay and Tamina…yeah, Zelina Vega isn’t taken seriously as a wrestler, and Natalya lost her shine years ago.
What you want after a draft is two rosters which can both entertain and keep an audience coming back, not one roster that people want to see, and one roster of the other people you didn’t care about enough.
Lastly, and this is probably the most important point…why would anyone draft Retribution?
“Ah yes, I would like the group that breaks rings, beats up people at ringside and has promised to take down the company on my brand, please.”
“Great idea, sir.”
And that is what went wrong with the WWE Draft.