WWE/AEW Fantasy Draft: Selecting a Top-10 Big Board

Anthony Mango@@ToeKneeManGoFeatured ColumnistMarch 12, 2021

WWE/AEW Fantasy Draft: Selecting a Top-10 Big Board

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    Credit: WWE.com

    The 2021 NFL draft is approaching on April 29, but what if All Elite Wrestling and WWE had a fantasy draft between the two biggest rosters in professional wrestling today?

    Such an event has never happened before. WWE took over WCW 20 years ago and merged its wrestlers into the roster, while Raw and SmackDown have had several drafts and Superstar Shake-ups, but nothing has ever been cross-promotional.

    If the two companies suddenly decided to unveil a draft, who would be the top five picks to look out for in both promotions?

    Based on their current status, championships, career achievements and potential from a kayfabe viewpoint, here is a top-10 Big Board for a AEW/WWE draft scenario.

AEW No. 5: Chris Jericho

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    Credit: All Elite Wrestling

    Few have achieved as much in the business as Chris Jericho. Even fewer have wrestled for 30 years and can still go at the level he can.

    Some of his major accomplishments are as follows:

    • AEW World Championship (1 time), inaugural champion.
    • Undisputed WWF Championship (1 time)
    • World Heavyweight Championship (3 times)
    • WCW World Championship (2 times)
    • WWE Intercontinental Championship (9 times)
    • WWE United States Championship (2 times)
    • WWF European Championship (1 time)
    • WWF Hardcore Championship (1 time)
    • WWE Tag Team Championship (2 times)
    • WWE World Tag Team Championship (5 times)
    • Triple Crown and Grand Slam Champion
    • IWGP Intercontinental Championship (1 time)
    • WCW Cruiserweight Championship (4 times)
    • WCW World Television Championship (1 time)
    • ECW World Television Championship (1 time)
    • PWI Feud of the Decade (2000s) vs. Shawn Michaels
    • Ranked No. 2 in the PWI 500 for 2009

    Jericho is a legend and future Hall of Famer who can play both heel and babyface, works well against a variety of opponents, can win any title at any time and make it more credible while going up and down the card as a main eventer who can elevate midcarders and more.

    The 50-year-old is also a valuable asset for any creative team, perpetually coming up with new types of fights such as the Money in the Bank ladder match and countless marketable catchphrases.

WWE No. 5: Bobby Lashley

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    Credit: WWE.com

    It took Bobby Lashley nearly two decades to reach the mountaintop, but he's finally become WWE champion at a time when he's red-hot.

    This is the best run of The All Mighty's career alongside MVP as the CEO of The Hurt Business. He had loads of potential since 2007, but he's only now capitalizing on it.

    While he's likely doomed to drop the title at WrestleMania 37, it wouldn't take much to influence a change in creative direction. With his new entrance theme, renewed vigor, dominant persona and major upgrade to his confidence levels, one doesn't have to look hard to see he could have more staying power as champion.

    The only reason Lashley isn't ranked higher on this list is because he's still an unproven entity at the top of the food chain. This title reign is brand-new, and there's always a chance he could flop.

    Among his achievements are:

    • WWE Championship (1 time, current)
    • ECW World Championship (2 times)
    • WWE Intercontinental Championship (2 times)
    • WWE United States Championship (2 times)
    • TNA Impact World Heavyweight Championship (4 times)
    • TNA King of the Mountain Championship (1 time, final)
    • TNA X Division Championship (1 time)

AEW No. 4: MJF

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    Credit: All Elite Wrestling

    Maxwell Jacob Friedman does not have the accolades Jericho or Lashley offer on paper, but he's a pick who represents the future.

    At only 24, MJF has already made it clear he's one of the hottest prospects in the professional wrestling industry to build your company around. Even among extremely talented wrestlers like Jungle Boy, Rey Fenix, "Hangman" Adam Page and Sammy Guevara, he stands out from the pack.

    When going through a draft, age is a factor that can't be ignored. It's better to have a team that can be good now and has exhibited the ability to quickly grow to become great and ride that wave for a long time. The alternative is to start strong but fizzle out quickly and then have to rebuild.

    MJF has no world titles to his name in AEW, but he's won the Dynamite Diamond ring twice and is working his way toward being the company's ace.

WWE No. 4: Drew McIntyre

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    Credit: WWE.com

    Drew McIntyre is a textbook example of where the potential of someone like MJF can lead down the line.

    If a few things had gone differently over the past decade or so, The Scottish Warrior would have been at his current level years ago.

    Nevertheless, he's made it to the top, and the past year has been his to own on WWE Raw as he held and defended the WWE Championship with pride and determination.

    He only lost his title due to the combination of a grueling Elimination Chamber match, an attack and a Money in the Bank cash-in. It's extremely likely McIntyre will defeat Lashley at WrestleMania 37 to win the title back and reassert himself as the King of Claymore Country.

    Here are some of his biggest accomplishments:

    • WWE Championship (2 times)
    • WWE Intercontinental Championship (1 time)
    • NXT Championship (1 time)
    • WWE Raw Tag Team Championship (2 times)
    • Triple Crown Champion
    • Men's Royal Rumble (2020)
    • A win over Brock Lesnar in the main event of WrestleMania 36
    • TNA World Heavyweight Championship (1 time)
    • Impact Grand Championship (1 time)
    • Evolve Championship (1 time)
    • PWI's Most Improved Wrestler of the Year (2020)
    • Ranked No. 4 in the PWI 500 for 2020

AEW No. 3: Jon Moxley

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    Credit: All Elite Wrestling

    Dean Ambrose was already a Hall of Fame-caliber character in WWE, but he upgraded even more once he made the jump to AEW and reverted to his Jon Moxley moniker.

    Moxley has been one of the top wrestlers in AEW since his debut, in stark contrast to his time in WWE, where he was often the third wheel of The Shield behind Roman Reigns and Seth Rollins.

    His career rundown includes many titles on the independent circuit, as well as these major achievements:

    • AEW World Championship (1 time)
    • WWE Championship (1 time)
    • WWE Intercontinental Championship (3 times)
    • WWE United States Championship (1 time)
    • WWE Raw Tag Team Championship (2 times)
    • Triple Crown and Grand Slam Champion
    • Money in the Bank (2016)
    • Ranked No. 1 in the PWI 500 for 2020
    • PWI's Most Popular Wrestler of the Year for 2014 and 2015
    • PWI Feud of the Year (2014) vs. Seth Rollins
    • IWGP United States Championship (2 times, current)

    Moxley is a bit of a loose cannon, which makes him harder to control than some others above him on this list. However, his reckless charisma is as undeniable as his passion for the business.

WWE No. 3: Sasha Banks

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    Credit: WWE.com

    Sasha Banks has got it all: She's young, athletic, passionate, beautiful, knows how to talk, has character, is a role model for young girls and has years of experience to back it all up.

    By the time she was in her mid-20s, she had already carved out a spot in the Hall of Fame for herself as one of best female WWE Superstars of all time.

    What's truly amazing is that she seems to only get better. That makes her someone you can anchor your product around and not fear that the investment won't yield many good years of returns.

    Here is a list of her most noteworthy accolades:

    • WWE Raw Women's Championship (5 times)
    • WWE SmackDown Women's Championship (1 time, current)
    • NXT Women's Championship (1 time)
    • WWE Women's Tag Team Championship (2 times)
    • Triple Crown and Grand Slam champion
    • Ranked No. 2 in the PWI Female 50 in 2016
    • Ranked No. 3 in the PWI Female 50 in 2020
    • PWI Feud of the Year in both 2016 and 2020
    • PWI Woman of the Year in 2015

AEW No. 2: Cody Rhodes

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    Credit: All Elite Wrestling

    In many ways, Cody Rhodes is AEW's franchise player. He grew up in the business, and it's in his blood.

    The American Nightmare has arguably surpassed both his father, Dusty Rhodes, and brother, Dustin Rhodes, who are both Hall of Famers in their own right.

    Cody is in the prime of his career at 35 and wrestles as if he's had another 10 years of experience on top of that.

    There is no doubt he loves this industry and gives it his all, making him someone you want on your team to pull you along toward success.

    He has achieved so much inside both WWE and AEW as well as other promotions, including:

    • AEW TNT Championship (2 times)
    • WWE Intercontinental Championship (2 times)
    • WWE World Tag Team Championship (3 times)
    • WWE Tag Team Championship (3 times)
    • Ranked No. 7 in the PWI 500 for 2020
    • IWGP United States Championship (1 time)
    • NWA World Heavyweight Championship (1 time)

WWE No. 2: Charlotte Flair

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    Credit: WWE.com

    There is no better female wrestler in the industry today than Charlotte Flair. This is practically an undeniable fact.

    While many will prefer names such as Becky Lynch, Tessa Blanchard, Thunder Rosa and others, there is an argument that The Queen should be the top pick of this whole draft, not just the top of the women's division.

    Flair rose quickly through the ranks in WWE and has achieved more than any woman in the company's history:

    • WWE SmackDown Women's Championship (5 times)
    • WWE Raw Women's Championship (4 times)
    • NXT Women's Championship (2 times)
    • WWE Divas Championship (1 time)
    • WWE Women's Tag Team Championship (1 time)
    • Triple Crown and Grand Slam champion
    • Women's Royal Rumble (2020)
    • Ranked No. 1 in the PWI Female 50 for 2016
    • PWI Feud of the Year (2016) vs. Sasha Banks
    • PWI Woman of the Year (2016)

    Alongside her fellow Four Horsewomen, Flair has led the charge for the huge shift in credibility that women's wrestling has enjoyed in recent years.

    However, she's nowhere near done breaking records and may go down in history as the best women's wrestler of all time.

AEW No. 1: Kenny Omega

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    Credit: All Elite Wrestling

    From the very start, AEW's gold standard has been Kenny Omega. His reputation preceded him as possibly the best wrestler on the market who consistently put on Match of the Year bouts like it was easy.

    While he wasn't off to the best start in his own promotion, he quickly turned things around and reasserted himself as a foundational star.

    It's hard to tell if Omega has only recently peaked, he's in his prime right now or if he's still building toward the best work of his career. At 37 and all that still open to question makes him an easy first-round pick.

    Here is a look at his title reigns and more:

    • AEW World Championship (1 time, current)
    • AEW World Tag Team Championship (1 time)
    • AAA Mega Championship (1 time, current)
    • IWGP Heavyweight Championship (1 time)
    • IWGP Intercontinental Championship (1 time)
    • IWGP Junior Heavyweight Championship (2 times)
    • IWGP Junior Heavyweight Tag Team Championship (1 time)
    • IWGP United States Championship (1 time)
    • NEVER Openweight 6-Man Tag Team Championship (2 times)
    • G1 Climax (2016)
    • Ranked No. 1 in the PWI 500 for 2018
    • Ranked No. 2 in the PWI Tag Team 50 for 2020
    • PWI Match of the Year for 2017, 2018 and 2020.
    • PWI Feud of the Year for 2017 and Feud of the Decade for the 2010s.

WWE No. 1: Roman Reigns

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    Credit: WWE.com

    While an in-ring purist would value someone like Omega at the top of the list, a kayfabe look at star power makes Roman Reigns the likely top overall pick from AEW and WWE combined.

    It's controversial but also undeniable that he's been positioned as the king of the largest wrestling company for almost a decade. And his achievements underline this:

    • WWE Championship (3 times)
    • WWE Universal Championship (2 times)
    • WWE Intercontinental Championship (1 time)
    • WWE United States Championship (1 time)
    • WWE Tag Team Championship (1 time)
    • Triple Crown and grand slam champion
    • Royal Rumble (2015)
    • One of only two people to have defeated The Undertaker at WrestleMania.
    • Is in the top echelon of WrestleMania main events along with Hulk Hogan and John Cena.
    • Ranked No. 1 in the PWI 500 for 2016

    The Head of the Table didn't get that nickname for nothing, and his Tribal Chief persona is the best character work of his career.

Honorable Mentions for AEW

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    Credit: All Elite Wrestling

    Naturally, not everyone can make a ranking for a list as small as a top five in the entirety of AEW, so some honorable mentions should be considered.

    Hikaru Shida is the company's top female star and reigning champion. However, the AEW women's division is still lacking and while she's a big fish in a small pond, there are still many WWE Superstars who would likely be chosen above her.

    Tay Conti, Red Velvet, Dr. Britt Baker and even Jade Cargill have proved already they're worth watching and could rise in the ranks in due time.

    The Young Bucks would be a steal if they could be drafted as a single pick, but those rules weren't established.

    Brian Cage is an enormous, athletic beast that even AEW is sleeping on. Scorpio Sky and Orange Cassidy shouldn't be ignored, either.

    Ricky Starks, Jungle Boy, "Hangman" Adam Page, Rey Fenix, Darby Allin, Sammy Guevara and others are young, hungry and talented, and they would be great additions to any roster but come up short compared to MJF's potential at the moment.

Honorable Mentions for WWE

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    Credit: WWE.com

    Many WWE names just missed the cut in our list.

    AJ Styles isn't called The Phenomenal One for nothing. Even at the age of 43, he's still one of the best in-ring performers in the world.

    Asuka has been criminally underutilized in WWE for the past year, despite holding the Raw Women's Championship for most of it. She has proven talent, but the company clearly values others more and pushes The Empress of Tomorrow to the sidelines, which hurts her reputation.

    Bianca Belair and Rhea Ripley are the future of the WWE women's division. They've already reached the top and are only just getting started. Until they win a major title, though, Banks and Flair outclass them.

    Bayley, Daniel Bryan, Randy Orton, Keith Lee, Seth Rollins and Edge are all toward the top of our selections. And like many others, they're certainly worth debating for spots on this list.


    Anthony Mango is the owner of the wrestling website Smark Out Moment and the host of the podcast show Smack Talk on YouTube, iTunes and Stitcher. You can follow him on Facebook and elsewhere for more.