We’re days away from the start of the 2020 WWE Draft, coming our way Fri., Oct. 9 on SmackDown and Mon., Oct. 12 on Raw.
WWE’s used past Drafts (and Superstar Shake-ups) to not only shift around the rosters of the red and blue shows, but also to call-up wrestlers from the company’s third brand - NXT. Since NXT started going head-to-head with AEW Dynamite on Wednesday nights, several Superstars who’ve worked on the main roster have moved back to the black-and-gold brand, too. That led to speculation all three shows could make selections in this year’s Draft.
In either case, you’d think the guy responsible for booking and promoting NXT would know. Triple H should be horse-trading with Bruce Prichard and Vince McMahon for folks he’d like to have on Wednesdays, or at least getting a heads up about men & women he’s about to lose.
But The Game told the media before TakeOver 31 that he’s not involved in those discussions, and he stuck to that line in a post-show call last night (Oct. 4):
“If I knew if we [NXT] were in the Draft, I would tell you. But I don’t. It’s - they’re working through that. It’s gonna be kind of a ‘wait and see’ thing even for us.”
This could, of course, be Hunter working us to set-up a surprise or surprises before or during the Draft. But McMahon is infamous for a seat-of-the-pants management style; would you be shocked to hear reports next Monday about how Haitch had to come up with a new program for Undisputed ERA because he had no idea Vince planned to move Ridge Holland to SmackDown?
He’d later say they try to get a head up about situations like that, but they don’t always get them*:
“When I say ‘not knowing what is happening in the Draft’ right now, my not knowing probably means, more than likely I would imagine, and just going off of what we’ve seen with commercials and everything, that we won’t be. Now, that can always change this week. But a lot of talent have come up from the Performance Center... from NXT to Raw, to SmackDown over the last 12 months - I want to say the numbers, well it’s in the high teens over the last 12 months. So there’s been a lot of movement and a lot of activity. I’m always for what is best for talent.
“So when the conversations are had, we try to have as much advance notice for when talent is coming in or going out, that we can plan for it appropriately both on the exit and the entrance - for all sides. But sometimes that can’t happen, and sometimes it’s short notice. For the most part though, we have a fair amount of advanced notice, and we have time to be able to move on stuff... No matter how it goes, we’ll be ready to make it work.”
Either way, we’re in for surprises, I guess.
Let us know if you buy what Trips is selling here, Cagesiders.
* He also tells us what something he said “probably” means. You’ve got to love this business...