The WWE draft is just a week away, and being that I am also an avid NFL fan I thought I would go full Mel Kiper Jr and put together a big board. The rules are fairly simple in that tag teams have been kept together – potentially giving them more value than being drafted as individuals, but it also means that a reasonable tag division can still exist. Other that that everyone is fair game, from non-wrestling talent to NXT performers. The only caveat is that retired/semi-retired wrestlers like The Rock, Triple H or Undertaker are not available and managers go with their stars, so no breaking up Miz & Maryse or Brock Lesnar and Paul Heyman.
If you missed it, check out Part One here!
The WWE Womens Champion comes in at #20. For all her athleticism and hard work Charlotte is still fairly green both in the ring and on the mic. Her name gives her a lot of value in the division, and her size doesn’t do her any harm either. As the Womens Champion she has blown through an angle with her dad and done quite well but there are still some gears to hit in her development as a competitor between the bells. The Flair name will always carry weight, but name value is only going to get you so far.
19. Chris Jericho
If this were a “What have you done recently?” list Chris Jericho might be in the top 5. He is having a renaissance right now and it is glorious. Ever since WrestleMania Jericho has turned the heel schtick up to 11, unfortunately father time has taken it’s toll on the Lion Heart. He is 45 now and despite his recent brilliant character and mic work his in-ring ability has diminished and he is not a top draw any more. He is still an extremely useful person to have on a roster, especially for helping young talent come through, but Jericho has very little mileage left on his body.
18. Bayley (NXT)
The Queen of NXT! Bayley has achieved something incredible which is universal support from a fan base. I haven’t heard one fan or read one comment suggesting Bayley is boring, tired or anything. Everyone loves her. And it’s easy to see why – her “big sister” persona captivates the younger audience and the tough underdog aspect brings in the rest of the audience. She is not the best on the mic or the best in the ring but her personality and charisma carry the day. Her run to the NXT womens championship was brilliant and while she has been spinning her wheels a little lately as she waits for the call the potential for a huge, universally beloved female star is waiting to be unlocked.
17. The Club – Luke Gallows & Karl Anderson
WWE have been a little careless with Luke Gallows and Karl Anderson since they arrived from New Japan, but they have so much ability that it might not matter. At the moment they are running on a Bullet Club path with AJ Styles but they are more than capable of dominating the tag division or becoming high level singles competitors. They aren’t spring chickens (32 & 36 respectively) but they could be world destroyers if allowed to run free from AJ or any other potential leaders waiting in the wings (we’ll get to him don’t worry).
The man gravity forgot is on his way back from a nasty ankle injury that kept him out of WrestleMania, but when he gets into the ring again all bets are off on how high Neville can soar. WWE often keep the chains on high flyers and limit what they are allowed to do, but Neville can do it ALL when it comes to leaps and twists. His mic work isn’t great and his character had no thought behind it, but Neville is the perfect midcard face at the moment and showed the ability to do nuanced shades of grey in NXT and could develop into a main eventer very easily.
If this were simply based on in-ring ability there would be a strong argument that Cesaro should be #1. He is a true artist in the squared circle and capable of putting on 5* matches with anyone. However WWE have not taken care to develop much of a character with him or protect him. His stock with the WWE audience is fairly low which caps his value in a draft, but I think he could quickly be made into a main eventer with a little care in his booking and some work on his character.
14. Sami Zayn
A natural babyface, Sami Zayn is easy as hell to route for and brilliant in the ring. Since December 2014 he has either been feuding with Kevin Owens or injured so it will be very interesting to see what WWE do with him when that feud comes to an end (for now), but in a draft it limits his value. We just don’t know how he’ll do outside of his comfort zone. Sami is not a natural talker, especially when it comes to scripted promos, but he also holds a masked ace up his sleeve that if he ever pulls out could be the greatest thing ever.
13. The Wyatt Family
Bray Wyatt and company come in at #13, and it’s not unreasonable to say he would have been much higher if the draft was 6 months to a year ago. Bray Wyatt burst onto the WWE scene in a big way with run-ins with main event talent like Daniel Bryan and John Cena in 2014. The problem is that he kept losing, to those guys, to Undertaker, to Roman Reigns. Bray Wyatt just doesn’t have a signature win, or any gold to his name. While some will say his character wants followers, not belts, he should still have a reason for being in matches and should still chase the belt. Luke Harper is easily the best of the family but he is out at the moment with a knee injury and while Rowan and Stroman are impressively large henchmen I think that is all they are. The current feud with the New Day is the most interesting thing the Wyatts have done in a while but how they develop and evolve the gimmick will be key to their movement up the card, as it is they are capped by being more mystical and fantastical than is needed.
12. Kevin Owens
Kevin Owens has been on the main roster just over a year and is already a multiple time Intercontinental champion, semi-main evented Summerslam and #BeatUpJohnCena on his first day. He is the consummate school bully but can back it up in the ring and most impressively on the mic. His unique body shape and brilliant character work bring a different feel to his matches and he has quickly shown an ability to work away from his Sami Zayn feud and put on brilliant matches with everyone. He is the stand out success story of the modern NXT and only his indy routes will limit his development in WWE.
11. Dean Ambrose
The current WWE champion is only #11. It’s odd I know but unfortunately Ambrose’s stock isn’t that high following years of disappointing feuds. In the immediate aftermath of the Shield breakup Ambrose’s feud with Seth Rollins was the highlight of 2014, his antics quickly won the crowd to his side but it almost seemed like WWE didn’t want him to catch on and so they started killing some of his heat. Time off for a film didn’t help and a run-in finish to the Rollins/Ambrose feud in 2014 left fans disappointed, especially when they quickly turned the Bray/Ambrose feud into a nothing series of dull gimmick matches. Ambrose got hot again when he crossed paths with Rollins for the WWE World Heavyweight championship at Money in the Bank 2015 but again he couldn’t come away with the win and a lot of 2015 was spent playing sidekick to Roman Reigns’ feud with the Wyatts. This year he had a disappointing watch with Brock Lesnar and a gimmicky “Asylum” match with Chris Jericho before grabbing the Money in the Bank briefcase and finally getting one over on Rollins to become champ. It seems the WWE back office just don’t care for Ambrose at the top of the card – even the Battleground main event, where we finally get the Shield Triple Threat seems to be presented far more as Seth vs Roman than involving Ambrose. But that’s ok, because if it means more promos like the one he cut on Monday then I will be very happy
That’s it for the second third of our WWE Draft Big Board! Come back tomorrow for the Top 10!