Last night’s WWE Draft proved a successful one for GamesRadar+’s crystal ball of pretend-o-fights, with 33 wrestlers landing on the brands it predicted in yesterday’s preview piece (opens in new tab).
Among the things it got correct were NXT call-ups for Finn Balor, American Alpha (as a single pick), Nia Jax and Carmella – although the other two spots for superstars attached to that brand went to Mojo Rawley and Alexa Bliss. (I’d predicted Samoa Joe and Bayley, who’d have been among the first off the board if this were a legitimate draft.)
The US Championship went to Raw with Rusev, and the Intercontinental title to Smackdown around The Miz’s waist, again as predicted.
The headline moves saw Seth Rollins and Dean Ambrose drafted at numbers one and two overall, for Raw and Smackdown respectively. In a clear statement of intent at how important WWE wants its female division to become – which hasn’t always come across on TV as well as it could – Women’s Champion Charlotte went to Raw, as the third overall pick.
Headliners joining Rollins and Charlotte on Raw include Balor, Brock Lesnar and Roman Reigns. The Smackdown side gets John Cena and AJ Styles, who was split from his ‘The Club’ stablemates Karl Anderson and Luke Gallows by the draft.
Real life off-screen couple Paige and Alberto Del Rio were split to Raw and Smackdown in what may have been a deliberate backstage wind-up.
Social Outcasts member Heath Slater went ‘undrafted’ in a likely attempt to spark a new storyline.
The Wyatt Family were split, as I predicted; the Dudley Boyz, however, were not. (And so the frustrating misuse of a top-tier bad guy in Bubba Ray goes on.)
The full set of rosters now lines up as follows, with their draft position in brackets:
Commissioner: Stephanie McMahon
General Manager: Mick Foley
Darren Young & Bob Backlund
Dudley Boyz (Bubba Ray & D-Von)
Enzo Amore & Big Cass
Golden Truth (Goldust & R-Truth)
Luke Gallows & Karl Anderson
The New Day (Big E, Kofi Kingston & Xavier Woods)
Rusev & Lana
The Shining Stars (Epico & Primo)
Commissioner: Shane McMahon
General Manager: Daniel Bryan
Alberto Del Rio
The Ascension (Konnor & Viktor)
Breezango (Fandango & Tyler Breeze)
The Miz & Maryse
The Vaudevillains (Aiden English & Simon Gotch)
You can stay up to speed on which of the above names are remade in virtual form later this year via our WWE 2K17 roster feature (opens in new tab).