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It's time to talk about the Draft

There's this thing, I'm not sure if you've heard of it, coming up on July 19th in Worcester, Massachusetts. It's nothing big, just a complete creative overhaul of a billion-dollar company. It might be time to get serious about it.

This is driving me batty, ladies and gentlemen. WWE, as we know it, is about to change, at least in its most important aspect. Since the news broke several weeks back about the existence of the first company talent draft since 2011, it left the global wrestling community in a state of high alert. Whether other promoters want to admit it or not, what Vince McMahon does has ramifications on their business, especially the smaller Independents. When WWE is rolling, the attitude towards professional wrestling begins an uptick and the general fan population feels positively about the condition of the industry. More tickets are sold, more gimmicks bought, more trainees deciding to take the plunge and apply to a reputable school.

Following Wrestlemania, which was a terrific day for VKM at the bank, but a rough day respective to the external feelings on his biggest show of the year, WWE has incessantly pushed the idea of the "New Era," so much so that it's become nauseating. Each time I heard the line, I felt we were further away from an actual new direction, because if it's organic and naturally evolving, there's no need to advertise it. It's like a husband telling his wife every morning he's not cheating on her with his secretary. There's no reason to point it out if it's true. Thus, it rang increasingly false. New faces do not equate to a change in philosophy, especially when many of the old faces, including the mug that runs the mug, are on injured reserve.

However, when the brand split once again rears its ugly head (or gorgeous head, that's up to you), well now that could mean actual change. All the big decisions are still made by one man, but we may have smaller writing teams, allowing for a bit more nuance in the narratives, and of course we'll be treated to feuds we haven't seen before, or at least not for a long time. Or maybe I'm giving everyone involved too much credit. We can't judge what hasn't occurred, so it's all prediction and speculation.

What is known, though, is the draft date, its site, and its purpose. I continue to wonder why WWE is splitting the brands five days before its next PPV, rather than two days after that event. It may be scheduling, but couldn't they have backed the first live SmackDown up one week? Does the first combined show have to be Battleground, rather than SummerSlam? There's a lot that goes into a move like this, so it may have been a situation where Vince had no other option.

You know what the WWE Draft will look like, sound like, smell like, and feel like. Many others remember the brand extension and comprehend the intricacies it entails. With that said, why on earth has WWE not been beating us over the head about the split? It may change as of tonight, and if so, good, but we should already be sick and tired of hearing about the selection process and the event itself. ESPN mentions the word "draft" more than the owner of a dive bar.

There is an unbelievable amount of time spent on draft preparation, including reenactments of war rooms, predictions on what owners and general managers will do, and even what the participants will wear. Sports radio gets hours of content out of critiquing the likes of Mike Mayock and Mel Kiper, Jay Bilas and Jalen Rose, and whoever the hell handles the NHL Draft. Alright, no host can get five minutes out of that last one.

The point is WWE is doing an incredibly poor job of effectively building up the Draft. It's mind boggling, when you own your own streaming network, that we wouldn't be inundated with wall to wall specials on the Draft. Put Corey Graves, Mauro Ranallo, and JBL (or whomever else you'd like) in a studio setting and have them discuss scenarios, and also look back on previous Drafts. And, while we're on that subject, how about a "WWE Draft Collection," since those in charge of the Network love to put them together and send me emails about them. Take every Draft in history, make those shows available in one section of the Network, and advertise the trash out of it on RAW and SmackDown this week, as well as on the website and social media.

Finally, let's have Renee Young ask The New Day tonight what happens if they get broken up in the Draft, and let them stand there and look at each other for a few seconds, selling the implications of that possibility. Have Enzo and Cass engage in a similar chat in the locker room, and have Big Cass tell his little buddy, "No matter what, I've always got your back."

Show some emotion through the uncertainty of the futures of every member of the roster. This event affects them, their families, their friends, their partnerships, their schedules, when they'll see their husbands, wives, girlfriends, boyfriends, and children. It alters everything in their lives. Remind the people that it's feasible Rusev and Lana could be sent to different shows, Miz and Maryse, Becky and her invisible best friend, even Finn and his Lego collection.

As of last night on, on the front page are a few links to Dean Ambrose content, which is logical, but one of the top headlines is for Swerved. "Watch: What the heck is R-Truth doing in a chicken suit?" That's a great freaking question, but not in the context it's being asked in that quote. I ended up having to search for "Draft," in order to bring up related articles or videos. That, folks, is absurd on June 27, 2016.

What we've gotten so far is the return of past General Managers, angling to run the Tuesday brand, but that's basically just been an excuse to show People Power, Teddy Long's suit, and Kane's...I don't know...his face? It's also done nothing but put more of a focus on Stephanie and Shane, rather than the shows those two will likely be running as on-screen characters. Someone, please tell me what this has accomplished for such an important event.

Shining Stars vignettes have received more airtime than the WWE Draft.

WWE is about to split its roster in half, nearly double its number of PPVs, likely create new Championships, bring up a fleet of NXT talent, sign new stars, return names from the past, and all the company has done on television, a mere three weeks before the calendar reads, "July 19, 2016," is...

Don't ask me. I was sincerely hoping you had an answer.

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