Editors’ Choice: 10 WWE Draft moves we want to see
The WWE Draft is almost here. You’ve argued with your friends. You’ve debated on social media. You watched the Mock Draft on WWE’s The Bump. Now, we’re just hours from the landscape of WWE being altered forever.
Who will go to Raw on USA Network? Who will end up on FOX’s Friday Night SmackDown? We’ll find out beginning Friday at 8/7 C on FOX. However, the WWE.com staff has a few suggestions for the Draft that would make each brand must-see. Check them out below and let us know what you think!
The New Day to Raw
The New Day have been synonymous with the SmackDown brand for more than two years, but they were also the first-ever Raw Tag Team Champions. The titles were renamed following the 2016 WWE Brand Extension Draft during the trio’s record-setting 478-day title reign. Now, a return to Raw and its burgeoning tag team scene might be exactly what they need. Depending on how the draft shakes out, a move to the red brand could see The New Day tangle with the likes of reigning champions Dolph Ziggler & Robert Roode, The Viking Raiders or even challenge The O.C. for triad supremacy. – JORDAN GARRETSON
Braun Strowman to SmackDown
Braun Strowman is truly one of the most ferocious Superstars in WWE, a reputation he has cultivated with the help of his unique methods of all-out chaos on both the Raw and NXT brands. So, isn’t it only fitting that Friday Night SmackDown have their turn to get these hands?
Since nobody’s current place on the roster is safe with the coming 2019 WWE Draft, it’s hard to analyze potential matchups for The Monster Among Men. Nevertheless, after a long week toiling away at the office, is there a better way to kick off the weekend than with a Friday night full of roaring, dumpster throwing, ambulance tossing and all-out anarchy? – MIKE BURDICK
Daniel Bryan to Raw
Daniel Bryan has been very open for years about how he wants to be a SmackDown guy, and it’s not hard to imagine why the underdog wanted to attach himself to a brand that has historically fit a little too comfortably in the little-brother role next to Raw’s gilded war horse. But it’s safe to say he’s accomplished just about everything he can on SmackDown, having served in roles ranging from General Manager to comeback kid to righteously indignant environmental activist. (He even helped turn Talking Smack into what was, at one point, one of the most compelling shows in WWE’s vast slate of programming.)
It’s difficult to attribute success to any one thing in WWE, but as a major contributor to SmackDown’s reboot, it’s not a stretch to say that Bryan helped SmackDown became the kind of hot property that FOX sought to acquire. If the blue brand was ever an underdog, that time has gone, and now it’s Raw that suddenly finds itself in need of big-name workhorses to keep pace with the new hotness. Admittedly, this assessment doesn’t even touch on the tantalizing in-ring options that Team Red would bring for Daniel Bryan, but given that the Draft hasn’t happened yet, we technically don’t know where those are.
This Draft has been positioned by WWE commentators over the last two weeks as a battle of brand supremacy, but also, boardroom supremacy among two rival networks. In that case, the lessons of Bryan’s tenure at SmackDown make the decision clear. When it comes to elevating your product to the level of a top-dollar commodity, we can finally say that Daniel Bryan is best for business. – ANTHONY BENIGNO
Sasha Banks to SmackDown
Opinion: Sasha Banks is the best sports-entertainer breathing today.
Fact: Banks currently resides on Raw, where, for the past two months since her return, she has been at the center of conversation among the WWE Universe. The Boss has had all eyeballs pointed on her firmly thanks to her shift in demeanor, beating the crud out of Superstars with Bayley and putting on scorcher after scorcher in the ring, most recently inside Hell in a Cell against Becky Lynch.
Opinion: Banks will be even bigger if drafted to FOX’s Friday Night SmackDown. The blue brand’s arrival on network television will allow Banks to do two things: Raise her public profile due to all the new eyeballs now on her, but also direct those eyeballs to what she cares about most — proving that she is the absolute best wrestler on this planet. — RYAN PAPPOLLA
Shinsuke Nakamura to Raw
The King of Strong Style has been a defining SmackDown competitor since his post-NXT debut. The Intercontinental Champion had competed in more than 50 consecutive SmackDown matches before finally making his Raw debut in September as part of a Fatal 5-Way Match. With Nakamura yet to find a formidable challenger in his three-month reign as Intercontinental Champion, it might be time to switch over to the red brand in search of a rival that can properly counter his sweet in-ring poetry. Plus, with a move to Raw, Sami Zayn gets a whole new locker room to annoy, so consider that an added bonus. – BRAD ZAK
Seth Rollins to SmackDown
Back in 2016, representatives from Raw — Stephanie McMahon and Mick Foley — pegged Seth Rollins as the next face of the brand. He had been a champion and had created his share of unforgettable moments so far in his career, but McMahon and Foley thought he was just getting started.
In the three years since, The Architect turned into The Kingslayer and later The Beastslayer all while exceeding everyone’s expectations.
Since the 2016 draft, Rollins has won two Universal, two Intercontinental and four Raw Tag Team Championships. Quite simply, Rollins has done it all on Mondays. It’s time to burn it down on Friday Night SmackDown. — JEFF LABOON
Bayley to Raw
The last time we saw Bayley, she was in tears on the ringside floor after losing her SmackDown Women’s Championship to Charlotte Flair. Yeah… might be time for a change of scenery.
Bayley was on top of her game during her last tenure on the red brand, and it could only be a matter of time until The Hugger claims Becky Lynch’s Raw Women’s Championship. Her good friend Sasha Banks has already had a crack at The Man, so Bayley should be next up for a title fight. Plus, it was the red brand that gave Bayley a solo spotlight at WrestleMania and where she handed The Queen her first loss on pay-per-view at WWE Fastlane 2017.
Bayley’s future on SmackDown seems uncertain, especially with the dominant Flair standing atop the mountain as champion; Bayley’s future on Raw includes championship opportunities and the reformation of a powerful tandem should Banks remain on the brand. – JON CHIK
King Corbin to SmackDown
Who better to establish SmackDown’s superiority as a brand than a king?
Although Corbin might be focused on making the WWE Universe bend the knee, there’s no denying that the king is a dangerous competitor once the bell rings. In fact, it was on the blue brand where Corbin first made his name in WWE, becoming a United States Champion and Mr. Money in the Bank along the way. He became Acting General Manager, a Constable and a King while on the red brand, but perhaps joining Friday Night SmackDown will once again help Corbin find championship glory.
King Corbin has made it clear that he sees himself as above the rest of his fellow Superstars, so it’s only natural that the brand he calls home will be WWE’s supreme. – BOBBY MELOK
Aleister Black to Raw
Opportunity knocks in the WWE Draft, and Raw would be wise to rap on the door of Aleister Black. Impatiently waiting for fights week after week on SmackDown, The Dutch Destroyer has been largely unsatisfied with the competition as a blue brand Superstar, going so far as to come to Raw this past Monday night to battle and handily defeat The Singh Brothers in a 2-on-1 Handicap Match. With its three-hour format on USA Network, Black has ample opportunity to quench his thirst for combat against as many opponents as he wants. — JAMES WORTMAN
Alexa Bliss & Nikki Cross to SmackDown
Many in the WWE Universe figured that Alexa Bliss & Nikki Cross were going to be a short-lived tag team. However, The Goddess and The Twisted Sister have proven to be one of WWE’s most cohesive units, and they’d both be a smart grab for Team Blue in the WWE Draft.
Bliss & Cross quickly got on the same page and captured the WWE Women’s Tag Team Championship over the summer, establishing themselves as one of the ring’s top tandems and one of WWE’s most popular duos.
If they get picked up for FOX’s Friday night WWE showcase, Little Miss Bliss and her wild-eyed best friend might not only regain the WWE Women’s Tag Team Titles, but become America’s favorite team in the process. – BOBBY MELOK