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5 WWE stars who received a push after the 2016 Draft (and what happened next in their careers)

Danny Hart
ANALYST
Feature
5.11K   //    11 Sep 2019, 18:00 IST

Apollo Crews and Finn Balor featured heavily after the 2016 Draft
Apollo Crews and Finn Balor featured heavily after the 2016 Draft

As reported by Sportskeeda’s Tom Colohue, the ‘Wild Card Rule’ has been quietly wrapped up on WWE television over the last few weeks.

With the exception of the recent developments involving Sasha Banks and Bayley, the majority of high-profile storylines have remained exclusive to one brand (e.g. Roman Reigns’ search for his attacker), while the build-up to the King of the Ring tournament final has been separated between Raw and SmackDown.

Moving forward, it has been reported by POST Wrestling’s John Pollock that WWE will hold its first major draft in over three years when SmackDown moves to FOX, with the first night of roster changes taking place on the October 11 episode of the blue brand’s show. The draft will then be finalised on the October 14 episode of Raw.

This, of course, has led to plenty of speculation about which Superstars could move where and who could receive a renewed push on Raw and SmackDown when the roster changes have been completed.

In this article, let’s count down five Superstars who WWE focused on after the 2016 draft and take a look at what happened next after their initial push.


#5 Apollo Crews

Looking back, the general viewpoint amongst fans is that Apollo Crews received his call-up from NXT far too early in his WWE career.

Crews, formerly known as Uhaa Nation, made his televised in-ring debut with a victory over Tye Dillinger at NXT TakeOver: Brooklyn in August 2015. Then, although he had not yet built a strong character for himself in NXT, the 240-pounder surprisingly joined the main roster in April 2016 after WrestleMania 32.

Fast forward to August 2016, one month after the WWE Draft, and it looked as though Crews was destined for big things on SmackDown Live when he followed up an appearance in a WWE Championship #1 contender match by defeating Kalisto to become the #1 contender for The Miz’s Intercontinental Championship.

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Unfortunately, this resulted in a defeat for Crews in an Intercontinental Championship match which lasted just 5 minutes and 45 seconds at SummerSlam.

That proved to be the end of his initial push on SmackDown Live, as he went on to lose more matches against Baron Corbin, The Miz and Curt Hawkins in the months that followed.

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