The Brand Extension is officially back, as the first live episode of Smackdown saw the entire WWE roster split in two via a draft. Just like the original split in 2002, lives were disrupted, teams torn apart, and some very questionable picks were made. If nothing else, in the course of a two-hour episode of Smackdown, plus an hour-long supplemental draft on the WWE Network, there were certainly a lot of potentially interesting things that developed while creating the new rosters for each brand. So, let’s run down all the most important stories that came out of the WWE Draft.
20. It Showed WWE Has A Lot Of Good Wrestlers
It sounds obvious, but just look at that draft board. Fifty-nine picks, and only one or two on either brand could potentially be considered a waste of a slot. Everyone on there is either an incredible wrestler, a hot prospect, a competent midcard hand, or at the very least, a decent character. This stands in direct contrast to the original WWE Draft back in 2002, which even though WWE had access to the former rosters of WCW and ECW, actually had less available bodies (only 57 picks and 60 wrestlers total, compared to 59 picks and 74 wrestlers in 2016), and once you dipped below the top tier picks (which itself was full of questionable picks, like The Rock, who was off making movies, an aging Hulk Hogan, and the entire New World Order, which was already basically dead in the water), there was a significant drop in talent and potential. The 2002 Draft saw wrestlers like Rikishi, Maven, and Billy Gunn go in the top 20, and the post-show supplemental draft is a cavalcade of assorted jobbers with occasional bright spots. The 2016 Draft, on the other hand, is stacked with talent from top to bottom (with a few obvious exceptions). When you can look at the bottom few picks for both sides and say “these Superstars all have potential to be something”, that’s a pretty good draft.