The second episode of SmackDown on Fox was a highly anticipated affair. Not only were people excited to tune back in to the show after last week’s success, SmackDown was going to be hosting the first night of the WWE draft. The draft is going to see the WWE rosters be split up once more, but this time in a more pronounced way. There will be no wild card rule, as the wrestlers will be moving to certain brands on different networks, thus making the ‘separate rosters’ thing even stricter than what it was before.
Roman Reigns vs. Seth Rollins
The show opened with a battle between former Tag Team partners, Seth Rollins and Roman Reigns. Reigns was representing SmackDown while Rollins was representing Raw. The winner of the match would have gotten their brand the number one pick in this draft. WWE started the show with the match, without any promo segment before it. The match was high octane and high energy from the get go. Neither man was controlling the match for too long and there were plenty of near falls. An insane moment from the match saw Rollins counter a spear with a mid air pedigree. After the pedigree, Rollins is getting ready to hit Reigns with the stomp, but The Fiend interfered and locked in the mandible claw on Rollins and took him inside a hole in the ring. Rollins came back out, but completely beaten by The Fiend. Rollins wins the match via DQ, getting Raw the first pick.
WWE Draft: Round One
Stephanie McMahon announces the first five picks after the match. Raw drafts Becky Lynch with the first pick as SmackDown use their pick to get the rights to Roman Reigns. Raw then gets The OC, while SmackDown picks up The Fiend from the clutches of Raw. The final pick of this round saw Drew McIntyre head to Raw.
Shorty Gable vs. Baron Corbin
We had Shorty Gable take on Baron Corbin next. Gable and Corbin had a pretty good match with WWE really telling the big vs short story better than what anyone could have anticipated. Gable’s offense was exciting and elicited a strong reaction from the fans. Corbin did whatever he could to thwart the man’s momentum. He succeeded, as he won the match after putting Gable away with End of Days. Classic 50/50 booking.
WWE Draft: Round Two
The next round of the draft sees Raw take Randy Orton, Ricochet and Bobby Lashley, while SmackDown get their marquee women’s selection in Sasha Banks. Along with her, we saw The Monster Among Men Braun Strowman head to Friday Nights on Fox.
Cain Velasquez & Brock Lesnar Promo
We had a Paul Heyman and Brock Lesnar promo follow the second round of picks. Heyman came out and started preaching that Lesnar will not lose to Cain again after his defeat to him in the UFC. This prompted Cain and Rey Mysterio to come out, with Mysterio talking smack to Lesnar about his previous loss to Cain. Rey was translating for Cain (even though Cain knows English), which led Cain to tell Lesnar that he will give him a matching scar on the other side of his face.
The New Day vs. The OC
The New Day are out next for a match against Raw superstars The OC. Before the match, The New Day presented two women with titles to honour their fights against greats cancer. The match saw both teams exchange control, with The OC the very obvious heels in the situation. Kofi Kingston still seems like a protected commodity as he picked up the win for The New Day, pinning AJ Styles.
WWE Draft: Round Three
Round 3 of the Draft saw Raw snag Alexa Bliss, Kevin Owens and Natalya, while SmackDown get Lacey Evans and The Revival. Owens moving to Raw came as a surprise, especially after the wave of momentum he was riding. He just seemed a natural fit for the more athletic SmackDown.
WWE Draft: Round Four
The fourth and final round for TV saw Raw get The Viking Raiders, Nikki Cross and The Street Profits. SmackDown came out with a nifty haul, drafting Lucha House Party and Heavy machinery. A tag team heavy round. This means that the likes of Cesaro, Gable, Heath Slater etc. went undrafted.
Charlotte Flair vs. Bayley
We had the main event between Charlotte Flair and Bayley next, with Flair putting her SmackDown Women’s Championship on the line. Bayley’s entrance saw her cut ties with a lot of the things she made her connection with the WWE Universe with. She cut one of the inflatable balloon people that rise in her entrance and her shorter hair makes her look a little edgier. The ponytail was never going to go over well for a heel. Bayley starts the match aggressive from the get go, but the champion Charlotte neutralises it. The high octane match is turning out to be very good, with Charlotte bleeding from the mouth because of the stiff action. Charlotte kicked out of a Bayley to Bayley and a top rope elbow drop to show the trademark resilience of a babyface. Despite all this, Bayley would roll Charlotte over after Charlotte hit her with a natural selection. Bayley is the new SmackDown Women’s Champion!
We’ll cover the picks after the episode of Raw on Monday, so as to not jump the gun with the analysis. The Fiend interference in Rollins’s match was interesting, as it shows that WWE want the feud to continue. However, his move to Friday while Rollins is still the champion for Raw will be a little hard to figure out. Hopefully we can move past Hell in a Cell.
Bayley and Charlotte put on an amazing match which Fox must have been super pleased with. While they are hot potatoing the title a bit between these women. Heel Bayley’s edge is amazing, and the hope will be that she gets drafted to SmackDown, as Raw Women’s Champion Becky Lynch went to the brand she’s the champion of.