HomeWrestlingWWE: 2021 WWE Draft Reactions

WWE: 2021 WWE Draft Reactions

The 2021 WWE Draft is over, and things have certainly been shaken up.

RAW and SmackDown made their final picks Monday night, ensuring that both rosters are new and refreshed. However, the moves won’t go into effect until after Crown Jewel on October 21. While some choices were blatantly obvious, others were quite surprising.

Let’s look at the new rosters coming out of the WWE Draft, while I give my thoughts on some of the picks.

RAW

– AJ Styles
– Akira Tozawa
– Alexa Bliss
– Angelo Dawkins
– Apollo Crews
– Austin Theory
– Becky Lynch
– Bianca Belair
– Big E
– Bobby Lashley
– Carmella
– Cedric Alexander
– Chad Gable
– Commander Azeez
– Damian Priest
– Dana Brooke
– Dolph Ziggler
– Dominik Mysterio
– Doudrop
– Drake Maverick
– Edge
– Finn Bálor
– Gable Steveson
– Jaxson Ryker
– John Morrison   

– Karrion Kross
– Keith “Bearcat” Lee
– Kevin Owens
– Liv Morgan
– Mia Yim
– Montez Ford
– MVP
– Nia Jax
– Nikki A.S.H.
– Omos
– Otis
– R-Truth
– Randy Orton
– Reggie
– Rey Mysterio
– Rhea Ripley
– Riddle
– Robert Roode
– Seth Rollins
– Shelton Benjamin
– T-Bar
– Tamina
– Tegan Nox
– The Miz
– Veer
– Zelina Vega 

SmackDown


– Aliyah
– Angel Garza
– Ashonte “Thee” Adonis
– B-Fab
– Cesaro
– Charlotte Flair
– Drew Gulak
– Drew McIntyre
– Erik
– Happy Corbin
– Humberto Carillo
– Isaiah “Swerve” Scott
– Ivar
– Jeff Hardy
– Jey Uso
– Jimmy Uso
– Jinder Mahal
– King Nakamura
– Kofi Kingston
– Mace
– Madcap Moss
– Mansoor
– Mustafa Ali
– Naomi
– Natalya
– Rick Boogs
– Ricochet
– Ridge Holland
– Roman Reigns
– Sami Zayn
– Sasha Banks
– Shanky
– Shayna Baszler
– Sheamus
– Shotzi
– Toni Storm
– Top Dolla
– Xavier Woods
– Xia Li 

Reactions

Photo courtesy of WWE

At first glance, it’s easy to see that RAW won the WWE Draft. For instance, adding names like Lynch, Bálor, Rollins, Belair, and Edge bring plenty of star power to Monday nights. Not to mention, keeping the likes of Big E, Styles, Priest, Lee, and Lashley further bolsters RAW going forward.

Some other names that stick out to me in particular are Liv Morgan, Mia Yim, Austin Theory, and Kevin Owens. Moving to RAW could help Morgan escape the start-stop booking that plagued her on SmackDown. Yim getting drafted could finally get her some TV time, considering she’s been MIA since March.

Theory impressed many during his time in NXT. During RAW, he made quite the first impression by attacking Jeff Hardy. Owens could certainly use a change of scenery, which hopefully brings him some better booking as well. He deserves more than feuding with Corbin and Moss.

Meanwhile, it looked like SmackDown was gutted in this year’s draft. Losing Lynch, Edge, Belair, Rollins, and The Street Profits took a lot of their firepower. However, they have plenty of new faces that could become top stars, with several NXT talent joining the blue brand.

Ricochet certainly needs the change, since he has been in a downward spiral for a while now. Roman Reigns could get some new challengers in the future in Hardy and Sheamus, as well as a potential rematch with Cesaro. The Usos will also have new contenders, such as Hit Row, The Viking Raiders, and Garza and Carillo.

Also, the SmackDown women’s division could be something to watch as well. Not only did they keep the likes of Sasha Banks and Toni Storm, but they also brought in Charlotte Flair, Shayna Baszler, Xia Li, and Aliyah.

While there were some quality moves on both sides, there were also some that made me scratch my head.

For starters, the women’s tag team division was basically destroyed. As it stands right now, Rhea Ripley and Nikki A.S.H. have no challengers for their Women’s Tag Team Championships. Baszler and Nia Jax broke up weeks ago after the former took the latter out in a post-match attack. Then, the only other two teams in contention were split up in the draft.

Tegan Nox and Tamina went to RAW, while Shotzi and Natalya went to SmackDown. Nox and Shotzi never got their title shot, even after doing more than enough to earn one. This means that, more than likely, we’re going to see even more odd ball teams thrown together just to give Super Brutality something to do.

Speaking of tag teams, another one broke up in the form of The New Day. They just teased a feud between them and a reunited Hurt Business several weeks ago. Instead, Big E stayed on RAW, while Kofi Kingston and Xavier Woods went to SmackDown. It’s almost like WWE forgets to plan ahead sometimes, who knew?


Have you seen these superstars?

Photo courtesy of WWE

Then you look at some of the names not picked. The biggest one that sticks out to me especially is Dakota Kai, who many expected to join RAW or SmackDown. However, the draft has come and gone, and she is nowhere to be found. She would make an excellent addition to either show, and it’s a shame she’s still stuck in limbo.

Several other NXT talents like Io Shirai, Pete Dunne, Franky Monet, and LA Knight also went undrafted. It obviously raises plenty of questions about NXT 2.0 and its plans going forward.

There are also the likes of Asuka, Eva Marie, Elias, and Bayley. Asuka has been suspiciously absent since Money In The Bank, and no one knows if she’s hurt or just taking time off. Marie was just destroyed by Baszler, so maybe they’re playing off that and plan to keep her on the “shelf” for the time being. Elias was teasing a new character, but apparently, that isn’t happening now. Bayley not being selected makes sense I suppose, as she is still recovering from her knee injury.


The saga continues… kind of

Photo courtesy of WWE

Another thing I wasn’t a fan of was how they handled The Usos. During SmackDown, Reigns made a big deal about Paul Heyman ensuring Jimmy and Jey remained on Friday nights. So much so, a lot of people expected them to get drafted to RAW. In fact, Reigns told his cousins that if Heyman couldn’t get the job done, to leave him for dead. 

Instead of building any kind of tension, The Usos were literally drafted second on Monday night. WWE had a huge opportunity to drag it out and add yet another wrinkle into The Bloodline family drama. But no, they completely dropped the ball—shocker, I know.

We’ll have to wait and see how well these rosters mesh later on. In the meantime, it’ll be even more interesting to see how they handle any current storylines that were affected by the WWE Draft. Nevertheless, change is coming for better or worse, and it all starts after Crown Jewel.

Shalene Hixon
Shalene Hixon
“We prefer to be the freaks, we prefer to be the geeks, we prefer to be the weirdos, the misfits, the oddballs. And most of all, we prefer being the ones who aren’t afraid to be themselves.” - Paige
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