It’s a major SmackDown In A Nutshell this week, boys and girls. This week, the draft begins in Baltimore!
As in, that kind of annual “tradition” where WWE pretends it’s a legit sports thing, and “drafts” Superstars from one brand to another.
We all know these things are pre-determined, there is nothing random about it. In fact, no shock, but some spoilers probably got out ahead of time.
If nothing else, some arena ads and known match plans seemed to have telegraphed some draft decisions.
Honestly, the WWE Draft probably could be interesting…if they got creative. Like, if you actually allowed NXT to draft too?
That could become quite interesting.
Instead, the rebooted NXT could see a significant chunk of talent headed to Mondays and Fridays.
We already know some talents have been working dark matches. Others have just flat out been rumored to get the call.
So, the draft begins in Baltimore, before it wraps up on RAW a couple days later.
It should make for an interesting SmackDown In A Nutshell, right?
Well, at least that is the hope. But enough chit-chat…it is time for…
SmackDown In A Nutshell: The Draft Begins In Baltimore!
Let’s dive in and see how this Nutshell goes!
Best Match of the night:
I suppose we can toss the main event in here, and it’s good to see Sasha Banks back in the ring after yet another weird absence.
That said, the evening was about one thing: the draft begins in Baltimore.
Yes, I will give it a hard time later in this piece, as more an overall critique.
That said, good or bad, love it or hate it, just at face value, Adam Pearce and Sonya Deville did fine.
Weird as the rules might have been, things mostly went OK.
Worst match of the night:
While I could use this to rip some picks, I won’t.
I will, however, give this one to…Liv Morgan and Carmella.
Mostly because of the mask.
Crowd Chants of the Night:
We want the smoke
You look stupid
Star of the Night
Just a night without much in the way of a star.
Congrats to Hit Row and Austin Theory for getting drafted to the main roster.
Sonya Deville and Adam Pearce were front and center, they did fine too.
Jobber of the Night:
Jimmy and Jey, taking the F-5s so that Roman Reigns wouldn’t have to.
Holy Sh** Moment of the Night:
Brock Lesnar was in Baltimore.
After some teasers that he might be…and weeks of Heyman saying Lesnar would be on RAW…The Beast clued us in.
He said that “thanks to my good friend Paul Heyman, I am a free agent. That means I can go anywhere and do whatever I want”.
Maybe not exactly that, but that was the basic framework.
While it was nice to see Brock in Baltimore as the draft got started…with the draft going how it has, is WWE basically telling us that Lesnar isn’t winning at Crown Jewel?
I mean, the draft happens, the changes kick in after Crown Jewel, and while Lesnar says he is a free agent…it just doesn’t all line up.
If Brock is actually drafted to RAW, then the title loss is a clear no-go, right?
Botch of the night:
Lots to pick on, but I can’t say anything is a botch.
Commentary of the night:
Pat McAfee is awesome. That is all…
LOL Moment of the night:
The “you look stupid” chants, when Carmella put on that ridiculous mask.
— WWE (@WWE) October 2, 2021
Also, the rules are interesting. Half the roster tonight, half Monday.
Knowing the splits would be interesting, but we also knew that half had to be saved for Monday.
If all the major names moved on Friday, it makes Monday less attractive.
So, we have not seen Brock Lesnar or Becky Lynch move yet.
Ditto King Nakamura, or Rick Boogs, or Karrion Kross or Damien Priest.
Lots of decent sized names remaining.
The draft, to be honest.
Everyone knows it is decided based on what pairings WWE and to an extent FOX and USA want to see.
The fact that NXT can be raided, but itself cannot grab even one or two Superstars from the red or blue brands? No shock, but silly.
I mean…could you imagine a draft where NXT got to select someone? Maybe not a Reigns type…but what if WWE used it as a way for the underused Superstars to be sent down…without looking like a demotion.
Like…Ricochet gets drafted to NXT…and then feuds with a top Superstar?
To me, that is a major miss, and it has been.
Then, the logic behind other picks. Like, Rey and Dom probably should be split up…but nope, lets draft them as a pair.
Happy Corbin and newly-named Madcap Moss? They’ve been a duo for like…5 seconds…so lets keep those two together too!
Heck, they ought to have one round purely for the champions. Instead, while we saw the WWE and Universal Champions drafted…we did not see both women’s champions get drafted.
Heck, the women’s tag team champions were drafted on Friday, but Becky Lynch was not.
The best might be…Sonya Deville saying “half the roster is drafted on Friday, the other half on Monday”.
OK, fine, sure…but there were only four rounds on Friday…each brand had 2 picks per round. Some were two for one (or more, when Hit Row got drafted)…
But as many cuts as Nick Khan has gotten to do…there is a lot more than half the roster left heading into Monday.
This was easier (I think) when RAW and SmackDown were on the same network. Now, FOX and USA battle to see who gets night one.
For me, I’ve long said this should be a WWE Network (or now Peacock) special. Heck, have a battle royal or something that determines the top pick and draft order.
Then, draft on the special, and legit go through who is in the draft pool…until no one is left.
Otherwise…just kill the idea off.
Brock Lesnar was a bright spot.
I actually liked the eight man tag match, for what it’s worth.
Not sure if it is a highlight, but the show was a train wreck…in the sense that, good or bad, you can’t look away.
After the final bell:
Well, the draft begins in Baltimore. It wraps up on RAW.
SmackDown In A Nutshell? This week was certainly a loaded one.
Edge goes to RAW, Bianca Belair goes blue.
Charlotte Flair takes her title to Fridays, but we don’t know where Becky works yet.
Perhaps the most interesting bit? For the next few weeks, until Crown Jewel, it seems RAW and SmackDown should be a bit of a mixed bag.
Which means…the next few SmackDown In A Nutshells should be interesting.