Tonight sees the biggest wrestling shake-up in years as WWE holds a draft to decide which superstars stay on Raw and which move to Smackdown, with the two shows set to be broadcast live on consecutive nights for the first time in company history.
With Raw on Mondays being one hour longer than Tuesday's Smackdown, it’ll get three superstars for each two awarded to the latter. Developmental territory NXT is set to lose six of its biggest names – among them former male and female champions Finn Balor and Bayley. (No surprise both are gearing up for WWE 2K17 appearances (opens in new tab).)
WWE has released a list of eligible grapplers which noticeably doesn't include The Undertaker (inactive outside of WrestleMania time), Ryback (contract issue), Rosa Mendes (maternity leave) and injured names such as Nikki Bella, Luke Harper, Tyson Kidd, Tamina and Emma.
Below, then, is GR+'s predicted list of how the two shows will end up. Check back in tomorrow so see how many are correct.
Before we get to the rosters, a few bold shouts:
- WWE has advertised six grapplers being called up from NXT to the main roster, but that number will in fact be seven. WWE has said tag teams only count as one slot, meaning both members of American Alpha will be drafted together. They’ll be joined by Bayley, Finn Balor, Nia Jax, Samoa Joe and Carmella.
- Asuka and Shinsuke Nakamura will shockingly not be on the list of call-ups.
- Raw’s titles will be the WWE Championship and US Championship.
- Smackdown’s will be the World Heavyweight Championship and Intercontinental Championship.
- The Tag-Team and Women’s Championships will be defended on both shows.
- The retired Brie Bella will somehow find her way to Smackdown in order to link up with newly announced general manager (and real life husband) Daniel Bryan.
- The Dudley Boyz are split, just as they were way back in May 2002. Bubba Ray channels his TNA time and becomes a badass heel on Raw, while D-Von slots into the Smackdown midcard.
The New Day (Big E, Kofi Kingston & Xavier Woods)
Rusev & Lana
Samoe Joe (before dropping the NXT title to Shinsuke Nakamura)
Seth Rollins (likely as WWE Champion from Sunday onwards)
American Alpha (Chad Gable & Jason Jordan) (NXT call-up)
Braun Strowman (after splitting from Bray Wyatt in the draft)
Bubba Ray Dudley (after splitting from D-Von in the draft)
Enzo Amore & Big Cass
Luke Gallows & Karl Anderson
Breezango (Fandango & Tyler Breeze)
Golden Truth (Goldust & R-Truth)
Social Outcasts (Bo Dallas, Curtis Axel & Heath Slater)
The Shining Stars (Epico & Primo)
Bayley (NXT call-up and title winner at WrestleMania 33)
Carmella (NXT call-up to reunite with Enzo & Big Cass)
Alberto Del Rio
Finn Balor (NXT call-up)
John Cena (likely World Heavyweight Champion from Summerslam onwards)
The Miz (& Maryse)
The Ascension (Konnor & Viktor)
The Vaudevillains (Aiden English & Simon Gotch)
Nia Jax (NXT call-up)
You can watch the draft live on USA Network in the States (8pm EST/5pm PST) or Sky Sports in the UK (1am).