By John Napolitano
Just about every professional wrestling fanatic with an imagination and a keyboard has fantasized about the outcome of the imminent WWE Draft.
On May 25th, World Wrestling Entertainment announced the return of the brand extension, as Smackdown goes live every Tuesday night starting on July 19, 2016. WWE Superstars will find permanent homes on either Monday Night Raw or its revitalized sister show, Smackdown.
I have argued for years now that WWE is in no position to resurrect the brand split. The roster depth is nowhere near as impressive as it was in 2002 when the concept was first established. The influx of talent from the newly defunct WCW and ECW organizations paired with the laundry list of established, iconic WWE Superstars fostered the perfect environment for the original draft to take place.
The WWE Universe also seems to forget how played out the brand split became in its final years. Smackdown reverted back to being the clear B show, while Raw failed to produce must-see television as the flagship destination for WWE. The championships slowly lost their prestige, and there was simply a decline in interest in the once revolutionary concept.
My primary fear for the return of the brand extension comes from my belief that anything other forward movement ought be considered retreat. It would prove much more exciting if WWE were to brainstorm a new presentation for their product and not rehash one that debuted 14 years ago. While it is too late for WWE to revise their battle plan, I am, now, a firm supporter of the return of the WWE Draft.
With a budding cruiserweight division, a revamped women’s division, the success of NXT, and the breakout performances from superstars like Kevin Owens, Dean Ambrose, Seth Rollins, and AJ Styles, there is no better time than right now to reinstitute the brand extension.
In this mock, I will only select 15 draft picks for each brand. Let me know what you think about my fantasy draft choices by tweeting me @JnapsRingWrap!
Monday Night Raw (1st Overall Pick): Dean Ambrose
Smackdown Live (1st Round Pick): Finn Bálor
Monday Night Raw (2nd Round Pick): Seth Rollins
Smackdown Live (2nd Round Pick): John Cena
Monday Night Raw (3rd Round Pick): Roman Reigns
Smackdown Live (3rd Round Pick): Enzo Amore & Big Cass
Monday Night Raw (4th Round Pick): The Club
Smackdown Live (4th Round Pick): Randy Orton
Monday Night Raw (5th Round Pick): The New Day
Smackdown Live (5th Round Pick): Charlotte
Monday Night Raw (6th Round Pick): Chris Jericho
Smackdown Live (6th Round Pick): Bray Wyatt
Monday Night Raw (7th Round Pick): Sami Zayn
Smackdown Live (7th Round Pick): Kevin Owens
Monday Night Raw (8th Round Pick): Cesaro
Smackdown Live (8th Round Pick): Sasha Banks
Monday Night Raw (9th Round Pick): The Miz
Smackdown Live (9th Round Pick): Dolph Ziggler
Monday Night Raw (10th Round Pick): The Usos
Smackdown Live (10th Round Pick): Rusev
Monday Night Raw (11th Round Pick): Kurt Angle
Smackdown Live (11th Round Pick) : American Alpha
Monday Night Raw (12th Round Pick): Shinsuke Nakamura
Smackdown Live (12th Round Pick): Rob Van Dam
Monday Night Raw (13th Round Pick): Sheamus
Smackdown Live (13th Round Pick): Baron Corbin
Monday Night Raw (14th Round Pick): Neville
Smackdown Live (14th Round Pick): Apollo Crews
Monday Night Raw (15th Round Pick): The Undertaker
Smackdown Live (15th Round Pick): Brock Lesnar
SEE ALSO: "John's Jargon - A New Blue Brand?: How to Make WWE SmackDown Meaningful Again"
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