The WWE Draft was Best For Business
Why the Brand Split may end up paying dividends
Tuesday night was the WWE Draft. On Sunday, Battleground takes place and in less than seven days, the first Monday Night Raw will commence with the brand split in play. The WWE Draft was best for business.
It began with Stephanie McMahon, Mick Foley on one side and the group of Daniel Bryan and Shane McMahon on the Smackdown side.
Each segment had five picks, with WWE Raw taking three. That's where the skepticism began to show on social media. One WWE fan said, "That draft sucked last night. Clearly the WWE doesn't have plans for the shows to be split evenly. Raw is loaded and Smackdown has just a few good wrestlers."
That's certainly one opinion, but after looking at the rosters for both shows, each side had its advantages.
For Raw, they have the WWE Women's champion, the new Cruiserweight division, the United States champion and the WWE Tag-Team champions. Smackdown has the WWE champion, Intercontinental champion, John Cena and Randy Orton.
The WWE will have to give another title to Smackdown, but that will wait. It is a two-hour show after all.
What WWE fans forget to acknowledge is the fact that Raw will always be the alpha male. The brand split wasn't a way to make Smackdown an equal show. It was meant to shake things up and make both brands interesting.
With the talent both brands received can do that. Here's a breakdown of the first four rounds of the WWE Draft via WWE.com:
Round No. 1
1. Seth Rollins – Raw
2. WWE Champion Dean Ambrose – SmackDown Live
3. WWE Women’s Champion Charlotte – Raw
4. AJ Styles – SmackDown Live
5. Finn Bálor – Raw from NXT
Round No. 2
6. Roman Reigns – Raw
7. John Cena – SmackDown Live
8. Brock Lesnar – Raw
9. Randy Orton – SmackDown Live
10. WWE Tag Team Champions The New Day – Raw
Round No. 3
11. Sami Zayn – Raw
12. Bray Wyatt – SmackDown Live
13. Sasha Banks – Raw
14. Becky Lynch – SmackDown Live
15. Chris Jericho – Raw
Round No. 4
16. United States Champion Rusev (with Lana) – Raw
17. Intercontinental Champion The Miz (with Maryse) – SmackDown Live
18. Kevin Owens – Raw
19. Baron Corbin – SmackDown Live
20. Enzo & Big Cass – Raw
Just by looking at each brand's picks, they aren't set up to fail. Cena and Orton alone will draw attendance to live event and sell merchandise. At the end of the day, isn't that what it's all about anyway?
Ratings for Smackdown still aren't out, but the crowd was excited, social media was very active and engagement was near an all-time high. The WWE played their game properly with the booking the WWE Draft showcased.
It needed to be fast-paced and quick. Even Seth Rollins and Dean Ambrose's match for the WWE championship didn't go long. When the ratings do come in, WWE fans will be pleasantly surprised.
Where will the WWE go from here? There will be new storylines, gimmicks, matches and ideologies moving forward. Fans want something new and that's what they're getting.
The WWE Draft was best for business.