In a summer that has been privy to a lot of iconic characters going at each other on the big screen , WWE had their own “Civil War” with the 2016 Draft. Lines were definitely drawn in the sand but was it very clear who was the sports entertainment equivalent of Marvel and who was DC Comics?

As of right now , the answer is still unclear. Until these brands start to find themselves creatively we won’t know for sure. One thing that is for sure is, WWE tried to make the rosters as even as possible. But I feel like giving Raw three draft picks over Smackdown’s two might’ve been the most glaring error that WWE made last night. Sure, the time commitment of booking a three-hour show is consuming. But adding more bodies to the mix will not help the problem it will just conflate the issue at hand. For the last three years , WWE has had the entirety of the roster put on both shows and only one-third of the roster could be featured, shuttling some of the lesser talents to Main Event and Superstars. And in this new era that they been will happen here as well. The question is with the space roster and the rumor of older names being brought in to fill out live events and TV tapings. How much TV time is anyone going to get? That’s the key to all this. It’s not about just having warm bodies. It’s about having warm bodies that matter. Hopefully, WWE takes the chance to really build new stars of this. But I’m honestly doubtful.

Looking at the titles on the show as it stands before Battleground, Raw has the Tag Team Titles, Women’s Title and US Title. While the blue crew has just the Intercontinental title and the WWE Title. And given Stephanie’s announcement regarding the return of the Cruiserweight division you would assume that belt would return to Monday Night’s. Unless they do a story line where Stephanie thought she had everything wrapped up but Daniel Bryan and Shane steal it from her. Because there’s not really much gold on Smackdown for anyone to go after. Which is kind of sad because it shows a disparity between Raw and Smackdown.

I overall like the presentation of The Draft Center Network live special. I think WWE is really learning a lot from the Cruiserweight Classic about doing sports style presentation in a fun and interesting way. If for nothing else go back and watch it for the Kevin Owens interview and the interaction with Enzo and Cass. It’s priceless. And Jon Cena and Sheamus have good interviews explaining the philosophy going forward.

The talent I am the most interested to see how the WWE books him going forward is without a doubt is Heath Slater as he went undrafted. This should be some fun comedy with him going back and forth trying to get on the show and actually give them a fun storyline play off of.

I can’t really judge it for more than I’ve seen on TV thus far. And overall I can’t really complain about any of the drafts because it’s not about the names themselves it’s how you book and use the names that matter. I I like the pairings of the GM’s and the commissioners as I think it gives a fresh new vibe to both shows. Both Mick Foley and Daniel Bryan are refreshing as the baby face authority figures which are something that hasn’t happened in WWE quite some time.

The use of NXT names as draft picks was interesting. Alexa Bliss and Mojo Rawley particularly caught me by surprise. But it gave a sense of the hierarchy of the WWE now as a sports entertainment franchise. I would love to see going forward face Stephanie and Shane appear at NXT events in the future scouting talent. And while The Draft itself could be one of the year, Daniel Bryan, and Mick Foley could be battling for talent all throughout the year. Especially injury returns and NXT call-ups can happen throughout the year and give new life to each brand as the landscape changes. We know that each brand is going to have specific events on pay-per-view and the WWE Network. So the skies the limit.

We now know that the announcing teams are getting a facelift as Corey Graves will be joining Michael Cole and Byron Saxton on Monday Night Raw. While Smackdown will have Mauro Ranallo, JBL and David Otunga handling duties on Tuesday nights. This means that WWE has taken Jerry Lawler off the commentary team. I personally thought Lawler had found himself again as a heel announcer recently on Smackdown. But it is a young man’s game and I’m interested to see what these new broadcast teams will bring to the table. Particularly Graves and Michael Cole and Mauro and JBL this should be entertaining to say the least. I’m sure will you will see The King on pay-per-view preshow panels but it’s a seismic shift in how WWE wants to present itself.

Will this revitalize the WWE brand as a whole? Will WWE really see this as a long-term project to keep everything separate for long as they can? I don’t really know the answers to these all I know is next week begins a new journey? What side will you choose? The Civil War has begun.

About The Author

Dan is host of Shooting from the Hip which you can hear every Sunday at 8pm EST, 7pm CST right here on PWpop.com.