We’re into night two of the WWE Draft and there’s some mild curiosity on who will be moving around. We’re also less than a week out from the next PLE.
Here is a list of who was drafted, including the picks revealed after Raw was over.
Triple H is out to start and lays out the ground rules for tonight, highlighting that the World Heavyweight Championship will be on Raw. He also notes that Brock Lesnar is unavailable to be drafted and is a free agent and is free to go wherever he wants.
Drafted Superstars from Round One are as follows:
Rhea Ripley – Raw
Austin Theory – SmackDown
Seth Rollins – Raw
Charlotte Flair – SmackDown
Raw picked better, hands down.
Triple H then introduces Paul Heyman for some reason, and he gets a pretty sizable ECW chant. Some fans just won’t let go.
Heyman heads to the ring after looking over the new belt. He points out that the Usos are thus far undrafted and also that they lost to the French Connection. Heyman orates on the Backlash and the aforementioned belt. He then sounds off on the Raw locker room until Rollins comes out. Rollins has the most absurd shirt yet, looking like he shopped in the baba section of The Bay.
While Rollins orates, Heyman answers a phone call, apparently from Roman Reigns. Rollins says he is going to stop Heyman into the mat but Solo Sikoa comes out to ruin the party. Heyman says the two will face off later tonight.
Earlier tonight, we see Cody Rhodes arriving and being informed by Adam Pearce that Lesnar is on site.
Bayley / Dakota Kai vs. Raquel Rodriguez / Liv Morgan
How many times are we supposed to watch Raquel vs. Dakota and not have much reference to their NXT history?
Standard action to start until Dakota takes out Liv on the outside with a Mafia Kick. Back from break, Dakota is still in control of Liv. Attempts to tag Rodriguez in are futile. Smiley, happy Raquel is getting more on my nerves with each week. Please put HBKai and Big Mami Cool back together.
Standard sequence leads to the usual offence from Raquel. Bayley trips up Rodriguez as she attempts the elevated something or other with Liv, which gives Kai the opportunity to hit Code Red for two. It all breaks down soon after and it’s a shmozzfest pretty much for the rest of the match. Bayley blindtags Kai, with Liv oblivious to it (see what I did there?). Liv hits Oblivion on Kai but Bayley runs in and hits a cool sunset flip to earn the duke.
Winners: Bayley / Dakota Kai
We then get footage of Lesnar arriving earlier today and getting the same warning from Pearce.
Round two goes as follows:
Sami Zayn / Kevin Owens – Raw
The Usos – SmackDown
Judgement Day – Raw
lWo – SmackDown
What’s not clear at all is what happens with the tag belts.
No real movement here, so let’s call it a draw.
Ricochet / Braun Strowman vs. Alpha Academy
I’d much prefer this in two singles matches. I’m getting burnt out on tag team matches, playa.
Rolling German from Gable is the last move of the technicians before the Hosses come in. Body slam by Strowman on Otis is overhyped by Patrick in particular, who seems to be getting harder to deal with each week.
Shoulders Swanton gets the duke for the faces.
Round Three is up next.
Before Shawm Michaels can start, Lesnartaker arrives. Pearce walks with Brock to ringside, telling him to keep things under control. Yeah, that’s going to work.
Lesnartaker starts to talk but Pearce brings out the “security” squad but ultimately Downstait plays and Cody surprises Lesnar from behind. The squad tries to hold Cody back, and ultimately succeeds.
Back to the Draft.
Liv Morgan / Raquel Rodriguez – Raw
Asuka – SmackDown
Xavier Woods / Kofi Kingston – Raw
Brawling Brutes – SmackDown
Let’s hand this round to SD. Both tag champs are on Raw now incidentally.
Backstage, Riddle was annoying the men’s tag champs.
Matt Riddle vs. Jimmy Uso
Owns and Zayn pull some shenanigans outside to get Jey Uso thrown out from ringside.
Back from break, Jimmy gets a two-count. Back and forth action includes many a Thigh Slapper, including one to KO on the outside. Basement Thigh Slapper gets a two for Jimmy U.
While the ref checks on Riddle, Uso removes the turnbuckle pad, only for KO to slam his face into the exposed steel. High knee then Floating Bro secure the W for Riddle.
Winner: Matt Riddle
This feels like Riddle’s first W since coming back.
Backstage, Heyman is hyping up Solo for his match. Jey Uso comes in and asks why his younger brother wasn’t at ringside. Answer is pretty much by order of Roman.
Round four is next.
Trish Stratus – Raw
Karrion Kross – SmackDown
Shayna Baszler / Ronda Rousey – Raw
LA Knight – SmackDown
Raw’s picks aren’t surprising, but if you’re a longview fan, you can’t be happy with Raw’s picks. Knight is going to indeed be a megastar on SD, particularly once he takes the US Title from Austin Theory.
MizTV is up next with Shinsuke Nakamura as his guest.
The segment starts horribly as Miz tries to recruit Nakamura to be his latest sidekick. Nakamura uses Japanese to confuse and insult Miz’s mini balls. The thing is, Nakamura’s facials lend very well to comedic play like this, while his superior in ring skill means he’s a bad ass. Putting the gold on Nakamura is long overdue and certainly would be a welcome sight.
Omos vs. Some Guy
Round Five is up next:
Braun Strowman / Ricochet – Raw
Shotzi – SmackDown
Bronson Reed – Raw
Pretty Deadly – SmackDown
Great pickup from SD but do they have any tag belts on their brand?
Judgement Day vs. lWo
Usual boring promo from JD before the match begins. Even two languages can’t save this faction. Dom tries to heat the scene up but this is X-Pac heat, not real heel heat. He also botches his promo AGAIN.
Rhea and Zelina start with some good action, showing lots of good potential for their match Saturday. Priest and Escobar are in next and have some even play through Rey’s turn in the ring.
Back from the break, Escobar and Priest are in the ring but hot tag out to father and son. Thankfully the lWo is headed to SD so we don’t have to see this crap much longer. Rhea comes in at one point and powers Rey until Zelina hits a 619 to Rhea’s stomach in a nice spot.
Match continues with little to get excited about. Priest and Rey are eventually the legal ones and Rey goes for a 619 but Balor throws himself in harm’s way in a nice spot. In the confusion, Priest gets Rey with South of Heaven for yet another lWo loss.
Winners: Judgement Day
Backstage, Cathy Kelley catches up with Cody Rhodes, then, after a break, Byron Saxton chats with Bianca Belair
Round Six keeps the picks coming:
Alpha Academy – Raw
Rick Boogs – SmackDown
Katana Chance / Kayden Carter – Raw
Cameron Grimes – SmackDown
Grimes’ arrival is no shock, but KC2 is very surprising given they seemed primed to grab the tag belts from the departing champs.
Solo Sikoa vs. Seth Rollins
Match starts with lots of singing of Rollins’ theme which the Architect builds into his psychological tactics.
Lots of veteran tactics by Seth to start until Sikoa hits a beautiful Spinning Heel Kick going into a break.
Back from break Rollins evades a blind charge and lays in with shots on Sikoa. Three straight Tope Suicidas take out Solo on the outside. Sikoa turns things around with a release Samoan Drop which gets two. Rollins reverses a Spinning Solo once but can’t a second time. hit gets two.
Rollins taunts Sikoa and the Samoan gets downright vicious. Action ends up in the ring and Rollins looks to take over until The Usos enter to cause the DQ.
Winner: Seth Rollins
Post match, the tag champs and Riddle enter the ring just as the trademark comes up.
Well, it was certainly a newsworthy night but the timing of the Draft is questionable. WWE for whatever reason always seems to position these special editions of their shows before a PPV/PLE, lessening the build. The work tonight certainly did a good job of mixing hype with reset, but the two could easily have been split between two weeks.
Until next time, Stay Classy.