Monday, June 6, 2016

The Ultimate WWE Fantasy Draft - Review

Now that we have completed the ultimate WWE fantasy draft (Part one, part two, and part three), it's time to figure out the most interesting picks and hopefully get Jonah to admit my dominance in fantasy wrestling drafts. We had a long conversation, and shockingly, nothing was decided, but here are our thoughts.

Joe: Jonah, the draft is over, and I think you feel good about your roster, and I know I feel good about my roster. But the question that I'm most curious about is at the top. Did I make the right decision with Seth Rollins?

Jonah: Rollins is a good pick to have as the face of your brand.  He's got the look and the in ring skills of a star and gets a reaction from the crowd.  I feel like his heel work has been a little one dimensional but in the near future he will show whether or not he can be a little more original.  If you were in my position and rollins was off the board would you have gone with the other two shield members or gone a different way?

Joe: I did have Reigns in my top three, but I am super low on Dean Ambrose compared to most people. I understand that people really like him, but I knew there was no way I was going to end up with him in this draft. No, instead, the guy that I had at number two, and has the best argument to be number one is the doctor of Thuganomics, John Cena. I didn't take Cena with my next two picks, because right before I was about to pick him and Cesaro, I flashed back to Cesaro and Sami Zayn matches and realized that I couldn't separate those two. Why did you let Cena keep falling?

Jonah: Age and fear of injuries.  He's been banged up for a long time.  Also love for Kevin Owens.  He will be wwe champ within the year.  He does everything so well.  He's consistently the best week in and week out.  AJ Styles is fresher in terms of the wwe.  Basically anyone he faces off with is a fresh match people want to see and I think he's incapable of putting on a bad match.  Cena was next on my list I just had those few guys rated ahead of him.  We both love Brock Lesnar but are you worried you used such a high draft pick on someone that may wrestle one or two matches on your show at most?

Joe: Cena is a freak when it comes to injuries, so I'm not too worried about that. Also, he is BY FAR the biggest star in the WWE. And we really shouldn't forget that Cena had his best year as a wrestler before his injury. He often had the match of the night when defending the US Title, and the guy is a star who does a ton of charity. We hate John Cena, because we realize he is who we want to be.

I love Kevin Owens, but I think that his body does make him a tough sell to a casual wrestling fan. And AJ Styles is a great wrestler, but his potential is not leading a company.

As for Lesnar, he may only wrestle once or twice on Raw, but he's got 4-6 matches in PPVs, which will only happen with my guys. And I also get the benefit of Paul Heyman hanging around doing promos. And when Lesnar is wrestling, he is the main event (unless he's wrestling somebody shitty like Dean Ambrose, ZING). How far would you have let Lesnar fall? Also, out of your top 10 picks, who do you think was the best value?

Jonah: Hey I'm not hating on John Cena, I would have taken him if you didn't in the next round.  He does seem to be moving down the card a bit, but it was a great pick.  I do disagree on AJ, he carried TNA on his back, and I know they've become a complete joke but they were a decent company for awhile and that was the time that AJ was employed by them.  Lesnar likely wouldn't have fallen past my next two picks, I was just thinking that he doesn't wrestle on free tv, which does make it a little tougher for him since we're drafting for shows.  Paul Heyman, personal friend and follower of The Jonah Show is always entertaining.  I really like my top 10 picks, so it's tough to pick one.  Randy Orton is a veteran star who has been main eventing for a decade.  Rusev should already be in the main event, but he's working his way up due to terrible booking.  The New Day may be the best pick for me out of the top ten.  Big E will be a main eventer for at least a decade.  Kofi and Xavier are entertaining as hell, and they're both great in the ring too.  Kofi's a veteran who has been in main event feuds and shown he can hang.

So Joe, you were the first to pull the trigger on the women's division.  Why did you feel that was the right time to take the two women, and why was Charlotte your pick?  Everyone understands that Sasha is the best so I don't need any explanation on that.

Joe: On why I chose the women when I did, it was actually interesting, because you came to me with this idea, and about ten minutes later I was ready to draft as I just quickly ranked everybody. On my original list, I had New Day over Charlotte and Sasha, but when it came time to draft, I went with the ladies. Part of that is that picking Kofi and Xavier that early when I had never cared about them before had me very concerned. I felt like Big E was worthy of that pick, I mean, he is a Hawkeye, but New Day is starting to lose its luster, and even though they are still great, I don't know where things go for them in a year. I also factored in positional scarcity, and it was clear that this was the right choice. These two are a clear cut above everyone else in the division. Sasha is obviously phenomenal; I mean, I'm 31-years-old and cannot help dancing every time her music comes on. It makes me feel like a Boss. And Charlotte is so good in the ring that she has gotten two great matches out of Natalya (Takeover and Roadblock), and Natalya is only slightly more useful than a wet fart. And Charlotte is still getting better in the ring, and she's taking some baby steps on the mic. I feel like with these two picks, all I needed to add were warm bodies, and I would have the more entertaining women's division. Obviously, you're going to feel different, so what are your thoughts on your women's division?

Jonah: Well, I agree that Sasha is the absolute best, and that her music is the absolute best.  I feel she is head and shoulders above everyone on the main roster.  Charlotte is very talented in the ring, but honestly dreadful on the mic.  It's not that Charlotte is a bad pick, I just feel that she is equal to Becky Lynch.  The only difference between the two is a push.  Becky is just as talented in the ring, and she's better on the mic.  I was able to get Becky more than 10 picks later.  I was concerned about the strength of your women's division, but I feel like mine stacks up well against yours.  Becky is at worst equal to Charlotte, I later got Paige who is the true catalyst for the women's revolution.  She came in, wrestled like a champ, and demanded attention.  She's just been lost in the shuffle for some reason, that reason being the WWE writing team can't book more than two women's feuds at a time or else their heads will explode.  I'm far from a big Nattie fan, but she does put on quality matches the majority of the time so she's very useful.  Nikki Bella is underrated in the ring because she's a Bella.  She's not a horsewoman, but she puts on good matches.  Alicia Fox and Naomi are underrated and underused, but plenty talented enough.  Tamina isn't that special, but she's a good enforcer in the women's division.  My women's division is deep and talented.  I feel like Chris Jericho fell further than I would have expected.  Is there a reason you didn't want him?

Joe: First off, you owe me a new laptop, because saying that "Becky is at worst equal to Charlotte" was so laughable that I did a spit take and now my monitor is covered in smoothie. I'm hoping you don't believe that, because nobody in the world thinks Becky is equal to Charlotte. Becky is really good, but Charlotte is the Brock Lesnar of the Women's division. She's bigger, stronger, and more athletic than any woman they have. Becky Lynch is good, but she's more on the Paige/Emma level than the Sasha/Charlotte/Bayley tier.

I mean my reasoning behind not taking Jericho is that his schedule is inconsistent, and he's not around long enough to truly have a compelling feud, because you know the other guy is going over. This is the longest he's been around in what, five years? He's not a full-time wrestler, and although this iteration has been great, it started out with him calling New Day "Rooty Tooty Booty" and proceeding to spend the next month defending that as genuinely funny. Jericho has been very good, but he can also be very bad. With the limited schedule, I didn't think the risk was worth it.

Speaking of part-timers, how early did I jump the gun on The Rock? Keep in mind, there is at least a one percent chance that he gets Vin Diesel to show up with him one time.

Jonah: Well now my feeling are hurt, I do think Becky is equal to Charlotte.  Charlotte is a great wrestler, but she is awful on the mic.  Maybe Brock Lesnar is a good comparison.  He's awesome in the ring, but he's not a great promo.  Jericho seems like he's back for awhile and he's been doing great work.  His first feud with The New Day was terrible, but he's been money since.  My love for the Rock is well documented, but it was too early for him.  If you're lucky he shows up twice a year and wrestles one match, again not on free tv.  I hope he brings Vin Diesel with him, I'd buy them as tag team champs all day.  He's the most electrifying man in all of entertainment, but I'm pretty sure he's got 18 movies to film with Kevin Hart, he's going to be busy.  Speaking of part timers, how long do you figure Shane is sticking around?

Joe: I don't know how involved he will be, but I'd be pretty surprised if he wasn't back with WWE, at least on a part-time basis, and the more they talk about it, I think he's likely to be fairly involved. It was also at this point where nobody has huge potential on the wrestling side. I'm a little bummed I missed out on Tyler Breeze. Any picks that stand out for you in part two of the draft?

Jonah: I do love Tyler Breeze.  I see that I took Titus O' Neil very early, but I think he's got a ton of potential.  Do you think his recent push is because the WWE reads our columns?  I'm also very happy with my pick of Fandango.  That guy can wrestle and he's all charisma all the time.  I think he's a great value.  I like your pick of the Vaudevillians.  So who's your favorite Social Outcast?  Which on of them will you book as the breakout star of the group?

Joe: Yeah, The Vaudevillains were a team that just kept falling, but they're both fun in the ring, and Aiden English having the ability to sing is something that that could be a huge help in getting them over. As for my favorite Social Outcast, Heath Slater is great at what he does, taking beatings in an entertaining way, Curtis Axel is hilarious, even if it is sometimes unintentional, but the cream of the crop is Bo Dallas. I know it's been two years, but Bo Dallas may be the best promo in NXT history. He was the absolute best, and despite being buried since being called up, he still gets a reaction. He is a FAR BETTER promo than his brother, as Bo could actually keep things fresh, and Bray is as stale as it gets. 

Moving on, I was the guy to jump on the non-wrestlers and lock down my announce team of Mauro Ranallo and Corey Graves which could be the steals of the draft for the impact they will have on my television product. I'm interested to hear your plan as Booker T only does occasional PPVs with his schedule, and Renee is pretty rough with announcing matches. So Jonah, what the hell are you going to do with your announcers that will not make me want to change the channel?

Jonah: Renee Young might as well be El Dandy because I will never doubt her.  I think she'll be great.  Even if she's not, she's still a great interviewer.  I have Michael Cole who is the voice of the WWE, so that's a solid announcer.  Tom Phillips has been good in NXT, he plays off Graves well and his delivery helps Graves stand out.  Byron Saxton is already a RAW announcer, he's not very good, but he's good enough to talk on the flagship show every week according to the WWE.  With just those three I have plenty of announcing talent.  Don't forget I also have Funaki, the number one announcer, plus Jerry Soto on the Spanish announce team.  So your superstar women's division includes wrestling legends like Eva Marie and Rosa Mendes.  How can you make them not complete wastes of space?

Joe: Step one: Put Eva Marie and Rosa Mendes in an hour long Iron Woman Match.
Step two: Start the match and let the crowd reign down with boos.
Step three: Brock Lesnar's music.
Step four: Annihilation

Outside of that, Eva Marie has become serviceable in the ring. She's still bad, but if you told me I had to watch an hour of Eva Marie or five minutes of Natalya, I'm All Red Everything. Rosa Mendes dated Gary Barnridge a couple years ago, so I will use her to identify fantasy football sleepers.

I don't really feel like doing a deep dive into the end of this thing, so who was your favorite pick, and who were you most disappointed about a guy that you weren't able to get?

Jonah: Well I know you'll disagree with this, but Bray Wyatt at 22 is an awesome pick.  Despite terrible booking he still matters and is still over.  If they put the slightest effort into him he'll be a main eventer.  He's also very good in the ring.  I was disappointed I missed out on Neville.  That guy is awesome, hopefully when he makes his return they'll stop booking him into obscurity.  I thought he'd last longer.  What about you?  Who was your favorite pick and who are you sad you missed out on?  

Joe: I mean, the big thing for me was how things fell for me at the beginning of the draft, as I got five of my top six rated guys, only missing out on Roman Reigns. But for deeper down the list, picking Apollo Crews and Neville back-to-back was a real highlight and I was also really happy to get Emma as she has been incredible since going back to NXT. I'll be excited to see her come back from injury. 

The biggest guy that I missed out on was Rusev, as he's just so damn cool. If he didn't have a Russian accent, he'd already be in the main event scene, as he's legitimately one of the five funniest people in the WWE. Some of the later picks I would have liked to get are Tyler Breeze and Darren Young with Bob Backlund. Backlund during an election year should prove to be entertaining.

But that'll wrap up the main roster talk. Next week is NXT Week where Jonah gets that coveted first overall pick.

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