WWE Brand Split 2016 Mock Draft Part 1 | Smark Out Moment

WWE Brand Split 2016 Mock Draft Part 1

Posted by Carlos Toro Thursday, May 26, 2016
With news that SmackDown will be airing live on Tuesdays and that it will feature a unique roster broken yesterday, speculation on a WWE Draft ran amok and seem to be confirmed, so Smark Out Moment's Carlos Toro and Callum Wiggins decided to do a mock draft of their own. Callum will be drafting for Raw and Carlos will be drafting for SmackDown. Below is the first 10 picks of their draft with part 2 coming next week.

There are a few rules in this draft:

  • All main roster (i.e. Raw and SmackDown, not NXT) superstars are eligible.
  • Tag teams and factions as of May 25th will be drafted as a unit, not as individuals. 
  • While Charlotte can be picked to a team, she will defend her title on both shows as their is only one Women's Championship.
  • This draft will not consider possible future championships that may be implemented.
  • Each brand gets 20 main roster draft picks and 1 NXT draft pick in which they can secure the rights to, bringing each brand a total of 21 draft picks each.
Superstars picked will be in bold.

1. Callum Wiggins

WWE Raw SmackDown John Cena wrestling brand split

Okay, well my first pick is relatively simple. John Cena - he's been WWE's cash cow for well over a decade, and while he's in the latter stages of his career he still generates the biggest reaction from audiences. Plus, he has been putting on the best matches of his entire career and is more popular among both casual and hardcore wrestling fans than ever before. This is a no-brainer for the first pick.

1. Carlos Toro

WWE Raw SmackDown Roman Reigns wrestling brand split

Well you definitely stole my first pick (now I know how Vince felt in the 2002 Draft). I suppose my first pick is going to be Roman Reigns. He's the future of the company (whether we want to or not) and he has been getting better and if pushed just right, he can be the future face of the company. Not like Cena, but he would THE guy in WWE.

2. Callum Wiggins

I actually wanted Reigns next. But if that's not possible then why not pair the perennial good guy John Cena with the WWE's greatest villain? Of course, I'm referring to Kevin Owens, who is arguably the best wrestler, talker and overall performer in WWE today. Given dominant prizefighter booking, he could and should be a multi-time World Champion.

2. Carlos Toro

Well since we are talking about arguably the best wrestler, my second pick is going to be none other than AJ Styles. Styles has done nothing but produce great match after great match since he came to WWE. Plus, Mauro Ranallo has followed Styles' career better than anyone else in the company and he can properly put Styles over on commentary. Plus he can still be a World Champion in his time in WWE.

3. Callum Wiggins

Fuck! I forgot SmackDown had Mauro Ranallo - can we trade? But as for my next pick, I would like a former WWE Champion. Seth Rollins has recently returned and it's obvious from the crowd reactions he's received how much he is over. His athleticism is remarkable, and when the bell rings there are few better in between the ropes. He could be the face to replace John Cena when he eventually hangs up his boots.

3. Carlos Toro

Cena, Owens and Rollins. Three pretty strong draft picks for you, but I think my third pick to side with Reigns and Styles is just as strong. My next pick is going to be Dean Ambrose. The way I see it, Ambrose is finally getting getting pay-per-view wins and is headed for a big, strong push for the summer and Ambrose has consistently been a big crowd favorite and being one of the faces of SmackDown is the way to go for the Lunatic Fringe

4. Callum Wiggins

I'm glad you've managed to pick two perennial losers to help make Roman look strong on your roster tongue emoticon But they are a capable trio. My fourth choice is the ultimate underdog, Daniel Bryan-lite, Sami Zayn. He needs to be on the same roster as Kevin Owens to constantly rekindle their feud, which now on a separate brand can be given the main event attention it deserves. Plus, Zayn is a massive crowd favorite and stirs so much empathy that it would be criminal not to grab him quickly.

4. Carlos Toro

WWE Raw SmackDown Bray Wyatt wrestling brand split

Sometimes in the business, wins and losses don't always matter. But I do have two big babyfaces in three picks, so I'm going for a heel that needs to have the spotlight back on him and that would be Bray Wyatt and by extension, the Wyatt Family. This group has so much potential and the 50/50 booking has been their Achilles heel. They need to return as the creepy backwoods cult that terrified Cena by surrounding him with singing children in sheep masks. There is still hope for them and I'm banking on that potential

5. Callum Wiggins

The whole Wyatt Family? That's quite a big swoop there. To counter that I'm going to need my own faction. One that totally rocks. Wait a minute - New Day rocks! Yes I'm taking all three because they can switch between face and heel on a dime and remain one of the most over acts on the roster. Furthermore, they all have varying degrees of potential should the group split, particularly Big E, who could be a dark horse for a world title run.

5. Carlos Toro

Well picking up the WWE Tag Team Champions was big, but I got my own big tag team and that would be Luke Gallows and Karl Anderson. This feud with AJ is not stopping anytime soon I think and you can definitely work a lot with them. They are good enough to be tag champions and if they were to ever split, it's not unthinkable for either of them to have a run with a midcard title. Plus, like with Styles, Ranallo can be a huge instrument in getting them over on commentary.

6. Callum Wiggins

They're a dominant tag team I'll agree. But, unless I'm not mistaken, neither of them are Certified Gs. And they aren't 7 foot tall. Sadly, you can't teach those things, which is why it's great that my next pick of Enzo Amore & Big Cass already have those qualities. They literally exhale charisma with everything they do, and are fast becoming this generation's New Age Outlaws. In addition, Enzo could be a fantastic mouthpiece should Big Cass tap into his potential as a main event star.

6. Carlos Toro

I knew I was rolling the dice waiting to pick them next but I guess this is what make drafts great. So I'm going to pick someone who is a certified badass and it is Cesaro. Cesaro embodies what the old Paul Heyman led SmackDown was. A great wrestler that is organically over with the crowd and produces nothing but amazing matches. He can thrive on SmackDown and has all the tools needed to be a SmackDown star. Plus I'm loving this James Bond/Jason Statham gimmick.

7. Callum Wiggins

WWE Raw SmackDown Sasha Banks wrestling brand split

I really wanted him next, Cesaro has so much potential. But I've decided to mix it up a little because this draft is becoming a sausage fest fast. My next pick is The Boss, Sasha Banks. She's a phenomenon, and simply put she could be the driving force for women's wrestling to become a definitive draw for WWE. She oozes charisma, is capable of playing both heel and face, and can always be relied upon to produce unbelievable matches.

7. Carlos Toro

Well then you certainly did a good job mixing it up. But I can do it better. My next pick is none other than the BEAST INCARNATE BROOOOOCK LESNAR! Yes I'm rolling the dice on a part timer but with who is on the roster right now, the potential for big time matches is already there. Cesaro vs Brock Lesnar is a dream match and I'm sure for a lot of other people as well. That is potential match of the year candidate waiting to happen. When he steps into the ring with anyone, it feels legitimate which is what SmackDown has been lacking for years.

8. Callum Wiggins

Well I look forward to the three matches he puts on for your roster this year. Instead, I'll go with someone who's great everyday of the year, and in my opinion gets so much undeserved hate from smarky fans who suggest he can't perform. That is The Miz, who deserves this extended reign as Intercontinental Champion and is the most natural heat magnet in professional wrestling today - it's simply too easy to dislike the guy. Also by proxy I'll be taking Maryse to Monday Nights too (and I'll let you have Paul Heyman in return - let's face it Brock's going to need him.

8. Carlos Toro

Damn, that was going to be my next pick. Having the IC Champ and the best pure heel on the roster would have been a great addition to SmackDown. But I guess it's time for me to show some love for the ladies and so my next pick is going to be Becky Lynch. I'm rolling the dice because Sasha is not on SmackDown but with Charlotte being able to defend the title on both shows, she can still have a lot of great storyline potential. She has a lot of personality that has not been properly explored. She's still a great wrestler and worthy of being a top woman in the division

9. Callum Wiggins

WWE Raw SmackDown Chris Jericho wrestling brand split

You've taken a few big risks that could be big rewards which I can respect. But my next choice is someone who doesn't have any respect, and is another amazing heel to bounce between the midcard and main event. I am of course, referring to Chris Jericho, who has the legendary status of other part-time stars but can still wrestle quality matches on a consistent basis and put over young, exciting talent on the way out.

9. Carlos Toro

Jericho is definitely a Raw type of guy so I'm not too upset over losing him. I do have someone that is now transitioning into that veteran that puts younger guys over and that is none other than Randy Orton. He's coming back soon and can imediately be the top heel for now until other heels are elevated OR you can have Orton come back as the huge RKO out of nowhere babyface. There is stil a lot left on the tank for the Viper

10. Callum Wiggins

Good choice, another veteran with plenty to give back. Now I have a veteran heel I need someone for him to pass his wisdom onto, and that comes in the form of Baron Corbin. Fans hate him because he's not an indie darling, and Corbin thrives by shoving that back in their face every chance he gets, and that's what could make him a future WWE Champion in my opinion. I think given the right booking and direction, his potential is limitless.

10. Carlos Toro

WWE Raw SmackDown Rusev wrestling brand split

Corbin does have potential I'll give you that, and my next pick is a bit on the lost potential side. He does however hold a U.S. Title and that is Rusev. Rusev is here just to add depth to the roster and is pretty much a mid carder, but with the WWE World Heavyweight Champion on SmackDown, maybe Cena can get back the title and have the U.S. Open Challenge come back, which, let's admit, was the best segment and match for many a Raw while he was the U.S. Champ.

Here's a recap of the first 10 rounds:

Callum Wiggins (Raw)
1. John Cena
2. Kevin Owens
3. Seth Rollins
4. Sami Zayn
5. The New Day
6. Enzo and Cass
7. Sasha Banks
8. The Miz
9. Chris Jericho
10. Baron Corbin

Carlos Toro (SmackDown)
1. Roman Reigns
2. AJ Styles
3. Dean Ambrose
4. The Wyatt Family
5. Gallows and Anderson
6. Cesaro
7. Brock Lesnar
8. Becky Lynch
9. Randy Orton
10. Rusev

Do you agree with these picks? Who would you have picked instead? Who has the better roster so far? Sound off in the comments.

Carlos Toro has been an avid wrestling fan since the late 90's watching WCW and Puerto Rico's WWC. He is currently studying at Rider University where he is also a newspaper writer and radio show host. You can follow him on Twitter and Facebook.


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