Night 2 of the 2019 WWE Draft went down on this week's Raw, and although I thought Night 1 went relatively well, it definitely had its fair share of issues with the company practically spoiling who was going where with their preliminary draft pools on the website being the original lineups. While that wasn't a problem with Night 2, I was not a fan of the order of the draft picks on the whole. Jinder Mahal and Akira Tozawa getting picked ahead of stars such as The Miz, Samoa Joe, King Corbin and Rey Mysterio was comical.
Originally, I thought the shots of the FOX and USA Network "executives" were a nice touch, but seeing them react so excited over landing R-Truth exposed how stupid it really was. The Draft also left me and many others with more questions than answers regarding "free agents," how certain championship will work and be defended, and when the rules of the Brand Extension will actually go into effect again. I've heard Friday, but then again, Crown Jewel will be a thing in October and that's set to feature inter-promotional matches. In other words, there's a ton more this company still needs to figure out.
Nevertheless, here are the full results from Night 2 of the 2019 WWE Draft and my analysis of each pick.
GSM's Analysis: Rollins on Raw and Lesnar returning to SmackDown only made sense. Lesnar going to the blue brand has been the worst kept secret for months and it will be cool to see him work with a fresh batch of opponents. Despite losing the SmackDown Women's Championship last week, I still thought Flair would remain on SmackDown because their women's division needs depth. I'm not overly optimistic about her going to Raw, just because there aren't any obvious opponents her on Raw outside of Becky Lynch, and even that's a feud that's been done to death over the years.
New Day staying on SmackDown was a logical pick as well. They've arguably been the heart and soul of SmackDown for the past two and a half years, and although they've held the blue brand's tag titles multiple times already, they'll have some new faces to feud with including The Revival and Dolph Ziggler and Robert Roode. In a perfect world, Kingston could also seek revenge on Lesnar, but I highly doubt that will happen. Finally, Andrade getting selected by Raw was a given with his girlfriend joining the red ranks earlier in the Draft. Here's hoping it's a permanent move this time, unlike earlier this year when he was on Raw for literally one week following the Superstar Shake-Up.
GSM's Analysis: I would love to think that Kabuki Warriors going so early in the Draft means WWE is ready to take the WWE Women's Tag Team Championship seriously, but time will tell. For the record, nothing WWE has done with those titles since WrestleMania 35 would make me believe that. I'd argue Asuka and Kairi Sane are better off apart than they are together, but when the day comes that they do go their separate ways, they can feud not only with each other but with the current Raw Women's Champion as well.
Bryan and Bayley staying on SmackDown was what needed to happen (especially being Bayley being the SmackDown Women's Champion). Bryan feels like a blue brand type of guy and can continue to help elevate the show wherever he's slotted on the card. Rusev being a Round 2 draft pick for Raw was a weird one for me. I'm a fan of the guy, but I hate that he's on Raw, because that means his atrocious angle with Bobby Lashley isn't over yet. Damn you, Paul Heyman!
Finally, Black going to Raw was another expected move with his wife Zelina Vega on Raw alongside Andrade (who joins his girlfriend Charlotte on Monday nights). Reportedly, Heyman is high on Black, so fingers crossed he gets more television time on Raw than he did on SmackDown. Those backstage segments he filmed for weeks on end were brutal and ruined any mystique he had. He has the potential to be a bona fide main event player. Now it's up to Heyman and the rest of the Raw crew to book him like one.
GSM's Analysis: Alexander being drafted in Round 3 gives me hope he'll have a bright future on Raw. Sure, he failed to win the United States Championship from AJ Styles on two separate occasions, but he's another individual Heyman is apparently high on. As long as Vince McMahon hasn't completely soured on him yet, he could be a real asset to Raw's midcard scene. Meanwhile, the Intercontinental Champion going in the third round should tell you how little WWE thinks of that title. Nakamura has never been on Raw, but he had to stay on SmackDown with Sami because of his status as the Intercontinental Champion.
Carrillo has been a ton of fun to watch on 205 Live this year, but Round 3? Come on. The dude doesn't even have any championships to his credit yet. I fear he'll get lost in the shuffle and won't make it past Main Event, but we'll see what Raw has in store for him. At least he's a more exciting pick for the red brand than Rowan. He improved as a character during his feud with Roman Reigns and held his own during their matches, but he bores me to tears on his own. I'm honestly not sure what you do with a guy like him, unless it's losing to Black in a one-sided feud.
Ali is a fine fit for the blue brand. He hasn't accomplished as much there as most us would have liked him to, so him saying on SmackDown was a good call. It'd be nice to see him get a shot in the main event scene (which almost happened before WrestleMania 35), but we all know that won't happen as long as Brock Lesnar is WWE Champion.
GSM's Analysis: Murphy just debuted on SmackDown six months ago in the Superstar Shake-Up and only wrestled a handful of matches during his short-lived story with Daniel Bryan and Roman Reigns. He had excellent performances against both men (including beating Bryan) before losing to Ali in the first round of the King of the Ring tournament, and that was it. You've heard this before, but Heyman is major advocate of Murphy and apparently plans to make him a star on Monday nights. I could totally get behind a Styles vs. Murphy feud over the United States Championship.
Ziggler and Roode losing the Raw Tag Team Championship earlier in the evening to The Viking Raiders should have been a sign that they were either splitting up or going to SmackDown together, and ultimately, it was the latter. They should have a longer run on the blue brand before going their separate ways (there's a lot more WWE can do with Roode as a singles heel). Mahal getting picked in Round 4 (let alone at all) was an absolute joke. If Heyman intends on giving him a renewed push, I have no interest.
Some fans will be sad to see Truth and Carmella be broken up, but the pairing has run its course and Carmella needed to stay on SmackDown because of her boyfriend Corey Graves. Plus, Dave Meltzer speculated that USA Network wanted the 24/7 Championship on Raw because they came up with the idea for the title back in May, so I can't argue with that logic.
GSM's Analysis: The fact Joe, Miz and Corbin weren't drafted until the fifth round is incredibly depressing. All three of them are established stars, but you're telling me Mahal, Truth and Carillo are more important than them? Get out of here with that nonsense. I'd prefer Joe on SmackDown (that was where he came closest to the main event scene in 2018), but I'm sure it doesn't matter much. Miz returning to SmackDown was shocking, if only because I figured USA Network would want him since that's where his reality show airs. Apparently not!
Like Carrillo, Tozawa is doomed for jobber status on Raw. He's been a favorite of mine on 205 Live since his debut, but if they haven't pushed him yet, I doubt they start now. Corbin on SmackDown was another pleasantly surprising move. Hopefully that's where he can evolve into a top-tier talent again. Benjamin was one of Heyman's pet projects years ago, but he's another guy destined to put everybody else over. That's the role he was brought back for, even though I think hes capable of more.
GSM's Analysis: There is something seriously wrong with Mysterio kicking off the last round in the televised portion of the WWE Draft. I'd almost understand it if he had been losing a lot (even if he is one of the greatest of all-time), but he's been featured fairly prominently alongside Cain Velasquez in his feud with Brock Lesnar and hasn't lost a match since August. Worse yet, if the Lesnar vs. Velasuquez is going to be playing out on SmackDown, I don't understand why he'd be placed on Raw. If nothing else, maybe this means he'll be getting that shot at the Universal Championship he earned a few weeks ago but never got due to Lesnar's heinous attack soon enough.
Chad Gable has officially been rebranded as Shorty Gable and I'm honestly at a loss for words. He lets his skills in the ring do the talking for him, but the new name doesn't do him any favors. Similar to Cesaro, I guess neither brand was interested in picking him over Eric Young or Sin Cara this past weekend? Ridiculous. O'Neil was a complete waste of a pick, as he's hardly wrestled on WWE TV in 2019.
Elias was always a better fit for Raw than SmackDown, but he just moved to the blue brand in April, so I'd keep him there for a little longer before having him return to Raw. It's not like he'll be doing much in the midcard on either show, anyway. Closing out the Draft was Liv Morgan, which was an interesting choice. She's never impressed me as a wrestler, but at least she's a fresh face in the women's division. She teased a character change three months ago, but WWE never followed up on it, so it's possible we see that "new" Liv Morgan on Monday nights. Either that or she reunites with her former Riott Squad stablemate Sarah Logan, who has also been directionless since they split up.
GSM's Analysis: These picks were announced on WWE's The Bump early Wednesday. Similar to the moves that were made over the weekend, no explanation was given as to why these Superstars ended up where they did. WWE probably realized these "free agents" didn't have a home coming out of Night 2 on Monday and decided to randomly assign them to either Raw or SmackDown.
Ryder and Hawkins won the Raw Tag Team Championship at WrestleMania 35, but as cool of a moment as it was, that was probably the peak of their push. They're just there to put over other teams at this point. Similar to before the Draft, I'd be shocked if Rawley and Jose ever escaped Main Event purgatory. Logan ending up on the same show as her husband Erik is hardly a surprise, and The IIconics going to Raw won't make a difference. They aren't worth anything individually and shouldn't be challenging for the WWE Women's Tag Team Championship again any time soon.
As for the SmackDown selections, I agree with them all, but Mandy Rose and Sonya Deville are the only ones I expect to actually succeed. Harper and Cesaro are great hands to have in the ring, but it's obvious WWE has no plans to push them ever again. Harper is likely counting down the days until his contract expires and Cesaro, I mean, for goodness sake, the man went undrafted on Night 1 and 2! I held out hope that meant he was NXT bound, but WWE squashed those dreams by putting him back on the blue brand. Maybe he can reunite with Sheamus eventually. Meanwhile, Brooke has proven she will forever be a utility player, and Maverick is just there for the shits and giggles. He'll have nothing to do now that he's been broken apart from the 24/7 Championship and 205 Live is rumored to be ending soon.
GSM's Analysis: If it wasn't already apparent, WWE has a lot to figure out with the inactive talent. I included the rest of the 205 Live roster because I thought it was odd only some of them were eligible but not everyone. I figured Tozawa and Carrillo were only up to be drafted to give Raw and SmackDown some more names to choose from (in storyline) and would return to the Cruiserweight ranks, but as noted, they went to Raw in Night 2. Obviously, Mike Kanellis requested his release earlier in the day on Monday, so there's no word on what will happen to him. As for the rest of the Cruiserweights, I assume they'll stay put on 205 Live for now until WWE makes a definitive decision what they want to do with the show.
AOP were the only Superstars eligible to be drafted that weren't, and based off the above video, I assume that will be incorporated into an angle of some sort. Jax and Riott might be out for a few more months, but I could see either one of them (if not both) going to SmackDown when they return. Naomi and The Usos just moved to Raw for the first time in April and that's where they should stay. I'd be down for a rematch between Usos and The Hardy Boyz, but I imagine Matt and Jeff will remain with SmackDown for now as well. Speaking of Matt, it's a shame he wasn't eligible despite being completely healthy and on the road with WWE. He hasn't been used in months and it's a waste of his talent.
Current NXT Cruiserweight Champion Lio Rush will obviously end up in NXT (where the Cruiserweight division is rumored to be moving to). I have no idea what's up with The Ascension, they haven't competed for WWE since WrestleMania 35 weekend. It's been even longer since we've seen The Colons on WWE TV. WWE referred to Alicia Fox as a "legend" back in July, and given all the issues she's had this year outside of the ring, I imagine WWE has no intent on using her until her contract expires (whenever that may be).
Big Show and Kane will show up wherever they please whenever they return, so I doubt they'll be tied down to one show or the other. Lars Sullivan should be back fairly soon I believe and I liked him on the blue brand before he got hurt. Ember Moon will reportedly be out injured for nearly a year, but when she does come back, SmackDown is where she'll have a better chance of capturing her first championship on the main roster. Lastly, Sheamus may be back before the rest of them, and SmackDown would make the most sense since that's where Cesaro was drafted to.
WWE likely isn't ready to determine where all of these stars will wind up until they're ready to return, so don't expect any announcements regarding this crop of competitors for the time being.
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