Tuesday, May 31, 2016

The Ultimate WWE Fantasy Draft

With Smackdown moving to a live show on Tuesdays, there are plenty of rumors about an upcoming brand split for the WWE. Instead of waiting for the WWE to pull off a disappointing draft routine, the ultimate tag team, Lukewarm Jonah and Hott Joe, came together this past week to have an old fashioned WWE Fantasy Draft. Our goal is to create the best possible roster to create a successful, moneymaking product.

Some things to know before we get started is that you draft guys for what they are likely to do in the future. The Rock is in this draft, but you don't get to draft him as a full-time wrestler, but he can be used 1-2 times a year to talk for a half hour and boost ratings. Another thing is that wrestlers automatically got their managers with them, so Miz comes with Maryse. Also, tag teams must be taken in pairs, and they must be taken with the first of your two back-to-back picks since we did a snake draft. For New Day, they would take up the person's next three picks, but they would stay together. And to create this list, we used the list of WWE personnel on Wikipedia, so our main roster included 118 picks. And that does not include NXT Superstars (Supplemental Draft) or Mr. McMahon, who is ominpresent for our purposes.

Since Jonah is a true gentleman, he offered me the first pick, and from there, we will have two picks each through the rest of the draft. Let's get it going with part one.

1. Joe selects Seth Rollins
Is this a homer pick? Well, I do share a hometown with Rollins, so you could say so, but he's the best pick to go with if you are creating a brand. He's shown he can be a top heel, and I think people forget how good he is in the ring, because he hasn't been held back from shining. The only thing that's held him back is that he actually wrestled like a heel so he held back from some of his most entertaining moves. There's nobody I'd feel more confident in leading my brand.

2-3. Jonah selects Roman Reigns and Dean Ambrose
With Rollins gone, I went with the other two members of The Shield.  Sure Roman Reigns is getting booed into oblivion, but he’s already been in two Wrestlemania main events and just needs to be booked correctly, and I’m just the man to do it.  If you don’t believe me read the article I wrote about how to book Roman Reigns.  Dean Ambrose is super over.  He’s been putting on better matches recently, honestly he’s not my favorite guy but the crowd absolutely loves him, he cuts a great promo, and I feel his in ring work has really stepped up in recent months.  Plus these two fighting each other once Reigns turns heel is a Wrestlemania worthy main event.

4-5. Joe selects Cesaro and Sami Zayn
So Jonah took the other members of The Shield, which was fine by me. I'm not a Dean Ambrose guy, and the internet seems to hate Roman Reigns, so I went with a couple guys that the internet loves in Cesaro and Sami Zayn. Let's not forget that these two may have had the best match in NXT history with their 2-out-of-3 falls match. I actually had Cena and Cesaro ranked highest on my list, but I couldn't resist the chance to pair Cesaro and Zayn, which basically means that I'm going to have the best main events imaginable.

6-7. Jonah selects Kevin Owens and AJ Styles
Joe taking Cesaro and Sami Zayn hurt, but I just like Joe too much to steal Cesaro from him with one of my first two picks.  Zayn is awesome, but I would put Kevin Owens ahead of him.  The work he’s done is main event level.  I gave serious thought to picking Owens with one of my first two picks so I’m very happy to get him here.  AJ Styles is older, but still very fresh in the eyes of the WWE and they’ve already made him a main eventer.  Styles has already had amazing matches with Reigns and Owens, he can fight anyone, put on a fantastic match and the crowd will care.

8-9. Joe selects John Cena and Brock Lesnar with Paul Heyman
Needless to say, I was pretty happy to get the face that runs the place with the eighth pick in the draft. He probably should have been the first pick in the draft, but I'll gladly reap the benefits. There are so many John Cena haters that people forget that he is BY FAR the biggest star in the company and also puts on great matches when he is up against great wrestlers. To top it off with Brock Lesnar who I would watch wrestle anybody and I get the services of Paul Heyman makes it well worth it, even if Lesnar is only around about a third of the year. Just think about Lesnar vs. Cesaro or Sami Zayn, or a triple threat match, or a fatal fourway with Rollins. Oh man, I'm fantasy booking my fantasy wrestling team; this may be nerd overload.

10-11. Jonah selects Rusev with Lana and Randy Orton
Obviously both Cena and Lesnar were high on my radar.  I’m a little worried about Cena returning from this injury.  He’s getting up there in years, but if he was here I definitely would have taken him.  Same with Lesnar, but I went with year round top performers over the great Lesnar.  Anyways, Rusev is awesome.  The guy is one of the most entertaining promos in the company, he looks like he could kill you, and he puts on good matches.  He should already be in the main event and he will pair nicely with all the other talented, entertaining guys I have on my roster.  Lana is a nice plus, she’s shown athleticism in the ring, and was super over before they turned her American then back to Russian.  Randy Orton is a well known veteran.  He’s pretty solid in the ring, and it’s good to have a veteran presence on the roster.  Really he’s been presented as Cena’s equal and rival for a decade.

12-13. Joe selects Charlotte and Sasha Banks
This is where having back-to-back picks can either set you up or absolutely kill you. I took the top two women's wrestlers and instantly made my division dominant over his, no matter what he is able to acquire from here on out. I, like the rest of the internet, love Sasha Banks, and Charlotte is an absolute freak. I knew I was setting up Jonah for his next pick, but I felt like locking down women's wrestling was worth the risk of being Booty.

14-16. Jonah selects The New Day
I was sad that Joe took Charlotte and Sasha, or really, just Sasha.  Here’s the thing about the New Day though, Big E is a future world champion.  Great look, tons of charisma, great matches, it’s pretty simple.  Kofi has been solid for a decade, and Xavier Woods went from being absolutely nothing to being part of the best group going today.  He’s still plenty young and can go in the ring, I’ll book him a new, cooler looking finisher and he’ll be good to go for years.

17-18. Joe selects Dolph Ziggler and Alberto Del Rio
It's really tough to argue with anybody in the top 16 picks. They're the biggest stars in the company. I selected Dolph Ziggler, who could be higher and could be much lower, but it's Dolph Ziggler, and even though it's been a little more miss than hit lately, he has the potential to rising back up. Also, Ziggler/Lesnar sounds like an incredibly fun match to me (Note: Lesnar/Insert Wrestler Human Here always sounds great to me). After that, I went with Alberto Del Rio, mostly because I remember how totally awesome Alberto El Patron was, so I know what kind of incredible potential he has.

19. Jonah selects The Miz with Maryse
I am a big fan of Dolph, and have a “Saving Dolph Ziggler” booking article working, but he just didn’t fall to me.  The Miz is really underrated.  I’m not sure how he’s been able to do it, but he’s been a main eventer, mid carder, and jobber, and really he does them all well.  He’s a veteran who can work with anyone and actually put on decent matches.

20-21. Joe selects Enzo and Big Cass
Enzo is the type of guy that could go into a monastery and get the monks to cheer for him. You can't teach that.

22-23. Jonah selects Bray Wyatt and Sheamus
The previous pick was the realest pick in the room.  I waited a little longer on Bray Wyatt than I normally would have knowing that Joe doesn’t like him.  The Wyatt family was about to destroy the League of Nations before Wyatt’s injury and it was the first time anyone made any noise during a League of Nations segment.  Wyatt is a guy I genuinely believe will be a main eventer, just needs a little bit of a gimmick change.  Whoops sorry Sheamus don’t read that sentence about how much the League of Nations suck.  Sheamus is still a multiple time world champion, including as recently as just a few months ago.   He’s a big brawler, should be a good heel, but for some reason generates no heat.  My booking team will fix that.

24-25. Joe selects Luke Gallows and Karl Anderson
So far, Gallows and Anderson have been fairly pedestrian. They didn't get the best feud as they are more of a sideshow than a main attraction. Still, there is no better bad guy tag team to have around, so at best, you can run them as champions, and at worse, they are enforcers who just come in and kick ass.

26-27. Jonah selects Kalisto and Becky Lynch
Kalisto should be the new Rey Mysterio.  Instead they’ve been having him wrestler super boring matches against big guys.  I’ll have him fight guys who can keep up with him and sell millions of Kalisto masks to kids.  Becky Lynch is as good as Charlotte.  There I said it.  I know Charlotte’s the champ, but Sasha is the cream of the women’s division in the WWE now, and Charlotte and Becky Lynch are 2A and 2B.  Lynch is as good in the ring as Charlotte, and it may just be me but I’d rather listen to Lynch’s accent then Charlotte shout random words during a promo.

28-29. Joe selects Apollo Crews and Neville
It was at this point where I realized how stupid deep WWE's roster is. I know they have some injuries, but how are they struggling to fill three hours with this many great wrestlers? I'm not totally sure what they are doing with Apollo Crews, but I think that there is no wrestler who would benefit more from a brand split. Hopefully they continue his feud with Sheamus, as even in a loss, it could help elevate him. Neville is basically a better Kalisto without the mask; people forget that. Had he not gotten hurt, he could have truly elevated things in the Ladder Match at WrestleMania, but he could be a ton of fun against just about anybody on my roster.

30-31. Jonah selects Chris Jericho and Paige
Jericho really went later than he should have.  His work since he’s come back is his best in years and if you don’t believe that then you’re a stupid idiot.  He’s still very good in the ring, he’s always been great on the mic, and he can host the Highlight Reel.  He’s back to put wrestlers over, but he’s still a recognized threat.  Pairing someone lower on the totem pole with him will elevate them even if Jericho wins to keep his threat.  Paige is awesome and has been buried for some reason.  She’s in her early 20s, and is still one of the top women’s wrestlers in the company.  Grabbing Paige after Lynch is my way of making sure my women’s division is legitimate.

32-33.  Joe selects Luke Harper and Triple H
Luke Harper = Great Wrestler; that's all you need to know. Triple H will probably be around as a wrestler for two months, but he can benefit everything by throwing his weight as an authority figure behind a younger wrestler.

34-35. Jonah selects Baron Corbin and Titus O'Neil
I was disappointed that Joe took Luke Harper.  Harper really should be the WWE’s new monster.  He’s like the old monsters except better in the ring.  Since Joe took Harper I needed to take Baron Corbin as my new monster.  Guy hates indy wrestlers, small wrestlers, whoever.  He’s got a bright future ahead and I love his entitled gimmick.  Titus O’ Neil is probably a bit of a shock, but I like what he does in the ring even though it’s not overly complicated.  His bark is entertaining to the crowd and he provides incredible PR.  You’re looking at the Celebrity Dad of the Year and he’s on my roster.

36-37. Joe selects Big Show and The Rock
These are my spectacle picks. Big Show is the largest athlete out there, and you can always use that to legitimize guys by temporarily turning him into a monster. I also drafted The Rock, because even though he is probably only showing up 1-2 times a year to cut a 30 minute promo, it will boost my ratings and brand appeal.

38-39. Jonah selects Kane and Braun Strowman
Joe took the Big Show, so I felt I had to strike back with Kane.  I’ll be honest, I’d book him both as the monster Kane and as Corporate Kane.  Two faces of Jacobs is almost as good as three faces of Foley.  He’s a veteran, has absolutely no problem losing to anyone, and was a very entertaining backstage figure.  Strowman is raw.  He needs time to develop.  However his size, strength, and intensity are a great base.  By keeping him with Wyatt for a bit, Strowman should be able to actually develop into another new monster.

That's all for part one, we'll be back with part two tomorrow.

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