WWE Draft 2020: The tag team break-up nobody asked for

WWE, The New Day (Photo by: Andrew Lipovsky/NBCU Photo Bank/NBCUniversal via Getty Images via Getty Images)
WWE, The New Day (Photo by: Andrew Lipovsky/NBCU Photo Bank/NBCUniversal via Getty Images via Getty Images) /

In perhaps the most shocking moment of the 2020 WWE Draft so far, one of the most beloved tag teams in all of WWE was broken up.

Tonight’s episode of SmackDown saw the beginning of the 2020 WWE Draft. While there were big moves in round one like WWE Champion Drew McIntyre going first overall to WWE Raw, the most shocking move came later in the night when 8-time WWE Tag Team Champions The New Day were separated in round four of the WWE Draft.

The revelation came only moments after Xavier Woods and Kofi Kingston made their in-ring return and defeated Shinsuke Nakamura and Cesaro to capture the SmackDown Tag Team Titles. Big E, who had defeated Sheamus in a brutal and bloody Falls Count Anywhere Match at the beginning of SmackDown, came out despite his bandaged body to celebrate with Woods and Kingston.

The New Day seemed to be on a higher note than they’ve been in a long time. Big E’s singles run while his partners were gone was going strong, and his win over Sheamus was a definite statement victory.

Kofi Kingston had been out of action since losing the SmackDown Tag Team Titles back at The Horror Show at Extreme Rules to Shinsuke Nakamura and Cesaro. Kingston suffered a back injury during the match and had subsequently been sidelined since then.

The New Day’s WWE Tag Title celebration was cut short

Meanwhile, Xavier Woods has been out of action for nearly a year after an Achilles injury in October of 2019 put him out of action. We finally got to see The New Day brought together as a trio once again, but their celebration was cut short moments later by the revelation they’ve been broken up by the WWE Draft.

Put simply, it’s the break-up nobody asked for. Literally no one truly wanted The New Day broken up. That’s especially true for Big E, Xavier Woods, and Kofi Kingston who have been adamant in the past about keeping the trio together.

In a slight glimmer of hope, there is loose speculation right now that WWE could look to merge the tag team divisions on WWE Raw and SmackDown because of how few teams they currently have. If they did this, the men’s WWE Tag Team Titles would be able to float between brands like the WWE Women’s Tag Team Titles.

It could help keep The New Day together in a sense so long as they remain tag team champions, but it doesn’t excuse the decision to break them up tonight. That’s not even to mention several superstars who went drafted before The New Day, including Ricochet and Mandy Rose, that felt like they should’ve come after the now 9-time WWE Tag Team Champions.

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WWE also revealed a bit later in the night that we will get one last hurrah from the trio, as The New Day will get a “Farewell to SmackDown” match next week. Big E, Xavier Woods, and Kofi Kingston will team up to take on Sheamus, Shinsuke Nakamura, and Cesaro in a six-man tag team match.