mark my words

Mark My Words: Mock Draft

We’re doing something a little different this week – myself, Jess and Jordan got our brains together and answered some questions about the upcoming WWE draft on July 19th! We’ve got some same opinions, some different ones, and some instances where our opinions are the same but for different reasons! Let us know who you agree with most!

 

Who will run Raw, and which titles will be on this show?

Steph: I’d actually like to see Shane take Raw, he’d work better with my roster idea of vibrant up-and-comers against headline names, and it would be interesting to see what the outcomes of having a face boss on the main show would be. I’d put the WWE World Heavyweight Championship on Raw, along with the Tag Team Championships and the WWE Women’s Championship.

Jess: Probably Stephanie McMahon. I’d put the WWE World Heavyweight Championship on RAW, though I’m open to the idea of splitting that championship into two major titles; one for each show. Same goes for the WWE Women’s Championship. I suspect the Tag Team Championship stays here as well, if it doesn’t float between shows, and I’d also keep the Intercontinental Title on RAW.

Jordan: I would guess Steph McMahon will run it, with the WWE World Heavyweight and Intercontinental titles as a surety, with a possible women’s belt as well, and the tag belts across the shows

 

Who will run SmackDown, and which titles will be on this show?

Steph: Stick Steph McMahon on SmackDown, because I’ve given her the more fun guys to play with, more character acting, more snarling, more excoriating promos, those who’ll either toady to a heel boss or fight harder because of her. This roster would have the Intercontinental Title and the United States Championship, along with a new women’s tag team belt.

Jess: Shane McMahon, for the smaller show. The titles on SmackDown I suspect would be a second major title, the United States Championship, and a second women’s title of some sort, whether that’s another singles title or a tag team title (I’m not convinced we have enough women on the roster to support a tag team division, but I’d love to see it happen). Then, either the floating Tag Team Championship, or a Cruiserweight Title.

Jordan: Shane will run it with a new major title, the United States Championship and, I HOPE, a reinstated cruiserweight belt.

 

Who are your top five male superstars for Raw?

Steph:      

  1.  Roman Reigns
  2.  Seth Rollins
  3.  AJ Styles
  4.  Cesaro
  5.  Sami Zayn

Jess:

  1. Dean Ambrose
  2. Seth Rollins
  3. Roman Reigns
  4. Sami Zayn
  5. The Miz

Jordan:   

  1. Seth Rollins  
  2. Dean Ambrose
  3. Sami Zayn
  4. Randy Orton
  5. The Miz

 

Who are your top five male superstars for SmackDown?

Steph:        

  1. Dean Ambrose
  2. John Cena
  3. Rusev
  4. Kevin Owens
  5. The Miz

Jess:

  1. John Cena
  2. AJ Styles
  3. Kevin Owens
  4. Rusev
  5. Randy Orton

Jordan:     

  1. John Cena  
  2. AJ Styles
  3. Kevin Owens
  4. Roman Reigns
  5. Rusev

 

Name anyone you wish to bring up from NXT to supplement either roster

Steph: Most of them! WWE should use this draft to bring up a lot of talent who have been ready to come up for a while, but stayed down because of not wanting to be misused on the main roster. Finn Balor, Shinsuke Nakamura, American Alpha, Mojo Rawley, Nia Jax, Bayley, Asuka, Carmella – those to start with, and then drip feed more up more often as we go along.

Jess: I’ll be upfront about this: I don’t watch a lot of NXT, so I don’t know for sure on this one. Finn Balor and Bayley seem to go without saying. I’d also tentatively put Shinsuke Nakamura, Nia Jax, Asuka, American Alpha and possibly the Revival into this camp.

Jordan: Finn Balor at the least. I think Nia Jax and Bayley could do well to fill out the women’s roster as well, and American Alpha for the tag team.

 

Name one person you believe is important to a certain roster, and why

Steph: Dolph Ziggler would be imperative to my SmackDown roster, as otherwise, we’d have some sticky situations about losing! Needing someone to bring new talent in and be willing to eat losses, as well as acting as ring general for newbies, Ziggler would be the perfect choice, and a smaller roster would allow him more space to show what he can do, even if he is on the losing side of things. Cena won’t eat losses, Dean would be my title holder so couldn’t take losses (despite me saying the HWC would be on Raw, I’d start Dean with it on SmackDown and have the Raw roster complain about it!), Owens playing that role doesn’t work, The Miz losing is a different story, and Rusev needs to look strong. Therefore I’d need someone to un-green the newbies before things got too stressful.

Jess: I’m going to hesitantly suggest AJ Styles is one of the most important inclusions for SmackDown, as it gives the smaller show a strong heel going in, one that crowd loves (or loves to hate), and will want to tune in for. Plus, we know he makes a very good face as well, so he can fill whatever role the show needs.

Jordan: Dean Ambrose. He will be WWE World Heavyweight champion going into the draft, and so nobody on the roster is more important than he is, or at least should not be shown to be. Frankly it doesn’t matter which roster he goes to, Raw or SmackDown (hopefully Raw) but he will be the most important person going in, simply by value of the belt he holds and the prestige that belt is known to have.

 

What would you do with the women’s roster and title?

Steph: I’d split the roster between singles competitors and tag team competitors, giving us a way to bring up more women from NXT, and a reason for all those ‘women team up’ matches we keep getting. The WWE Women’s Championship would remain on Raw, so a PPV title win by a SmackDown lady would mean she’d move to Raw, it would be a way to move from one show to another.

Jess: I’d probably split the roster more or less straight down the middle, supplementing the roster with call-ups from NXT, with a singles title on both shows. (Possibly a singles title and a tag team title, if numbers support).

Jordan: At first I wanted to split it between the more legit women’s wrestlers and the more manger style women, to have good wrestling exclusive to one show, rather than mediocre on both. However, upon review this leaves only three women for SmackDown, so I say leave them on Raw and let the belt be decided with good matches there each week.

 

If you’re planning a split women’s roster, list your full draft (including anyone from NXT)

Steph:

Jess: 

Jordan: N/A

 

If not mentioned above, how would you run the tag team division?

Steph: I’d keep it split across both rosters, with a stipulation that matches for the titles could ONLY be placed on PPVs, thus meaning that either the Tag Team Championships would cross rosters, or that losing your titles to a team from the other roster could mean you’d be swapped across them. The swapping would help keep things fresh, while splitting the boys across two different shows and only having them fight for the titles at PPVs would mean feuds had time to build between those on the same roster and different rosters. A lot of the tag teams right now have great gimmicks and are good talkers, so could easily do video promos at each other to build heat.

Jess: I think the tag team division right now is looking really strong, with a lot of great talkers, great gimmicks, and good ring talents, and I’d hate to see that going to waste. I’m sympathetic to the idea of running the Tag Team Championships across both shows, as I feel like adding a second men’s tag title would make things too cluttered, but we simply can’t keep the entire division on RAW; that’s far too stacked, and AJ Styles (for example) needs his boys with him on SmackDown. I’d tentatively suggest that this means that the New Day, the Vaudevillains, the Wyatt Family and the Usos are on RAW, while Enzo and Big Cass, American Alpha, The Club and the Dudley Boyz are on SmackDown. On a related note, I expect there’ll be at least one tag team that ends up being split up, come the draft, because it seems like a golden opportunity for story.

Jordan: Across both shows

 

Name one feud you feel would benefit from having the members on opposing rosters

Steph: Sami Zayn and Kevin Owens. It was the first thing I said when the brand split was announced – the two of them have such chemistry that we could see them fight once a month and it would still be brilliant. Both of them cut good promos, too, so we could easily see them do that before a PPV, without ever being in the ring together in the month previous, and they’d still give us a match to get excited about. Plus, while both men are incredible in the ring, it doesn’t do to get too used to just working with your bestie – it’ll do both of them good to work apart and together through varied storylines to keep this feud from going stale.

Jess: Sami Zayn and Kevin Owens; it’s a bit of a ‘gimme’ answer, but I think it’s obvious for a reason. It’s time to let both men fight other battles and come back together in time. As a contrast, I toyed with the idea of splitting up the former members of The Shield, and decided against for now; I don’t think their time to split is now. For Sami Zayn and Kevin Owens, it is. In the Women’s Division, I suspect it’s best to keep most feuds alive, but split up the Horsewomen, letting Sasha Banks and Charlotte main event separate shows.

Jordan: Zayn and Owens. The two keep having this feud of ‘fight forever’, and it’s not letting either man move on. Sure, revisit it later, but let both men move on from it to something more for both of them.

 

What do you feel would be the worst decision WWE could make?

Steph: Not splitting the women, or at the very least, not putting the women on Raw. If they shift to the women just on SmackDown (as most sites seem to be suggesting in their mock drafts) I’ll be very, very disappointed.

Jess: Splitting the roster in such a way that leaves one show feeling cluttered and the other feeling empty; leaving all the tag teams, or all the women, on one roster. (The latter has the bonus of also feeling highly disrespectful to an under-appreciated division, too, so that’s just extra fun.)

Jordan: Making this half assed and not making both brands feel actually different and like they matter. Or two PPvs a month