Predictions For The Upcoming Draft
It’s draft season again in WWE, and it’s so good that we don’t have to call it the Superstar Shakeup anymore. I always hated that name and now it’s finally dead (just like the wildcard rule) and I am so happy about it. Drafts are always fun, no matter what sport. Fans sit and wonder who their team (or in this case show) will pick, and so many outlets release mock drafts and offer their opinions on things. There is also the added fact that one pick could help turn a whole team around and we are getting all of that with the WWE Draft starting on Friday. So, I figured why don’t I take a crack at predicting the picks for the draft. Now according to WWE, Dolph Ziggler and Rusev are currently on Smackdown’s roster, while The Revival and Brock Lesnar are members of Raw’s. For the purposes of this list, I’m considering both Ziggler and Rusev to already be on the Raw roster, and both Revival and Lesnar are on Smackdown’s. I mean Ziggler is a champion for Raw and Rusev is in a prominent feud on Raw, while Revival and Lesnar are both champions on Smackdown.
Daniel Bryan TO RAW
Even though Raw is now the ‘B Show’, they still need big names on the show. The likes of Seth Rollins, Bray Wyatt and AJ Styles I think will be staying on the red brand, and I think that Daniel Bryan will be going to join them. There isn’t much for him to do on Smackdown anymore. His heel run as WWE Champion was fantastic, but after the whole Whodunit debacle with Roman Reigns, Bryan needs a fresh start, and he can find that on Raw. The last time we saw Bryan as a member of the Raw roster, we saw the birth of the Yes Movement and won the WWE World Heavyweight Champion. While we might not see another instance of the ring being swarmed on all sides by fans in Yes shirts, it would be a nice change of pace for Bryan. Plus the thought of Bryan, Styles and Rollins being on the same show is too good to pass up.
Rey Mysterio TO Smackdown
This pick is two fold. Rey Mysterio is the only member of the original Smackdown Six that still wrestles for the WWE. It always felt wrong when Mysterio would leave the blue brand, and he never seemed to be able to reach the same heights on Raw that he could on Smackdown. As a member of Smackdown, Mysterio won two World Heavyweight Championships, multiple Intercontinental Championships, and a few Tag Team Championships, while on Raw he was WWE Champion for about two hours and that was about it. The other factor is that Smackdown is going to a big time channel with Fox, and one of the goals that Fox may have is bringing older fans back into the sport, and seeing Mysterio on the show would be one way of doing that.
Randy Orton TO RAW
While there are many young wrestlers on the current roster, Randy Orton is not one of those wrestlers. Orton has a lot more of his career behind him than he does ahead of him. Orton has even said that he is willing to sit out of tours, and let younger wrestlers get the chance to shine. Orton going to Raw is another instance of Raw still needing names despite being the ‘B Show’. While Orton is in the twilight of his career, there is still so much that he can offer on Raw. He can be the veteran that gives guidance and helps the younger members of the roster. I wouldn’t even be against Orton getting another run at the top of the card, and get his 14th world championship reign.
Samoa Joe TO Smackdown
I think that Samoa Joe is someone that just screams Smackdown through and through. He is such a great wrestler that it feels weird when he is on the Raw roster. Joe is someone that has been a pro wrestler for such a long time, and fans had such high expectations for him when he finally came to WWE. He reached that in NXT, where he was a two time NXT Champion, but he hasn’t been able to reach the same level of success since coming up to the main roster. He’s had multiple world championship opportunities, but has never been able to finish the job. He’s only had two United States Championship reigns, and they were both nothing special. Joe fits in perfectly on Smackdown, whether in the main event with Roman Reigns and Brock Lesnar, or the midcard with Ali, Shinsuke Nakamura, and all the talent there. He just needs to start winning and it will help re-establish Joe as one of the big names in WWE.
Aleister Black TO RAW
Aleister Black going to Raw might come as a bit of a surprise, but maybe one of the backstage personnel for Raw has the key to get Black out of whatever broom closet he gets locked in every week. It’s been rumored that Black is a Paul Heyman guy, so it is also a move that makes sense in that aspect. I think that Black can work in both the main event and midcard scene, but this also allows for a reunion of a team that shouldn’t have been broken up. It would reunite Black and Ricochet, and with the Raw tag team division is in need of good teams. With all the options for Black on Raw, the move makes sense. Plus, it allows for him to get more in ring action than just backstage promos which is always a plus when we get to see Black wrestle.
Sami Zayn TO Smackdown
The fact that Sami Zayn isn’t already on the Smackdown roster is very annoying to me. He is one of the best wrestlers in the world, but he has been so horribly booked since his call up, and he has never really recovered. I think that the bit with him being Shinsuke Nakamura’s manager is really annoying, but if it results in Zayn finally breaking through to win his first championship on the main roster, then I am all for it. Zayn is someone that just has not been able to get anything going for his time on the main roster, whether that is due to crap storylines or injury woes. With the new Fox deal and a need to create new stars, it’s the perfect time for them to re-establish Zayn as someone who you can become a star in the company.
Apollo Crews TO RAW
You all know what I’m about to say here, but it’s the truth. Apollo Crews is such a talented wrestler that is just sitting in the back doing nothing at all. If he can’t get time on Smackdown, then maybe a move to Raw would be what gives Crews the chance to shine. Raw’s biggest issue right now is there midcard division. They have AJ Styles as the United States Champion for a reason. He is someone that should be in the main event scene, but with no real big names in the midcard, Styles was the best choice to be that champion. Whoever gets put in a program with him does get a good rub and people become fans of that wrestler. Look at what it’s done for Cedric Alexander and Ricochet, if that can happen for them then the same thing could happen to Crews. Hell, someone has to take the title off of Styles, so why not Crews. You can make him an instant star and build the midcard around someone with the skill set that Crews has.
EC3 TO Smackdown
While there may still be time to save Sami Zayn’s career with Smackdown’s prior pick, the same might not be able to be said about EC3. While Zayn has still been involved in storylines, EC3 hasn’t had a story since he debuted against the then Dean Ambrose. He’s made very few actual appearances on TV, and when he shows up on television, it’s either to job to someone else, or to be in 24/7 Championship skits. One way to help build EC3 back up is to put him on a new brand. In between stints with the WWE, EC3 made a name for himself in Impact Wrestling and became one of the best wrestlers for the promotion at the time. A move to Smackdown could be just what the doctor ordered for EC3. There is no real established midcard on Smackdown currently outside of Nakamura and Ali. Let’s move EC3 to Smackdown and let's actually see him win and develop a character, and see where it goes.
Cesaro TO Smackdown
I don’t know how to feel about Cesaro’s booking since he and Sheamus were split with no real reason being given as to why they split. Hell, to this point in his career, the only consistent booking that Cesaro has was his time with the Bar. So that is why I have him going to Smackdown, to reunite him with Sheamus. While it would be nice to see a reunion of The Bar, that isn’t really the main reason that I have Cesaro being moved to the blue brand. As you’ll see later in my draft predictions, the Smackdown Tag Team division is going to be stacked from top to bottom. So I say, Cesaro turns on Sheamus on night one of The Bar reunion, and Sheamus goes on to win the final title that has eluded him for his entire career, the Intercontinental Championship. Then he drops the title to Cesaro and we see the rise of a dominant heel Cesaro character that we have all been clamoring to see for a long time.
Matt Hardy TO RAW
The Hardy’s are a tough subject when it comes to their career at this stage. Matt on the other hand is like a few other people in this article and just sitting backstage, doing nothing. He had the run of his life in Impact with the Broken Matt Hardy gimmick, and to be fair a lot of the Woken Matt stuff was actually pretty well done. Since Jeff Hardy dropped the tag team championships, there hasn’t been much for him to do and we haven’t seen him since he and Jeff were attacked by Lars Sullivan. Matt doesn’t have much time left on his contract with WWE, as I believe his contract is up in early 2020. If the WWE hopes to keep one of their legends that can still put on a good match, it’s time for him to have meaningful storylines and actually have matches. With Smackdown being more of a sports oriented program moving forward, Raw would be the perfect fit for Matt, as his character work has been phenomenal in recent years. Hopefully we get to see the return of Matt Hardy and he is able to really boost up the midcard division for Raw.
Cedric Alexander TO Smackdown
At first, this one was kind of hard to justify in my head. If Cedric Alexander moves to Raw, then that is all three cruiserweights on the same show, with Ali and Buddy Murphy still being on the blue brand. At first I thought a stable could form and we could see some great things from all three, but I don’t know how well that would be received. Recently Alexander has been working the midcard division of Raw, and has had a few shots at the United States Championship, but was unable to wrestle the title away from Styles. A move to Smackdown and a feud with Nakamura would be the best case scenario, but a build to that point is a route that I would prefer. However, then I got to thinking about how bad of a state that the tag team division is on Smackdown, as there are only two legit teams (Revival and New Day) and nobody else. A team with Cedric Alexander could help, and his old friend from 205 Live in Ali currently has nothing to do, so what if we made them a tag team. While singles stars being put together to form a tag team is always a little disliked, the history and friendship between Ali and Alexander is something that could work wonders for both of them.
Buddy Murphy TO RAW
Well this does solve the point made in Cedric Alexander’s piece. Also, with the rumor of Murphy being a Paul Heyman guy, it seems like a move to Raw is just natural for him at this point. Murphy has had a forgettable time on Smackdown to say the least. He had a match with Roman Reigns after being accused of the one attacking him, he then had a match with Daniel Bryan where he actually pinned Bryan. After that he lost in the first round of the King of the Ring Tournament to Ali. Murphy is, like many of the entries in the list before him, there to add much needed depth to the midcard division. Murphy’s skill set would add something to the division as well. He is someone that has a high flying ability, but very rarely uses it, as he is more reliant on his power and in ring technique. Murphy fits in perfectly with the Raw midcard scene, as he comes across as someone that is a legitimate threat to anyone in that division.
Sasha Banks TO Smackdown
I genuinely don’t know how I feel about the return of Sasha Banks after suffering two straight unsuccessful attempts to win the Raw Women’s Championship from Becky Lynch. When she returned she was pushed straight to the title picture, literally everyone thought that Banks would win the championship from Lynch. Now having failed to win the championship in two straight matches, it makes me wonder what is next for Banks. I think that Banks now needs a change of scenery, which means a move to Smackdown. All of Banks championship success has been as a member of the Raw roster. With Charlotte Flair running the women’s division, which a lot of us are starting to get tired of, she needs new challengers or challengers she hasn’t faced in quite some time, like Banks. Now with Banks moving to Smackdown, and Bayley already being on Smackdown, you would think that a Boss and Hug Connection reunion to be the case, right?
Bayley TO RAW
Absolutely not. Bayley and Banks are both to big of names to be in the women’s tag team division. Both are multi time Women’s Champions, and don’t need to be in that division. That argument can be made for both Asuka and Alexa Bliss, but with how few women tag teams there are, and the fact that Twisted Bliss and Kabuki Warriors have been teams for some time now, a Boss and Hug Connection reunion is not needed. But, man what changed for Bayley when she got called up to the main roster? In NXT she was putting on five star matches and had great rivalries, but with the main roster her most memorable feuds have all seen her come out on the losing end of the feud. Bayley also seems to be developing the Sting complex as she is a lot more fun to watch her chase the champion than her being champion. If she does make the move to Raw, then it’ll be interesting to see her chase Becky Lynch for the Raw Women’s Championship.
Ruby Riott TO Smackdown
It’s been roughly 6 months since Ruby Riott underwent bilateral shoulder surgery, and while I’m no doctor a google search says that the recovery time from that surgery is roughly six to nine months. If Riott has John Cena like recovery time, then we could see her back as early as Friday. But if not then we’ll see her in January at the earliest, but that's the timeframe for her return, October to January. When Riott returns, I think she belongs on Smackdown and should be built as the third star for that show. She is someone that has all the tools needed to succeed in WWE. She is a good promo, she is a great wrestler, and the ability to just go with anyone in the ring. I’ve been saying this since her time in NXT, that she should be a big star if handled properly. Charlotte is going to be the face of the division, Banks is going to be the top heel of the division, and Riott is the up and coming wrestler that has the potential to be better than both of them. Also, with Riott moving to Smackdown, that could mean a little bit of a reunion of the Riott Squad right?
Liv Morgan TO RAW
Well, technically it does, as Morgan and Sarah Logan could be reunited once again at least.. Liv has been greatly underutilized in her time on Smackdown and that needs to be addressed sooner rather than later. It’s been rumored for quite a while that Liv was going to be getting a new character, and on draft night, it would be the perfect time for Liv to debut that character. With Charlotte, Banks and Riott being on the Smackdown roster, Raw would need a third for their women’s division after Becky and Bayley. Morgan has always been someone that has been underutilized during her careers so far. A fresh start on a new women’s roster as a singles wrestler can be exactly what Morgan needs to succeed.
Kabuki Warriors TO RAW
The women’s tag team division has been so hit and miss in it’s first year. I think a shake up of the entire division is needed, and no better place to start than the top of the division. The Kabuki Warriors hadn’t been seen on Smackdown since their manager, Paige, had to take some time off due to neck surgery. Now, suddenly they are tag team champions and Kairi Sane has pinned Becky Lynch. I think a move to Raw would help them a lot, simply because they haven’t been doing anything for such a long time that a move almost feels like it’s needed to help give both their careers the jumpstart that they need.
Alexa Bliss & Nikki Cross TO Smackdown
To me, Alexa Bliss is someone that seems like a Raw superstar through and through, and Nikki Cross is a Smackdown superstar. I like them teaming together, so lets keep that going. Now, with the Kabuki Warriors going to Raw, you would think that that means that I think that Bliss and Cross won’t be able to be in the title scene, not so. I think that along with the 24/7 Championship, the Women’s Tag Team Championships will still be cross brand titles. Plus you add in the fact that both Bliss and Cross are exceptional singles wrestlers as well and bring some much needed depth for the women’s division.
The IIconics TO RAW
Originally I had Sonya Deville and Mandy Rose here, but the Iiconics moving to Raw makes a lot more sense. While Billie Kay and Peyton Royce are good wrestlers, their charater work really shines when given the chance. These two, even when they were champions, they still rarely got the chance to shine. A move to Raw would help them and give them a chance to show their skills both in the ring and as characters. More here
AOP TO Smackdown
We’ve seen the vignettes for a few weeks now, so I think it’s time that we see these guys return to the ring. The division that needs the most help is the Smackdown scene, and if they want an impactful return then a return on tomorrows Smackdown would be the best option. With the Revival as the current Smackdown Tag Team Champions, we could see one of the all time classic NXT tag team rivalries renewed. It’s also been awhile since there has been a dominant tag team on Smackdown, and A.O.P. can be just that. A dominant monster heel tag team that just cares about themselves and their titles.
The New Day TO RAW
While Kofi Kingston dropping the title in the way that he did it was very annoying and dissapointing, it signals to me that a move is happening for the New Day. Kofi, Big E and Xavier Woods have done all that they can on Smackdown, and it’s time for them to go to pastures new. Raw’s tag team division is in need of some teams, because outside of Viking Raiders and The OC there isn’t any real established teams. Big E and Woods are the perfect answer, and Kofi is someone that can fit into the singles division perfectly. With Rollins needing a new challenger, Kofi could fit that bill perfectly, especially with a possible heel turn on the way. After that debacle of a Hell in a Cell match, Rollins realy needs to do something different. A heel turn and Kofi being the one that he turns on is just what the doctor ordered, and get Kofi back on track in the main event scene.
The Ascension TO Smackdown
These guys had it all going for them in NXT. They were champions for one day short of a year, they even face Finn Balor and Hideo Itami at one of the first Takeover shows. Then they got called up to the main roster, and haven’t done anything noteworthy since. I think that these guys just need a chance to show what they can do. On a show that has had tag team issues, Ascention could thrive. After Revival and A.O.P, plus one more team to be shown later, Ascension could be a top four team on Smackdown. Konnor and Viktor are a team that should’ve been tag team champions at least once in their main roster careers by now, so hopefully this move can allow for them to become the threat that they were in NXT. I want to see what they can do to work themselves back into the ranks of top tag teams in wrestling. It could be a phoenix risig from the ashes of por booking.
Heavy Machinery TO RAW
I think that Otis and Tucker are two of the most underrated wrestlers in the WWE. Their character work has been so good recently, and they’ve been a focus on and off in the tag team scene since the early summer. With Smackdown being more of a sports oriented thing, then I think a move is needed. Also with this move they can continue to work with the New Day, and begin to work with The OC and the Viking Raiders. All three of them have so much experience and can be a wealth of knowledge for such a young team like Heavy Machinery. That knowledge can help Heavy Machinery get even better in their young careers. If they are this good right now in the early stages in their careers, their celing might be limitless.
The USOS TO Smackdown
To close these predictions out with a bang, it’s maybe the best tag team in the world right now. The Usos haven’t really done much in their time on Raw. They had a less than memorable feud with the Revival and that was it. Jimmy Uso was arrested for a DUI, and we haven’t seen them since. I want to see them return to Smackdown because they are such talented wrestlers, and they are the definition of sports with tag team pro wrestlnig. They also are maybe the best tag team draw in the world, and on such a major network like Fox, you know that they are going to want it. You can have them come in and immediatly be in the title picture and nobody would bat an eye. There move to Raw always kind of felt weird to me, as they seem like they are Smackdown through and through. It’s time for them to return home and possibly never have to leave it again.