5 most improved WWE Superstars since the 2016 Draft
At the time, many in the WWE Universe questioned the logic behind the WWE Draft. These are not the days of 2001 where the company has a bulging roster to manage. Vince has even struggled to keep one show going in recent years, so adding in a separate Smackdown Live felt like a step too far.
Despite the concerns, the Draft has actually injected some much-needed intrigue into the product. Fans appreciate the fact that Tuesday nights and Monday nights are their own separate entity, with fresh-feeling feuds emerging, and opportunities being given to deserving talents who were previously lost in the shuffle.
Amongst the two rosters, there have been certain superstars who have used the brand split to their advantage and now find themselves in a much more favourable position than before. Here are the 5 most improved superstars since the 2016 Draft:
#1 The Miz
It seems the WWE has always gone out of its way to make sure The Miz gets his opportunities to shine in the company. Maybe it's his ability to crossover into mainstream media and represent the WWE to various news outlets, but something tells us that Vince McMahon values the A-lister pretty highly indeed.
That being said, his career has been a bit of a rollercoaster over the years, having numerous mid-card title reigns under his belt and becoming a one-time WWE Champion but never reaching the heights of a John Cena or Randy Orton. His main event appearance at Wrestlemania 27, while still very impressive, is generally seen as one of the more forgettable main events in Mania history.
Since the 2016 Draft, Miz has spent the majority of his time as the Intercontinental Champion, and he has made a thoroughly decent job of it. Prior to the split, his title reign felt a little lost in the shuffle, feuding with guys like Kane, Zack Ryder and Cesaro. When he was first drafted to Smackdown, he was allowed the space and time to make the belt feel special, to the point where his segments were considered a major part of the show overall.
Miz was involved in some of the best feuds of 2016/17, initially with Dolph Ziggler and later with John Cena, leading up to their Wrestlemania showdown earlier this year. His greatest moment came during an episode of Talking Smack where he responded aggressively to comments made by Daniel Bryan. WWE fans saw a side to Miz they were not previously familiar with, and he has been riding the wave of that new found respect ever since.
One thing Miz has going for him over anybody else in the company right now is his ability to be the right kind of heel. Far too often, so-called bad guys don't try hard enough to make people dislike them and instead lap up the adulation they get. Miz knows how to work a crowd, always ensuring he is the villain of the story. He showed that on Smackdown against Ziggler and Apollo Crews, and continues to demonstrate it on RAW, elevating Dean Ambrose's standing in the company in the process.