Welcome one and all to the live TJR Draft Blog here at TJRWrestling. If you are not familiar with me, I am the weekly host of the NXT Spotlight that you can find here every Wednesday. I’m filling in for our fearless leader John Canton. I will be providing live pick by pick results and feedback for every pick as well.
Smackdown is live with both General Managers and Commissioners already on stage, and it’s already time for the first pick from Raw. So here goes…
Raw Pick #1: Seth Rollins
Smackdown Pick #1: WWE Champion, Dean Ambrose
K-Tank’s Take: Chalk picks for the first round. No surprises here, but Seth Rollins is without a doubt the most deserving person to be picked #1 overall.
Raw Pick #2: WWE Women’s Champion, Charlotte
Smackdown Pick #2: “The Phenomenal One” AJ Styles
Raw Pick #3: Finn Balor
K-Tank’s Take: Great pick for Smackdown, but how about those two huge surprises for Raw? I don’t think anyone saw Charlotte, or any woman for that matter, going #3 overall. Says a lot about what they think about her, and rightfully so. Then they follow that up with the HUGE pick of Finn Balor. Obviously someone from NXT would go high, but I think I’m more surprised he’s going to Raw instead of Smackdown.
They transitioned right into a John Cena vs. Luke Gallows match. I’ll let John discuss that in his recap of the show, so for now I’ll be back with the next set of picks.
Raw Pick #4: Roman Reigns
Smackdown Pick #3: John Cena
Raw Pick #5: Brock Lesnar
Smackdown Pick #4: Randy Orton
Raw Pick #6: The New Day
K-Tank’s Take: Roman got massive boos for those that are wondering. Lesnar is an interesting situation considering it came out today that he failed a second drug test, this time the day of his fight. Really thought The New Day would be a Smackdown guarantee as they’ll need the bodies, but at least they were kept together and not broken up.
After that round of picks, they went straight to a Zack Ryder and Darren Young vs. The Miz and Ruzev tag match. Then they had Bray Wyatt vs. Xavier Woods. After that was Kevin Owens vs. Demon Kane, which didn’t really happen as Sami Zayn showed up during Owens’ entrance and they ended up getting a double chokeslam for it. Because you know, Kane needed the rub.
Raw Pick #7: Sami Zayn
Smackdown Pick #5: Bray Wyatt
Raw Pick #8: Sasha Banks
Smackdown Pick #6: Becky Lynch
Raw Pick #9: Chris Jericho
K-Tank’s Take: Zayn goes in the 7th round, but Owens is still available? Not sure how I feel about that. The Becky pick for Smackdown is a puzzler as well for me.
After that round of picks, they had a Sasha Banks vs. Dana Brooke and Charlotte handicap match.
Raw Pick #10: United States Champion, Rusev (w/Lana)
Smackdown Pick #7:Intercontinental Champion, The Miz (w/Maryse)
Raw Pick #11: Kevin Owens
Smackdown Pick #8: Baron Corbin
Raw Pick #12: Enzo and Big Cass
K-Tank’s Take: Remember when you all said I got smoked in the TJRWrestling Mock Draft while drafting for Smackdown? Yeah well it wasn’t half as bad as reality. Out of Raw’s 12 picks so far, I had 7 of them going to Smackdown. Baron Corbin with Smackdown’s 8th pick? GTFO.
After that round, they had Chris Jericho vs. the yet to be drafted Cesaro. Yes, Baron Corbin went before Cesaro. As Jericho would say, Drink it in mannnnn…. Natalya was supposed to face Alicia Fox but Becky came out and attacked Nattie.
Raw Pick #13: Luke Gallows and Karl Anderson
Smackdown Pick #9: American Alpha (Jason Jordan and Chad Gable)
Raw Pick #14: The Big Show
Smackdown Pick #10: Dolph Ziggler
Raw Pick #15: Nia Jax
K-Tank’s Take: You read that right, Nia Jax was drafted before Bayley. And I’m a Nia fan, but wow. The Club officially gets broken up, I would assume Finn becomes the new leader. American Alpha was Smackdown’s best pick, but it’s not nearly enough to save them from this ass kicking they’re getting thus far.
Raw Pick #16: Neville
Smackdown Pick #11: Natalya
Raw Pick #17: Cesaro
Smackdown Pick #12: Alberto Del Rio
Raw Pick #18: Sheamus
K-Tank’s Take: At this point in the draft, you really just wanted Cesaro to end up on Smackdown so he’d have a chance to shine. Now, he’ll continue to be lost in the shuffle on Raw. It’ll be good to see Neville on TV again.
These will be the last picks on TV as they’re now starting Dean Ambrose vs. Seth Rollins for the WWE Championship. The picks will then pick up on The WWE Network afterwards, so I will be back at that point.
Dean Ambrose defeated Seth Rollins clean, so he retains the WWE Championship heading into Battleground. Now we’re on The WWE Network. They spent the first chunk of the show just chatting about everything we already know. Because we’re not tuned in to see the rest of the picks or anything. So that’s why the delay.
Raw Pick #19: The Golden Truth (Goldust & R-Truth)
Smackdown Pick #13: The Usos
Raw Pick #20: Titus O’Neil
Smackdown Pick #14: Demon Kane
Raw Pick #21: Paige
K-Tank’s Take: Renee Young is announcing all the picks herself now, so that’s your way of knowing these picks aren’t important since Shane and Stephanie can’t be bothered to fill out their roster. Golden Truth going this high is ridiculous, but whatever at this point. A year ago, Paige would’ve been much higher. It’s a shame what they’ve turned her into, which is an afterthought.
Raw Pick #22: Darren Young (w/Bob Backlund)
Smackdown Pick: #15: Kalisto
Raw Pick #23: Sin Cara
Smackdown Pick #16: Naomi
Raw Pick #24: Jack Swagger
Smackdown Pick #17: The Ascension
K-Tank’s Take: Not sure why Smackdown got three picks there, but this is a trainwreck, so who’s really surprised? Let me take this moment to say that Kalisto, Sin Cara, & Jack Swagger were all drafted above Zack Ryder, who is in a title program at Battleground this Sunday.
Raw Pick #25: The Dudley Boys
Smackdown Pick #18: Zack Ryder
Raw Pick #26: Summer Rae
Smackdown Pick #19: Apollo Crews
Raw Pick #27: Mark Henry
Smackdown Pick #20: Alexa Bliss
K-Tank’s Take: You read that right, Alexa Bliss taken over Bayley. What is happening here? I’m stunned. Thankfully Ryder went to Smackdown, he’ll get a legit shot there. Maybe turn Dolph Ziggler heel and have a really good feud with the two of them.
Raw Pick #28: Braun Strowman
Smackdown Pick #21: Breezango (Tyler Breeze & Fandango)
Raw Pick #29: Bo Dallas
Smackdown Pick #22: Eva Marie
Raw Pick #30: The Shining Stars (Primo & Epico)
Smackdown Pick #23: The Vaudevillians (Aiden English & Simon Gotch)
K-Tank’s Take: Smackdown has made 5 out of 6 very good picks down the stretch. Alexa is the lone exception, sorry Jeff, but I just don’t think she was ready for the call up yet. All Red Everything on the Blue Team. Makes about as much sense as the rest of the draft. I’m happy for her though. Her and Ryder will keep me interested. The 3 to 2 ratio on picks has gone out the window, so apparently even WWE realized it was getting out of hand.
Raw Pick #31: Alicia Fox
Smackdown Pick #24: Erick Rowan
Raw Pick #32: Dana Brooke
Smackdown Pick #25: Mojo Rawley
Raw Pick #33: Curtis Axel
Smackdown Pick #26: Carmella
K-Tank’s Take: I give up. Carmella drafted and not even to Raw to be with Enzo and Cass?!? So the women’s division in NXT is Bayley, Asuka, and…??? My dreams of a legit push for Zack Ryder just went up in flames as clearly The Hype Bros will be brought up to the main roster now. That was fun to dream for 10 minutes or so.
Renee said that Carmella is the last pick in the draft so Heath Slater goes undrafted officially. They ended the show with him being the last one in the locker room and turning the lights off on him.
The only final thought I can come up with is with everyone seemingly available in NXT, Joe, Nakamura, Aries, Roode, Dillinger, Asuka, & Bayley all go undrafted. I have no idea how they can spin that believably, but that’s what they gave us. That’s it for me tonight though, thanks for reading & don’t forget to join me for the NXT Spotlight every week right here at TJRWrestling!