The WWE draft took place earlier this week, and heated debates have ensued over which brand walked away with the superior roster.
Now it’s time to see which show came out of the draft with the younger roster. Does the SmackDown roster actually reflect the new era youth movement that is associated with Shane McMahon’s vision for the brand?
To start things off, here is a sorted list of each roster member by age. This list excludes non-wrestling managers like Bob Backlund, Maryse, and Lana.
Age of the Raw roster (in years)
- 47.3 - Goldust
- 45.7 - Chris Jericho
- 45.1 - Mark Henry
- 45.0 - Bubba Ray Dudley
- 44.5 - R Truth
- 44.4 - Big Show
- 44.0 - DVon Dudley
- 39.2 - Titus O’Neil
- 39.0 - Brock Lesnar
- 39.0 - Sin Cara
- 38.5 - Sheamus
- 36.8 - Curtis Axel
- 36.5 - Karl Anderson
- 35.6 - Cesaro
- 35.0 - Finn Balor
- 34.9 - Kofi Kingston
- 34.3 - Jack Swagger
- 34.3 - Epico
- 33.6 - Primo
- 32.9 - Braun Strowman
- 32.7 - Darren Young
- 32.6 - Summer Rae
- 32.6 - Luke Gallows
- 32.2 - Kevin Owens
- 32.1 - Nia Jax
- 32.0 - Sami Zayn
- 31.2 - Roman Reigns
- 30.6 - Rusev
- 30.4 - Big E
- 30.3 - Charlotte
- 30.1 - Seth Rollins
- 30.1 - Alicia Fox
- 29.9 - Big Cass
- 29.9 - Neville
- 29.9 - Xavier Woods
- 29.6 - Enzo Amore
- 27.6 - Dana Brooke
- 26.2 - Bo Dallas
- 24.5 - Sasha Banks
- 23.9 - Paige
Age of the SmackDown roster (in years)
- 49.2 - Kane
- 39.2 - John Cena
- 39.2 - Alberto Del Rio
- 39.1 - AJ Styles
- 36.5 - Konnor
- 36.3 - Randy Orton
- 36.0 - Dolph Ziggler
- 35.8 - The Miz
- 35.6 - Viktor
- 34.6 - Erick Rowan
- 34.2 - Natalya
- 33.8 - Simon Gotch
- 33.0 - Fandango
- 31.9 - Baron Corbin
- 31.8 - Eva Marie
- 31.2 - Zack Ryder
- 30.9 - Jey Uso
- 30.9 - Jimmy Uso
- 30.6 - Dean Ambrose
- 30.4 - Chad Gable
- 30.0 - Mojo Rawley
- 29.7 - Kalisto
- 29.5 - Becky Lynch
- 29.2 - Bray Wyatt
- 28.9 - Apollo Crews
- 28.8 - Aiden English
- 28.7 - Carmella
- 28.6 - Naomi
- 28.5 - Tyler Breeze
- 27.8 - Jason Jordan
- 24.9 - Alexa Bliss
The average age of the Raw roster is 34.6 years old, compared to an average age of 32.7 years for the SmackDown roster. With only that information in hand, it’s reasonable to conclude that Shane McMahon did indeed draft a younger roster on SmackDown.
The 25th, 50th, and 75th percentiles for the age of the Raw roster are 30.26, 32.79, and 38.60 years old, respectively. This means that 25% of the roster members are under 30.26 years old, 50% of the roster members are under 32.79 years old, and 75% of the roster members are under 38.60 years old.
The 25th, 50th, and 75th percentiles for the age of the SmackDown roster are 29.32, 31.19, and 35.71 years old, respectively. This means that 25% of the roster members are under 29.32 years old, 50% of the roster members are under 31.19 years old, and 75% of the roster members are under 35.71 years old.
The biggest difference here is at that 75th percentile, which is much higher on the Raw brand. This occurred because Raw has many roster members in their 40’s, such as the Dudley Boyz, Mark Henry, Chris Jericho, Golden Truth, and Big Show. Meanwhile the only SmackDown roster member over 40 years old is Kane.
Televised versus Supplemental
It’s also useful to show the difference in age between the draft selections that were televised versus the non-televised supplemental portion of the draft. This is because the televised draftees will likely receive the bulk of television time for each brand over the next few months. Therefore the ages of the televised draftees should probably be given extra emphasis when considering the age of each roster.
Raw had 18 draft picks across the 6 televised rounds, and this produced 22 of their 40 overall roster members (due to some tag team selections). Those 22 roster members have an average age of 33.4 years old and a median age of 32.1 years old.
The supplemental portion of the Raw draft included 15 draft picks across 5 non-televised rounds, and this produced 18 of their 40 overall roster members. Those 18 roster members have an average age of 36.1 years old and a median age of 34.3 years old.
SmackDown had 12 draft picks across the 6 televised rounds, and this produced 13 of their 31 overall roster members. Those 13 roster members have an average age of 33.8 years old and a median age of 34.2 years old.
The supplemental portion of the SmackDown draft included 14 draft picks across 5 non-televised rounds, and this produced 18 of their 31 overall roster members. Those 18 roster members have an average age of 32.0 years old and a median age of 30.9 years old.
These numbers show that the televised portion of the SmackDown draft is slightly older on average than the televised Raw draftees (33.8 years versus 33.4 years). This age gap widens a little bit more when looking at the medians (34.2 years versus 32.1 years old). This means that even though the SmackDown roster as a whole is younger than the Raw roster, the performers you are likely to see the most on television are evenly matched in age or slightly older on the SmackDown brand.
Not surprisingly, this means the Raw supplemental picks must be significantly older than the supplemental picks for SmackDown, and the numbers above do provide evidence for that conclusion. The difference in average age for these non-televised draftees is more than 4 years older on the Raw side (36.1 years versus 32.0 years).
Age by Round
Now here is a list of the average age of each roster at the conclusion of every round:
- Round 1: 31.8 years (3 superstars - Rollins, Charlotte, Balor)
- Round 2: 32.6 years (8 superstars - Reigns, Lesnar, New Day)
- Round 3: 33.0 years (11 superstars - Zayn, Banks, Jericho)
- Round 4: 32.4 years (15 superstars - Rusev, Owens, Enzo, Cass)
- Round 5: 33.2 years (19 superstars - Anderson, Gallows, Big Show, Jax)
- Round 6: 33.4 years (22 superstars - Neville, Cesaro, Sheamus)
- Round 7: 34.2 years (26 superstars - Golden Truth, Titus, Paige)
- Round 8: 34.3 years (29 superstars - Young, Sin Cara, Swagger)
- Round 9: 35.2 years (33 superstars - Dudleyz, Summer, Henry)
- Round 10: 34.9 years (37 superstars - Strowman, Dallas, Shining Stars)
- Round 11: 34.6 years (40 superstars - Alicia, Dana, Axel)
- Round 1: 34.9 years (2 superstars - Ambrose, Styles)
- Round 2: 36.3 years (4 superstars - Cena, Orton)
- Round 3: 34.0 years (6 superstars - Wyatt, Lynch)
- Round 4: 33.9 years (8 superstars - Miz, Corbin)
- Round 5: 33.2 years (11 superstars - American Alpha, Ziggler)
- Round 6: 33.8 years (13 superstars - Natalya, Del Rio)
- Round 7: 34.4 years (16 superstars - Usos, Kane)
- Round 8: 34.0 years (20 superstars - Kalisto, Naomi, Ascension)
- Round 9: 33.3 years (23 superstars - Ryder, Crews, Bliss)
- Round 10: 32.9 years (28 superstars - Breezango, Eva, Vaudevillains)
- Round 11: 32.7 years (31 superstars - Rowan, Rawley, Carmella)
Each roster had the same average age at the end of Round 5 (33.2 years old). On the SmackDown side, this is because the younger ages of Becky, Bray, and Ambrose helped to cancel out the older ages of Orton, Styles, and Cena, whereas the numbers on the Raw side were a little more stable all the way up to that point. Their biggest youth infusion occurred in Round 5 with the additions of Rusev, Owens, Enzo, and Cass.
The average age of each roster remained pretty close to each other at the ends of Rounds 6 through 8.
Round 9 is where the Raw roster suddenly got older (Dudleyz, Henry) while the SmackDown roster veered towards younger talent (Crews, Bliss).
SmackDown doubled down on this youth surge in Rounds 10 and 11 with the additions of Tyler Breeze, Aiden English, and Carmella.
The numbers above suggest that the age of the televised draftees for each roster match up pretty evenly, with perhaps Raw even being a tad younger than Smackdown.
Once the supplemental portion of the draft got going, Raw added a few dinosaurs like Golden Truth, Henry, Titus, and The Dudley Boyz, whose collective age overwhelmed younger draft choices like Paige, Bo Dallas, and Dana Brooke.
SmackDown countered this strategy by targeting younger talent like Alexa Bliss, Kalisto, and Apollo Crews, while avoiding all the 40+ year-old superstars not named Kane.
Due to Stephanie’s penchant for selecting 40+ year-olds in the supplemental portion of the draft, the overall age of the Raw roster ended up older than SmackDown by an average of approximately two years.
The fact that this added age came from the supplemental portion of the draft probably means that these older guys won’t be too heavily emphasized on television. However, Raw might be forced to rely more on its lower-card acts than SmackDown simply to fill out the third hour of time (unless there is a cruiserweight division on the horizon).
There you have it, Cagesiders. What are your thoughts on the age of each roster?