WWE Mock Draft 2023: Picking 5 rounds for Raw and SmackDown


WWE last held a draft back in October 2021. Doing one after WrestleMania 39 would help shake things up. 

According to Dave Meltzer of Wrestling Observer Radio, there’s been talk of waiting until after WrestleMania to do it.

The SmackDown and Raw rosters, as they look right now, are very unbalanced and need some alteration. Some superstars make occasional appearances on both brands, while others struggle to get any TV time.

In terms of the current roster, SmackDown is in desperate need of woman superstars. Meanwhile, Raw could use some more babyface firepower when it comes to male superstars.

Without including Rhea Ripley, who is currently a Raw superstar going for the SmackDown Women’s Championship at WrestleMania, here is a mock draft of what could be the expected results of a post-WrestleMania draft.

Round 1

#1 Monday Night Raw – LA Knight

LA Knight has proven to be an absolute star in his short time on the SmackDown roster. He made the move from NXT to SmackDown back in October and has been winning over the WWE Universe ever since. His only feud since being on SmackDown was an eerie, yet forgettable storyline against a returning Bray Wyatt, but every time he touches the mic, he has the crowd in the palm of his hands and is ready for the bright lights on Monday nights.

#2 Friday Night Smackdown – Bobby Lashley

It seems like things have been all over the place for Bobby Lashley lately. He was the United States Champion for a while, then briefly feuded with Austin Theory, then entered a short quarrel with Brock Lesnar that ended prematurely and in DQ. It seemed like The Hurt Business with him, Omos, MVP, Cedric Alexander, and Shelton Benjamin was reforming, but those rumors quickly faded. Most recently, he entered an unprecedented squabble with Wyatt slotted for WrestleMania.

Lashley needs a fresh start. If he is not rejoining The Hurt Business, then a move to SmackDown would benefit him.

Round 2

#1 Monday Night Raw – Liv Morgan

Liv Morgan has already held the SmackDown Women’s Championship after cashing in on Ronda Rousey at Money In The Bank last year. The crowd was entirely behind her that entire night, but after she won, the WWE Universe lost the excitement for her as champion. Briefly altering her character, Morgan is now more extreme and isn’t afraid to jump through tables and use kendo sticks to get the job done.

After her fantastic performance at the Royal Rumble, she has once again won over the fans and another reign as champion could be on the horizon. A change of scenery on Monday nights, without being a tag partner to Rhea Ripley, could help her take the next step in her career.

#2 Friday Night Smackdown – Alexa Bliss

After a brief feud with current Raw Women’s Champion Bianca Belair, Alexa Bliss wasn’t able to make us believe she wanted the title, let alone that she was going to win it. She is reportedly taking some time off, per PWInsider (subscription required), though she has refuted this. Whenever she comes back, she needs to return to her heel gimmick when she was Champion before and on a new brand. She needs a fresh start on SmackDown.

Round 3

#1 Monday Night Raw – Drew McIntyre

Whether or not Drew McIntyre or Sheamus take the Intercontinental Championship from Gunther, McIntyre needs a move. He and Sheamus will likely not remain aligned after WrestleMania and McIntyre will need a new direction. Sheamus still has The Brawling Brutes on SmackDown, but McIntyre could make the transition to Raw seamlessly.

#2 Friday Night Smackdown – Iyo Sky 

Damage CTRL seemed like a faction that was kind of thrown together, but it did make Iyo Sky and Dakota Kai Women’s Tag Team Champions for a while. It may not have been their fault, but they hardly defended those titles and just lost them to Becky Lynch and Lita.

With a six-woman tag team match with Bayley, Sky, and Kai against Trish Stratus, Lita, and Becky Lynch coming up at WrestleMania, it looks like the beginning of the end could be coming for Damage CTRL. In return, SmackDown gets another addition to help bolster their women’s roster. Sky could be a star.

Round 4

#1 Monday Night Raw – Shinsuke Nakamura

Where has Shinsuke Nakaumura been? Ever since his tag team partner Rick Boogs got injured during their feud with The Usos, Nakamura has been M.I.A. He lost to Santos Escobar in the World Cup qualifier on Smackdown in his last televised appearance.

He is a tremendous talent in the ring, but he seems to be lost on the SmackDown roster. Move him to Raw and, at the very least, put him back with Boogs as a tag team instead of pairing Boogs with Elias. He should be in the mix for championship gold and moving back to Raw could put him in a better position.

#2 Friday Night Smackdown – Dolph Ziggler

I don’t even know what Raw is doing with Dolph Ziggler right now. He has gone from a former WWE Champion to an NXT champion, to being a fall guy for young up-and-coming talent in WWE.

I am all for putting younger talent over, but Ziggler is still only 42 years old with plenty left in the tank. No, he wouldn’t be a guy to dethrone Gunther for the Intercontinental Championship, but he could compete for it. That’s more than we can say for what he is doing on Raw right now. A move for Ziggler would benefit both the WWE and himself.

Round 5

#1 Monday Night Raw – Raquel Rodriguez

Raquel Rodriguez is another talent that has fought on multiple occasions for the SmackDown Women’s Championship, but she has yet to win it. With Ripley in a feud with Charlotte Flair, it looks like there are no plans for Rodriguez to be in that mix again anytime soon.

WWE creative seems slightly confused about what to do with Rodriguez on SmackDown. Aside from her title feuds, she has been in tag teams with Aliyah and Shotzi. Not only could she get fresh feuds and storylines as a solo superstar on Raw, but she could also reunite with her former NXT tag team partner, Dakota Kai. There are so many opportunities for Rodriguez to flourish on Raw and a change could help bring more out of her character.

#2 Friday Night Smackdown – Dominik Mysterio

The Judgment Day-Edge feud is almost over. It’s almost been a year of dealing with this storyline and when Finn Balor faces Edge at WrestleMania, it will all be put to rest. If Edge wins, Judgment Day is likely over. Looking at a scenario where Ripley beats Flair and Edge beats Balor, how could WWE possibly move forward with them?

Next. Kane on why his character wouldn’t work today, his longevity in WWE and more. dark

Surprisingly, Dominik Mysterio has recently become one of the best assets in the group. Ever since his short-term stay in “prison”, Mysterio has finally created his character and has thrived at it. He’s talking more on the mic and getting better in the ring. I could almost see him staying with Rhea and moving with her to SmackDown.