Grading The 2019 WWE Draft

 

WWE Draft

The WWE draft is now complete. We are still waiting for the last few free-agent signings and any possible trades. Having said that, it is still worth looking at the rosters for Raw and Smackdown and figuring out which show is going to be the A show and which show is going to be the B show. The rosters can also tell us how Vince McMahon views the two shows. The rosters will also reveal why type of personality and style each of the shows will have going forward.

 

WWE Draft

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Men’s Singles Division

It appears that Smackdown got more Vince McMahon type wresters. Vince loves Roman, Brock, Strowman, and Corbin. Bray Wyatt is the kind of a gimmick that Vince loves. Elias and The Miz are classic WWE style wrestlers that Vince likes. The only non-Vince type wrestlers on Smackdown’s roster would be Daniel Bryan, Nakamura, Ali, and Gable.

I think that Vince feels like he gave Smackdown the superior male singles roster with Smackdown’s top five male wrestlers being Roman, Lesnar, The Fiend, Daniel Bryan, and Braun Strowman. That is a ton of star power. That beats what RAW counters for their top five in the form of Seth Rollins, Drew McIntyre, AJ Styles, Andrade, and Randy Orton.

Smackdown has more depth when it comes to top babyfaces and top heels. Roman, Bryan, and Strowman are three huge babyfaces. RAW has to rely on Seth Rollins, Ricochet, and Kevin Owens as its top three babyfaces. Smackdown definitely has the edge here.

Smackdown has Lesnar, The Fiend, and Nakamura as its top three heels. RAW has to rely on Drew McIntyre, Randy Orton, and Andrade for its top three heels. Again, Smackdown has the advantage.

This could be a real problem for RAW. I do not see Randy Orton being able to be a legit top three heel anymore. Andrade has potential, but WWE has never made him feel special. Drew McIntyre has a good look, but he has been jobbed out so much that he no longer has the credibility to be a top heel on RAW. WWE would need to seriously rebuild McIntyre’s character.

On the babyface side, RAW is in trouble. Seth Rollins is the show’s only legit top babyface. However, Rollins’ character has been badly damaged by his feud with The Fiend and has seriously cooled off. After Rollins, RAW does not have much. WWE has to build up Aleister Black and Ricochet in order to see if one of them can be a quality top babyface for the show. I would have said that Kevin Owens could be a top babyface on RAW, but his character was so badly butchered during the feud with Shane McMahon that I am afraid Owens’ character is broken beyond repair.

Smackdown’s male singles roster has seven babyfaces (assuming Bryan is a face) and five heels (assuming the Fiend stays heel). WWE can always turn a wrestler to even things up here. Raw’s male singles roster has ten babyfaces and ten heels. That is a well-balanced roster.

RAW appears to have better workers than Smackdown. The best workers for Smackdown would be Daniel Bryan and Ali. Nakamura could be a great worker but has shown an unwillingness to do anything more than the standard WWE match. On the other hand, the best workers for Raw include Seth Rollins, AJ Styles, Andrade, Ricochet, Kevin Owens, Cedric Alexander, Samoa Joe, Humberto Carillo, and Akira Tozawa.

It is clear that viewers who just want to see big names and big stars then Smackdown is the show for them. However, for viewers who want to see top-notch in-ring work then RAW is going to be for them. Personally, I am much more interested in the male singles wrestlers roster for RAW than I am for Smackdown.

Women’s Singles Division

When it comes to the Women’s Singles Division, RAW has the edge over Smackdown. Raw has Becky Lynch, Charlotte Flair, and Alexa Bliss. That is lots of star power. Add in Natalya who is good in the ring. That is a nice top four.

Smackdown has Sasha Banks and Bayley and that is about it. Lacey Evans is still green and not that good at all in the ring. Carmella is equally limited in the ring.

I am not sure of the babyface/heel split when it comes to the women’s division. The reason for that is because WWE is constantly flipping these female wrestlers from face to heel and back again on an almost weekly basis.

In RAW, we know that Becky is a babyface. I am guessing that Charlotte is turning heel. Again. Bliss and Cross? Hard to tell. Bliss was trending babyface but is normally heel. Cross is normally babyface. Liv Morgan is a heel.

Smackdown has three heels and one lone babyface in Carmella. Clearly, either more babyface free agents will be added or we will get a face turn by one of the above-mentioned heels. Smackdown has no big-name babyface in the women’s singles division and that is a huge problem. The only big names that Smackdown has are heels in Sasha Banks and Bayley. Which means one of them has to turn face. And since Bayley just debuted her new heel look and personality that means it would be Sasha who would turn face. The problem with that is we would then have to endure another Sasha/Bayley feud for the millionth time. And that is the last thing we need.

There is a real lack of depth in the women’s singles division. WWE simply does not have enough talent in the women’s singles division to have them split up among two shows. WWE should junk the RAW women’s championship belt and the Smackdown women’s championship belt and have just one single WWE women’s championship belt. WWE should then designate Smackdown as the home of their women’s singles division. That would provide enough depth to keep matches interesting and fresh.

Men’s Tag Team Division

This is an interesting comparison between RAW and Smackdown. At this point, RAW has fewer tag teams despite being the three-hour show. RAW’s big-name tag teams are the O.C. and the Viking Raiders. Smackdown’s premier tag teams are the New Day and the Revival. I think RAW and Smackdown are even in this division.

RAW has two babyface tag teams and one heel tag team. Smackdown has three babyface tag teams and two heel tag teams. RAW definitely needs more tag teams added to their roster. We know that the O.C. will be feuding with the Street Prophets. So, that leaves the RAW tag champs in the Viking Raiders left…..doing who knows what.

Much like the Women’s Singles Division, the Men’s Tag Team Division seriously lacks depth. This is no surprise given that Vince McMahon could care less about the tag teams and has done nothing to grow this division over the years. If WWE made Smackdown the home of the unified women’s championship and the entire Women’s Singles Division then WWE could make RAW the home for the Men’s Tag Team Division. WWE could junk the RAW tag team championship and the Smackdown tag team championship and just have one WWE tag team championship.

Women’s Tag Team Division

Raw has a single women’s tag team in the Kabuki Warriors. Smackdown has none. This is ridiculous. The Women’s Tag Team Division is non-existent. The Women’s Singles Division is so lacking in depth that it makes no sense at all to have a Women’s Tag Team Division. WWE should get rid of the Women’s Tag Team Championship and simply focus on trying to build a credible and deep Women’s Singles Division.

Overall: It is clear that Vince McMahon is going to be focused mainly on Smackdown as his new A show over on FOX. That means that Paul Heyman should be able to have fun with a large roster of talented athletes on RAW. At this point, I am more excited to see the wrestling on RAW than I am on Smackdown. But, it would not surprise me if Smackdown manages to start beating RAW in the ratings.

Of course, WWE may still have a few surprises in store for us. WWE is going to fill in both rosters with more free-agent signings. Then there are always the possibilities of some trades that could shake up the rosters even further. We shall see in the next few days.


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