It’s WrestleMania day! Because of that, ZBestInTheWorld and myself, Ryan Davis have gotten together again to discuss how we’d book a WWE Draft set in a time where Shane McMahon beats Undertaker for control of Raw. This is a spin-off article based on our discussion of what we’d do if we booked a brand split, this draft is an extension of that.
Editor-In-Chief of We Write Wrestling. He’s pulling his hair out trying to provide you all with the best content possible during WrestleMania week. He hopes he’s doing an okay job.
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Z and Ryan go way back. He is the host of The Worked Wrestling Podcast with Trey Lee that drops new episodes pretty much whenever they feel like it(have time).
RYAN: Z, yesterday we discussed the brand split and how we’d book it. Today, we are going to book even further and discuss how we’d book the WWE Draft. Now before we begin, for the readers, we are booking this as if Shane McMahon wins control of Raw in his match at WrestleMania and the draft we’re book is for either the night after or the Raw after that one. Currently injured wrestlers are not able to be drafted and we’re booking the draft to both Raw and SmackDown with a limit of 20 picks for each show. Other than that, I’ve given Z freedom to book his draft however he likes. Z, are you happy with your picks?
Z: Eh, our relationship was on the rocks at first, but me and my picks have worked things out and I’m pretty happy with them.
RYAN: Thanks for asking how I feel about mine, guys. I feel pretty good about mine, it sets up what I’d do with the brands but keeping the picks realistic as well.
Z: Hey, no problem Ryan. I tried to get the same affect during my picks, and I think that’s what I got, mostly anyways.
RYAN: Before we share and discuss our draft picks, what are some changes you’d put into affect for the shows?
Z: The only thing I’d add is that trades can be made and wrestlers can request a trade, but both general managers must agree to one. Trey, how about you? Ryan? Any changes you’d make?
RYAN: I’d have the females exclusive to Raw. Seeing as we’re doing a realistic draft as if it’s happening in the near future, I don’t see Raw going back to 2 hours so that show could use a division for itself. (We went into much more detail on how we’d book the split in our previous piece which you can read here)
Z: I like it. Keep the male portion equal with Smackdown and have the Women get their own time. Makes sense
RYAN: Alright, let’s get into the picks. We’ll take turns and go 5 at a time. Then you can explain why you picked certain people, why they’re in those spots, etc. Z you go first. What’s your first 5 picks for both Raw and SmackDown?
To get full understanding on the changes we’d make to shows, changes to championships, etc, click here.
Z’s First 10 Picks
Z: My first five Raw picks are:
1, 2, 3, & 4: The Social Outcasts, purely because in my universe, the IC Title is on Raw, and the Cruiserweight Title would be on SmackDown. Out of these guys, the only one I could see legitimately going for the Cruiserweight title and it not being a complete joke would be Heath Slater, but that’s not happening right after Mania.
5: Ryback, because I’d want him to carry the IC title for a while, and make both himself and the title look stronger, whether it be as a face or a heel.
My first 5 SmackDown Picks:
1, 2, & 3: New Day, because I want Smackdown to feel more special than it does in its current state
5: Dolph Ziggler. Cesaro and Ziggs would be on SD because they could both have really good runs with the World title
RYAN: I dig how you didn’t go straight for the main eventers, you’re building your midcard first. That’s cool and it’s also cool you have plans for everyone in your top 5 picks for each show.
Z: Yeah man, you want a good Main Event, you gotta have strong mid/upper mid card. So Ryan, my man, I got 2 questions for you.
RYAN: What are those two questions?
Z: Well first of all, the most important question, do they want none? I was talking to my buddy AJ Styles and he was telling me they don’t want none, I was wondering if I could get your input on the situation? And I mean, I guess I should ask this too, who are your 10 picks in the draft?
Ryan’s First 10 Picks
RYAN: Normally, seriously, normally if you ask me on any other day of the week, I’d say that they do want some. These people are probably very open to some and do want some. However, I’ve been running We Write Wrestling for months now and some scoops do come my way, some information I have been given is that they are looking scared. With that evidence, I will say they don’t want none, no, they don’t want none.
1. Roman Reigns (WWE Champion)
3. The Miz (Intercontinental Champion)
4. Alberto Del Rio
5. Sasha Banks
1. Kevin Owens
2. AJ Styles
3. Bray Wyatt
Z: First off, thank you for the insight on that situation. Secondly, you and I have differing opinions about The Miz. To you, he’s one of your boys; for me, he’s okay. With him being the IC champion on Raw, would Owens rematch clause be nullified due to him being drafted, or would he get his rightful rematch and get the title off of Miz?
RYAN: Yo, I appreciate the thought provoking question, but I see you Z, I see you throwing out shade at my boy and trying to hide the “and get the title off Miz.” Owens would get his rematch, but he wouldn’t win the championship back. The I.C title will stay on Raw and Owens would move onto the World Heavyweight title for SmackDown.
Z: Ryan, I am a professional, I have no idea what you’re talking about with this “throwing shade” business. Now, this is completely hypothetical, but say Owens did win the title back because, you know, he’s better than Miz in every way, would Owens then be moved back to Raw or would the IC title come to SmackDown?
RYAN: That shade though. If Owens were to win, he would come to Raw. The brand split is actually meaningful, so the championships are property of the brands. So the Intercontinental title will be Raw’s property until some storyline down the road says otherwise. However, since inter-promotional championship matches will be rare, the wrestler who loses their championship to someone from another brand causing that wrestler to come to the other brand, the wrestler who lost the championship would have to come to fill their spot. So, if Miz were to lose his championship to Owens, Owens would come to Raw and Miz would go to SmackDown.
Z: I think you meant WHEN Miz loses to Owens, but it’s all the same really. That’s an interesting concept, you lost, now come fill this guy’s spot. I like it.
Z’s Next 10 Picks
Z: My next picks for Smackdown:
6. Kalisto (would win the Cruiserweight Series to win the Cruiserweight Title)
7. Wade Barrett (would make a strong showing in the World Heavyweight Title tournament and will be booked strong)
8 and 9. The Ascension, because I feel as though they would get over better in an environment like the Smackdown I’m building
10. AJ Styles (Strong contender for the Cruiserweight Title and future contender for the World Heavyweight Championship)
(Also, in my first 5, Cesaro would win the WHC title tournament)
My 5 picks for Raw
6 and 7. The Usos
8. Samoa Joe
9. Sin Cara
10. Kevin Owens (IC Champ)
RYAN: Samoa Joe is a big name and it’s interesting how the WWE champion hasn’t been drafted within the first 10. Looks like you’re building up the future.
Z: Well, after NXT Takeover Dallas, there isn’t much left for Joe. Have him come to Raw and just start murdering folks, maybe have the longest Intercontinental title reign if all time, who knows. Who are your next picks?
Ryan’s Next 10 Picks
6. Dean Ambrose
8. John Cena
9. Samoa Joe
6. Dolph Ziggler
7. Kalisto (United States Champion)
8. Sami Zayn
9. Jey Uso
Z: I notice we have a lot of people on the same shows, I dig it. One question though. Out of alllll the people you could have drafted….Kane?
RYAN: Raw is going to be more of what it is now, “Sports Entertainment” while SmackDown will mainly focus in-ring and such. Kane is a character and a big man that can be dominate or defeated by others.
Z: Yooo, we are going for the exact same thing right now. Raw is more story-based, while SmackDown has some good stories, but the focal point is the in ring work. In that sense, Kane is a great pick.
RYAN: Great minds truly think alike. Who’s your 11-15 for both shows?
Z’s 11-15 Picks
Z: My SmackDown picks:
11 & 12: The Dudley Boys
14: Stardust (Gotta build that Cruiserweight division)
15: Zack Ryder (Gotta build that Cruiserweight division)
My Raw Picks:
11: Alberto Del Rio (Strong IC contender)
12: Damien Sandow (Can be great, just needs to find himself and figure out what works)
14: The Miz
RYAN: I dig out the Cruiserweight division is a big selling point for SmackDown.
Z: If Smackdown is gonna be based on ring work, I want the Cruiserweight division to be the main attraction
RYAN: That’s how you build a division.
Ryan’s 11-15 Picks
11. Jimmy Uso
14. Damien Sandow(Solid IC contender)
15. Heath Slater(Solid IC contender)
11. Kofi Kingston
12. Big Show (Big man to beat)
13. Dash Wilder
14. Scott Dawson
15. Mark Henry (Big man to beat)
Z: Woaaah, all those NXT call ups!
RYAN: Yeah man, the tag division is going to be strong
Z: So is the tag division your drawing feature or do you just like to have a strong tag division?
RYAN: I just like having a strong tag division my man. I want to build up everything to give everyone something to look forward to.
Z: Smart booking man. Ryan, we’re down to our final 10 picks, and I’m not sure your ready for my final pick for Raw
RYAN: Yo, I’m ready. I may look like I don’t want none, but I’m not looking scared, I want some.
Z’s Final 10 Picks
Z: Alright. Just be ready. My final picks:
16: Titus O’Niel
17: Jack Swagger
18: Tyler Breeze, who will be counted as a Cruiserweight
19: Bray Wyatt
20: Sami Zayn (Cruiserweight divsion all day)
16: John Cena
17: Triple H
18: Dean Ambrose
19: Your WWE champion, and the top heel in the company after WM 32, Roman Reigns
20: Quite possibly the biggest pick in my draft. The man..the myth..the person who will be the 2nd longest IC champion in history (behind Samoa Joe)…Faaaannn….daaaaannnngggooooooo
RYAN: Any particular reason the WWE champion was drafted towards the end?
Z: No, not particularly. Just felt like saving the already established Main event guys till the end
RYAN: I like your draft. You have a vision for both brands and have plans for the rosters to fulfill those visions.
Z: I also planned for New Day to drop the Tag titles to a dominant Ascension, then go on to win the Trio’s Tournament, but that’s long term booking so I left it out of the plan
Ryan’s Final 10 Picks
16. Sin Cara
20. Becky Lynch
16. Jack Swagger
17. Bubba Ray Dudley
18. Devon Dudley
19. Tyler Breeze
20. Apollo Crews
Z: One again, a lot of our roster is on the same show, also, I had thought about bringing Crews up, but I wanted him to win the NXT Title first. Your Women’s division is a strong one. The weakest person on that division is Charlotte, and she’s pretty okay
RYAN: I agree. I just think SmackDown could really use Crews to build an audience
Z: Yeah, like how Zayn and Owens were kind of treated before making their full debuts. Smart plan, smart booking, through and through. Except, you know, the Miz thing, but it’s a small error among greatness so it’s okay.
Z: Yeah. Error. Who would book the Miz as a champion?
RYAN: A smart booker who is building Raw as the sports entertainment show and sees the benefit of having The Miz as one of its champions
Z: Damn you and your legit reasons
RYAN: I mean hey, at least I didn’t draft Brock Lesnar.
Z: Pfffttt. That would have been Trey’s Number 1
How would you book the draft? Let us know in the comments below!