How competition between Raw and SmackDown could be best for business
If the WWE Draft was held three years ago, John Cena would have been the first overall selection on Raw. Oh, how times have changed. The battle lines have been drawn. As Smackdown hosted WWE’s Draft, thus creating yet another era in this company’s history, you got the sense things would only get better.
With each selection, a new novel was written, one which will most certainly affect WWE Battleground this coming Sunday. Now that Seth Rollins and Roman Reigns will run the show on Raw and Dean Ambrose, Cena and AJ Styles will call Smackdown homes, there is a 99.9 percent guarantee Ambrose’s reign as company champion is done in a matter of days.
That isn’t the only move that left me question the future, but at the time it was the most significant. The Club has been separated. Finn Balor will appear on Raw – which leads me to believe he will assume Styles’ role in the faction. Is Styles become the babyface everyone wants him to be once he gets done with his six-man tag match with Karl Anderson and Luke Gallows?
Is there any rhyme or reason why Cesaro and Kevin Owens were chosen further down the roster than most of us expected?
If WWE is in fact trying to create more drama for a new era in this business, it certainly did just that. I kiddingly told a friend of mine via text messages that there is no reason to believe this won’t work and every reason to believe it will fail at the same time.
If strategy is everything, then someone explain it to me. Rollins, Reigns, Owens and Brock Lesnar on one side of the fence makes Raw still the top dog in this fight. Don’t get me wrong – Smackdown did a great job in making sure it was loaded at the top as well – but how can Randy Orton wrestling on Tuesday nights make any sense with an upcoming battle with Lesnar at SummerSlam?
Someone really should have thought that one out a little bit more.
The Club wasn’t the only faction to deal with division. The Wyatt Family lost Braun Strowman in the mix – which might not be such a bad move. We saw Rusev and Lana remain a happy couple on Monday nights and the same hold true for The Miz and Maryse as they take their act to Smackdown.
If anything, we must give the McMahons credit for stirring the pot a bit – hoping to create new elixirs that will cure the issues of ratings, repeat feuds and the ever-present notion that this business is failing to deliver backstory and depth. For some reason, I cannot wait until Sunday night and furthermore, hope there is total fallout on Raw and Smackdown to follow.
Tuesday night made me a believer again in professional wrestling because unlike other Drafts held in the past, this one matters. Wrestling matters again.
If this was the NFL and fans witnessed the changing of the guard in a sport where selecting performers mattered more than in any other arena, then this was a definite connection with the fans. It has been discussed for weeks and the suspense lived up to the hype.
Also take into account this all happened right before the pay-per-view before SummerSlam and WWE once again struck gold. Ambrose retained his title for probably the last time. It could mean Reigns – regardless of his recent suspension – will walk out once again with the company strap and fans who were all but overjoyed on Tuesday night will be cussing up a storm late Sunday evening.
The WWE Draft did everything it was supposed to do – and once again made us all excited about what lies ahead in the next five months.
In this case, a change will do everyone a little good – even the McMahons, who pulled the marionette strings to perfection on Smackdown’s first live broadcast.