WWE.com has posted a very interesting article regarding the 2016 WWE Draft that will take place this Tuesday night, July 19, on SmackDown Live on the USA Network at 8/7c. This article outlines the rules for this year’s Draft and also lists every Superstar that is eligible to be drafted. However, one detail that still hasn’t been revealed is how many overall picks will be made on the two-hour SmackDown Live premiere and the new rules set in place for the Draft certainly adds speculation to that. The rules for the 2016 WWE Draft are as follows:
- RAW will get the first overall pick in the Draft.
- Since SmackDown Live is a two-hour show and RAW is a three-hour show, RAW will get three draft picks for every two draft picks that SmackDown Live receives.
- Tag teams count as one pick unless the Commissioner or General Manager specifically requests one member of the team.
- Six draft picks will be made off of the NXT roster.
While not explicitly stated in the WWE.com article, the list of eligible Superstars includes the Superstars’ managers as well, which implies that, if a Superstar gets drafted, then their manager will get drafted along with them unless the Commissioner or General Manager requests otherwise. Basically, every wrestler on the roster is eligible to be drafted, meaning that commentators, ring announcers, and other non-wrestling personnel will not be a part of the Draft. Here is WWE.com’s list of current, main roster Superstars who are eligible to be drafted:
- AJ Styles
- Alberto Del Rio
- Apollo Crews
- Baron Corbin
- Big Show
- Braun Strowman
- Bray Wyatt
- Brock Lesnar
- Chris Jericho
- Darren Young (with Bob Backlund)
- WWE Champion Dean Ambrose
- Demon Kane
- Dolph Ziggler
- Erick Rowan
- Jack Swagger
- John Cena
- Kevin Owens
- Mark Henry
- Randy Orton
- Roman Reigns
- United States Champion Rusev (with Lana)
- Sami Zayn
- Seth Rollins
- Sin Cara
- Intercontinental Champion The Miz (with Maryse)
- Titus O’Neil
- Zack Ryder
- Breezango (Tyler Breeze & Fandango)
- Enzo & Cass (Enzo Amore & Big Cass)
- Luke Gallows & Karl Anderson
- The Golden Truth (Goldust & R-Truth)
- The Shining Stars (Primo & Epico)
- The Social Outcasts (Heath Slater, Bo Dallas, & Curtis Axel)
- The Ascension (Konnor & Viktor)
- The Dudley Boyz (Bubba Ray Dudley & D-Von Dudley)
- WWE Tag Team Champions The New Day (Big E, Xavier Woods, & Kofi Kingston)
- The Usos (Jimmy Uso & Jey Uso)
- The Vaudevillains (Aiden English & Simon Gotch)
- Alicia Fox
- Becky Lynch
- WWE Women’s Champion Charlotte
- Dana Brooke
- Eva Marie
- Sasha Banks
- Summer Rae
What is interesting to note here is that there are some peculiar omissions from the list of eligible Superstars as Nikki Bella, Tyson Kidd, Tamina, Emma, Ryback, Luke Harper, Triple H, and The Undertaker are all ineligible to be drafted. The article does not specify what the ruling is on these inactive talent, but it’s a fairly safe assumption to make that they will be assigned to a brand if or when they return to in-ring competition. It’s also worth pointing out that The Lucha Dragons (Kalisto & Sin Cara) are not listed as an eligible tag team. Paul Heyman is also not on the list but it’s expected that he will be joining Brock Lesnar on whichever brand Brock is drafted to.
The Club (AJ Styles, Luke Gallows, & Karl Anderson) and The Wyatt Family (Bray Wyatt, Erick Rowan, & Braun Strowman) are also not listed collectively so if, for example, AJ Styles gets drafted, that doesn’t automatically mean that Gallows & Anderson will be joining him. However, if Luke Gallows or Karl Anderson get drafted, then they will be drafted as a pair unless the Commissioner or General Manager states otherwise. As for The Wyatt Family, it appears as if Bray Wyatt, Erick Rowan, & Braun Strowman are all considered to be individual picks since no combination of the three are listed as an eligible tag team, which means that a brand will have to use three draft picks if they want all three members of The Wyatt Family.
What are your picks for the WWE Draft? Post your comments in the box below.