The day the entire WWE universe has been anxiously awaiting is finally here. The time has come for the 2016 draft.
The WWE Draft live event will take place on Tuesday, July 19th at 8:00 p.m. Eastern on the USA Network. It is actually being done as part of the first official live SmackDown show. From here on out, SmackDown will be airing live on the USA Network on Tuesday nights, whereas it used to air pre-taped on Thursday nights.
This draft, of course, is the event during which WWE personalities will be split between SmackDown and Monday Night Raw. From here on out, each show will have its own exclusive roster, with wrestlers only appearing on one program or another. It is also rumored that there will be two championship belts, although this has not yet been confirmed.
The event will last for two hours. WWE recently released the rules for the ceremony, which are as follows:
- Raw gets the first pick.
- For every two picks SmackDown receives, Raw gets three. This is because the former show is two hours and the latter is three hours.
- Tag teams count as one pick, unless only one member of the team is wanted.
- Six picks will be made from the NXT roster.
And via WWE.com, here are all of the superstars eligible for the draft:
- John Cena
- Kevin Owens
- Mark Henry
- Randy Orton
- Roman Reigns
- Rusev (w/ Lana)
- Sami Zayn
- Seth Rollins
- Sin Cara
- The Miz (w/ Maryse)
- Titus O’Neil
- Zack Ryder
- Breezango (Fandango and Tyler Breeze)
- Enzo and Cass (Enzo Amore and Big Cass)
- Gallows and Anderson (Luke Gallows and Karl Anderson)
- Golden Truth (Goldust and R-Truth)
- Shining Stars (Epico and Primo)
- Social Outcasts (Bo Dallas, Curtis Axel and Heath Slater)
- The Ascension (Konnor and Viktor)
- The Dudley Boyz (Bubba Ray and D-Von Dudley)
- The New Day (Big E, Kofi Kingston and Xavier Woods)
- The Usos (Jey and Jimmy Uso)
- The Vaudevillains (Aiden English and Simon Gotch)
- Alicia Fox
- Becky Lynch
- Dana Brooke
- Eva Marie
- Sasha Banks
- Summer Rae
As previously announced on Raw, the general manager of Monday Night Raw will be Mick Foley, while the general manger of SmackDown will be Daniel Bryan. Stephanie McMahon will also be in control of Raw, while Shane McMahon will be in control of SmackDown.
So what do we know about the draft going into the show? Nothing official, but the rumor is that Roman Reigns will be the face of Monday Night Raw, while John Cena will be the face of SmackDown. This would help to explain why Raw gets first pick; we would assume that both general managers would want to snatch up Reigns, and so some fans are interpreting this rule as an indicating that Roman is headed to Monday nights.
Read more rumors about the WWE draft here:
We’ll know much more when the WWE draft begins tonight at 8:00 p.m. Eastern.