After months of anticipation, the WWE Draft finally occurred Tuesday night on Smackdown Live and the WWE Network.
The first 30 picks were made during Smackdown with the final 30 being announced on the WWE Network. At least that is what WWE told everyone. Before Smackdown went off the air, WWE said that 30 more picks were going to be made on the WWE Network, but only 29 were announced.
What happened with the 60th pick? As of this writing, no one knows. Regardless, there were only 59 made and here is a round-by-round look at how the draft shook out.
No. 1: Raw – Seth Rollins
No. 2: Smackdown – Dean Ambrose
No. 3: Raw – Charlotte
No. 4: Smackdown – AJ Styles
No. 5: Raw – Finn Balor
No. 6: Raw – Roman Reigns
No. 7: Smackdown – John Cena
No. 8: Raw – Brock Lesnar
No. 9: Smackdown – Randy Orton
No. 10: Raw – The New Day
No. 11: Raw – Sami Zayn
No. 12: Smackdown – Bray Wyatt
No. 13: Raw – Sasha Banks
No. 14: Smackdown – Becky Lynch
No. 15: Raw – Chris Jericho
No. 16: Raw – Rusev (Lana)
No. 17: Smackdown – The Miz (Maryse)
No. 18: Raw – Kevin Owens
No. 19: Smackdown – Baron Corbin
No. 20: Raw – Enzo Amore & Big Cass
No. 21: Raw – Luke Gallows & Karl Anderson
No. 22: Smackdown – American Alpha
No. 23: Raw – Big Show
No. 24: Smackdown – Dolph Ziggler
No. 25: Raw – Nia Jax
No. 26: Raw – Neville
No. 27: Smackdown – Natalya
No. 28: Raw – Cesaro
No. 29: Smackdown – Alberto Del Rio
No. 30: Raw – Sheamus
No. 31: Raw – The Golden Truth
No. 32: Smackdown – The Usos
No. 33: Raw – Titus O'Neil
No. 34: Smackdown – Kane
No. 35: Raw – Paige
No. 36: Raw – Darren Young (Bob Backlund)
No. 37: Smackdown – Kalisto
No. 38: Raw – Sin Cara
No. 39: Smackdown – Naomi
No. 40: Raw – Jack Swagger
No. 41: Smackdown – The Ascension
No. 42: Raw – The Dudley Boyz
No. 43: Smackdown – Zack Ryder
No. 44: Raw – Summer Rae
No. 45: Smackdown – Apollo Crews
No. 46: Raw – Mark Henry
No. 47: Smackdown – Alexa Bliss
No. 48: Raw – Braun Strowman
No. 49: Smackdown – Breezango
No. 50: Raw – Bo Dallas
No. 51: Smackdown – Eva Marie
No. 52: Raw – The Shining Stars
No. 53: Smackdown – The Vaudevillains
No. 54: Raw – Alicia Fox
No. 55: Smackdown – Erick Rowan
No. 56: Raw – Dana Brooke
No. 57: Smackdown – Mojo Rawley
No. 58: Raw – Curtis Axel
No. 59: Smackdown – Carmella
After those 59 selections, here is how Raw and Smackdown will look for the foreseeable future:
The New Day
Enzo Amore & Big Cass
Luke Gallows & Karl Anderson
The Golden Truth
The Dudley Boyz
The Shining Stars
Alberto Del Rio
Which brand has the better roster?
I'm giving the edge to Raw. I think both of the male rosters are fairly even, but I'll definitely take Raw's tag team and women's divisions over Smackdown's. On top of that, Raw will eventually get the cruiserweight division.
Here is what WWE got right with the draft. Firstly, it made sense that Rollins and Ambrose were the top two selections. They are both worthy of the spots and were vying for the WWE championship later on that night.
I was also glad to see that Charlotte was taken No. 3 overall by Raw, as it put a big emphasis on the importance of the women's division.
Another thing WWE got right was keeping a majority of the tag teams together. One of the fans' biggest fears heading into the draft was WWE splitting up teams like The New Day and Amore and Big Cass. Well, both teams landed on Raw.
However, that did not mean groups weren't split up. Most notably was The Wyatt Family as Smackdown picked Wyatt and Rowan whereas Strowman landed on Raw.
Also splitting up was The Club as we know it. Styles was taken No. 4 overall by Smackdown where he will be joined by John Cena, who was taken No. 7 overall. Anderson and Gallows will not join Styles on Smackdown, as they were taken by Raw with the 21st overall pick.
Joining Anderson and Gallows will be former NXT champion Balor, who Raw chose with the No. 5 pick. This means the former Bullet Club mates will finally reunite. I liked Balor being taken this high as well, as it lends him instant credibility.
Balor being taken ahead of the likes of Cean, Reigns and Lesnar will instantly make people want to know who Balor is and why he was worthy of being selected so high.
On the list of things WWE got wrong was that it only made 59 picks when it told everyone that 60 picks were going to be made. I understand that the final pick could be saved for Battleground, but it still makes the company look kind of silly that it didn't make all of its picks. That'd be like the NFL announcing 255 selections for the draft, but only making 254 of them.
It looks even sillier when you consider who did not get drafted, and at the top of that list is former NXT Women's champion Bayley. I understand that this can be rectified at Battleground or at an even later date, but that didn't stop fans from being any more outraged, especially when seeing the likes of Eva Marie get selected.
However, I was happy to see other NXT names such as American Alpha, Bliss, Jax, Rawley and Carmella get the call to the main roster. Rawley is the only person that appeared on the first NXT live special back in 2014 that still hadn't gotten the main-roster call, so it was a long time coming for him. The same can be said for Jason Jordan, who had been in NXT probably as long as Rawley. Ever since he began teaming with Chad Gable, he has been on the fast track to the main roster.
As for the women, they all have tremendous talent and will make quality additions to WWE's women's division, which was in need of some new blood.
But still, Bayley needs to be making her way up to the main roster sooner rather than later. Also left undrafted from NXT were Samoa Joe, Shinsuke Nakamura, Asuka and The Revival. I'm not totally surprised that they were left off due to Joe, Asuka and The Revival all holding NXT championships, but it would have been cool to see Nakamura make his way up despite the fact that he's only been in NXT for a couple of months.
Another miss by WWE was not having Kalisto on Raw, which will exclusively present the cruiserweight division. There are some names on the Raw roster that would classify as cruiserweights, but I figured Kalisto would have been at the top of that list.
I also realize that WWE could easily fill up that division with participants from the Cruiserweight Classic, but will they begin showing up on Raw during the tournament?
I also found it weird that Owens and Cesaro had to wait around so long before they were taken. I understand it helped give Owens something to be angry about, but it seemed kind of strange for Cesaro to have to wait until the 28th pick until he finally heard his name called.
Speaking of Owens, I was surprised that he and Zayn will remain on the same brand. I thought WWE would have used the draft as an opportunity to get them away from each other for a little while, but apparently, Battleground will not be the last time they fight each other. They apparently will indeed fight forever.
I was intrigued by how WWE handled controversial names such as Reigns and Lesnar. Reigns' suspension ends this week, but Lesnar's trouble with UFC is seemingly just beginning. That apparently had no effect on where WWE wanted him to be selected.