It’s time to shake things up again!
Friday, things will indeed be shaken up in WWE as the company’s two brands, Monday Night RAW and Friday Night SmackDown, begin the 2020 WWE Draft. The draft is always an exciting couple of nights for WWE programming as the WWE universe dreams of moves that would make dream matches possible. The draft also allows the WWE to reset and focus on two of their biggest shows of the year, the Royal Rumble and WrestleMania in early 2021.
Instead of breaking down who gets drafted whereas a traditional article would, I’m going to take it one step further, as I usually do for those of you that follow the column regularly know. In my opinion, the 2020 WWE Draft needs certain superstars more than ever to be drafted and ones that can absolutely not be drafted. SmackDown has consistently been the best wrestling show in all of wrestling in 2020 while RAW has been the complete opposite. Logic would tell you RAW needs a big boost, right?!
Well, you would be correct, except I do not want to take away from SmackDown’s magic. RAW does have some areas the brand is strong in, including the main event picture. RAW needs to completely rebuild their mid-card, an area where SmackDown is strong in.
If I was running the draft, I would draft Drew Gulak, Braun Strowman, Shorty G, King Corbin, Elias and Kalisto from Lucha House Party from SmackDown to RAW. In return, I would send Kevin Owens, Humberto Carrillo, Apollo Crews, Ricochet and Andrade (who would be splitting up from Angel Garza) to the blue brand.
Gulak and Strowman have essentially already been drafted to RAW. Strowman has appeared in RAW Underground while Gulak has been chasing around 24/7 champion R-Truth as of late alongside Akira Tozawa. Gulak could be an excellent heel in the mid-card, and Strowman could feud with WWE champion Drew McIntyre, Keith Lee and the Mysterios as a monster heel.
King Corbin and Shorty G have done everything they could on SmackDown. There’s nobody left for them to feud with, so I would move them to RAW and start a feud with each other with Shorty G being the face, playing off the King’s ransom storyline that was on SmackDown.
As for Elias, we haven’t seen the beloved singer since he got run over by a car back in June. In my opinion, Elias is a natural born heel, and his heel run on RAW in 2017–2018 evaluated him to be a potential star one day. We haven’t seen that Elias since he got moved to SmackDown in the 2019 Superstar Shakeup. It’s time to let 15 minutes of RAW be Elias singing again.
Kalisto seems like the guy breaking away from Lucha House Party, and a heel run on RAW seems like a way to jump his career. A feud with Mysterio is enticing.
Since Kevin Owens turned face, he hasn’t been the same to me. His Wrestlemania feud with Rollins was good, but he’s stuck in neutral. He’s been doing nothing lately but host the KO Show. His feud with Aleister Black has done nothing for me and since “The Fiend” Bray Wyatt attacked him on SmackDown a few weeks ago, a heel turn for Owens makes sense and would do him wonders.
However, before he turns and feuds with the likes of Matt Riddle and Jeff Hardy, it would be nice if what causes his heel turn is a feud with his former best friend in Sami Zayn over the Intercontinental Championship. “The Great Liberator” has been fantastic since returning in August, and Owens and Zayn always tear the house down.
Carrillo got called up to RAW in the 2019 WWE Draft and hasn’t been anything special. He had a mini-feud with Andrade and Seth Rollins, but WWE has forgotten about him. A move to SmackDown may spark his career like a move to RAW following WrestleMania sparked Crews.
Speaking of Crews, he and Ricochet have been stuck in a feud with The Hurt Business over the United States Championship since May, and it’s time for everyone to move on. The Hurt Business has been one of the only constants on RAW throughout the pandemic, so they need to stay. Plus, a move to Friday nights would allow Crews and Ricochet to compete against Cesaro and Shinsuke Nakamura for the SmackDown Tag Team Titles. Considering Mustafa Ali is now the leader of RETRIBUTION, it’s time for Ricochet and Crews to move on from their former friend.
Since March, Andrade and Garza have been chasing the RAW Tag Team Championships and have yet to dethrone the Street Profits. Garza looks to be high on Mr. McMahon’s list of potential superstars, and I agree. It’s time to let Garza and Andrade, who have never had perfect chemistry anyways, go their separate ways, and Andrade can feud with the likes of Riddell and Hardy on SmackDown while Garza can go after the U.S. Title and The Hurt Business on RAW.
With this swap, I believe RAW’s mid-card division would be completely rebuilt while SmackDown receives a fresh coat of paint.
As mentioned above, Garza and Andrade have been battling the Street Profits for the RAW Tag Team Titles for months, but that is mostly because there are no other tag teams on the brand. Seth Rollins and Murphy are no longer a tag team after Rollins’s disciple turned on him Monday on RAW, Ivar of the Viking Raiders is out with a neck injury and The Hurt Business has other business to attend to (pun intended).
On the other hand, SmackDown has a loaded tag division, including the champions Cesaro and Nakamura, New Day, the Usos when Jimmy returns from injury, Lucha House Party, Heavy Machinery and John Morrison and the Miz. I think it would be perfect to slide the teams of Miz and Morrison and Heavy Machinery over to RAW.
Miz and Morrison have been feuding with Heavy Machinery’s Otis over Otis’ Money in the Bank briefcase. A month ago, Miz used his connections with the USA Network and FOX to trade Otis’s girlfriend Mandy Rose to RAW. What better way than to have USA Network and RAW draft both teams to add a new layer to the rivalry. If both teams head to RAW, Rose is added back into the story, Miz and Morrison can have a tremendous program with The Street Profits once their rivalry with Heavy Machinery comes to an end, and Otis can cash in his Money in the Bank contract on the WWE Champion because he’s not going to have the opportunity to cash in the contract on the Universal Champion.
Each brand’s women’s division is rough. On RAW, Asuka has run through every challenger for her title while Bayley has done the same for SmackDown. It looks like Bayley and Sasha Banks will be ending their program Friday on SmackDown. I believe Bayley should win the match because Banks should be drafted to RAW alongside Lacey Evans and a returning Sonya Deville.
Evans hasn’t done much since being drafted to SmackDown in the 2019 WWE Draft, and her heel run in early 2019, challenging Becky Lynch for the RAW Women’s Championship, was fun to see.
Deville, who lost a loser leaves WWE match against Rose at SummerSlam, can re-insert herself into the Rose and Heavy Machinery vs. Miz and Morrison feud, and then move on to challenge Asuka once that feud reaches its conclusion.
There are currently no heels on SmackDown for Banks to face, but there are plenty of heels on RAW, including Nia Jax, Shayna Baszler, Lana, Natalya, Zelina Vega, Peyton Royce and the additions of Deville and Evans.
For Bayley, after defeating Banks, she should move on to either the new-look Carmella or a returning Charlotte Flair. Flair would join her fiancé Andrade in moving to SmackDown, and a feud between her and Bayley would be based on how Bayley turned heel last October because of Flair.
The draft picks I propose RAW and SmackDown make for 2020 are not major picks, but there’s a reason for that. I did not want to move either brand’s big stars.
On RAW, I’m loving the current feud between WWE Champion Drew McIntyre and Randy Orton. Both men have been stables of RAW through the pandemic, along with The Hurt Business. I want Orton to hold the WWE Title going into the Royal Rumble in 2021, so Edge can return, win the Rumble, and the main event of Wrestlemania 37 becomes Edge vs Randy Orton III, but this time for the biggest prize in the sport. What a way to finish a story after Orton injured “The Rated-R Superstar” during “The Greatest Wrestling Match Ever” at Backlash!
The Mysterio family are now at odds because Aliyah has taken a liking to Murphy. Even though Rollins will probably be taking time off after the Survivor Series thanks to his wife Becky Lynch being close to her due date; I don’t want that feud rushed. It needs to stay on RAW, and I have a vision of Rollins turning face and going up against The Hurt Business once he does return.
“The Tribal Chief” Roman Reigns and his “Special Counsel” Paul Heyman have ruled SmackDown since Reigns returned at SummerSlam. Read my column last week if you want my full take on that pairing!
The storyline with The Fiend and Alexa Bliss has been amazing! This storyline cannot be rushed either, and it will hopefully lead to Bliss helping The Fiend recapture the Universal Title from Reigns at Wrestlemania 37.
Jeff Hardy, A.J. Styles and Sami Zayn have been killing it in the blue brand’s mid-card division, along with Sheamus, Matt Riddle and New Day, so there’s no need to move them.
This WWE Draft should be about creating new, fresh matchups, not just necessarily moving the biggest names around just for the sake of moving big names around. Keep the headliners on their current brands and move the pieces around them to create new matchups.
If WWE follows my formula, the 2020 WWE Draft could end up being a major hit.
Brandon Lewis is a columnist. Email him at email@example.com.
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Hi, I’m Lauren Sasala, a senior journalism student from Toledo. I’m also the editor in chief of The Kent Stater and KentWired this semester. My staff and I are committed to bringing you the most important news about Kent State and the Kent community. We are full-time students and hard-working journalists. While we get support from the student media fee and earned revenue such as advertising, both of those continue to decline. Your generous gift of any amount will help enhance our student experience as we grow into working professionals. Please go here to donate.