WWE Reveals Rules for Smackdown Live Draft
WWE has unveiled the rules for the Smackdown Live Draft coming this Tuesday night on USA Network. And these new rules are probably going to result in some interesting, and potentially controversial, draft picks for 2016.
According to WWE.com, these are the rules for the Draft:
RAW has the first overall pick
Since SmackDown Live is a two-hour show and RAW is three hours, for every two picks SmackDown Live receives, RAW will receive three picks
Tag Teams count as one pick unless a Commissioner/General Manager specifically only wants one member of the team
Six draft picks will be made off the NXT roster
On the one hand, this throws Smackdown under the bus by once again reiterating that it’s the B-brand, which runs contrary to the entire purpose of holding the Draft on Smackdown in the first place, since WWE reportedly wanted both shows to appear equal as a means of strengthening ratings for the Tuesday show. On the other hand, with three hours to fill, it does make sense why Raw would get more picks than Smackdown, considering the amount of time they need to fill each week.
As for tag teams, this pretty much verifies that a major babyface tag team is getting split. The only question is whether it’s The New Day or, say, Enzo and Big Cass. I could easily see a scenario where Big Cass is drafted, but Stephanie McMahon decides she only wants Cass. I could envision a similar scenario where Stephanie or Shane only wants Kofi and Big E, but Xavier Woods gets left behind. I think either move would be a huge mistake. Enzo and Cass are a hot act, and their strengths are as a team rather than as singles acts. Even having Enzo as a mouthpiece for Cass would be better than splitting them up. They can get a dead crowd going, or they can be a hot opener for a pay-per-view. You could say the same for The New Day. I’m hoping if any team gets split, it’s the Dudleys or The Usos, two relatively stale teams who could use new singles gimmicks.
With the NXT draftees, I think they’re going to need to leave some major stars down in Florida to keep the brand afloat, so I wouldn’t expect Shinsuke Nakamura or Samoa Joe to be drafted just yet. But I could easily see the six NXT picks being Finn Balor, American Alpha, Nia Jax, Tye Dillinger, Hideo Itami and Alexa Bliss. I think Bayley will be left behind to help anchor the women’s division in NXT, whereas Nia Jax has the family connection with The Rock, and Alexa Bliss has the look. Tye Dillinger could be a hot opening act, and Hideo Itami is long overdue for a call-up now that he’s ready to return from injury. And Finn Balor and American Alpha are total no-brainers.
But what do you think of the Draft rules? Who will go to which brand? Sound off in the comments!
And for more WWE news, check out the spoilers for the quarterfinal matches in the WWE Cruiserweight Classic!