Tonight’s episode of Friday Night SmackDown kicks off the 2021 WWE Draft! Superstars from both Raw and SmackDown (as well as possibly NXT) will be up for grabs. Will USA or Fox end up with the best overall roster?
The following are all the moves made official on tonight’s episode on SmackDown:
— SmackDown picks Roman Reigns
— Raw picks Big E
— SmackDown picks Charlotte Flair (Raw Women’s Champion)
— Raw picks Bianca Belair
— SmackDown picks Drew McIntyre
— Raw picks RK-Bro (Randy Orton and Matt Riddle)
— SmackDown picks The New Day’s Kofi Kingston and Xavier Woods
— Raw picks Edge
— SmackDown picks Happy Corbin and Madcap Moss
— Raw picks Rhea Ripley and Nikki A.S.H.
— SmackDown picks Hit Row (Isaiah “Swerve” Scott, B-Fab, Top Dolla and Ashante “Thee” Adonis
— Raw picks Keith “Bearcat” Lee
— SmackDown picks Naomi
— Raw picks Dominik Mysterio and Rey Mysterio
— SmackDown picks Jeff Hardy
— Raw picks Austin Theory
— Brock Lesnar clarified that he’s going to remain a free agent
Author’s POV – Gut Reaction & First Impressions:
There are some great moves that happened tonight and some really bad ones. Of course, all of this depends on how the rest of the draft goes over the coming days, because any number of picks can upset the balance even more.
Roman Reigns staying on SmackDown and being the first overall pick makes sense. Big E staying on Raw, naturally, balances that out, but I really don’t understand why they decided to split The New Day again. Do they really think they can’t possibly push Big E as a singles competitor if they have them on the same brand, even though they’re in full control over what they do and don’t do?
Charlotte Flair being the first women’s pick makes sense. However, why in the hell is the Raw Women’s Championship now on SmackDown? Is this just a means to have her swap the belts and count that as another championship reign? If so, that’s ridiculous.
I’m really disappointed Bianca Belair is on the opposite brand of Flair. That was a fresh match that could have main-evented WrestleMania in 2022. Now, the only way to do that is to disregard the draft and have Belair win the Royal Rumble again and jump brands. I don’t have a lot of faith they’re going to set up something better than Flair vs. Belair. Technically, while I should try to give them the benefit of the doubt to finish the draft and see what happens over the coming months, history has shown that my lack of faith makes sense. It’s not like they always find a way to get things sorted out. More often than not, there are more problems in WWE than solutions.
Drew McIntyre to SmackDown is perfect. He needs to feud with Roman Reigns. The same goes for Jeff Hardy.
RK-Bro staying on Raw was a gimme. If they hadn’t, it would have been ridiculous.
I’m surprised Hit Row got called up. Personally, I don’t think B-Fab or Top Dolla are ready, and I think it’s odd the NXT North American champion is on SmackDown now.
The rest of the picks are pretty standardized. The only way of knowing whether or not they’re great moves is when we see the full rosters after the draft has concluded. It might be a huge mistake keeping Baron Corbin on SmackDown or it could be the best thing for him, for instance. We’ll just have to wait and see.
What do you think of these trades? Tell us your thoughts in the comments below!