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WWE 2021 Draft - Results & Thoughts

WWE in general has been pretty brutal to watch lately at times - sure there's been some good stuff here and there but overall it's been a bit stale and in need of a shake up. The draft couldn't have come at a better time. 

Maybe it's just that they do a better job with the talent on Friday nights, but going into the draft the rosters felt so out of balance in Smackdown's favour. It showed in the product too. There was a solid stretch where you could argue that SmackDown was the best wrestling show on TV.. Raw during the same stretch? Arguably the worst the show it's ever been in it's LONG history. A draft has been needed since before Summerslam, but better late than never, right!?

Before I get into my takes, I'll post the results (per the official WWE twitter account):

I think this draft turned out AWESOME. Was it perfect? no, but it solved a lot of problems and I think there's a lot of reason for optimism. 

I'm going to post two sleeper pick ups from each brand that I think will do well with the change in scenery, just cause I think it will be hilarious to come back and look at it when I'm completely wrong.

Raw - The Alpha Academy: I don't expect them to be a force right away, but I think by early 2022 that Gable and Otis are in the mix for the tag titles. Having New Day & The Usos land on SmackDown leaves Raw in a place where a tag team can really climb up in the division, and I think from a heel perspective that will be Alpha Academy on Raw. The current state of the tag division with RK-Bro vs Styles & Omos doesn't feel like it factors into the future at all. I don't even think those two "teams" will be together come the end of 2022, let alone holding titles.

SmackDown - Shayna Baszler: Raw getting Becky & Bianca is a massive blow to the women's division for SmackDown. Sure they have Charlotte, but I think that we see Shayna finally utilized in a way more in line with what we saw for her in her NXT run. Just having split from Nia you could present her as a no non-sense, ass kicking face that people could get behind, as I think that's what they need at the top of the division right now with Charlotte and Sasha both being heels. 

Overall, this is the most balanced things have felt in a long time but the true test is how things feel a few months from now once people have settled and landed where they're going to be on the card. I see a lot of people making complaints that SmackDown lacks main event talent for the men, and although that may be true right now, I think that's people complaining for the sake of complaining. After mania could that be an issue if no one is elevated? Sure, but right now adding tops guys beyond Drew McIntyre would actually be an issue in my opinion. You have a guy in Roman Reigns who's title run shouldn't be ending any time soon (I think he should hold it all the way to Wrestlemania at least, honestly). If you bring in guys like Bobby, Seth, etc what are you doing with them? Having them take loses for Roman's build to Wrestlemania? It's not needed. Roman made good TV/PPV programs with top contenders like Jey Uso, Kevin Owens, Cesaro, Finn Balor, and others - he can EASILY continue on with the deep pool of mid card talent that they have on SmackDown.

The thing I will say kind of stinks is we're seeing some feuds that have been going on for a while stay in tact, and I hope the new environment allows them to be moved on from seamlessly. Edge/Seth, Becky/Bianca and Alpha Academy/Street Profits all moved from SmackDown to Raw. Having the grace period of draft to Crown Jewel makes me think between the build and PPV they move on from all of these, but WWE does like to keep feuds going sometimes. Seeing this stuff carry past Crown Jewel would actively work against the idea of the draft making things feel fresh.

Between the draft, NXT rebrand, and AEW having a ton of momentum I'm super high on wrestling right now after being a little bored with it in the spring/summer. Tons of stuff to be excited about in the world of wrestling right now!