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What Is The WWE Draft And Why Is It Crucial To WWE Programming?
The 2023 WWE Draft is almost here and it's destined to change the landscape of WWE!
After a one-year hiatus, the WWE Draft is officially returning in the coming weeks, promising to shake up the status quo and throw curveballs at the WWE Universe!
Just days after RAW After WrestleMania, Triple H wasted no time announcing the return of the WWE Draft during an exceptionally red-hot edition of SmackDown this past Friday.
As Triple H said, the WWE Draft is a "night that changes the future and the destiny of every WWE Superstar. And this year, the Draft will be bigger than it ever has been before, with every single Superstar eligible." Triple H is no stranger to announcements that rock the WWE Universe to its core, but what exactly does he mean? It's time to look at the significance of the WWE Draft, what it represents and what fans can expect in the coming months.
What Is the 2023 WWE Draft?
To better understand the Draft, comparing it to similar events usually found in other professional sports leagues is best. For many sports fans, the NFL draft is when franchises take turns drafting eligible young players that fill a need for their team. So, for example, if your football team desperately needs a quarterback, they're most likely using the annual NFL Draft to secure a winning quarterback coming out of college.
Whereas professional league drafts only involve players entering the league for the first time, the WWE Draft is different: all Superstars are eligible to be drafted to RAW, SmackDown or NXT – so throughout the WWE Draft, men and women move around at a dizzying pace. So your favorite RAW Superstar could very well find themselves in NXT by the end of the process.
Why Is the WWE Draft So Important?
On the one hand, the WWE Draft is a fun nearly-annual event that shows the world that WWE is closer to professional sports than fans may think. The NBA Draft and the NFL Draft are some of the most must-see parts of being a sports fan, and the WWE Draft is no different in that regard.
On the other hand, the purpose of the Draft is more profound than just being an entertaining few television episodes. After all, the WWE Draft is sometimes known by its alternate name: the Superstar Shakeup, which is exactly what it sounds like.
When WWE shifted to separate brands of RAW, SmackDown and NXT, they found themselves locked in (mostly, at least) to using Superstars found on each brand exclusively. So RAW Superstars only perform on Monday night, for example. But the WWE Draft is used as a vehicle for change – in the eyes of the fans, storylines can get stale, and matchups can get repetitive. So the Draft is a way to shuffle up the deck, so to speak, and bring new matches and Superstar interactions to the weekly television shows.
Don't get us wrong, we wouldn't mind seeing some combination of Bobby Lashley, Seth Rollins and Austin Theory wrestle for the United States Champion for the foreseeable future because the in-ring action would be breathtaking, but we'll be honest, from an entertainment standpoint, it would get old quickly. That's why the WWE Draft is so important.
Simply put, the WWE Draft stirs the pot in the best way. So, if you've ever wondered what it would be like to see your favorite RAW Superstars move to Friday nights to challenge for SmackDown's top championships, you won't have to wonder much longer!
When is the 2023 WWE Draft?
Although no concrete date has been reported yet, the rumor mills are working overtime – but Triple H's statement that it's coming "in a few short weeks" means that we could see the WWE Draft take place before the May 6 Backlash event.
Any way you look at it, the 2023 WWE Draft will be happening very soon, and the WWE Universe has plenty of reason to be excited!
What Fans Expect From the WWE Draft?
In a word: chaos.
The WWE Universe can expect their favorite Superstars jumping ship to a competing brand, beloved tag teams broken up, and up-and-coming NXT Superstars making their presence known on RAW and SmackDown. According to Triple H, every man and woman in the WWE locker room is eligible to be drafted, meaning the entire organization's landscape may shift once the dust settles. For example, if Austin Theory is drafted to SmackDown, he'll take his United States Championship with him, effectively making the title SmackDown exclusive.
Since its inception in 2002, the WWE Draft has been home to unforgettable moment after unforgettable moment. From shocking Superstar brand swaps to NXT main roster call-ups, the WWE Draft has a reputation for being an emotional rollercoaster for the WWE Universe.
If you think WWE can't possibly live up to the drama and storytelling prowess found in the build-up to WrestleMania, you're wrong. The 2023 WWE Draft is almost here, and it will turn everything upside down.
WWE Universe: get ready to ride another rollercoaster.
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