The rosters are set leading to Battleground. What other changes are in store for the new-look WWE?
There was quite a bit that happened this week in WWE, but the only thing that’s really on our minds is the draft. What did our resident experts think of the result after weeks of anticipation? Let’s find out!
Coast 2 Coast is cowritten by Josh Rebuck.
1) The brand extension draft has come and gone, what are your thoughts on the two rosters?
Corey: The Smackdown roster seems a little smaller but I understand why Raw needed more people due to the extra hour. I wish Smackdown would have had some way to get the cruiserweights since it is the show that’s on a new night and will need the viewers. I don’t have any qualms really because most of the picks all seemed pretty appropriate for each show, even John Cena going to Smackdown made sense.
Josh: I think WWE did a really good job of splitting the rosters where there’s enough star power for each show. Also including an extra pick for Raw was a very smart move as the show is an extra hour long. At first glance the cruiserweights on Raw might not make much sense, but I think with the three-hour show format that actually gives them more of a chance to stand out. Weird Kalisto didn’t wind up on Raw though.
A look at the new rosters and logos for Raw and Smackdown. Images courtesy of Robert Buglass.
2) Do you like the choices of Daniel Bryan (Smackdown) and Mick Foley (Raw) as commissioners?
Corey: I’m always for Mick Foley being commissioner. He did it pretty well back in the early 2000s and I believe the same as of today. I’m ok with Daniel Bryan being one as well. I just wish his health was good enough to come back as a full-time wrestler, but we all know that’s not going to happen.
Josh: If WWE can recapture even a 10th of the magic they had with Mick Foley’s first run as commissioner then they’ll have something really special. Daniel Bryan is a curious pick and while it was leaked the week before it was announced I actually kind of hoped it wouldn’t be true. I love Daniel Bryan, he’s a phenomenal talent whose career was unfortunately cut short. However, Bryan was never the best talker and in a role that requires you to be impactful on the mic every time I’m not sure if it’s going to work. His commentary on the CWC broadcasts is solid though so maybe this is absolutely the right call.
3) What was the biggest shock from draft night?
Corey: Splitting up Braun Strowman from the Wyatt Family. I don’t have the highest amount of confidence that he could be a singles star due to not hearing him say much or do much in the ring. I guess only time will tell.
Josh: That most of the tag teams stayed in tact. The Lucha Dragons parted ways, the Wyatt Family is possibly done, and the Social Outcasts look to be done as well. While three tag team breakups may seem significant, not a one of these teams ever really factored into the tag team title scene. If we eventually wind up with tag titles for both shows and not the single floating belts then keeping these teams together strengthens the divisions if new belts are added.
4) Is there anything you think was missing from draft night?
Corey: I was expecting a new title to be introduced honestly, but from what it looks like the champion will be on both shows. Hopefully this doesn’t overwork the top talent in the long run.
Josh: The distinct lack of former talent announced along with the draft. For how much was made of WWE contacting former talent to come back it’s surprising not a single one was announced as part of the show. Thinking could be that they’ll act more as free agents and are eligible to sign with either brand to fill out the roster. We got a lot of questions answered Tuesday, but there’s still many that linger.
5) Battleground is Sunday, what are you most looking forward to?
Corey: How Roman portrays his character. What he does at Battleground will be the most important thing he does career wise at this point. I’ve said for months that he needs to be a monster heel and what better time for him to be a heel than after his return from suspension? I like Roman and I really hope that they don’t drop the ball on this.
Josh: Where the titles eventually wind up. The WWE, Intercontinental, and US belts all have the potential to swap shows after Battleground. Where these titles end up will give us some clue as to what WWE has planned leading to the first week of programming for the brand extension and early plans for SummerSlam.