The 2021 WWE Draft continues on tonight’s episode of Monday Night Raw with the second pool of Superstars, following Friday Night SmackDown’s picks (found here) and the supplemental picks (found here).
The following are all the moves made official on tonight’s episode on Raw:
— Raw picks Becky Lynch
— SmackDown picks The Usos
— Raw picks Bobby Lashley
— SmackDown picks Sasha Banks
— Raw picks Seth Rollins
— SmackDown picks Shinsuke Nakamura and Rick Boogs
— Raw picks Damian Priest
— SmackDown picks Sheamus
— Raw picks AJ Styles
— SmackDown picks Shayna Baszler
— Raw picks Kevin Owens
— SmackDown picks Xia Li
— Raw picks The Street Profits
— SmackDown picks The Viking Raiders
— Raw picks Finn Balor
— SmackDown picks Ricochet
— Raw picks Karrion Kross
— SmackDown picks Angel Garza and Humberto Carrillo
— Raw picks Alexa Bliss
— SmackDown picks Cesaro
— Raw picks Carmella
— SmackDown picks Ridge Holland
— Raw picks Gable Steveson
— SmackDown picks Sami Zayn
More supplemental picks were announced on the episode of Raw Talk that immediately followed Monday Night Raw.
Raw Talk Supplemental Picks:
- Cedric Alexander
- Dana Brooke
- Dolph Ziggler
- Jaxson Ryker
- Liv Morgan
- Mia Yim
- The Miz
- Robert Roode
- Shelton Benjamin
- Tegan Nox
- Jinder Mahal
Author’s POV – Gut Reaction :
Most of these picks were rather straightforward. For instance, Becky Lynch going to Raw to counterbalance Charlotte Flair with the other championship felt like a guarantee. It seems like they’ll just swap titles, which I think is lame. Coinciding with Lynch to Raw, Seth Rollins was obviously going to follow suit, as WWE tries its best to keep couples together.
This also explained The Street Profits to join Bianca Belair for Montez Ford, Carmella going to Raw since Corey Graves is there, and The Usos staying on SmackDown not just for the continuation of The Bloodline, but to keep Jimmy Uso and Naomi together.
The Hurt Business all stays on Raw. Good. Technically, MVP wasn’t drafted, but as he’s more of a manager and he’s inactive right now from an injury, they’ll just bring him in and it won’t need any pomp and circumstance.
Without changing championships, Shinsuke Nakamura (with Rick Boogs) and Damian Priest staying where they are makes sense.
I like The Viking Raiders going to SmackDown. Let’s see them against The Usos. I’m not too sure about Mansoor and Mustafa Ali AND Angel Garza and Humberto Carrillo also joining them. Maybe that’s a bit too much, but with Dirty Dawgs going to Raw with Alpha Academy, I guess they’re just swapping some teams and it somewhat balances out.
Kevin Owens to Raw likely isn’t going to matter. He’s probably gone in January.
Finn Balor to Raw balances out Drew McIntyre to SmackDown. Good move.
I’m curious about Shayna Baszler to SmackDown. Who’s she supposed to feud with? Who are the top babyfaces in the women’s division on that brand? I guess it’s going to hinge on Naomi, Shotzi and Toni Storm. Aliyah could be a babyface, but we’re not sure. B-Fab is far from ready for that responsibility. Flair, Natalya, Banks and Baszler are heels. I’d assume Xia Li (who I’m glad has moved up, even though it’s neutered Tian Sha considerably) will stay a heel.
Ridge Holland to SmackDown is a surprising move. I didn’t think they’d split him from Pete Dunne, nor take him out of NXT. My guess was that he was in line to be one of the next NXT champions, instead.
Gable Steveson, of course, is a major talking point WWE is undoubtedly hoping will bring a lot of attention to the brand. The more that gets put out there like this, the more it reeks of desperation to me, as if they’re putting all their eggs in his basket to save the day with the company and be the next big thing and the answer to all the problems.
They’ve split Shotzi and Nox and put them on the opposite brands I had suggested they’d go on. I’m cool with it, though. Clearly, they had no intention on doing anything with them after they gave them multiple No. 1 contenders matches and repeatedly kept pushing that match aside. Why bother booking something you don’t want to do? I don’t understand WWE’s mentality sometimes. They put more effort into things they don’t want and then can’t spend 5 minutes planning ahead for the things they care about. Super odd.
Jinder Mahal is with Shanky, but no more Veer. Why? Is Saurav Gurjar coming back and they’re just re-teaming Indus Sher, but don’t want them involved with Mahal and Shanky?
I’m glad to see Mia Yim is Mia Yim again and not Reckoning. Yeesh that was awful.
The real question marks come in with “everyone else” like Cesaro, Sheamus, Ricochet and Sami Zayn. How does WWE plan on using them? Will someone like Ricochet get more of a push, or are they swapping him just for the sake of it?
I can’t say this draft has made me feel like the next year is going to have an unlimited amount of resources for matches. WWE’s roster is so thin these days and I’m not looking forward to lots of rematches or the same 5 people getting all the attention cause the rest aren’t big enough stars. Maybe this is going to be a rough year in 2022. I hope I’m wrong.
What do you think of these trades? Tell us your thoughts in the comments below!