2016 WWE Draft: The Rules!
On Sunday the WWE released the rules for the upcoming 2016 WWE Draft. The draft will take place on Tuesday night, July 19 on the premiere episode of Smackdown LIVE!
The following are the rules for the 2016 WWE Draft as well as the list of all main roster WWE Superstars who are eligible to be drafted:
- Raw has the first overall pick
- Since SmackDown Live is a two-hour show and Raw is three hours, for every two picks SmackDown Live receives, Raw will receive three picks
- Tag teams count as one pick unless a Commissioner/General Manager specifically only wants one member of the team
- Six draft picks will be made off the NXT roster
The list of current WWE Superstars eligible for the WWE Draft will be as follows:
- AJ Styles
- Alberto Del Rio
- Apollo Crews
- Baron Corbin
- Big Show
- Braun Strowman
- Bray Wyatt
- Brock Lesnar
- Chris Jericho
- Darren Young (w/ Bob Backlund)
- Dean Ambrose – WWE Champion
- Demon Kane
- Dolph Ziggler
- Erick Rowan
- Jack Swagger
- John Cena
- Kevin Owens
- Mark Henry
- Randy Orton
- Roman Reigns
- Rusev (w/ Lana) – United States Champion
- Sami Zayn
- Seth Rollins
- Sin Cara
- The Miz (w/ Maryse) – Intercontinental Champion
- Titus O’Neil
- Zack Ryder
- Breezango (Fandango and Tyler Breeze)
- Enzo and Cass (Enzo Amore and Big Cass)
- Gallows and Anderson (Luke Gallows and Karl Anderson)
- Golden Truth (Goldust and R-Truth)
- Shining Stars (Epico and Primo)
- Social Outcasts (Bo Dallas, Curtis Axel and Heath Slater)
- The Ascension (Konnor and Viktor)
- The Dudley Boyz (Bubba Ray and D-Von Dudley)
- The New Day (Big E, Kofi Kingston and Xavier Woods) – Tag Team Champions
- The Usos (Jey and Jimmy Uso)
- The Vaudevillains (Aiden English and Simon Gotch)
- Alicia Fox
- Becky Lynch
- Charlotte – WWE Women’s Champion
- Dana Brooke
- Eva Marie
- Sasha Banks
- Summer Rae
McConnell Musings: This news helps to settle at least a few items that have been talking points around the Internet Wrestling Community and perhaps start some new ones.
The status of the titles on the main roster is perhaps the biggest questions still looming over this 2016 WWE draft.
I personal like the fact that only six selections will be taken from NXT. Who those six NXT draft picks will be is the new topic of debate. I personally say they will take Finn Balor, American Alpha, Bayley, No Way Jose, Nia Jax and Blake & Murphy. That gives them two from each of the three categories. No Way Jose and the duo of Blake & Murphy are there because I believe they will leave the likes of Shinsuke Nakamura, Samoa Joe, The Revival, Asuka and others in NXT for the time being to carry the brand forward and build new stars to take their place. The list of who should be the six picks is totally different. If I were going to take six performers from NXT I would take Balor, Nakamura, Joe, Bayley, American Alpha and The Revival personally.
Left off this list were all of the members of the broadcast team, the referees and The Undertaker. I am not surprised they left off the refs but I will admit to being a little surprised about the broadcasters because they have drafted them in years past. I am personally glad they left them off but it would have been interesting to see Mauro Ranallo drafted ahead of Michael Cole.
Undertaker being off the list is interesting. The talk going around is that he told Vince McMahon at WrestleMania 32 that he was done. There are also no set plan yet on who he would face at WrestleMania 33 should he return. This allows them to bring Undertaker back to which ever brand they want to set a match up, if he in fact is not done wrestling.
The other main talking point coming out of this is the likelihood of breaking up tag teams in this draft. I think they break up at least four of the 11 listed tag teams. I believe they break up Golden Truth, Social Outcast, The New Day and The Usos. The first two are easy picks to break up. Some would say breaking up New Day is an easy pick also. What if instead of simply breaking them up they split them and let the two sides face off at SummerSlam for the right to keep the name of the New Day. Break Big E off and have him get a new partner and they face Kofi Kingston and Xavier Woods in a match for the WWE Tag Team Championship and the name The New Day? Also I say they break up the Usos to see if either can rise as a singles performer and to shake things up in the tag division. Of course if they are going to have two separate tag team titles then they shouldn’t break any of these teams up.
Let the debates keep raging on!
G1 Climax 26 Opening Night
As most of us were sleeping here in the United States the opening night of the 26th edition of the New Japan Pro Wrestling G1 Climax Tournament kicked off at the Hokkaido Prefectural Sports Center in Hokkaido, Japan. Here are the results of the opening night of action and the standings for Block A after night one:
Night One Block A Results:
Hiroyoshi Tenzan by pin over Tomohiro Ishii for 2 points
Togi Makabe by pin over Tama Tonga for 2 points
Hirooki Goto by pin over Bad Luck Fale for 2 points
SANADA by tapout over Hiroshi Tanahashi for 2 points
Naomichi Marufuji by pin over Kazuchika Okada for 2 points
G1 Climax 26 Block A Standings after Night 1:
* Togi Makabe (1-0) – 2 points
* Hiroyoshi Tenzan (1-0) – 2 points
* Hirooki Goto (1-0) – 2 points
* SANADA (1-0) – 2 points
* Naomichi Marufuji (1-0) – 2 points
* Kazuchika Okada (0-1) – 0 points
* Hiroshi Tanahashi (0-1) – 0 points
* Bad Luck Fale (0-1) – 0 points
* Tomohiro Ishii (0-1) – 0 points
* Tama Tonga (0-1) – 0 points
McConnell Musings: I have to say that I am both surprised and not surprised at the same time at the results of these matches. New Japan does not like to give away up front who is winning, even if it obvious, so that makes the results of night one not a complete shocker. The fact that both Okada and Tanahashi both lost is a surprise however. I assumed one of them would lose but not both. If this patterns keeps up we could be in for a huge G1 Climax tournament this year.
The Boss Doesn’t Want To Promote Bayley
At the upcoming WWE Battleground Pay-per-view/live special, “The Boss” Sasha Banks will team up with a mystery partner to take on WWE Women’s Champion Charlotte and her tag team partner, Dana Brooke. Many have wanted this mystery partner to be be Bayley but unless The Boss is trying to play us all, she does not want it to be the Doctor of Huganomics. She recently posted this video, seemingly dismissing any chance of bringing in the Huggster as her tag team partner.
“One time I was in a match. Bayley was the referee. It was a tag match against Emma, and I accidentally pinned myself and tapped out at the same time. I don’t know how that happened. I think it was because Bayley was the ref. She is bad luck. I don’t want her as my partner. Stop tweeting me. She’s in NXT and I don’t want to bring her up here because I don’t want to lose.”
I personally love the idea of Banks bringing in Bayley as her tag team partner and I hate it at the same time. Bayley and Banks are better as enemies so having the two of them work together would go against that narrative. However, bringing in the one person who seems to always gets the best of you and out of you would be a great way to get one over on Charlotte. I think we get one of three women as the partner for Banks; Bayley, Nia Jax or Asuka. Nia could play the Kevin Nash role to Banks as Shawn Michaels. Asuka could be brought in because of her history with Dana in NXT. I am torn as to who I want to see in this spot, but I have faith it will all work out in the end and you can Bank on that!
Uncle Eric Gives His Advice For Making The Brand Split Work
Once upon a time Eric Bischoff had a little show called WCW Monday Night Nitro that changed the landscape of professional wrestling by kicking off a war with WWE and sending wrestling unto heights that it had not seen in a long, long time. The success of that show lead to the creation of another show, WCW Thunder. Uncle Eric recently did a two part interview with Jim Ross to the Ross Report Podcast and had the following to say about the creation of Thunder, how it compares to the brand split that WWE is getting ready to undertake, and how to make the brand split a success:
“I was faced with that challenge when Ted Turner basically mandated that Thunder become a primetime show on TBS when I already had one primetime show on TNT. And there was no choice but to figure out a way to create two separate brands and I wasn’t successful, by the way. I acknowledge that. But because I had to try it and because I had to try it in a very high profile way, tried to have feeling for it. And WWE tried it. They didn’t try it, they did it. But I’ll let other people decide how successful it was. Right after the brand split was announced, somebody asked me on Twitter and I responded. Can it be successful? Sure, it can be successful. What’s it going to take? A tremendous amount of creative discipline. If you’re going to make the brand split, then, by definition, they have to be different from each other. It can’t just be part one and part two. Monday Night RAW on Monday and Monday Night RAW part 2 called SmackDown. If you do that, it’s going to die and that’s kind of what I did. And without casting any aspersions to the billion dollar company, that’s what they did the first time. You couldn’t really differentiate between the two significantly enough for the viewer to feel like they were two separate brands. You can’t just use blue lights on one show and red lights on the other one and call them different brands when the talent is going back and forth and there’s no distinction. It requires a tremendous amount of creative discipline.”
McConnell Musings: I am a huge fan of Eric Bischoff so any time he does an interview I try my best to watch or listen to it. I have only listened to part one of this interview so far and loved it. Bischoff knows a thing or two about running a successful wrestling company as well as running one not so successfully. If there is one things most of us agree about when it comes to the WWE brand split is that WWE needs to be 100% committed to it and they need to make both brands as different and separate as they can. It is nice to see that someone who knows what he is talking about agreeing with what almost all of us are saying. Here is to WWE doing just that, and doing this brand split the right way,
That is all for the DotBiz News Desk for today. Until next time keep it clean, keep it classy and that’s the bottom line because ThePhill said so! YeaOh!