The 2020 WWE Draft is coming up this Friday and the following Monday, which will assuredly shake up the rosters in ways we couldn’t imagine. Normally, that’s because we can’t imagine how unbalanced ends up being and the sheer lack of planning ahead that appears to go into each trade.
Maybe this year will be different. Perhaps WWE has sat down, looked at an Excel sheet of everyone available, plotted out heel and face turns, charted storyline progressions and figured out the proper mix between the Raw and SmackDown rosters.
I doubt it, but at the very least, that’s what I’ve tried to do, in some fashion.
At a quick glance, I’ve been able to determine a few trades that I feel are essential for this year’s draft that will play a major factor into making sure we’re not stuck with the exact same feuds repeating themselves ad nauseam like what’s plagued WWE this year.
With that in mind, here are some trades I think must happen mixed in with some that I think are some solid ideas, even if they’re not necessities.
Sheamus, King Corbin and AJ Styles to Monday Night Raw / Seth Rollins and Randy Orton to Friday Night SmackDown
Roman Reigns will be the definitive top heel on SmackDown until at least WrestleMania. There’s no question about that.
That doesn’t leave much room for anyone else in the main event heel picture, particularly if you keep Bray Wyatt (and Braun Strowman, if he remains a heel) over there. You need to start moving top heels over to Raw so Drew McIntyre can fight them.
I propose this series of trades, which I feel is pretty evenly dispersed.
McIntyre has already feuded with Randy Orton and Seth Rollins. Orton has also feuded with Keith Lee, so those are his 2 biggest opponents taken away from him. If you’re worried about Edge, there’s nothing stating The Rated-R Superstar can’t join the SmackDown roster, which he was always more comfortable in, once he returns. He wants to have a feud with Rollins and with Reigns anyway, so why not put him on the blue brand?
Rollins needs to get away from Rey Mysterio. This accomplishes that. It also means Rollins can fill the void of the Intercontinental Championship scene as one of the top heels there (along with Sami Zayn, for instance), but stays out of the way of Reigns. That is, unless you wanted to team them up in matches, since they’re both heels.
Meanwhile, Sheamus, Corbin and Styles can go to Raw and be new challengers to fight McIntyre. You’re not missing much of anything with them not on SmackDown anymore, since the two biggest babyfaces would be Jeff Hardy and Matt Riddle, who they’ve already all interacted with.
One downside is that we wouldn’t get Sheamus holding the Intercontinental Championship. However, that’s just the price to pay.
Hardy and Riddle have feuds with Rollins, Wyatt, Reigns, Strowman, Zayn. McIntyre gets Sheamus (major feud), Corbin (smaller feud) and Styles (WrestleMania opponent, maybe?).
Kevin Owens to SmackDown…maybe
I’m iffy on this. It would depend on what WWE wanted to do with some of the rest of the talent going forward. However, I could see a big benefit to this being that Owens is a viable contender to fight Roman Reigns for a one or two month stint, as well as feud with Zayn over the Intercontinental Championship.
Unfortunately, he’s back on the same brand as Rollins. But maybe he can feud with Wyatt and Strowman instead and bypass Rollins entirely?
Bo Dallas to NXT
I’ve mentioned this many times, so I won’t drag this article down with the specifics. The short of this is that Bo Dallas isn’t ever going to be anything but a jobber on the main roster, but if he goes to NXT, he can be retooled.
All it would take is for him to return with a new look and an edge. If he starts beating people and he seems serious, we’ll take him seriously. He can shack up with Robert Stone and eventually fight Finn Balor for the NXT Championship. If you don’t want him to win that, he can win the North American title.
The guy’s young enough that there’s still a chance his career can be saved, but it’s only going to happen in NXT.
Rhea Ripley to Raw or SmackDown
There’s nothing left for Rhea Ripley to do in NXT but spin her wheels.
Yes, she can fight Toni Storm and Ember Moon. But does that matter? Ripley’s been given the shaft this year and hasn’t turned back.
Once she lost to Charlotte Flair at WrestleMania, they had her follow that up with crying her eyes out, taking time off, getting pinned in her hopes to win the title back, and then spend months mostly just making casual appearances where her highlight has been beating Aliyah.
That’s awful. None of that helps her build back her credibility that was killed with the Flair loss. And she’s not going to get that momentum back by beating Io Shirai or anyone else. She needs to beat Charlotte on the main roster for the championship.
We need Ripley to dethrone Flair at WrestleMania 37 so put her on Raw or SmackDown, depending on where Flair ends up.
The Street Profits and Bianca Belair to SmackDown…Maybe
If Ripley is on Raw, Belair should leave. There’s no way WWE can properly balance Asuka, Shayna Baszler, Charlotte Flair, Rhea Ripley, Natalya, Mandy Rose, Nia Jax, a few others AND Bianca Belair.
In order to do that, you have to move The Street Profits. It’s too hard to split up married couples. That requires Montez Ford and Angelo Dawkins dropping the Raw Tag Team Championship.
I think that could be done. Dolph Ziggler and Robert Roode could win them on draft night through some shenanigans and it wouldn’t be too crazy. Of course, Andrade and Angel Garza would have been a better fit MONTHS ago, but that’s not happening now. The Hurt Business would be my ideal pick for this, though.
This could open up some new feuds for The Street Profits, too. The Miz and John Morrison, Cesaro and Shinsuke Nakamura (although we’ve already seen a bit of that), and The Forgotten Sons are on SmackDown. The downside is that we don’t get The Street Profits against The Hurt Business for more than a quick thing, as it would have to be in and out. We’d also not get RETRIBUTION fighting for the titles, but that might not be missing much.
Alternatively, if we keep The Street Profits and Belair on Raw, we need to move someone else to SmackDown to lighten the load so Belair has room to succeed. I think that could be somewhat accomplished by these three…
Mickie James, Liv Morgan and Ruby Riott to SmackDown
This is to balance out Dana Brooke and Mandy Rose being on Raw, a bit, at the very least.