Much like I said after Night 1, I thought the 2021 WWE Draft was well done on the whole this year. Trust me, it's far from a perfect process and I'm still left questioning why certain moves are made and why certain stables aren't picked all together, but I wasn't left scratching my heads this year as much as I have been in the past. Baby steps, I suppose.
The biggest issue with the 2021 WWE Draft was that the draft pools were never announced ahead of time, even though they were in 2019 and 2020. Granted, there was never any justification for why certain Superstars were eligible on certain nights and why others weren't eligible at all, but at least it made things a bit easier to follow. We didn't get that at all this year. Worse yet, they didn't bother to put a pool together before Raw telling fans who was left to be picked coming out of Night 1. Nothing! We were left to figure that out ourselves, which tells you how late they stated putting this stuff together.
Nevertheless, you'll find that I was a fan of most of the moves made and what round they were drafted in. The inevitable swapping of the Raw Women's Championship and the SmackDown Women's Championship is going to be dumb (and is another reason why we shouldn't have brand-specific titles), but I'd say both rosters made out well and are fairly even. Raw definitely comes away stronger and with more star power, but what they'll do with those competitors remains to be seen.
Here's my full analysis of each round from Night 2 (including the additional draft picks made on Raw Talk on Monday night) and who went where. As you probably know by now, these moves will not go into effect until the October 22nd edition of SmackDown, the day after the Crown Jewel pay-per-view.
Despite WWE not having the strongest track record with the annual Draft shows in terms of how they're typically structured, I thought Night 1 was a success all things considered. The formatting was tweaked a bit compared to previous installments with SmackDown getting the first overall pick (for the first time since 2011 I believe) and there only being four picks per round with two going to Raw and two going to SmackDown. We'll see if Raw gets the first pick come Night 2, but either way, this makes much more sense compared to how WWE has done the Draft in the past.
My biggest knock against the Draft this year was that unlike in 2019 and 2020, the draft pool was not announced ahead of Night 1. For Night 2, anyone who wasn't selected on Night 1 is obviously eligible, but the list of eligible Superstars wasn't made clear prior to Friday night, leaving a lot of fans to question where certain stars where and whatnot. We were also told that NXT Superstars were eligible, but again, it was never made clear who exactly. For example, why would Austin Theory be picked before Samoa Joe, Johnny Gargano or almost anyone else on the roster?
We still don't have a clear-cut answer on who exactly has input on these decisions outside of "network executives" and the usual nonsense. and that's the problem you run into when you don't have on-air general managers assigned to each brand (I barely count Adam Pearce and Sonya Deville). There was never any talk of trades or why certain stables and groups could be selected as a single picks and others could not, but I've come to expect that sort of thing from the WWE Draft every year.
On the bright side most of the moves made were the right ones. There were some surprising selections, including a few that I'm slightly skeptical of on the surface, but I don't have a ton to complain about coming of Night 1 as far as the draft picks go. Night 2 could be entirely different story, of course, but I'm content with what we've gotten so far and hope that trend continues on Monday night.
Here's my full analysis of each round from Night 1 (including the additional draft picks made on Talking Smack on Saturday) and who went where. As WWE noted multiple times, these moves will not go into effect until the October 22nd edition of SmackDown, which is the day after the Crown Jewel pay-per-view.
Much like Night 1, I largely enjoyed the moves that were made on Night 2 of the 2020 WWE Draft, but the execution left a bit to be desired. Don't get me wrong, I don't at all miss the days of the Superstar Shakeup, which was horribly done and never made any sense with how it was handled, but the Draft could absolutely be better as far as its execution is concerned.
That means bringing back general managers to explain who's making these picks and why. And no, showing Adam Pearce in the back with the draft cards in his hand isn't an actual explanation. Additionally, the lack of logic continued with Raw drafting RETRIBUTION (a group that has done nothing but create chaos since the summer), swapping the tag titles because the belts are brand-specific, and certain stars getting drafted way later than they should have.
Otherwise, I was largely satisfied with the results of Night 2 and hope the brands can benefit from the fresh faces and feuds. All in all, it was definitely eventful, though I almost feel like too many people moved, to the point where we're going to be seeing some of the same matches in a few cases. Hopefully these picks pan out and the Superstars who switched shows can get the reset they've needed.
Here's my full analysis of each round and who went where, as well as where I think the few Superstars who went undrafted will wind up.
I may be in the minority on this, but I enjoyed Night 1 of the 2020 WWE Draft overall. For whatever reason, I wasn't as pumped as I normally am for Draft day going in, but that might be because WWE has had so many Superstars inexplicably switch shows this year that it almost rendered the Draft irrelevant. Despite that, I liked most of the moves that were made on Night 1, but it wasn't without its flaws.
While I appreciate that we didn't get shots of the USA Network and FOX "executives" feigning excitement backstage in the "war rooms" over landing The Lucha House Party and Natalya, we still have no idea who is making these picks. I realize Stephanie McMahon is the one announcing them, but without general managers, the Draft concept gets a bit more confusing. Yes, there's Adam Pearce, but his role has never been properly explained, so I doubt anyone cares whether he's involved in the drafting process storyline-wise.
Nonetheless, Night 1 provided some surprising moments as well as moves most of us expected. Here's my full analysis of each round and who went where, as well as where I think the few Superstars who went undrafted will wind up. I'll have a full recap of the Night 2 results up early next week as well.