The WWE draft and what it says about the brand split

Recapping Tuesday's WWE draft and what it means for both weekly shows.

The WWE draft came and went Tuesday night. While much of it went as expected, there were a few things that raised eyebrows among the WWE Universe.

Things started off as expected, with Rollins going to RAW, and Dean Ambrose becoming Smackdown's first pick.

However, from there it didn't quite go as people expected. Many thought RAW would become the home for the bigger shows, while Smackdown became the home for the younger up-and-coming stars. However, it went in almost the opposite direction.

While Smackdown got AJ Styles, they followed it up with John Cena and Randy Orton, while RAW ended up getting Charlotte and Sasha Banks for the women, The New Day and Enzo and Cass for the tag division, plus the likes of Kevin Owens, Cesaro and Sami Zayn. Plus, they made the biggest NXT pick, taking Finn Balor (who it seems may pair with Gallows and Anderson, who were also drafted to RAW).

Other than Cena, most of the biggest draws ended up on RAW, which is not the best sign if they wanted to make the brands somewhat equal. Even if you assume the tag and women's champions will be floating, most of the top competitors are on RAW, seemingly making it the dominant brand.

This isn't the death-knell to Smackdown that some people are making it out to be, but it is disappointing when it seemed like they might try to position Smackdown as close to an equal to RAW.

The other surprise came with the NXT picks. Six NXT picks were made, and while, as predicted, Finn Balor and American Alpha were selected, Bayley was not. This doesn't mean that Bayley won't be coming up soon, but it caught some people by surprise, especially with Sasha having a mystery partner on Sunday at Battleground.

The other NXT picks made were Nia Jax, Alexa Bliss, Carmella, and University of Maryland's own Mojo Rawley. The one thing I really liked here was Finn Balor being the 5th overall pick in the draft. While overall, the order of the picks didn't seem to matter, having Balor be picked in the first wave of picks was important to make people realize that he's a legitimate player immediately.

As with any draft, in any sport, it's impossible to say what will happen. With good writing, Smackdown could end up being just as good as RAW, if not better. We'll just have to wait and see.

The full draft picks:

RAW

Seth Rollins
Charlotte
Finn Balor
Roman Reigns
Brock Lesnar
The New Day
Sami Zayn
Sasha Banks
Chris Jericho
Rusev
Kevin Owens
Enzo and Cass
Gallows and Anderson
The Big Show
Nia Jax
Neville
Cesaro
Sheamus
The Golden Truth
Titus O'Neal
Paige
Darren Young
Sin Cara
Jack Swagger
The Dudley Boyz
Summer Rae
Mark Henry
Braun Strowman
Bo Dallas
The Shining Stars
Alicia Fox
Dana Brooke
Curtis Axel

Smackdown

Dean Ambrose
AJ Styles
John Cena
Randy Orton
Bray Wyatt
Becky Lynch
The Miz
Baron Corbin
American Alpha
Dolph Ziggler
Natalya
Alberto Del Rio
The Usos
Kane
Kalisto
Naomi
The Ascension
Zack Ryder
Apollo Crews
Alexa Bliss
Breezango
Eva Marie
The Vaudevillains
Erick Rowan
Mojo Rawley
Carmella

 

Questions? Thoughts? Leave them in the comment section here, email me, or find me on Twitter: @TheAOster. You can also hear my podcast, Jobbing Out, at https://soundcloud.com/jobbingout

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