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News on WWE Draft Rules, Celebrity Involvement, Rollins vs. Reigns on Smackdown to Determine First Pick

There’s a lot of news coming our way today about the WWE Draft that begins this Friday, October 11 on Smackdown in Las Vegas and continues Monday, October 14 on Raw.

Here are the draft rules from WWE.com that were posted today:

  • Over 70 Superstars, as well as tag teams, are eligible for selection in this year’s WWE Draft
  • SmackDown will draft 30 Superstars, and Raw will select another 41 Superstars
  • Since SmackDown is a two-hour show and Raw is a three-hour show, for every two picks SmackDown makes, Raw will receive three
  • Tag teams will count as one pick unless FOX or USA Network specifically wants to pick only one Superstar from the team
  • Any undrafted Superstars will immediately be declared free agents and able to sign with the brand of their choosing

Who will be announcing the picks? It won’t be an on-screen General Manager or anything like that. WWE is going to use celebrities for it. From that same WWE.com article, here’s more on that.

Fourteen-time MLB All-Star and FOX analyst Alex Rodriguez, “Saturday Night Live’s” Michael Che and Colin Jost of “Weekend Update” segments, “Mr. Robot’s” Christian Slater, “NFL on FOX’s” Joe Buck and Pro Football Hall of Famer Troy Aikman, and “Mad Money” host Jim Cramer are among the celebrities set to take part.

Additional personalities scheduled to appear include:

  • Kevin Burkhardt and Frank Thomas — FOX MLB analysts
  • Terry Bradshaw, Howie Long, Jimmy Johnson and Tony Gonzalez — FOX NFL Sunday
  • Ronde Barber, Charles Davis, Chris Spielman and Daryl Johnston — FOX NFL analysts
  • Charissa Thompson, Michael Vick and Peter Schrager — FOX NFL Kickoff
  • Rob Stone, Brady Quinn, Reggie Bush, Matt Leinart and Urban Meyer — Big Noon Kickoff
  • Joel Klatt — FOX College Football analyst
  • Dulé Hill of USA’s “Psych” and “Suits”
  • James Roday of “Psych”
  • Marcus Lemonis of “The Profit”
  • Margaret Josephs and Melissa Gorga of “Real Housewives of New Jersey”
  • Rodney Harrison and Chris Simms — Football Night in America
  • Rebecca Lowe, Robbie Mustoe and Kyle Martino — Premier League Live

In addition to all of that, WWE has announced a huge match that will be the opening match on Smackdown this Friday.

The match will see Raw’s Universal Champion Seth Rollins face off against his former “brother” in The Shield group Roman Reigns, who has been a Smackdown star since WrestleMania this year.

There are high stakes because WWE reports that “the victorious Superstar will earn the first overall pick for the corresponding brand.”

Reigns and Rollins both tweeted about the match.

BUT WAIT, THERE’S MORE.

WWE also posted this list about who is eligible to be drafted on Smackdown this Friday and who will be eligible to be drafted on Raw on Monday.

Friday Night SmackDown – Oct. 11
Raw Women’s Champion Becky Lynch
Roman Reigns
The O.C. (United States Champion AJ Styles, Luke Gallows & Karl Anderson)
“The Fiend” Bray Wyatt
Drew McIntyre
Randy Orton
Sasha Banks
Ricochet
Braun Strowman
Bobby Lashley
Alexa Bliss & Nikki Cross
Lacey Evans
The Viking Raiders (Erik & Ivar)
SmackDown Tag Team Champions The Revival (Scott Dawson & Dash Wilder)
Natalya
The Street Profits (Montez Ford & Angelo Dawkins)
Lucha House Party (Kalisto, Gran Metalik, Lince Dorado)
Cesaro
Kevin Owens
Humberto Carrillo
Akira Tozawa
Sin Cara
Eric Young
EC3
Chad Gable
Heath Slater
Drew Gulak
The B-Team (Bo Dallas & Curtis Axel)
Tamina

Raw – Oct. 14
Universal Champion Seth Rollins
WWE Champion Brock Lesnar
SmackDown Women’s Champion Charlotte Flair
Titus O’Neil
Intercontinental Champion Shinsuke Nakamura (with Sami Zayn)
Aleister Black
The New Day (Kofi Kingston, Big E & Xavier Woods)
Daniel Bryan
Bayley
Luke Harper
Erick Rowan
The Miz
Ali
King Corbin
Elias
Raw Tag Team Champions Dolph Ziggler & Bobby Roode
Samoa Joe
WWE Women’s Tag Team Champions The Kabuki Warriors (Asuka & Kairi Sane)
Rusev
Cedric Alexander
Rey Mysterio
R-Truth
Carmella
AOP (Akam & Rezar)
Heavy Machinery (Tucker & Otis)
Apollo Crews
Andrade
Liv Morgan
Jinder Mahal
Buddy Murphy
Mojo Rawley
No Way José
Dana Brooke
Shelton Benjamin
Curt Hawkins & Zack Ryder
The IIconics (Billie Kay & Peyton Royce)
Sarah Logan
Fire & Desire (Mandy Rose & Sonya Deville)
Drake Maverick

The WWE Draft begins with the Friday, Oct. 11 episode of SmackDown on FOX at 8/7 C. Catch the final picks on the Monday, Oct. 14 episode of Raw on USA Network at 8/7C.

TJR Thoughts: There’s a lot to digest there, but it’s nice of WWE to actually provide more info on the process of the draft. They are clearly spending a lot of money to fly in celebrities to Las Vegas just to read names off a card too.

I don’t plan on doing a mock draft of any kind. I will review the shows of course and I will most likely write a separate column about all the draft picks too.

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