The biggest takeaways from the draft day episode of WWE SmackDown, including thoughts on AJ Styles heading to Raw and Seth Rollins replacing him.
Although it was a bit jarring to see a draft without GMs and no suspense between picks in each round, the first night of the draft on WWE SmackDown was, by and large, successful. There were no gaffes, and most of the picks made sense.
Here are some takeaways from this week’s episode of the Blue Brand as we head into Night 2 of the draft on Monday Night Raw.
Bianca Belair is a great fit for WWE SmackDown
Taken in the third round of the draft, Bianca Belair is an absolute steal for the Blue Brand, and I honestly like the fit for her on Friday nights more than on Mondays. She gets to take center stage on the FOX brand and on Friday nights, and a change in scenery is what’s needed for her.
Around the time after WrestleMania 36, it seemed like Belair would get a push on Raw. And then again in the summer, we started seeing her on television more. She shined in both cases, but WWE never really went further with it, only recently playing weekly vignettes.
The vignettes are nice, but Belair should already be a key figure on weekly television. I think that’ll happen soon enough on SmackDown. I brought up FOX earlier, because I think (well, more like “hope”, as with anything in WWE) the executives there understand her potential. Kurt Angle does.
Seth Rollins needed to go to SmackDown, the Mysterios not so much
There were two major reasons why fans wanted to see Seth Rollins as the “Friday Night Friar”. Firstly, we haven’t seen Rollins on SmackDown since the first brand split in 2016, so we wanted something new. And secondly, maybe most importantly, we wanted the end of this absolutely asinine feud with the Mysterio Family.
So, naturally, we were excited when Rollins was announced as a first-round pick for SmackDown. And then crestfallen when he realized the Mysterios would be joining him.
There are four silver linings. One, this feud can’t last much longer. Two, Murphy joined SmackDown in the supplemental draft, so we can still get Rollins vs. Murphy. Three, the Mysterios would be a great tag team on Friday nights and could have a dream feud with the Usos, for example. And four, we can’t forget the upside of having Rollins on Friday nights, especially with the Tribal Chief on the same show.
It was time for AJ Styles, WWE SmackDown to go their separate ways
AJ Styles felt robbed that the “Powers That Be” at SmackDown took Roman Reigns and AJ Styles before him, which meant he is back on Raw. We’ve heard so many rumors about where Styles wants to be or which show he doesn’t want to be on, and it’s all just noise.
I honestly think Styles is better off on Raw. Since joining SmackDown after winning the (fraudulent) Intercontinental Title tournament, he’s done a whole lot of nothing. He shouldn’t be in the mid-card scene, he’s a lot better in the main event scene. The Intercontinental Title just doesn’t suit him at this stage of his career.
On Raw, we can see a heel Styles against babyfaces like Keith Lee and current WWE Champion Drew McIntyre. There’s just so much more for him to do on the Red Brand.