WWE had to reshuffle some of the draft picks prior to Tuesday’s live Smackdown.
Roman Reigns was supposed to be the WWE Champion leading up to the draft but those plans changed when he failed a drug test. Also, John Cena cutting back on his schedule and Brock Lesnar’s failed USADA drug test also changed things. Lesnar was originally set to be the first draft pick. That may not have always been the plan but it was the plan as of last week. WWE wanted to capitalize on his win over Mark Hunt at UFC 200.
Dean Ambrose was scheduled to be the second draft pick, followed by Rollins for Raw and then Cena for Smackdown. Instead, they went with Rollins, Ambrose, Charlotte and Styles as the top Smackdown picks.
Much of the top storylines were already laid out and the plans are for Randy Orton to eventually get involved in a feud with AJ Styles at the Smackdown house shows since Cena is off all domestic house shows for the rest of the year. Orton would be a top babyface on those shows.
The plan to have Roman Reigns vs. Seth Rollins on top for the Raw brand did not change and that was known internally for several weeks. Also, they stayed with plans to have John Cena and AJ Styles as the top program for Smackdown. The questions about the talent depth issues could be solved soon as they bring up more NXT names in September and when they get some of the returning veterans signed to deals so they can help put over some of the younger talent.
There will be another round of call-ups from NXT in the fall, according to the Wrestling Observer Newsletter. Bayley is strongly rumored be the mystery partner for Sasha Banks on Sunday but if she’s not then she will be up soon because she’s expected to be on the main roster by September.
Sasha Banks went on social media to kill any rumors about Bayley showing up on Sunday at Battleground. Naturally, this will cause more fans to think that Bayley will be at Battleground.
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