Tuesday, June 7, 2016

The Ultimate WWE NXT 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.

We knocked out the main roster in parts one, two, and three, with a review added at the end. But this week, we focus on NXT. With 73 superstars, there is plenty of guys to go through, so we'll break it down to two parts with a review to follow. Let's kick it off with part one. Since I had first pick for the main roster, Jonah selects first for NXT.

1. Jonah selects Finn Balor
The number one pick in an NXT draft is very tough.  There’s a few people who are guaranteed superstars.  I went with Finn Balor for his ability to work both face and heel, a great look, great matches, and that sweet entrance music and awesome entrance.  On my show I’m paying Marvel and DC whatever they need so Finn can cosplay as actual characters instead of being Venom but being called a demon.

2-3. Joe selects Shinsuke Nakamura and Bayley
I feel like I kind of lucked out in not having the first pick in the NXT draft. I think the first three people taken are all on about the same level as they are all hopefully going to blossom into huge stars on the main roster. I think Jonah made the right pick with Finn, because it seems like people are starting to underrate him just because he's been around for a while. Still, I get chills every time Shisuke Nakamura comes out, because he does the weirdest shit, but it is just so damn cool. God bless him. And Bayley is the perfect wrestler to market to children. She sends a positive message, and honestly, if you somehow hate Bayley, you're probably just a less ambitious Hitler. I don't like to drop the Hitler bomb, but yeah, you're basically shitty Hitler if you don't like Bayley.

4-5. Jonah selects Samoa Joe and Asuka
Fucking Joe.  Nakamura and Bayley were in the discussion for number one overall pick.  Nakamura is pure electricity, and Bayley will be the female John Cena for the next decade.  My consolation prizes aren’t bad though.  Samoa Joe is already a recognized star by most wrestling fans.  He’s back to being a motivated monster now that he’s on a real wrestling show.  The guy’s a main eventer as soon as he goes up to the main roster.  Asuka is awesome.  She’s a great wrestler, her strikes and submissions are incredible, and she is very unique.  She has plenty of charisma, she just needs to work on her English, but really, crowds eat her up even if she doesn’t speak.

6-7. Joe selects American Alpha
I knew Jonah could go one of two directions with his next picks, and I'm super happy he went the way he did. It's the way that made the most sense, but I'm deeply in love with American Alpha. Strictly wrestling wise, they are probably the second most fun people to watch just behind Nakamura, and even that's close. Gable is the most naturally gifted chain wrestler since Kurt Angle, and I will gladly take Tiny Kurt Angle anytime. Also, Jason Jordan has found the perfect niche for himself as the hot tag extraordinaire that will do every imaginable suplex to every imaginable thing in sight. They are that perfect mix of dominant tag team that is not so physically imposing that they also can't put people over, but yes, they should rein over the tag division for decades. That's right, decades.

8-9. Jonah selects Hideo Itami and Austin Aries
Fucking Joe again.  I couldn’t pass up Samoa Joe, so I didn’t have the opportunity to take American Alpha.  It’s a hell of a pick.  But again my consolation prize is pretty damn awesome.  Hideo Itami has been forgotten a bit since he’s had a long term injury, but when he comes back he’s going to make a big impact.  He’s Kenta damn it.  Austin Aries has it all, but it hasn’t all been put together yet in NXT.  It will be soon, because he works best as a heel.  He’s a cocky prick, that’s a tough face gimmick to get over.  Once he gets rolling, he’s an easy promotion and someone you can put in the ring with anyone and expect great things.

10-11. Joe selects Alexa Bliss and Tye Dillinger
I feel like Hideo Itami was the last elite talent left on the board, because I just don't see how well Aries translates to the main roster. And by him going that route, that left me with not one, but two Perfect 10s in Alexa Bliss and Tye Dillinger. Dillinger is so over right now, and that is with him still rarely winning matches. I have gotten to see him a lot at the NXT house shows in Florida, and he put on an excellent match with Andrade "Cien" Almas and a really good match with former WWE employee, Alex Riley. Dillinger isn't going to be a World Champion, but he can be a vital cog to make guys look great. And Alexa Bliss is not only very attractive, but she's got insane charisma and is becoming much better at the technical wrestling side of things. It doesn't get much better than locking down both Perfect 10s.

12-13. Jonah selects The Revival
Fantastic old school tag team.  Their gimmick will work great, they’ve been putting on classic matches as well.  They’re no American Alpha, but no one is.  They are however the next best thing, perfect heel team that should be around for a decade.

14-15. Joe selects Nia Jax and Mojo Rawley
So things really start to fall off quickly with the NXT roster. Like, thank god they only have to put on an hour of television a week, because even though that hour always leaves me wanting more, they just don't have the depth to pull it off. Nia Jax has a lot of value, because she's basically the monster of the women's division. It will always be easy to sell a feud with Nia Jax involved. She's still progressing in the ring, but that's what NXT is there for, and there's no reason she shouldn't be able to keep getting better. Then there's Mojo Rawley. He's also getting better, but I still don't know what you do with him. For a guy that big, he never really physically dominates guys like you'd like to see. Still, you should see him in person at small NXT shows; there is nobody better at interacting with children. Like, he puts Bayley to shame. Okay, he probably barely beats out Bayley, but still, he is so pumped up to take selfies with children and sign whatever they want. It's really impressive, and that adds to his value.

16-17. Jonah selects Johnny Gargano and Tomasso Ciampa
We decided Gargano and Ciampa were a team, and I was very happy to get them here.  Two big time prospects who, for now at least, are working better as a team than as singles.  They’re both talented enough and have a good enough look to go far either together or on their own.

18-19. Joe selects Carmella and No Way Jose
So I like Ciampa, but I'm super low on Johnny Gargano, as he is basically a sheet of plain white paper to me. The crowd seems to like him more than I do, but I was happy Jonah jumped on those guys. I used the opportunity to further bolster my Women's roster with Carmella who is your classic white meat babyface and can also pair with Enzo and Big Cass when she gets the callup. Then I got No Way Jose, who I'm still unsure of. He's fun; I know that much, but it's too early to really see where we can expect him to go from here.

20-21. Jonah selects Elias Samson and Angelo Dawkins
I like the Carmella pick, but I’m happy to get Elias Sampson here.  He has a good look, his wrestling has been fine, and I absolutely love the heel gimmick of douchebag with a guitar.  If you can’t relate to this heel gimmick, then you probably are a douchebag with a guitar, and everyone else hates you.  Angelo Dawkins is my next pick for a breakout guy in NXT.  He’s been there a long time, he’s young, has great size, and a great amateur background.

22-23. Joe selects Andrade “Cien” Almas and Adrienne Reese
Very happy that Jonah went that way, as I can now start stealing up guys who haven't made their TV debut yet. I wrote about both of these wrestlers a couple weeks ago, and Adrienne Reese is going to turn some heads when she makes her debut. Top rope flipping stunner is all you need to know. and Andrade "Cien" Almas got his first vignette a couple weeks ago, and oh man am I excited for his debut. Basically, if this draft would have happened a month later, he wouldn't have made it out of the top 10. Trust me, you will love Andrade Almas.

24-25. Jonah selects TM61
This was a steal.  I wanted Sampson, so I had to take another singles wrestler last round, but here I get another tag team that has been hugely successful around the world.  These guys will be future stars in the tag division, it’s basically a guarantee.  One final thing to remember, the mighty don’t kneel.

26-27. Joe selects Patrick Clark and Tino Sabbatelli
Well, first off, I'd just like to tell Jonah that he's a piece of shit for taking TM 61 from me. I knew I had to take Almas before the Australians, but it still hurts, and oh, would you look at that? There is a monumental dropoff at this point. Is this too early for Patrick Clark? Well, I would have said so a month ago, but then I saw his new tights that feature his face, a bald eagle, and the White House, and I am ALL IN on hated American, Patrick Clark. Tino Sabbatelli isn't a great talker, and he's not real great in the ring either. That said, he's got the best body in the WWE, and maybe the best body in WWE history. So at least he's really good at working out. After typing this out, I'm wondering if Jonah just put me on tilt with that TM 61 pick.

28-29. Jonah selects Billie Kay and Peyton Royce
Joe had been taking too many NXT women, so I’m happy to get Billie Kay and Peyton Royce.  They’ve shown that they can put on good matches even though they haven’t been winning.  They’re good looking, talented women’s wrestlers.  Very valuable to the future.

30-31. Joe selects Mandy Rose and Liv Morgan
Jonah took two ladies who are good looking and talented wrestlers. I took two ladies who are great looking and still figuring it out in the ring. Liv Morgan has shown a lot, but Mandy Rose is green as grass right now. Still, even she has a lot of natural charisma. I'm increasing my stable of hot chicks, and I definitely wouldn't mind a heel women's stable with these two and Alexa Bliss. I'm officially no longer on tilt.

32-33. Jonah selects Sawyer Fulton and Rich Swann
Sawyer Fulton is big, young, and a two time all American amateur wrestler.  Tons of potential.  Rich Swann has already made a name for himself around the world.  He’s incredibly talented, and once he actually gets some time he will get very over.

34-35. Joe selects Blake and Murphy
This is stupid low for these guys, so I'll take it. I know they're no longer a tag team, but they're serviceable wrestlers, and now that they are on their own, they can get a chance to shine. They might show to be a couple of dullards, but there's a reason they've been on the main show for so long, and I think they can start to show that. Also, one time at a house show, they both clearly decided they were going to oversell everything, and it was awesome. It raised my opinion of them.

And that wraps up part one. We'll be back with the second half later this week.

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