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Who is, and who isn’t, featured on the WWE Draft graphic

WWE’s made it pretty clear they’ll never really tap into the potential those of us who follow “real” sports think there is in a pro wrestling version of the NFL or NBA Drafts. We don’t even know who is making picks for Raw and SmackDown these days.

But that doesn’t stop us from thinking of the WWE Draft in similar terms. Who should go where, and why? What would our overall strategy be if we were running the Draft for the red or blue brand?

Answering those questions requires some prep work, which is why last week fans were carefully watching the hype video WWE produced around the announcement this year’s Draft would take place during the April 28 SmackDown and May 1 Raw...

And why this week, we’re scouring the graphic WWE put up during SmackDown last night (April 21):

Doing that gives us this list of talent you’d think will be eligible for the Draft:

• AJ Styles
• Akira Tozawa
• Angel
• Angelo Dawkins
• Ashante Adonis
• Asuka
• Austin Theory (United States champion)
• Baron Corbin
• Bayley
• Becky Lynch
• B-Fab
• Bianca Belair (Raw Women’s champion)
• Bobby Lashley
• Braun Strowman
• Brock Lesnar
• Bronson Reed
• Butch
• Candice LeRae
• Cedric Alexander
• Chad Gable
• Charlotte Flair
• Chelsea Green
• Cody Rhodes
• Cruz Del Toro
• Dakota Kai
• Damian Priest
• Dana Brooke
• Dexter Lumis
• Dolph Ziggler
• Dominik Mysterio
• Drew McIntyre
• Edge
• Elias
• Emma
• Erik
• Finn Bálor
• Giovanni Vinci
• Humberto
• Ivar
• Jey Uso
• Jimmy Uso
• Joaquin Wilde
• Johnny Gargano
• Gunther (Intercontinental champion)
• Karl Anderson
• Karrion Kross
• Kevin Owens (Undisputed WWE Tag Team champion)
• Kofi Kingston
• LA Knight
• Lacey Evans
• Liv Morgan (Women’s Tag champion)
• Ludwig Kaiser
• Luke Gallows
• ma.çé
• Madcap Moss
• mån.sôör
• Maryse
• Matt Riddle
• Maxxine Dupri
• Mia Yim
• Montez Ford
• Mustafa Ali
• Natalya
• Nikki Cross
• Omos
• Otis
• Piper Niven
• Raquel Rodriguez (Women’s Tag champion)
• Rey Mysterio
• Rhea Ripley (SmackDown Women’s Champion)
• Rick Boogs
• Ricochet
• Ridge Holland
• Roman Reigns (Undisputed WWE Universal Champion)
• Ronda Rousey
• Sami Zayn (Undisputed WWE Tag Team champion)
• Santos Escobar
• Scarlett
• Seth Rollins
• Shayna Baszler
• Sheamus
• Shelton Benjamin
• Shinsuke Nakamura
• Shotzi
• Solo Sikoa
• Sonya Deville
• Tamina Snuka
• Tegan Nox
• The Miz
• Top Dolla
• Valhalla
• Xavier Woods
• Xia Li
• Zelina Vega

It seems to be almost everyone listed on the roster pages for Raw and SmackDown on — including at least one person with a blacked out Twitter page folks were wondering about after he wasn’t shown in last week’s video. That would be Drew McIntyre, one of a few injured stars on the graphic, like AJ Styles, Kofi Kingston, and Ronda Rousey.

NXT talent isn’t shown, but per comments made on last week’s episode of that show and Michael Cole during last night’s broadcast, they are going to be eligible.

So who isn’t here? Noticeable absences include:

• Alexa Bliss, off television since shortly after Royal Rumble for a variety of reasons, some we know about, some we don’t
• Big E, who has a career-threatening injury
• Bray Wyatt, who’s been sidelined for unknown reasons for a couple months now
• Carmella, who’s been sidelined for unknown reasons for several weeks now
• John Cena, who’s extremely busy
• Logan Paul, who just re-signed
• Gable Steveson, the 2024 Olympics hopeful famously taken by Raw in the last Draft despite never having a pro match

What do we make off all that? Heck if I know.

Won’t stop me from running a few fantasy drafts in my head over the next week, though.

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