TJRWrestling WWE Fantasy Draft for Raw & Smackdown 2016 by John Canton & Kurt Zamora

The WWE draft is coming to us live this Tuesday July 19 on Smackdown. It’s been hyped up by WWE for nearly two months as a way to “shake things up” as they attempt to make Smackdown feel more important than it currently is.

I wasn’t sure if I was going to do a mock draft because there were no guidelines put in place by WWE. That changed on Sunday afternoon when WWE posted some rules to follow for the draft. That led to our NXT writer Kurt Zamora and I doing our own mock draft.

For the draft, I’m getting Raw because as Kurt said I’m known for my Raw Deal reviews. Truth be told, I offered it up to him. He said it’s okay if I take it. He took Smackdown knowing there was a handicap of having less picks.

We decided to make up some rules before the picks.

– In WWE’s post about the draft, they noted that Raw gets 3 picks for every 2 Smackdown picks. The way we set it up is by going Raw, Smackdown, Raw, Raw, Smackdown every round. I think that’s more fair than going Raw for 3 picks, Smackdown for 2 picks and so on. It’s better to break it up a bit. Whether WWE goes that way or not, we have no idea. They could go Raw, SD, Raw, SD, Raw and then the back to back picks are at the end of every round. It doesn’t matter that much.

– The WWE rules stated that six NXT picks would be allowed to be made. We agreed to make it three each.

– While we are aware of current NXT storylines, that’s not going to affect our picks. If you can pick anybody from the roster then you should pick the ones you feel are the best. If WWE chooses to ignore Joe and Nakamura because they are in a NXT Title feud then that’s their choice. We aren’t going to ignore the top talent.

– We didn’t draft general managers or announce teams. It’s all about the wrestlers.

– We agreed that we can’t just make up names that are not in WWE. As much as we would both love Kurt Angle in WWE, that’s just too much fantasy booking at this point.

– It was agreed that we should pick who we want, not who we think WWE might pick in each spot. It’s our draft and our rosters.

Here are some pre-draft thoughts from both of us.

new-raw

John’s Pre-Draft Thoughts For Raw

There are a lot of ways to go with this, but I really wanted to focus on the in-ring product. With Raw being a three-hour show, there’s more of an opportunity for longer matches and better matches. Ideally, you can have two or three matches going 15+ minutes every week with some matches going 20+ minutes once in a while too. That’s why I wanted to get the best in-ring performers I could get.

I also went into knowing I had the advantage in the numbers. For every five picks that are made, I get three of them. That’s not really fair to Smackdown, but I’m going to use it the best way I can. Knowing that beforehand, it allowed me to think of potential matchups while I picked. You can see with some of my early picks how I tried to match guys up.

My other main point going into it was to target heel characters. I think WWE has done a poor job of developing heel performers, but there are some people that do a better job of it than others. If you look at the history of wrestling, some of the biggest babyfaces ever (Austin, Rock, Michaels, Cena) had significant heel runs earlier in their career. That’s why I wanted to lean on the heels because I know that they could be valuable faces down the road.

Lastly, I’m leery of guys coming off suspensions or that work limited schedules. I want my roster to be full of people committed to working for WWE on a regular schedule. It’s not an easy life, but they chose that life and I expect them to give me their best.

wwe smackdown tuesday nights

Kurt’s Pre-Draft Thoughts For Smackdown

Clearly the 3 to 2 ratio kills me in terms of talent I can pick up. So, I had to make the most of every pick. To do this, I have three things I need to establish with every pick. I need star power, I need versatility, and I need the most value possible with each pick. I have to have at least one of those three factors in every pick as I don’t have the luxury to take a flyer on someone or make a throwaway pick. If I can get the star power early that really establishes that Smackdown will be just as important as Raw, that will give me the luxury to develop the rest of my roster at my own pace and work my way to making a strong top to bottom roster.

Now that the rosters are exclusive, versatility is going to be a word you see repeated quite a bit in my picks. I want people who can easily be a heel or a face. That way when injuries inevitably happen, I’m not scrambling to fill a spot. There will be some picks that I see them as a heel or face for the foreseeable future, but with the majority of my picks, I want to pick people that I can turn easily in six months if things aren’t working the way I want them to. There will be no “Rusev vs. Jack Swagger 242 times” on my watch.

The easiest way to get the most value of my picks is to establish a strong tag team division. Not only establish a tag team division, but pick tag teams that have breakout single star potential. That way, the depth of my roster is not glaring weak compared to a Raw brand that is getting 12 extra picks.

 

wwe battleground ambrose reigns rollins

The Mock Draft Results

Here’s our mock draft results with John’s Raw picks in red and Kurt’s Smackdown picks in blue. We each included comments by our picks. In some cases, we commented on the choices of the other guy too.

1) Raw (JC): Seth Rollins – I think he’s the best performer in WWE that’s in the prime of his career at age 30. I want him on my team more than anybody else. Long term, I think he has more value as a face than he does as heel. I would start a slow turn for him so that it culminates in a big face run starting just before the Royal Rumble.

2) Smackdown (KZ): WWE Champion Dean Ambrose – If I had the #1 pick overall, I would’ve taken Rollins too. However, I won’t lose any sleep getting the WWE Champion with my first pick. Ambrose is the champion the fans wanted and I think leading his own brand will make him even better.

3) Raw (JC): Kevin Owens – A true heel that is a future World Champion. He can have great matches with anybody, is a gifted talker and just needs a little extra push to be a true top guy. Plus, I like fat guys with beards because I am one so gotta go KO!

4) Raw (JC): AJ Styles – I think he’s been the best performer in WWE so far this year. While I like his heel work at the moment, long term he’s more of a face. There’s a bit of a concern with his age because he’s 38 years old, so maybe he only has 4-5 years left as a full timer. That’s fine because I think he’s a tremendous all around performer.

5) Smackdown (KZ): Brock Lesnar – It takes a lot to counter losing two studs like AJ and Owens, so the only way to do that is select the biggest drawing power WWE has. Positive drug test or not, Brock Lesnar is the biggest box office attraction in the business and this pick shows that Smackdown is for real this time around. Four matches a year, to make Smackdown relevant, is worth this high of a pick.

(John: I love Brock, but for four matches a year I can try to find value elsewhere. I just don’t know if his heart is in WWE that much either.)

6) Raw (JC): Shinsuke Nakamura – Too early? I don’t think so. Nakamura has so much potential as a main event performer that is different from everybody else. It’s not just because he’s Japanese either. He has a unique style and connection with the audience. He would be a key guy for me.

7) Smackdown (KZ): Finn Balor – The Nakamura pick forces my hand to get a top NXT talent that I can build the brand around. Personally, as much as I love Nakamura, I would’ve taken Balor first from NXT anyways. So this a great pick for me. He’s got potential as a top face or heel. I think I keep him face at the onset, just because he’s going to be a popular pick for Smackdown, but I will not hesitate to turn him heel in the near future if needed.

(John: If he didn’t pick Balor there I would have picked him as the next pick. Good call, KZ.)

8) Raw (JC): Sami Zayn – I know that WWE is hinting that Zayn vs. Owens is ending soon. Not for me! They are magic together and I want to keep that going. Long term, Zayn has potential as the top face if he’s given the chance to talk more while having longer matches.

9) Raw (JC): Cesaro – He would get the big push that he has deserved for a few years now. I think he’s skilled enough to work well as a face or heel. In my first six picks I feel like I have six of the best in-ring performers in WWE too.

(Kurt: Cesaro would’ve been my next pick bar none. This made me rearrange my thoughts.)

10) Smackdown (KZ): Randy Orton – Again, losing Zayn and Cesaro is tough to overcome. I need star power. I look at the roster and Orton, Cena, & Reigns sticks out. I take Orton because he’ll work a full schedule, unlike Cena. Plus, he’ll be a far more popular pick than Reigns at this point. Even with how long Orton has been in the business, he’s avoided the indifference that others with his tenure have experienced, so he brings versatility as both a heel or a face. I can use him as needed.

11) Raw (JC): United States Champion Rusev with Lana – Love his work as a heel. He’s back to looking like a dominant performer. I think the best is yet to come for him. Plus, I think Lana could work in the ring once in a while, so it adds to the Women’s Division as well.

12) Smackdown (KZ): Intercontinental Champion The Miz with Maryse – I’ll admit this is a high pick for Miz, but ever since he got Maryse, his character has been reenergized and he has vastly improved in the ring, so I can justify it. Plus, with the US Title off the board, I can’t risk losing both secondary singles titles. It’s a reach, but I’m satisfied with the pick.

13) Raw (JC): NXT Champion Samoa Joe – It makes sense to have him and Nakamura continue their NXT feud on Raw. That would increase the visibility of NXT big time. Age is a bit of a concern with him just as it is with AJ Styles, but I feel like he has 4-5 great years left. I’m a huge fan of Joe.

14) Raw (JC): John Cena – I don’t think he will go this late, but I know Kurt isn’t a fan of his so I could wait a bit. Obviously his name value is huge. He’s a big draw that would elevate anybody that feuds with him. At 39 years of age, maybe he only has 2-3 more years left as a regular. He’s still worth a pick here. Plus, there’s the great story of if he can get that 16th World Title to tie Ric Flair. I think seeing Cena in feuds against new opponents like Nakamura and Samoa Joe would be pretty awesome as well.

15) Smackdown (KZ): Tag Team Champions The New Day – My first example of getting the most out of my picks. Not only do I get the Tag Team Titles on my brand, I get three prime players in one pick. All three of them have singles potential and I can mix and match them as I please. One can go for singles titles while the other two stay in the tag mix. This is the most versatile pick on the roster and I’m happy I was able to make it.

16) Raw (JC): American Alpha (Jason Jordan & Chad Gable) – As much as I love The New Day, I think American Alpha is the tag team of the future in WWE. They’re going to be huge stars on the main roster right away. They’re a tag team that my Raw show would build around as the babyfaces that the fans would love.

They were my third and final NXT pick. I did three NXT picks while Kurt had done one at this point, so I feel like I got the advantage there.

(Kurt: This one hurts. I would’ve loved to have American Alpha set the standard for my tag division along with The New Day. I’ll have to make up for this later.)

17) Smackdown (KZ): Roman Reigns – Maybe still an unpopular pick, but in the 7th round for Smackdown, the value is too good to pass up. Another versatile pick that I can keep face for now and see how the crowd reacts to his return. If I need to turn him heel finally, I can do that too and have Ambrose vs. Reigns headline my shows for months to come.

(John: I doubt it takes that long for Reigns to get picked. I just didn’t think he’d fit on my roster even though he could do really well as a heel.)

18) Raw (JC): Luke Gallows & Karl Anderson – I like this team a lot. Keep them with AJ Styles for a few months at least. There’s a potentially great feud with them as the heel team against American Alpha too.

19) Raw (JC): Sasha Banks – First women’s wrestler off the board. I wanted to pick Banks earlier, but when I saw that she was still there by this point I was pretty happy. She’s in her early 20s, she’s already a skilled all around performer and is the kind of performer that can be the anchor of the WWE women’s division for years to come. I think she’d be effective as a face or heel too.

20) Smackdown (KZ): Enzo Amore & Big Cass – My makeup pick for losing out on American Alpha. Big Cass obviously has huge breakout potential as a singles star, but for now, I have arguably the two most entertaining entities in WWE on my brand. I think The New Day vs. Enzo and Cass can headline Live Events if needed and it would draw.

21) Raw (JC): Bray Wyatt – His stock has fallen in the last year, no question about it. If this was two years ago he’d be a top 5 or top 10 pick. I think he’s a main event performer that I drafted later than he should be available, so from a value standpoint he’s a great pick in my eyes. I would slowly build him up as a top heel and since he’s 29 years old I feel like he’s got a decade of greatness in front of him.

22) Smackdown (KZ): Women’s Champion Charlotte – Another example where the champion doesn’t go first overall as Raw surprisingly takes Sasha Banks ahead of the champ. I gladly will swoop in and take the best pure athlete in the division. I love Charlotte’s work and there’s nothing she can’t do. Another huge value pick for me.

23) Raw (JC): Dolph Ziggler – Heel, heel, heel! The face run is boring. He needs to be a heel again. Ziggler’s another guy whose stock has fallen. I’d pair him up with a guy I picked later on (Jack Swagger – sorry for the spoiler) with the two of them forming a bond over being successful amateur wrestlers that are also WWE veterans.

24) Raw (JC): Natalya – My favorite WWE woman performer for many years now. I know Charlotte’s the current champion, but Natalya is the veteran that helped Charlotte get better. She would be locked in as a heel that is there to help the other girls improve by working with her.

25) Smackdown (KZ): Zack Ryder – It’s finally Zack Ryder’s time. Obviously I was going to pick him on my roster, and while you may think this is high for him, I think this is the perfect spot. I’m going to really establish him as a top mid-card guy, more than likely putting him with Miz for the IC Title immediately. My ultimate goal would be to get him to a level where he could be a guy in a multiple man match (Money in The Bank, Elimination Chamber, etc.) where the WWE Title or WWE Title shot is on the line and it would be believable for him to be in it.

(John: Kurt is the biggest Ryder fan I know. While I like Zack, I didn’t want to pick him before Kurt did.)

26) Raw (JC): Becky Lynch – I really started to focus on my women’s division. I think the Lynch story is easy to tell with her as a babyface. Her Four Horsewomen friends Banks, Charlotte & Bayley have all held titles in WWE, but she hasn’t. Can she get there? It would be a fun story to see unfold. I like her a lot as a face.

27) Smackdown (KZ): Braun Strowman – My first wild card pick. I’ve gotten star value and I’ve gotten versatility in my picks thus far, so now it’s time to pick for potential. Clearly, with the way WWE doesn’t have The Wyatts listed as a full entity, they’re going to get broken up. I’m going to use this opportunity to see what Braun has finally. Rumors have been rampant that WWE has wanted to give him a monster heel push and there’s no better time than right now. I won’t push him to the moon immediately, but if within a year I can make him a main event player, then this was a very successful pick.

(John: To Kurt’s credit, he’s got Cass and Strowman. They’re two big guys that can be stars down the road. It’s a risk worth taking.)

28) Raw (JC): Apollo Crews – He has a lot of potential. How can we tap into that? I’m not sure if giving him a manager would work or pairing him with a veteran, but he’s such a good athlete that he would have to be considered a good investment. I think feuding him with Rusev fairly soon would work well.

29) Raw (JC): Paige – She needs some consistency. Is she a face or a heel? I think heel is the best role for her. I think she’s got a bright future because she’s in her early 20s and she started so early in her career that she’s a veteran too. Did you know it was her house?

30) Smackdown (KZ): Bayley – So I have the current Women’s Champion, but I’ve just watched her best three potential opponents all go to Raw. I need a credible opponent for her before she’s just left out on an island on my brand. Bayley is clearly the woman for the job. She’s the yin to Charlotte’s yang and brings yet another highly popular character to my brand. More popularity means more eyes on the product, more ticket sales, and more merchandise sales.

(John: I would have loved to pick Bayley at any point. I just wanted those three other NXT picks badly.)

31) Raw (JC): Neville – Like his potential a lot. A very talented in-ring performer with a bright future. I think he’s naturally a babyface. Maybe find a partner for him because he may not be able to ascend too far in singles with this group.

32) Smackdown (KZ): Breezango (Tyler Breeze & Fandango) – A wild card pick for the tag division. I need a top heel team to counter New Day and Enzo/Cass. The Dudleys may be the most obvious choice, and The Vaudevillians may be the more popular choice here, but I love the potential in Breezango. With dedicated attention to them, I will get them established and make them a team people want to hate instead of a team that makes people turn the channel. Highly entertaining if given the right material.

33) Raw (JC): The Usos (Jimmy & Jey) – I would turn them heel pretty quickly. The face act has gotten stale. Give them an edge and they can be a viable team long term.

34) Raw (JC): Sheamus – A solid veteran that can feud with many different people. I think some of the things he does in terms of poses and catchphrases are too cheesy, but if you worked on him as more of a serious brawler it would work. Face or heel, he still has a lot of value.

35) Smackdown (KZ): Alberto Del Rio – Maybe my best pick of the draft, just based on where I’m picking. I love Del Rio’s work and think he’s highly underrated and underutilized after his return to the roster. I’m going to surprise some people and turn Del Rio face. He’s already an established character that can be in the title picture if necessary, but I can put him against the likes of a heel Reigns or a heel Balor or even a younger guy like Strowman, and I know he’s going to deliver. Again though, versatility here. If I need to keep him heel or turn him back heel later on, I can.

36) Raw (JC): Darren Young with Bob Backlund – I like Young’s potential a lot. Backlund makes me laugh as an over the top manager too. He may slot in as a tag wrestler, but giving him a shot in singles is an option too.

(Kurt: Another pick that hurts. It was between Del Rio and Young for me. I thought I’d be able to get Young later.)

37) Smackdown (KZ): Chris Jericho – Another pick that’s hard for me to pass up this late in the draft. He’s said it himself, his current heel run is one of the best of his career, and I would tend to agree. He may be a “old-timer” and he probably isn’t full-time after 2017 hits, but I can use him to make my brand better for the rest of the year, and when he goes back to Fozzy, he’ll have left Smackdown better than it was when he was drafted.

(John: I’m a huge Jerichoholic. I just think at 45 years of age he doesn’t have many years left, so I’d rather pick younger performers.)

38) Raw (JC): Kalisto – Good performer. Stale gimmick. Obviously he’s going to be a masked wrestler for the majority of his career, but they need to do more with him. As a worker, he’s outstanding.

39) Raw (JC): Jack Swagger – I mentioned earlier that I think he’d work well as a heel ally of Dolph Ziggler. He’s a big guy that’s pretty good in the ring. There has to be a use for a guy like that.

40) Smackdown (KZ): Titus O’Neil – I need another strong mid-card babyface, just a level below what I want to get out of Ryder, and I get that here with Titus. His charity work deserves a spotlight, which I’ll give him on the brand, and he’s got a lot of untapped potential. With the heels I have on my roster, I can really make Titus look good.

41) Raw (JC): The Vaudevillains (Aiden English & Simon Gotch) – I’m a fan of these guys. I just think their gimmick could use a tweak in a way to make them a bit more relevant. I also look at English as a guy that could break out as a singles star in the near future as well.

42) Smackdown (KZ): Dana Brooke – I almost took Summer Rae here, as I love everything about her, but I don’t want to leave Dana stranded a second time already with Emma getting hurt and then potential getting broken up from Charlotte. I’m not quite sure Dana was ready to be brought up to the main roster, but I understood it with the partnership with Emma. She’s good in her role with Charlotte, and it will continue to give her the opportunity to develop at her own pace.

43) Raw (JC): Baron Corbin – I doubt he goes this low in the WWE draft because he’s a future main eventer in their eyes. I’m not sure if he is. Yes, he’s a big guy that throws a good punch and has a look that can get him far, but character wise he doesn’t stand out at all. Give him a manager. Maybe he could succeed more in that way.

44) Raw (JC): Summer Rae – I like her as a heel women’s wrestler. Maybe pair her with Natalya so that she can learn from her. Summer has a lot of potential.

45) Smackdown (KZ): Dudley Boyz (Bubba Ray & D-Von) – I was hoping after taking a flyer on Breezango, that I’d still get a chance at either The Vaudevillians or The Dudleys. Since Raw got The Vaudevillians, I’m happy to take an established name like The Dudleys. It’s not hard to get them hot again and erase the jobber label they’ve been given of late. Don’t be surprised if at some point, I break them up and let Bubba get a “Bully Ray” run. He deserves to have that character on a bigger scale.

46) Raw (JC): Bo Dallas – I broke up the Social Outcasts! Deal with it. I singled Bo out from the group because I think back to that NXT character of his and how great he was as a sarcastic jerk. He could thrive as a heel as long as he’s built up well. Getting away from the Social Outcasts would be good for him. Plus, I drafted his brother Bray Wyatt earlier. Some kind of Bray and Bo alliance could work well for both of them.

(Kurt: Interesting choice. I had full intentions of drafting The Social Outcasts late, just to get another 3 for 1 pick.)

47) Smackdown (KZ): Demon Kane – The “old and big 3” of Kane, Show, & Henry have to go at some point. Out of the three, Kane is arguably the most popular. What is not arguable though, is the fact he’s the most healthy of the three. I’ll keep him as a babyface for now, probably use him to help get Strowman over, but he’s a name value I can put on Live Event shows even if I have nothing for him. Which is exactly what WWE is doing now anyways.

48) Raw (JC): Big Show – Since Kurt picked one old, tall guy in his 40s I got the other one. What I’d do with Show is ask him when he’s going to retire. I’d turn him heel, keep him in that role for two years (if he has that much time left) and turn him face only when he wants to retire. Just give him some consistency.

49) Raw (JC): Erick Rowan – I promise you he won’t feud with Big Show like that awful feud a couple years ago. Rowan’s a solid big guy that is getting better. When Luke Harper comes back, I’d put him with Rowan again and build them as a top team.

50) Smackdown (KZ): Heath Slater & Curtis Axel – With the surprising pick of Bo Dallas, I might as well get me another tag team that I can use in any situation. I really think both have singles potential and my ultimate goal is for them to realize that potential. For now though, I can keep them in the role they have now and they still have value to me.

51) Raw (JC): The Ascension (Konnor & Viktor) – If booked right, they can be a viable team. I really just picked them for some tag team depth. Perhaps the brand split will motivate them.

52) Smackdown (KZ): Eva Marie – Yes, I drafted her before Naomi and Foxy. You can spew your venom to me at @FriscoKTank on Twitter. If you’re a reader of my NXT Spotlight, you know how much I love Eva and how much I feel she’s improved. She’s got the confidence and she’s instant heel heat. I want people on my roster, whether male or female, that people pay to see get beat up. That’s pro wrestling in a nutshell. I’ll put her on the road full time and can get her against the likes of Bayley on Live Events and continue her growth.

53) Raw (JC): Naomi – I think she has been miscast as a heel. She’s much more valuable as a face performer. She could be a champion in the women’s division.

54) Raw (JC): Shining Stars (Primo & Epico) – Let’s go to Puerto Rico. Have you heard that it’s the shining star of the Caribbean? I’ve heard it a few times.

55) Smackdown (KZ): Golden Truth (Goldust & R-Truth) – I draft this team with the plan to give them another two months of vignettes to help get them established. I kid. Nothing wrong with this pick on my second to last pick. I’ll use the word one last time, versatility with this pick as I can use them as single stars if I need it, or they can be a good opening match team to get the crowds hot as they’re both pros at that.

56) Raw (JC): Alicia Fox – More depth for the women’s division. She’s been in WWE for a decade even though it doesn’t feel like she’s old. I think she’d work well as a face or a heel.

57) Smackdown (KZ): Nia Jax – Thankfully with the rule of three NXT picks a piece, I had my ace up my sleeve to save until my final pick. Instead of making it a throwaway pick, I make a pick that can make an instant impact. Again, if you’re familiar with my NXT Spotlight, you know i’m a huge fan of Nia Jax. It’s unfortunate that she ultimately came up short in her attempts at the NXT Women’s Title, but she proved time and time again, in big match situations, she was ready to go. My women’s division is not very deep and I have three heels to only one face. So in a huge surprise to make my last pick even more meaningful, I will have Nia turn face. People will LOVE to see her beat up Charlotte and Eva Marie. I don’t have to make her best friends with Bayley, but I can easily establish a mutual respect dating back to their battles on NXT, which will explain them teaming up if needed.

58) Raw (JC): Sin Cara – He should have been picked higher, but he’s a stale character. Solid in-ring performer that could still team with Kalisto if I wanted to add depth there.

59) Raw (JC): Mark Henry – Somebody gonna get their ass kicked. Somebody has to be the last pick. I think he’s retiring very soon, so that’s why he’s the last pick.

Those are all the names on WWE’s list they provided us on Sunday night.

 

John’s Raw Roster Analysis

John’s Raw Roster
Seth Rollins
Kevin Owens
AJ Styles
Shinsuke Nakamura
Sami Zayn
Cesaro
Rusev with Lana
Samoa Joe
John Cena
Bray Wyatt
Dolph Ziggler
Apollo Crews
Neville
Sheamus
Darren Young w/Backlund
Kalisto
Jack Swagger
Baron Corbin
Bo Dallas
Big Show
Erick Rowan
Sin Cara
Mark Henry
 Tag Teams
American Alpha (Jordan & Gable)
Gallows & Anderson
The Usos (Jimmy & Jey)
The Vaudevillains (Aiden English & Simon Gotch)
The Ascension (Konnor & Viktor)
Shining Stars (Primo & Epico)
 Women Wrestlers
Sasha Banks
Natalya
Becky Lynch
Paige
Summer Rae
Naomi
Alicia Fox

 

In terms of in-ring performers, I feel like my roster blows Smackdown away. Guys like Rollins, Styles, Cesaro, Owens, Zayn, Nakamura, Joe, Ziggler, Neville and even John Cena are among the best in-ring performers in the company. The quality of matches up and down the roster would be at an extremely high level. It would be something where fresh and great matches are happening every week on Raw while every PPV delivers something memorable as well.

I feel like Cena was picked at a spot where he gives me tremendous value. If you look at big angles in the wrestling business in the last decade, a lot of them center around Cena whether it was the CM Punk “pipebomb” or The Nexus attacking him, it was more important because it was Cena. The Rock’s comeback in 2011 was huge because of Cena. Lesnar’s return in 2012 was massive because he dropped Cena. AJ Styles turning heel recently was big because it was against Cena. As he gets older, he still retains that value and he can be used in a way where he isn’t dominating the main event picture.

There are a lack of titles on my show. The only champion I have Rusev as the United States Champion. Since WWE is likely going to introduce another WWE Title, I’m going to put that on Owens right away. I also think they’ll bring in a second Women’s Title and second Tag Team Titles, so that’s part of my decision making as well. Those are things that can be added down the road.

I think the women’s division on my show is clearly better than Smackdown too. Extra picks help, obviously. In terms of the tag team division, we’re pretty even. He has more teams that could be broken up whereas the teams on my show are more likely to stay together. Plus, I have ideas to pair people up that aren’t doing anything right now because I think a strong tag division is key.

I’m very happy with how the roster turned out. No complaints here.

 

brock lesnar roman reigns f5

Kurt’s Smackdown Roster Analysis

Kurt’s Smackdown Roster
Dean Ambrose
Brock Lesnar
Finn Balor
Randy Orton
The Miz with Maryse
Roman Reigns
Zack Ryder
Braun Strowman
Alberto Del Rio
Chris Jericho
Titus O’Neil
Demon Kane
 Tag Teams
New Day (Big E, Kofi Kingston, Xavier Woods)
Enzo & Cass
Breezango (Tyler Breeze & Fandango)
Dudley Boyz (Bubba Ray & D’Von)
Social Outcasts (Curtis Axel & Heath Slater)
Golden Truth (Goldust & R-Truth)
 Women Wrestlers
Charlotte
Bayley
Dana Brooke
Eva Marie
Nia Jax

 

I’m shocked at how happy I am with my roster, considering I didn’t end up with cornerstone type superstars like Owens, AJ, & Cesaro. Despite missing out on some real blue chippers, I was still able to execute my plan to perfection and hit on all three goals I established at the beginning.

I’m good on star power as Ambrose, Orton, Reigns, & Balor can carry the top of my card, and then I’ve got Lesnar to bring in as needed. That’s a great luxury to have. I have versatility as the likes of Balor, Reigns, Del Rio, Orton, even The Dudleys and Jericho if I get desperate, can be turned heel or face as needed. I also have versatility in the likes of The New Day, where I can get a singles run out of any of the three as needed. They are the ultimate plug and play group and that really helps round out my roster. I also accomplished value on every pick as every tag team I picked has breakout star potential and when broken up will still have as much, if not more, value to my brand. I’m really excited about the overall potential on this show and I think I have something for everyone.

The only glaring weakness I see is my women’s division. Clearly Raw out drafted me there. Part of it was my own doing, but I also didn’t see Raw having that run of Nattie, Paige, & Becky in 3 out of 4 picks. I only have two babyfaces, and only one of those is established. Maryse is an option if she wants to get back in the ring, but that’s another heel. It’ll be important for Smackdown to bring in a surprise or two, such as a Mickie James or Kaitlyn, to help offset this weakness. Overall though, I’m very excited about what Smackdown would bring to Tuesday nights with this group.

 

Closing Time

John: How did we do? I’m not going to stick up a poll or anything like that because when one show has significantly more people than the other it’s not that fair to compare them. I just want you think about how we did based on hte rules given to us by WWE.

Feel free to comment on the article below. You can also comment on Facebook, Twitter or email.

Kurt’s email address is [email protected] or you can hit him up on Twitter @FriscoKTank as well.

John’s email address is [email protected] or contact me on Twitter @johnreport as well.

Thanks for reading!