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WWE October 2019 Draft Discussion

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WWE fans should soon be able to say goodbye to one of the product’s biggest nightmares: The Wild Card rule that has rendered the brand split completely pointless.

According to the Wrestling Observer Newsletter (h/t Cageside Seats), “The brand split will go back to being enforced in full after the first week of SmackDown on FOX.” Many fans have been patiently waiting for WWE to end the Wild Card rule ever since Sportskeeda’s Tom Colohue reported back in July that WWE would be “quietly wrapping up” the rule following SummerSlam. The rule was implemented back in April shortly after WrestleMania 35 because FOX and NBCUniversal officials were disappointed with WWE’s recent TV ratings slump, but it’s widely been considered to have had a negative effect on the quality of WWE programming.

The goal of the Wild Card rule–which was originally supposed to allow four stars to crossover from Raw to SmackDown and vice versa each week–was to give both main roster shows more star power, with the expectation being that this would result in a more consistent TV viewing audience. That really didn’t pan out, however, as WWE’s Q2 2019 Results reports still demonstrated drastic decreases in Raw and SmackDown ratings as well as the WWE Network subscriber count. Instead of the Wild Card rule paving the way for more entertaining rivalries, more dream matches and better storytelling, it ultimately became a convenient excuse for WWE to focus on even fewer stars at the top of the card.

After all, only a handful of stars benefited from the Wild Card rule—which even Universal Champion Seth Rollins admitted “muddled things up”—and the ones who did benefit from the change didn’t really need it.

The Wild Card rule, the requirements of which were quickly ignored by WWE, resulted in significantly more TV time for stars like Roman Reigns, Dolph Ziggler and Shane McMahon, which became “infuriating” to WWE’s own stars and to wrestling fans across the world as WWE wasted so many phenomenal talents due to the overall lack of time. Five hours for both Raw and SmackDown may sound like an eternity—and it can certainly feel like one when you’re watching both shows every week—but considering the sheer size of the roster, that, quite frankly, isn’t nearly as much time as you might think, especially when a select few stars are appearing on both shows week in and week out.

Rather than the Wild Card rule setting the stage for those highly anticipated dream matches WWE thought it would, it cast aside almost too many talented superstars to count. A number of those superstars—ranging from Liv Morgan to The Viking Warriors to Robert Roode to Ali—still can’t seem to break through that proverbial class ceiling while a slew of others—including Ricochet and Cedric Alexander—are only now being given the opportunity to have a consistent spot on TV. Even so, their roles aren’t as big as they would be if it wasn’t for top stars like Reigns and Kevin Owens consistently appearing on Raw and SmackDown each week during a period in which valuable TV time is difficult to come by.

There is a light at the end of the tunnel, though, as SmackDown’s move to FOX on October 4 essentially forces WWE to enforce the brand split once again, which it plans to do via another draft on the October 11 edition of SmackDown and the October 14 episode of Raw–a draft that will have a “legitimate sports” feel and, ideally, will end the brand split once and for all.

Monday Night Raw and NXT will be airing on NBCUniversal’s USA Network for the foreseeable future while SmackDown will essentially be treated as an entirely different entity on FOX. It’s likely that the two competitors, NBCUniversal and FOX, will both want the best talent and also be unwilling to share that top talent. It appears that FOX is going to be the biggest beneficiary of that as the widespread expectation is that SmackDown is going to be loaded up with many of WWE’s biggest names because the blue brand will be under so much pressure to deliver in the ratings department on its new home.

In a way, Raw and NXT will already have a built-in audience on USA Network, where Raw has aired for much of its existence, so fans will be accustomed to watching WWE on USA regardless of which stars are on the show. FOX, on the other hand, is entirely new territory for WWE, which means that—as evidenced by all the major names advertised for SmackDown’s debut show—WWE wants to stack the show with as many blockbuster superstars as possible. That might result in a slightly imbalanced roster, with Raw not featuring quite as much top tier talent, but truth be told, that’s better than two overloaded shows that focus on the same stars every week.

WWE needs some variety and some marked differences between Raw and SmackDown, and following the blue brand’s move to FOX, the company will get exactly that.

Forbes.com

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Oh thank god. The Wildcard rule has been god horrible. And I am so glad it will be ending. Good call here, I am very excited to see what kind of content WWE can bring on Fox. They're will surely be a brand new audience, on a big network like FOX. Which is great for WWE, and keeping one brand on one network is the smart move here. As stated in the article, the Brand Split will be returning. This actually is a big relief, for me personally. I honestly thought it would never come back, if they do it right, it could make WWE a lot better than as of recent. 

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draftfeed--6305bfb005dc416dc337b089082ff

Quote

There’s about to be a Draft in here!

The destinies of WWE Superstars will be determined during a two-night WWE Draft taking place live on Friday Night SmackDown on Oct. 11 on FOX and Raw on Oct. 14 on USA Network.

On both nights of the Draft, Superstars from Raw and SmackDown will appear along with personalities from FOX and NBCUniversal programming to announce select picks that will determine the rosters of each distinct brand.

Stick with WWE Digital for more news on the WWE Draft as it develops

 

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Thank god we getting proper brands once again. Should be fun although well no point in drafting these people

Raw Women's and Raw Tag Team Champions will be on Raw

Smackdown Women's and Smackdown Tag Team Champions will be on Smackdown.

Unless you completely ditching those title names no point in drafting them.

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Extremely excited for the draft. I’m guessing champions will be brand exclusive from this? That or tag titles and women’s titles will just have to be traded/vacated which sounds like it could really make things confusing and complicated. 

Anyways a few things I would love to see: 

1. Brock Lesnar’s return to Smackdown. If I’m not mistaken, Lesnar has not been on Smackdown since his original stint in WWE in 2004, which means he has not appeared at all on the blue brand in 15 years, which is pretty insane to think that he just never showed up once during his most recent stint. Anyways I think it would totally freshen Smackdown up and the Brock Lesnar character to move him to Smackdown. 

2. A total shakeup of the rosters. I want the entire card for each show to come across as fresh. No more Baron Corbin vs Seth Rollins, McIntyre vs Rollins, Reigns vs Joe. I feel like I’ve been watching the same matches/feuds on repeat for three years now, despite the brand split existing. Hopefully this keeps things new and interesting. 

3. Tag divisions restored. This goes more for the RAW Tag division rather then Smackdown which has always been treated rather well aside from a few dry periods. RAW’s Tag division needs to be treated more fairly and the TAG TEAMS of the division need to get more title opportunities aside from the same random singles stars that pair up. I’d start this all by building around Ziggler and Roode going forward. 

4. Don’t split the Club up again. Like don’t, it ruined Gallows and Anderson being away from Styles. Dividing and conquering didn’t work. KEEP THE OC TOGETHER. 

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Feels like a reboot of the brandsplit and I love it. The draft is always an intriguing night to see who ends up where and what NXT Callups are made if any. Brandsplit has been struggling to stay alive for months now, ever since the introduction of the Wildcard rule so now with this Draft hopefully we get back to distinct exclusive SD and RAW rosters. Looking forward to the night, both shows are always a ton of fun to watch 

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This seems like it might actually make the Brand Split feel legit once more. The separate networks so far appears to be working out great and i am looking forward to a refresh for both Raw and Smackdown. I am curious to see who goes where but i'm guessing the current champions for the most part will stay where they are with the exception of the Revival who most likely will move to smackdown full time. I am wondering what they'll do with the 24/7 and womens tag team championships since those are floating championships, will they become exclusive to one brand? Or will they be remain to be defended on both brands? Either way i'm excited for this draft and can't wait to see what moves are made. 

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EDITED TOP 5 PICKS FOR EACH BRAND:

SmackDown: WWE Champion Brock Lesnar, Becky Lynch, Roman Reigns, Daniel Bryan, Drew McIntyre

Image result for wwe champion brock lesnar 300x169Image result for roman reigns 300x169Image result for becky lynch wrestlemania 35
Image result for daniel bryan wrestlemania 2019Image result for drew mcintyre

RAW: Universal Champion The Fiend, Seth Rollins, United States Champion AJ Styles (if they can be selected together, OC), Charlotte Flair, Randy Orton

Image result for the fiendImage result for seth rollinsImage result for aj styles united states champion raw
Image result for charlotte flairImage result for randy orton

 

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This NEEDED to be done so bad. Get rid of the WC rule and refresh everything.  Hopefully they keep Roman Reigns on Smackdown as that's a big one for me. I don't really care who goes where but as long as they change things up big time and do a hard split I will be freaking happy and I always love a good draft. Cant wait.

My  Picks I want to see

RAW:

The Fiend

Seth Rollins 

The OC

Randy Orton 

Samao Joe 

Charlotte 

Smackdown:

Roman Reigns 

Daniel Bryan 

Becky Lynch 

Braun Strowman 

Cesaro 

Drew McIntyre 

 

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Why is there another draft happening damn they really gonna have another draft like that I don’t get it but okay this is the problem because the rosters are fine just how they were and not being changed okay but for whatever reason WWE is like screw it were having another draft I’m so sad about that because I like both of these Smackdown and Raw rosters no need for change but hey maybe something good will come out of this so as long as Finn Balor stays on Smackdown that’s fine with me.

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12 hours ago, ArrowGargano said:

Why is there another draft happening damn they really gonna have another draft like that I don’t get it but okay this is the problem because the rosters are fine just how they were and not being changed okay but for whatever reason WWE is like screw it were having another draft I’m so sad about that because I like both of these Smackdown and Raw rosters no need for change but hey maybe something good will come out of this so as long as Finn Balor stays on Smackdown that’s fine with me.

What do you mean by 'another draft'? There hasn't been a draft in 3 years, and no, superstar shakeups don't count.

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Quote

Preliminary WWE Draft Pools announced
SmackDown and Raw are officially on the clock.

The preliminary WWE Draft Pools have been determined and designate which WWE Superstars are available for selection on each night.

Below is the full list of draft-eligible Superstars organized by assigned night:

Friday Night SmackDown – Oct. 11
Raw Women's Champion Becky Lynch
Roman Reigns
The O.C. (United States Champion AJ Styles, Luke Gallows & Karl Anderson)
"The Fiend" Bray Wyatt
Drew McIntyre
Randy Orton
Sasha Banks
Ricochet
Braun Strowman
Bobby Lashley
Alexa Bliss & Nikki Cross
Lacey Evans
The Viking Raiders (Erik & Ivar)
SmackDown Tag Team Champions The Revival (Scott Dawson & Dash Wilder)
Natalya
The Street Profits (Montez Ford & Angelo Dawkins)
Lucha House Party (Kalisto, Gran Metalik, Lince Dorado)
Cesaro
Kevin Owens
Humberto Carrillo
Akira Tozawa
Sin Cara
Eric Young
EC3
Chad Gable
Heath Slater
Drew Gulak
The B-Team (Bo Dallas & Curtis Axel)
Tamina

Raw – Oct. 14
Universal Champion Seth Rollins
WWE Champion Brock Lesnar
SmackDown Women's Champion Charlotte Flair
Titus O'Neil
Intercontinental Champion Shinsuke Nakamura (with Sami Zayn)
Aleister Black
The New Day (Kofi Kingston, Big E & Xavier Woods)
Daniel Bryan
Bayley
Luke Harper
Erick Rowan
The Miz
Ali
King Corbin
Elias
Raw Tag Team Champions Dolph Ziggler & Bobby Roode
Samoa Joe
WWE Women's Tag Team Champions The Kabuki Warriors (Asuka & Kairi Sane)
Rusev
Cedric Alexander
Rey Mysterio
R-Truth
Carmella
AOP (Akam & Rezar)
Heavy Machinery (Tucker & Otis)
Apollo Crews
Andrade
Liv Morgan
Jinder Mahal
Buddy Murphy
Mojo Rawley
No Way José
Dana Brooke
Shelton Benjamin
Curt Hawkins & Zack Ryder
The IIconics (Billie Kay & Peyton Royce)
Sarah Logan
Fire & Desire (Mandy Rose & Sonya Deville)
Drake Maverick

The WWE Draft begins with the Friday, Oct. 11 episode of SmackDown on FOX at 8/7 C. Catch the final picks on the Monday, Oct. 14 episode of Raw on USA Network at 8/7C.

wwe.com

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Slim's Draft Predictions:

 

 

Raw Women's Champion Becky Lynch
Roman Reigns
The O.C. (United States Champion AJ Styles, Luke Gallows & Karl Anderson)
Sasha Banks
Ricochet
Alexa Bliss & Nikki Cross
Braun Strowman
Bobby Lashley

Lacey Evans
The Viking Raiders (Erik & Ivar)

SmackDown Tag Team Champions The Revival (Scott Dawson & Dash Wilder)
Natalya

Street Profits
Lucha House Party (Kalisto, Gran Metalik, Lince Dorado)

Cesaro
Kevin Owens

Humberto Carrillo
Akira Tozawa
Sin Cara
Eric Young
EC3
Chad Gable
Heath Slater
Drew Gulak
The B-Team (Bo Dallas & Curtis Axel)
Tamina

"The Fiend" Bray Wyatt
Drew McIntyre
Randy Orton

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Absolutely love this idea, 3 years after the 2016 draft and I feel like it couldn't come at a better time, with not only the brands but the programs as well. FOX vs USA, is such an interesting concept to me. I love the way they are doing this draft, the setup is interesting and something I haven't really seen before and the way that they are doing it, with the executives of each program making the decisions gives it that sporty feel which, I actually like. I have disagreed with the sport feel before, but I think with this it works. I think with the new rosters this opens possibilities for new storylines, and allows both Heyman and Bischoff to finally take over and plan things. The current people on the pool are interesting as well, I like how they legit have nearly everyone. Guys like Chad Gable, Sin Cara, and Carillo are going to be helped by being chosen, there names being out there, and as the next months begin storylines, I am hoping we get to see these guys in more of them. My prediction for first pick goes with Slims pretty well, Becky Lynch. Shes been on top of the company for awhile now and its no surprise why, she brings in money, she is still over, and I think she is clearly going to be the first pick. However, my second pick would be The O.C, I think choosing a stable early on would be a strong move and they could really highlight them as there big stable on Smackdown. Roman Reigns I am hoping continues his way to the top of the Smackdown card, I have been enjoying his work recently and that tornado tag at Hell In A Cell was one of Reigns best matches imo. I think Kevin Owens is going to be picked early on, I really think WWE is going to put the rocket on him in 2020 and I think hes going to be a top guy. He truly has it all and ima huge KO fan so I am hoping we get to see him succeed soon and I think the draft will allow us to see that. Bray Wyatt is another interesting one, I would much rather see him on Smackdown tearing things up but I think his place is on RAW with Rollins. Drew Mcyntire is another interesting pick, I think WWE has faith in him, and yeah he has been lost and misused in the past couple of months but I think if he is drafted to Smackdown that can be a new change for him, and he can win the US/IC championship from there. Orton, Cesaro, Ricochet, and Lashley are some other top picks I think will be doing some feuds after the draft. Maybe not much for Orton, Lashley, and Cesaro, but I think Ricochet will be another man to get the big push after this draft concludes. The opportunities are endless with WWE, and honestly I could not be more excited to see what they do going forward.

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I love the idea of the draft with representatives from USA and Fox making the picks but I think the draft pool that they put in for both nights is a bit of a stupid idea and sort of negates any sort of surprise picks and callups from NXT. Like looking at the Pool from Smackdown it was fairly obvious what was going to happen and the same will happen on RAW. The 2016 draft was great because it was unpredictable and by watching Smackdown this week I don't think that this version was any good at all. Someone like Lacey Evans going in the third round is just completely stupid

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Well. This was disappointing, not only did they spoil the entire draft at first but it just felt useless really. A lot of the people drafted were already on there brands and it doesn't feel like anything big or important happened. Would of loved to see some NXT or some surprise call ups, maybe some returns, and I do like the way they did it but it negates any sort of surprise picks. They defiantly should of done the champions first, because Smackdown just felt eh. I guess the most interesting change was Bray Wyatt moving to Smackdown. Unless Rollins moves to SD, then the feud is over and kinda just feels useless. But I mean I would rather see him on Smackdown doing new things, just upsetting that Lesnar is the champion we won't see The Fiend as champion for awhile, but maybe that will be good. A lot of the draft did not make sense, and I am hoping by Monday night, they have fixed there issues. Also, LACEY EVANS OVER KEVIN OWENS?!?! AND WHY THE HELL WAS CESARO NOT PICKED?!?!

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