The 2019 WWE Draft will officially begin on Friday Night SmackDown this week at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas this week, and WWE slowly began releasing details regarding the Draft on Thursday afternoon. On top of a press release explaining some of the rules and a list of which celebrities will be there, the company announced via WWE.com that SmackDown would open with a match between Universal Champion Seth Rollins (representing Raw) and Roman Reigns (representing SmackDown). Whoever win earns the No. 1 overall pick in for their respective show.
After teaming with Daniel Bryan to beat Luke Harper and Erick Rowan at Hell in a Cell, it looks like Reigns is finally moving on from his bizarre months-long storyline surrounding Rowan as his mystery attacker.
BREAKING: @WWERollins (representing #RAW) will face @WWERomanReigns (representing #SmackDown) in the opening match of Friday Night #SmackDown on @FOXTV for the rights to the first overall pick in the #WWEDraft!https://t.co/7ZpBcJzHLB— WWE (@WWE) October 10, 2019
Meanwhile Friday's show will mark the first time Rollins has appeared on television since he was booed out of the building for how the finish to his Hell in a Cell math with Bray Wyatt ended on Sunday night. Neither Rollins nor Wyatt appeared during Monday Night Raw's broadcast this week, and the match wasn't mentioned until well into the third hour of the show. WWE even went so far as to have the referee of the match put out a statement explaining why he threw out the match once Rollins tried using a sledgehammer.
"With Bray motionless, and Seth clearly doing whatever it was going to take to win that match ... I had to think of the competitor's safety and at that moment, I did what I thought was best," Rod Zapata wrote in his statement.
Here's how WWE described the rules of the Draft in Thursday's press release:
- "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."