WWE Mock Draft 2019: Predicting the Top 30 Picks for Raw, SmackDown Brand Split
Friday's SmackDown will be the first night of the WWE draft. Superstars from Raw and SmackDown will find themselves either staying put or fighting under a new banner.
For the first time in years, the draft feels important because WWE is no longer the only interested party. Executives from USA and Fox are going to want their network to feature the company's top stars, so they might have more input than people think.
The commentators on both shows have stated the Wild Card Rule will go after next week's Raw, so once someone is on a certain brand, they are going to stay there for at least a year.
With so many Superstars on the roster, even narrowing it down to a list of the top 30 draft picks was difficult. So many people deserve the spotlight but WWE can only feature so many people at the same time.
Since most tag teams will likely be drafted as a package deal, we are going to count duos as a single pick. We are also leaving out the WWE and universal champions since they aren't going anywhere.
Let's do a little mock draft and run through the top 30 picks we could see on Friday and Monday. We'll start at the top and work our way down.
Even though Roman Reigns has been out of the title picture since he returned in February, he is still one of the most recognizable and popular stars in the company.
The Big Dog is going to be the top pick in most people's fantasy drafts thanks to his star-power alone. Don't be surprised if he is back on Raw by next week.
Becky Lynch is the Raw women's champion, but stuff like that has never stopped WWE from moving people around.
The Man has had the best year of her career and it only seems to be getting better. She is a high-value pick for either brand.
Like Lynch, Charlotte Flair is already a champion, but she might find herself holding one brand's title while on another's roster.
After winning the SmackDown Women's Championship at Hell in a Cell on Sunday, The Queen's stock went way up.
AJ Styles is one of the most reliable and popular stars in WWE. Either show would be lucky to have him because he can put on a great match with anyone on the roster.
It would be ideal if WWE kept The OC together since they have a new theme song and merchandise, so anywhere Styles goes, Luke Gallows and Karl Anderson are sure to follow.
Sasha Banks was riding a wave of momentum when she returned from hiatus, but a few losses in key matches have hurt her a little.
Losing to Becky Lynch at Hell in a Cell definitely set her back a bit, but a fresh start on SmackDown would make it easier for The Boss to rebound.
Regardless of the horrible response the main event of Hell in a Cell received, Bray Wyatt is still one of the hottest acts in pro wrestling.
The Firefly Fun House segments will likely return soon, and The Fiend can go back to tormenting his opponents with glee.
Braun Strowman has yet to win a major singles title in WWE, but his new feud with Tyson Fury proves the company still sees him as a draw.
2019 wasn't his year, but The Monster Among Men has continued to improve in the ring and on the mic. If he doesn't win a world title in the next 12 months, something is seriously wrong with WWE management.
Kevin Owens is one of those Superstars who can make anything entertaining. All you have to do is give him a mic and an opponent, and he will do the rest of the work.
Getting him back into the title scene should be a priority for WWE moving forward now his feud with Shane McMahon is done and he is free to fight whoever he wants.
Bayley's heel turn started off well enough, but she hasn't been able to generate the kind of heat someone in her position should at this point.
However, she still remains a valuable star for WWE and someone who would excel on Raw or SmackDown, with or without Sasha Banks by her side.
The New Day
Kofi Kingston losing the WWE title to Brock Lesnar in less than 10 seconds on Friday night was a setback, but The New Day is not going to suffer in the long run.
As a trio, they are one of the best groups in recent WWE history. Moving them to Raw might be their best option to start fresh and regain some momentum heading into next year.
Randy Orton is one of WWE's most reliable veterans and one of the most successful Superstars in history. He can come and go as he pleases, and no amount of losses will hurt his image at this point.
He can be used to put other people over or lead a show as its top champion. The Viper still has a lot left in the tank and there are plenty of young Superstars for him to RKO in the years to come.
Daniel Bryan's recent face turn is going to make him more valuable to Raw and SmackDown in the future as long as he is given the right opponents to work with.
It's too early to tell if his feud with Erick Rowan and Luke Harper is done, but WWE could always move everyone from SmackDown to Raw to keep the story going through another pay-per-view.
The Yes Movement can be reactivated at any time, so Bryan is akin to the company's ace in the hole. Few people can get a crowd behind him like he can.
Considering The Revival are the current SmackDown tag team champions while being part of the Raw roster, it is practically guaranteed we will see them drafted.
Scott Dawson and Dash Wilder are not the most popular duo, but they can put on great matches with a variety of different opponents. Their value is in their skill and they have plenty of spare.
Ali is one of WWE's most exciting young performers but he has yet to come out on top in a feud with a top Superstar. That needs to change.
Moving him to Raw could be the key to turning things around for him. The crowd loves him, and he has limitless potential. He could be a top star by the end of next year if he is given the right opportunities.
The Viking Raiders
The Viking Raiders have been on a tour of destruction recently and they are going to be major players in the tag team division.
Erik and Ivar are currently on the same brand as AOP. While this is a future title feud for sure, WWE should keep them apart so both teams can build momentum before they finally collide in what is sure to be a war (Pun fully intended).
Jimmy and Jey Uso have been off television for a little while, which is why they aren't higher on this list, but the draft feels like the perfect time to bring them back and insert them back into the tag title scene on either show.
Whether they are the heels against The New Day or babyfaces against The OC, The Usos are going to make their matches must-see affairs. They are six-time tag champs for a reason.
Rey Mysterio and his son, Dominick, were destroyed by Brock Lesnar a couple of weeks ago but the Master of the 619 brought in Cain Velasquez to help with the situation.
Once this storyline is over, Mysterio can get back to being the exciting high-flyer we have known him to be for the past two decades.
He has always fit in better on SmackDown, which is where he should return during the draft.
Samoa Joe is currently out of action with a broken thumb, but it won't be long before he is back to choking people out and threatening to hurt someone's family as part of a storyline.
WWE could always use his return to start him on a new path as a babyface. He should be higher on this list but coming up short so many times in major feuds has hurt his stock a bit.
The Kabuki Warriors
Asuka and Kairi Sane were not being used at all until recently, but now they are the women's tag team champions, we should be seeing a lot more of The Kabuki Warriors.
The great thing about the women's tag titles is they are not brand-specific. WWE can move them anywhere to defend the belts against whoever is available.
They might even put in some time in NXT to face a team like Marina Shafir and Jessamyn Duke or Aliyah and Vanessa Borne.
Luke Harper and Erick Rowan
Luke Harper and Erick Rowan could be one of the most dominant tag teams in the entire company, but WWE keeps using them to put other people over instead of giving them a chance to succeed.
We don't know if they will continue to feud with Daniel Bryan and Roman Reigns, but moving them to a different show might be in their best interests to help them regain some lost momentum after losing at Hell in a Cell.
Rusev recently returned from a long hiatus with a new mustache and his same old attitude, but WWE has chosen to take his and Lana's characters in a new direction.
Lana is currently aligned with Bobby Lashley in a romantic angle, with Rusev apparently taking the role of a scorned husband. It looked like he would be a heel when he first came back and attacked Mike Kanellis but now it seems we are supposed to view him as a sympathetic character.
This storyline will either be a breath of fresh air or a total dud. Either way, anywhere Rusev goes, Lana and Lashley are sure to follow.
R-Truth has received a lot of praise for his work as 24/7 champion, but it has led to him getting only a handful of real matches in 2019.
If WWE was allowing this title to be defended in more normal contests, Truth might have been higher on this list. He is a great character but being used solely for comedy will prevent him from being taken seriously again in the future.
The Authors of Pain have yet to return to television with a real match, but their recent video packages are a good sign WWE is looking to give them a huge push.
Everything from the way their videos are shot to the music in the background to having Akam and Rezar speak in foreign languages has helped make them more interesting.
It wouldn't be surprising to see them go right after the tag titles on either brand once they start competing again.
Ricochet is right on the cusp of being a serious contender for a midcard title. He just needs a big win or two at a pay-per-view before management gives him that chance.
His high-flying style makes him fun to watch, and he connects with the crowd on a real level as a person instead of a character.
We know he can steal the show against the right opponent, so either brand would benefit from his presence.
After several weeks of being forgotten about by management, Aleister Black is finally back to asking people to pick a fight with him instead of looking for one himself.
This gimmick was fun at first, but WWE needs to do something new with him. He is one of the most unique Superstars in the company, but the crowd hasn't been given enough chances to see it since he arrived on the main roster in February.
Moving him to Raw would help him start over and establish himself as a force to be reckoned with.
Baron Corbin has improved a lot in recent months to become one of the more consistent villains on the roster. Winning King of the Ring was a reward for all of the hard work he has put into making other people look good for the past few years.
He has displayed great chemistry with a number of Superstars, and his ability to generate heat from the crowd is on par with the biggest heels in the company.
He may not be your favorite, but there are good reasons why Corbin is used so frequently.
Alexa Bliss and Nikki Cross
Alexa Bliss and Nikki Cross won't be a team forever, but until WWE decides to break them up, they are going to be a package deal.
Cross has benefited from teaming up with The Goddess quite a bit. They were both running in place until management paired them up and now they are regular fixtures on Raw and SmackDown.
Whichever brand gets them will have the benefit of hosting their eventual breakup feud. Until then, we should expect them to continue chasing The Kabuki Warriors and the women's tag titles.
Despite being the intercontinental champion, it never feels like WWE knows what it wants to do with Shinsuke Nakamura. His alliance with Sami Zayn has helped, but he still isn't being used the way he should be.
The Artist's talent is off the charts as a wrestler, and he has more charisma than he knows what to do with.
Raw and SmackDown would both be lucky to have him, but it's unlikely his booking situation will change unless he goes back to being a babyface.
Carmella has mostly been seen helping R-Truth evade the dozens of Superstars chasing him for the 24/7 Championship every week. She is great in her role, but it's time to bring her back to the ring.
A recent match alongside Charlotte Flair against Sasha Banks and Bayley showed she has been keeping up with her training.
The WWE Universe will eventually grow tired of seeing The Four Horsewomen fight with each other and that is when Carmella can slide back into the hunt for gold.
Bobby Lashley should be feuding with Brock Lesnar, but WWE seems to think a better use of his talent is in an infidelity storyline with Rusev and Lana.
It's hard to think of anyone with more potential who has been used so poorly by the company in recent years. He went from being a top prospect to someone who barely registers as a contender.
Once this nonsense with Rusev is done, WWE should think about putting Lashley in a tag team with someone smaller. He needs someone to do the proverbial heavy lifting on the mic while he does the literal heavy lifting in the ring.
Who do you think will change brands during the draft?