Tonight’s announced card is minimalistic because it’s all about Night 2 of the WWE Draft 2019. The opening match was set to be RAW’s Becky Lynch versus SmackDown’s Sasha Banks to decide which brand picks first tonight. However, Sasha Banks is injured, so Charlotte Flair will take her place in the match. He only other announced match is Dolph Ziggler & Robert Roode versus The Viking Raiders for the RAW Tag Team Championships. We’ve got a contract signing to look forward to as well, between Braun Strowman and Tyson Fury.
I’m Amanda and this is the RAW review
Becky Lynch def. Charlotte Flair
Andrade def. Ali
The Viking Raiders def. Robert Roode & Dolph Ziggler (TITLE CHANGE)
Aleister Black def. Eric Young
Ricochet def. Shelton Benjamin
Buddy Murphy def. Cedric Alexander
The Kabuki Warriors def. Natalya & Lacey Evans
The WWE Draft 2019 started on Friday Night SmackDown, and you can see who went where here.
A brief recap of the rules – Each show had a pool of available superstars to choose from (the draft pools can be found here). For every two picks SmackDown has, RAW gets three because they have an extra hour to fill. Tag teams may be picked as one or can be split at the brand’s discretion. Any superstars undrafted at the end of their allocated session become free agents and can choose a brand to join.
Following Friday Night SmackDown, the Night 1 picks continued. Heath Slater, Tamina, The B-Team, Drew Gulak, and Apollo Crews went to SmackDown. EC3, Eric Young, and Sin Cara were drafted to RAW. After the additional picks, only four superstars remained undrafted – Humberto Carrillo, Akira Tozawa, Cesaro, and Chad Gable.
Stephanie McMahon read out the draft picks. Renee Young hosted a Draft Panel with Booker T, Beth Phoenix, and Samoa Joe.
RAW – Seth Rollins, Charlotte Flair, Andrade & Zelina Vega.
SmackDown – Brock Lesnar, The New Day.
RAW – The Kabuki Warriors (the titles will still be defended on both brands), Rusev, Aleister Black
SmackDown – Daniel Bryan, Bayley.
RAW – Cedric Alexander, Humberto Carrillo, Erick Rowan.
SmackDown – Shinsuke Nakamura & Sami Zayn, Ali.
RAW – Buddy Murphy, Jinder Mahal, R-Truth.
SmackDown – Dolph Ziggler & Robert Roode, Carmella.
RAW – Samoa Joe, Akira Tozawa, Shelton Benjamin.
SmackDown – The Miz, King Corbin.
RAW – Rey Mysterio, Titus O’Neil, Liv Morgan.
SmackDown – Shorty Gable (yes, that’s official), Elias.
The Rest of the Show
♦ RAW opened with a Bray Wyatt/The Fiend vs Seth Rollins recap, from the beginning right to Friday Night SmackDown when The Fiend dragged Rollins through the ring. Wyatt was drafted to SmackDown, so presumably, they have to wrap this storyline up.
♦ Becky Lynch vs Charlotte Flair opened the show proper. Before Flair came out Lynch talked about being the first overall draft pick, and about Sasha Banks being unable to make it because of the last beating she gave her. But she can’t seem to get away from Flair and every time they step in the ring together it’s a war. Flair said she doesn’t even want to fight Becky Lynch tonight, she wants to be friends again because she misses her. While Lynch was absorbing that, Flair smacked her in the face and the war started, but the match didn’t. Officials got them separated and back into the ring while we went for a break.
The match itself was everything you’d expect it to be. They know each other inside out, they’ve been doing this for years, they’re both at the top of their game and it shows. Three Flair came within milliseconds of the win. First with a Boston Crab, then with Natural Selection, and finally a big boot. Becky Lynch came close with a roll-up and a leg drop. It was anyone’s match, but Flair’s frustration started to show when Lynch kicked out of her spear and Becky Lynch rolled her up and pinned her to win RAW the first pick.
♦ Seth Rollins was asked how he feels about the possibility of getting drafted to SmackDown with Bray Wyatt. He said The Fiend seems to go wherever he is, regardless of the draft. He’s not proud of the place he went to at Hell in a Cell, but he’s not ashamed of it. He did what he had to and he thought he’d ended it, but then The Fiend showed up on SmackDown. He’s been going about it all wrong. He’s been trying to get on with his life and let The Fiend pick his spots, but tonight he’s going Fiend hunting. He’s going to find him and end this.
During the following match, it was announced that Bray Wyatt will be presenting a new Firefly Fun House.
♦ Andrade, with Zelina Vega vs Alicame after the first round of draft picks. Zelina Vega gave Andrade a huge introduction, and it didn’t take her long to try to cause a distraction in the match. Happily, she didn’t cause any significant issues at that point and the match was great. She got involved again later though. First she got on the apron to stop Ali diving onto her client, so he jumped over her. Then she took Ali down at ringside while the ref wasn’t looking, priming him for Andrade’s Hammerlock DDT finisher.
♦ Robert Roode & Dolph Ziggler (C) vs The Viking Raiders – RAW Tag Team Championship match – The Viking Raiders earned this match by beating Roode & Ziggler last week and they were focused and ready to do it again. It was almost a short match after Ziggler was the recipient of a splash from Ivar, but Roode pulled Ivar out of the ring. Ziggler took control of Ivar during the break, with the help of some chairs in the timekeeper’s area. When we got back, Roode and Ziggler had him isolated and suffering. Inevitably he got back to Ivar and they almost got a double team on Roode, but Ziggler intercepted Ivar who ended up on the floor at ringside. He made it back just in time to save his partner after a Glorious DDT. The end came via a Viking Experience on Dolph Ziggler. We have new RAW Tag Team Champions. Well deserved.
In a post-match promo backstage, they listed some of their many accolades including NJPW and ROH titles, a very unusual move for a WWE promo.
♦ Aleister Black vs Eric Young was a fun match. Not long, but fun. Black tapped Young out with the same submission he used on the Singh Brothers last week.
♦ Street Profits had an encounter with The OC. It started nicely, AJ Styles said he wasn’t sure why they were drafted when Monday Night RAW belongs to The OC. It looked like it was just going to be a war of words because The OC turned to leave, but they turned back and attacked Ford and Dawkins. Guess we know who Street Profits’ first opponents will be then.
Later in the show, Street Profits called out The OC for a match. They’re going to find themselves a mystery partner.
♦ Ricochet vs Shelton Benjamin was unexpected. If I’m honest, I’d forgotten about Shelton Benjamin entirely. He did a good job of keeping Ricochet grounded, for a time, and his superior power gave him the early edge. It wasn’t enough to overcome Ricochet though. The match finished with a Recoil after Shelton threw Ricochet from the turnbuckle and Ricochet landed on his feet.
♦ There was a segment with Lana getting a massage and Bobby Lashley taking over, with them being mean about Rusev.
♦ Jerry Lawler hosted the contract signing. Braun Strowman accused Tyson Fury of trying to steal some of his spotlight and use him as a stepping stone to further his career (I think Fury is doing ok on his own, to be honest). At Crown Jewel, Fury is stepping into his world and Strowman is going to give him his first loss ever. He’s going to ‘Get These Hands’.
Fury said he’s a fan of Strowman and they were at SmackDown to see him because he’s all his kids love him. One thing Strowman should know is that Fury isn’t out of his element in any ring and he’s going to prove that at Crown Jewel when he knocks him out.
Strowman broke the table and roared. Fury pretended to have trouble breaking a pen in half and smiled. The contracts got signed, no one got smacked in the face, that’s about as civilised as WWE contract signings get.
♦ Buddy Murphy vs Cedric Alexander is the sort of match I want to see on RAW. Both these men deserve significant spots o the roster, whether they’ll get them or not remains to be seen, but they made a hell of a case for themselves. This round went to Buddy Murphy with Murphy’s Law, but I have a feeling we’ll see the next round soon.
♦ The Kabuki Warriors vs Natalya & Lacey Evans was not what I was expecting to see. Natalya chose Evans because she was asked to find a partner for the match, and she wanted someone who had taken her to her limits. It was Evans’ last match on RAW as she was drafted to SmackDown on Friday. They very nearly won as well. Natalya had Asuka in a Sharpshooter for much too long, but Kairi Sane broke it up before she was forced to tap. This was the final match of the night and it got a long time. Natalya took the extended punishment. She got to Lacey Evans eventually and Evans took control until a distraction by Asuka gave Kairi Sane an opportunity. Asuka tagged in without Evans seeing and rolled her up after Evans delivered a Women’s Right to Kairi Sane.
♦ Seth Rollins vs The Fiend has been set for Crown Jewel in a Falls Count Anywhere match.
Firefly Fun House closed the show. This happened.
The draft didn’t throw up too many surprises. I’m sad to see R-Truth and Carmella get split up, they always looked like they were having fun. There will still be superstars finding their brand over the coming days, there are a lot of the women undrafted (Sarah Logan, Fire & Desire, The IIconics, and Dana Brooke to name just a few), but we should be all settled by next week. Join us next week then for the first RAW with the new roster.