On Tuesday night, the first live SmackDown will air on USA Network. The much-anticipated episode will include the WWE Draft, and for once, the company has posted the (more-or-less-) complete rules ahead of time. There is quite a bit to unpack here, but perhaps the biggest news is that there will be six total draft picks available from NXT, which means there will be six call-ups happening on Tuesday night.
The rules for the WWE Draft are as follows:
Raw has the first overall pick
Since SmackDown Live is a two-hour show and Raw is three hours, for every two picks SmackDown Live receives, Raw will receive three picks
Tag teams count as one pick unless a Commissioner/General Manager specifically only wants one member of the team
Six draft picks will be made off the NXT roster
The company then listed the available male roster, female roster and tag team roster, with some notable exceptions. The Undertaker did not appear on the list of eligible draftees. Further, Paul Heyman was not listed as being Brock Lesnar’s manager (while the list grouped Lana with Rusev, Maryse with Miz, Bob Backlund with Darren Young, etc.).
Also missing were injured Superstars Emma, Luke Harper, Tyson Kidd, Nikki Bella, Tamina and Naomi, as well as Ryback and Rosa Mendes, who are both still under contract, although it is pretty much a given at this point that Ryback will not be returning.
All of these Draft rules are worth mentioning, including tag teams counting as one pick (including the three-man factions of The New Day and Social Outcasts — although the three active Wyatt Family members were all listed as singles male roster members). RAW will receive the first overall pick and will get 33 percent more picks than SmackDown.
But the news everyone is likely to latch onto — and the tidbit worthy of the most speculation — is the six NXT call-ups. We knew that there were likely to be at least a few NXT members making the jump, but now we have an exact number. And if tag teams count as one pick, that means that a minimum of six NXT wrestlers will be moving on up on Tuesday.
So let the speculation begin! Who do you think will be graduating on Tuesday? (Besides Finn Bálor, of course.)