A two-night WWE Draft will officially start on this week's episode of Friday Night SmackDown, and up until now it's left many more questions than answers for fans. However on Thursday WWE sent out more rules regarding the Draft via a press release, many of which are carried over from the last Draft that took place back in 2016. More than 70 wrestlers will be up for grabs during the Draft, but only 30 will be picked on Friday while an addition 41 will be selected on next week's episode of Raw. And even though SmackDown is on a much bigger network, for every two picks the Blue Brand gets Raw will get three.
Other rules include tag teams counting as one pick unless stated otherwise, and NXT will not be making any picks in the talent pool. That matches up with a previous statement made by Triple H, who clarified the purpose of this draft was to re-establish the brand split between the two brands.
Check out the rules below
"Over 70 Superstars, as well as tag teams, are eligible for selection in this year's WWE Draft
SmackDown will draft 30 Superstars, and Raw will select another 41 Superstars
Since SmackDown is a two-hour show and Raw is a three-hour show, for every two picks SmackDown makes, Raw will receive three
Tag teams will count as one pick unless FOX or USA Network specifically wants to pick only one Superstar from the team
Any undrafted Superstars will immediately be declared free agents and able to sign with the brand of their choosing."
According to Wrestling Observer's Dave Meltzer, the picks will be made by representatives from FOX and USA rather than authority figures like the McMahon family.
"It's going to be people actually picking like a football draft," Meltzer said on the latest Wrestling Observer Radio. "It's going to be a rep or reps from USA and a rep or reps from Fox that will be doing the picking as opposed to authority figures from WWE. They don't want authority figures right now."
Meltzer added that WWE already knows who is going to which brand, but that it's being kept a secret from the wrestlers.0comments
WWE.com announced on Thursday that SmackDown will open with a match between Universal Champion Seth Rollins and Roman Reigns to determine which brand gets the first overall pick.
"Seth Rollins (representing Raw) faces Roman Reigns (representing SmackDown) in the opening match of this week's WWE Draft episode of Friday Night SmackDown on FOX, and the victorious Superstar will earn the first overall pick for the corresponding brand," WWE.com's announcement read. "The stakes are high for this showdown between former Shield members, as the Universal Champion squares off with The Big Dog to decide which brand gets the all-important first selection."
It's still unclear what WWE intends to do about the current champions with this Draft, as it would look pretty silly for Becky Lynch to be walking around Friday Night SmackDown as the Raw Women's Champion. We'll just have to wait and see.