The 2021 WWE Draft is officially in the books. That means it’s time for me to read way too much into the draft positions of several wrestlers. After all, last year it was a very bad sign for Andrade when he wasn’t drafted, and it was especially alarming when Aleister Black was drafted in the same round with Akira Tozawa. Andrade and Black were gone from WWE within a year.
Of course it doesn’t always work out that way where a poor draft position leads to bad future booking, but hey, I don’t have time to consider those cases that hurt the premise of this piece.
Okay let’s get to it, bullet point style:
- Finn Bálor just main evented Extreme Rules in a Universal championship match against Roman Reigns. He looked like a complete goofball at the end of the match when he lost, and was drafted in the fourth round of night two, behind the Viking Raiders and Xia Li. Ouch.
- A lot of people seem to think Liv Morgan is in line for a big push, whether that’s in the form of a Royal Rumble win, or even the Queen’s Crown tournament. But she wasn’t selected on the televised portion of the draft this year, so I’m not expecting any of those accolades to come her way.
- Apollo Crews had a four month run as Intercontinental champion, but he was demoted to the online portion of the draft this year.
- Otis also fell off the televised portion of the draft this year. He was a big star during his babyface run with Mandy Rose in the first half of 2020. Now that he’s turned heel, he’s more protected from taking pins, but he is less relevant than before.
- The Miz and Jinder Mahal were also ignored on the televised portion of the draft. This only bolsters my argument that they are two of the very worst WWE champions of all-time.
- Elias returned to WWE television in last year’s draft after being away due to injury. This year, WWE aired multiple videos teasing a repacking for Elias, or at least a new white hat. The videos quickly disappeared, and then he wasn’t drafted. Uh oh.
- Edge is one of the few part-timers who was thrown into the draft. What’s up with that? His very lucrative deal must not be quite as sweet as Brock Lesnar, Goldberg, or John Cena.
- If Nia Jax was drafted despite a kayfabe broken elbow that likely means she won’t be on TV for a while, then why was 2020 first round pick Asuka completely ignored?
- The Street Profits were drafted in the first round of night two one year ago. This year, they dropped to round four, behind Xia Li, Sheamus, and Shayna Baszler. I didn’t see this one coming, and assumed they would be drafted near the top again.
- Ricochet was actually drafted on television, which I also didn’t see coming. There’s at least some hope he can have a more interesting run on Friday nights than he’s had on Mondays.
- As far as I can tell, Lince Dorado and Gran Metalik are the only two wrestlers who were included in a draft pool last year but went undrafted, and then remained with WWE for the 2021 draft and went undrafted again. There’s a rumor they are unhappy and Metalik asked for his release, for what it’s worth.
- RETRIBUTION was drafted in the third round of night two last year. None of them were drafted on television this year. Then again, Mia Yim hasn’t wrestled a match for WWE in 2021 but she did make it into the online draft.
- Humberto Carrillo and Madcap Moss graduated from last year’s online draft to this year’s televised draft.
- Why did WWE reduce the size of each round from five total picks to four total picks this year? It might be related to all the roster cuts made during the last year. 15 of the wrestlers from last year’s draft were no longer in WWE for this year’s draft. Six of them were drafted on TV last year (Bray Wyatt, Braun Strowman, Daniel Bryan, Lars Sullivan, Peyton Royce, Aleister Black) six were drafted online last year (Murphy, Kalisto, Tucker, Lana, Ruby Riott, Arturo Ruas), and three of them were listed in a draft pool last year but went undrafted (Billie Kay, Andrade, Mickie James).
That’s all I got, Cagesiders. Let me know in the comments below which draft positions stand out the most to you.