The 5 Biggest Flops Since The 2016 WWE Draft
This month marks the two-year anniversary of the 2016 WWE Draft. Earlier we looked at the five biggest success stories since the roster split, now let’s examine the flops.
When WWE decided to split Raw and Smackdown again, the goal was to create more stars. With a smaller roster on each show, talent would have time to shine. While Braun Strowman, AJ Styles and others have prospered, there are those who have not been as lucky.
Out of the 59 wrestlers and tag teams who were drafted on that night, let’s look at the five acts whose careers have gone sideways since then:
#5 Dean Ambrose
As WWE Champion, Dean Ambrose was drafted as the No.1 pick for Smackdown Live.
Before he could start on his new brand, Ambrose had to defend the WWE Championship against his former Shield brothers and Raw recruits, Roman Reigns and Seth Rollins. Ambrose pinned Reigns to retain the belt for himself and his brand.
When the Smackdown roster came out and lifted Ambrose on their shoulders, it was a sign that the 'Lunatic Fringe' was going to be the central figure on the blue brand. This was his time.
Curiously, his first WWE title defence as Smackdown’s king was against WWE booking victim, Dolph Ziggler. Ambrose got the win at SummerSlam in a mid-card match.
After that, Ambrose moved onto a feud with AJ Styles. ‘The Phenomenal One’ pinned Ambrose to win the WWE Championship in their first one-on-one match. Ambrose remained in a feud with Styles throughout the year but failed to win back the strap.
Ambrose defeated The Miz for the Intercontinental Championship on the first Smackdown of 2017.
It was a step down for the man who was WWE Champion just a few months ago. Ambrose fell even further; his IC title defence was moved to the pre-show of WrestleMania 33 at the last minute.
After less than a year on Smackdown, the number one pick for the blue brand was moved to Raw as part of the 2017 Superstar Shakeup.
‘The Lunatic Fringe’ spend the rest of 2017 mired in mid-card feuds before he tore his triceps in December. The injury could’ve come at a worse time; the time off allows Ambrose to come back with a fresh start.
Ambrose should come back as a heel; he hasn’t played the bad guy role since 2014. The way his career went in 2017, Ambrose has plenty of pent-up anger and resentment to tap into.