Backstages Notes on WWE Draft

Oct 15, 2019 - by Steve Gerweck

During today’s edition of the The Wrestling Observer Radio, Dave Meltzer and Bryan Alvarez discussed the changes to the WWE roster after Night 2 of the WWE Draft last night on Raw. According to Meltzer, WWE’s original plan for the WWE rosters on Raw and Smackdown, including after the FOX move, was going to be to stick with the rosters that were set up for the shows with the 2019 Superstar Shake-up. However, that plan later eroded, and the separate brands were muddled by the flimsy Wild Card Rule. 

Additionally, Meltzer claimed that WWE decided to hold the second WWE Draft this year to help with the ratings for the second week of Smackdown on FOX and not so much to boost the Raw ratings on USA. The perception is that the Raw ratings are fine at the moment since the ratings are still a lot better than anything else on the USA Network. WWE “felt” another draft was necessary to help with the FOX ratings, since “they’re less of a given.” 

Much like the previous Superstar shakeup, Meltzer noted that the WWE Draft allowed the Superstars who are married or dating in real life to stay on the same show. As a result, Charlotte Flair was drafted to Raw this week. Andrade and Zelina Vega were both drafted to Raw. Andrade and Charlotte Flair are dating in real life. Meanwhile, Aleister Black was also drafted to Raw. Zelina Vega and Black are married in real life as well. 

Additionally, the move also split up the on-air pairing of Carmella and R-Truth. It moves Carmella to Smackdown, and R-Truth was drafted to Raw. The reason that happened is because Carmella’s real-life boyfriend, Corey Graves, is now part of the broadcast team on Smackdown, and now Carmella is part of the blue brand too. Meltzer added that The 24/7 title will be staying bound to Raw with R-Truth, since the 24/7 title was a USA Network idea. 

Meltzer stated that Buddy Murphy was moved to Raw because Raw Executive Director Paul Heyman is said to be “super high” on Murphy at the moment, and Murphy and Black were two of the names Paul Heyman wanted. For Baron Corbin, he was drafted to Smackdown, where former Smackdown Executive Director Eric Bischoff was said to be high on Corbin. However, Bischoff was just announced as being ousted from the role and replaced by Bruce Prichard. 

In terms of the WWE Draft, a “blockbuster trade” is scheduled to be later this week on Friday Night Smackdown on FOX.

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