I’m super hyped up for night one of the WWE Draft tomorrow (Oct. 1) on SmackDown, and I’ve been waiting all day long for WWE to add to that hype by releasing more details about what to expect. You know, something like a roster list for each day of the draft, official rules governing the draft, which TV personalities might be on hand, and so forth. Instead, all I got were these impossibly lame and generic tweets from Damian Priest and Bobby Lashley.
It looks I need to add to the interest level in the draft myself. To that end, one thing I’ve been thinking about is which tag teams will split up in this draft. In 2021, WWE has already split up The Hurt Business, Miz and John Morrison, Shayna Baszler and Nia Jax, The Riott Squad, Dana Brooke and Mandy Rose, Eva Marie & Doudrop, Elias and Jaxson Ryker, and RETRIBUTION. This is not necessarily an exhaustive list. The point is, WWE doesn’t need any excuses to break up tag teams, but the draft gives them one more way to do it.
WWE decided to split up New Day and Heavy Machinery in last year’s draft. New Day has done quite fine for themselves, and Big E is now WWE champion. Things didn’t work out well at all for Otis and Tucker. Tucker turned on Otis a couple weeks after the draft, and they never even had a match to settle their differences. Tucker quickly became a 24/7 title chasing jobber who disappeared off television and was released. Otis eventually turned heel as well and lost just about everything that was entertaining about him.
It’s hard to know which teams will break up in the WWE Draft this year, but there will probably be a casualty or two. Mansoor already expressed his concerns about this to Mustafa Ali on Raw earlier this week.
With that in mind, here are the five teams I’m most worried about WWE splitting up in this year’s draft.
5. Viking Raiders
When teams are split up, one of the members is typically labeled as the Marty Jannetty of the group, which means he’s going nowhere as a singles wrestler, while his partner has a chance to become a big star. I don’t really see that situation here with the Viking Raiders. They are a very skilled team who WWE should find more time to feature. WWE seems to like Ivar more than Erik based on last year’s sketches where Ivar was the one who all the women found attractive. But I can’t really see either one of these guys thriving in a singles role. As a tag team, though? These guys are great. Maybe they’ll never get to showcase how good they are on the WWE main roster, but they are both doomed if WWE ever splits them up.
4. Shotzi & Nox
Can you imagine a scenario where Shotzi & Nox beat the Women’s tag team champions three times in non-title matches, never get a title match, and then split up in the draft just as their team is still developing? I can absolutely see this happening.
Shotzi & Nox can both do well in a singles role, but their best bet for getting over right now is to stay together and dominate the tag team division, rather than splitting up and being fed to Charlotte Flair and Becky Lynch in a singles role.
3. The Hurt Business
A lot of fans are relieved to see The Hurt Business back together after this week’s episode of Raw. But remember, Bobby Lashley still lost in the steel cage match to Big E. In other words, Cedric Alexander and Shelton Benjamin didn’t exactly make a huge difference in his fortune. These guys could definitely be split up in the draft, especially if WWE thinks of new allies for Lashley who they are more likely to push than Alexander or Benjamin.
2. Street Profits
Now this is the obvious team with the Marty Jannetty situation going on. I mean that more as a compliment to Montez Ford than an insult to Angelo Dawkins. But let’s face it, whenever these guys break up, Dawkins will be in a fight to avoid Tucker’s trajectory, while Ford is on a path to the top of WWE. This will likely be the right call at some point, but we’re still not there yet.
1. Shinsuke Nakamura, Rick Boogs, and Pat McAfee
I’m cheating a bit here, but this trio splitting up would be more devastating to witness than any other possibility in the WWE Draft. Nak, Boogs, and McAfee were meant for each other. Even if Raw misses out on drafting both Roman Reigns and Becky Lynch, the red brand can still easily win the draft by selecting these three men. Raw has plenty of time to fill each week, and there’s no better way to fill some of the natural lulls than with McAfee rocking out at the commentary table alongside the one true king of WWE and his enthusiastic hype man. If WWE splits up any portion of this act, that will make me an extremely sad panda.
Now it’s your turn to chime in, Cagesiders. Which tag teams do you think WWE should consider splitting up in the draft, and which teams are best left untouched?