The first round of the 2024 WWE draft took place last evening on SmackDown, with some additional picks taking place on social media after the show. Since many NFL pundits are grading the picks that are being made with the concurrent NFL draft that is taking place, I thought it might be fun to do the same for each show in WWE!

Note: These grades are a combination of kayfabe and logic, and are purely meant to create discussion amongst the readers.

The grays are being given using a combination of how they stack up to who is available on each roster, how that particular person will work in storylines on the brand, and their overall potential in the company.

Let’s start with who was available to be drafted on Smackdown last night:

AJ Styles
Alba Fyre and Isla Dawn
Alpha Academy (Chad Gable, Otis, Akira Tozawa and Maxxine Dupri)
Bianca Belair
Bron Breakker
Cedric Alexander and Ashante “Thee” Adonis
Jey Uso
LA Knight
Liv Morgan
Nia Jax
Randy Orton
Seth Rollins
Shayna Baszler
The Bloodline (Roman Reigns, Solo Sikoa, “MFT” Tama Tonga and Paul Heyman)
The O.C. (Luke Gallows, Karl Anderson and Michin)
Zoey Stark

It should also be mentioned that Roman Reigns withdrew himself from the draft, so we will not be appearing for quite some time. This obviously would have been the first pick…right?

And without further ado, my grades for each pick:

Round 1:

Smackdown – Bianca Belair

A solid choice to start the draft. Obviously, Bianca Belair is one of the top superstars in all of WWE, and has been positioned to become one of the main event players in the company for the remainder for career. She’ll continue to lead the brand and begin working with the younger talent, and I’m excited to see what she continues to do in the future!

Grade: A-


Raw – Jey Uso

This pic doesn’t make any sense to me. While I like Jay Uso a lot, and I think that he can do some great things on his own, there is no way that Adam Pearce can possibly see him as the top overall superstar on his show. He had Seth Rollins available and passed on him with the first pick. If I was Nick Aldis, I would have snatched him up right away, however, that didn’t happen. Perhaps the Raw GM was protecting his investment for the title match at backlash, but I still wouldn’t have gone this route.

Grade: C+


Smackdown – Carmelo Hayes

Our first shocker of the evening. We knew that NXT stars would be making the jump to the main roster, but Smackdown decided to use it second pick overall to draft its future. I love Carmelo Hayes and think that he is going to be in the main event of WrestleMania within 10 years, along with the current NXT champion, Trick Williams. That being said, we don’t know exactly what he’s capable of, and there are way more valuable superstars on the roster available. I like the pick, but I would’ve waited a little longer to snatch him up. I would have given this a lower grade, but he had a great match with Cody Rhodes to close the show.

Grade: B


Raw – Seth “Freakin” Rollins

There we go. The MVP of WrestleManis, a future Hall of Famer, and the man that is going to carry the torch for the Raw brand now that Cody Rhodes is being drafted to Smackdown. I know that he is injured and will be out for several months, but when he gets back, he will immediately be thrown into the title picture, to get back his world heavyweight championship. This is who should’ve gone first overall to Raw and Adam Pearce should be lucky that he was still available.

Grade: A+

Round 2:

Smackdown – Randy Orton

A future Hall of Famer, one of the greatest of all time. Need we say more?

Grade: A


Raw – Bron Breakker

This one surprised me, but I like it! There is no doubt that he is a future world champion, and they have discovered his gimmick of hitting the ropes faster than anyone than I have ever seen. He has the look, the size, the speed, and charisma to rise to the top of this business. Combine that with his pedigree and you have the recipe for a winner. Raw was looking for its future, and they got it.

Grade: A


Smackdown – Nia Jax

This pick will be controversial. On paper, Nia Jax has everything you need to be successful in professional wrestling. She has the size, the look, and I think she is decent on the microphone. Yet somehow, her works looks sloppy at times and she has not had success putting on quality matches in the company. If she’s used in the right way, it could work, but I think there are superstars who have more upside in the women’s division.

Grade: C+


Raw – Liv Morgan

The purpose of this pick was twofold: to keep her on Raw and challenge Becky Lynch for the women’s world championship, and to further the story with Dominik Mysterio. I like Liv Morgan. I think she has a lot of potential, and could be a superstar. We’ll see how this plays out, and how she can navigate everything with Rhea Ripley being on the shelf. This is her time to shine.

Grade: B-

Round 3:

Smackdown – LA Knight

YEAH! One of the most over guys in the company, and someone who could lead them to the promised land. Everything he does is gold, and I can’t wait to see what he does next. YEAH!

Grade: A


Raw – Ricochet

This is finally going be the opportunity to see what Triple H is going to do with him. One of the most talented wrestlers on the roster, I feel that Ricochet has been overlooked for a very long time. With a new guy in charge of the company, this can be the restart that Ricochet needs to ascend to the top of this business. I like it.

Grade: B+


Smackdown – The Bloodline (Solo Sikoa, Tama Tonga, Paul Heyman)

Nick Aldis drafting The Bloodline this late in the draft makes a lot of sense. Not only does it keep the hottest storyline in the company on Smackdown, but it furthers its development by seeing that Heyman is letting things slip while Roman Reigns is away. You can immediately start the idea that The Bloodline should have been first, and it continues the divide between Solo and Roman. If you add Jacob Fatu to this mix, somehow, this has the potential to be gold.

Grade: A


Raw – Sheamus

See Randy Orton.

Grade: A

Round 4:

Smackdown – AJ Styles

Again, one of the greatest of all time. I love it.

Grade: A


Raw – Alpha Academy (Chad Gable, Otis, Akira Tozawa, and Maxxine Dupri)

This is an interesting pick as well. Raw had to draft a faction, since SmackDown took The Bloodline, and we’ve seen a new attitude from Chad Gable as of late. Keeping him on Raw allows him to keep chasing the Intercontinental Championship, and developing the storyline between his stablemates and Sami Zayn. This was a good selection and done at the right time.

Grade: B+


Smackdown – Andrade

Another good choice. This will allow him to get back on the same show as his former partner in crime, Zelina Vega, as well as find a way to be involved with the storyline between the LWO and Legado Del Fantasma. Andrade is great in the ring, and had a great look. I like this pick!

Grade: A-


Raw – Kiana James

Our next major NXT call up takes place with the final pick on television. I have to be honest, I haven’t seen much of her work, but everything that I’ve read and have been told says that Kiana James has a lot of potential. We’ll see what she can do with this opportunity, but I wish her all the best moving forward! She will get to work with some of the greats in the industry, who will teach her how to make the transition to the bigger stage, which is always a plus.

Grade: B

One other noteworthy pick on social media:

Smackdown – Baron Corbin

It will be so good to see Baron Corbin back on the main roster! Everything he does, he does to the best of visibility, and he has taken every gimmick given to him and turned it into something special. He’s reinvented himself in NXT, and I hope that being back on SmackDown will give them the opportunity to get another title run that he so deserves!


Overall, I felt that Smackdown had the better draft. Nick Aldis has positioned himself to have a more loaded roster, and did it at the right time. We will see how this all plays out, and how things are complimented on Night 2, this coming Monday!


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