Most North American sports hold a draft once a year. Incoming talent is scouted beforehand, and teams attempt to make the best decision for their future. The WWE obviously isn’t a team sport, but with so much wrestling talent throughout the organization, there has to be a better way to showcase more of it.
The following is how my personal draft would go. I haven’t included the female talent because, hypothetically, there will be a separate draft for the women’s division. I’ve taken into consideration in-ring ability, mic skills, drawing power, age, etc. to determine my list. Without further ado, here’s my 2015 WWE mock draft. I’m sure there will be plenty of debate, so feel free to comment below with your thoughts.
Seth Rollins: No.1 Overall Selection
The Architect would’ve been at the top of this last for the last couple of years. While his run at the top hasn’t been booked very well, he’s still the best all-around talent in WWE. He continually puts on great matches, has shown improvement on the mic and will be near the top of the company for years to come. Rollins will be the top face in the business before all is said and done.
2: Brock Lesnar
The Beast Incarnate doesn’t have youth on his side like so many others in this draft, but he’s still the biggest draw in WWE. He plays the perfect role for his personality, and he can still put on a great wrestling match or be involved in a memorable brawl. Lesnar still has at least a couple of years left, so he’d be well worth a high draft pick.
3: Roman Reigns
Reigns has been continuously picked apart since The Shield split, but he’s going to be one of the faces of the WWE for years to come. He might’ve been pushed too soon, but he’s improved greatly in the ring over the last year. He has plenty of work to do on his mic skills, but a heel turn may ensure he won’t have as far to go. He has the size, the look and he’ll be a champion on numerous occasions in the future.
4: Kevin Owens
Kevin Owens’ momentum slowed a little since his feud with John Cena, but he bounced back nicely by winning the Intercontinental Championship. He had a short but dominant run in NXT, and while he’s in the mid card now, he’ll be at or near the top of the card for a long time. He may not have the look of Roman Reigns, but he brings the good stuff in the ring and on the mic.
5: John Cena
There can’t be a top five of any sort without the inclusion of John Cena. He’s been a mainstay in WWE for over a decade, and he’s still one of the biggest draws in the business. A heel turn is almost so overdue now that it doesn’t really matter anymore. That being said, Cena is still great on the mic and has been underrated in the ring for a few years. He consistently puts on great matches, and he’ll be high on any list until he hangs up his boots.
6: The New Day
The New Day is the hottest act in wrestling and has been for awhile. It remains to be seen how long the WWE will keep this entertaining trio together, but there’s no reason to believe they’ll split anytime soon. The gimmick was ridiculous from the start, yet all three have turned things around and made it work in a big way. Here’s to hoping the WWE does the right thing and keeps the most entertaining team together for quite some time. On a side note, Big E is going to be a star in his own right the next decade. He’d be a high draft pick on his own or as part of The New Day.
The King of Swing is one of the most under appreciated wrestlers in WWE. He’s probably the strongest pound-for-pound, and he is at or near the top of the list when it comes to in-ring ability. He’s very innovative in the ring, and while he isn’t superb on the mic, he’s good enough to be higher up the card than he currently is. Vince McMahon will probably never fully appreciate Cesaro, and that’s a shame because he’s a legit star in this business.
8: Finn Balor
Finn Balor’s main roster debut is one of NXT’s most anticipated, but in the meantime, he continues to impress in Orlando. His in-ring style is very exciting, and his character (entrance especially) pulls fans in. There is potential for him to be one of the biggest stars in NXT or on the main roster for many years. He’ll be great whether he’s a face or heel, and not everyone can pull that off.
9: Dean Ambrose
Dean Ambrose has spent quite a bit of time in the main event the last couple of years, but he’s also spent some time in the mid card. WWE hasn’t really figured out how to utilize him the best, but he’s easily one of the best all-around talents in the business. He’s a great talker, and pretty good in the ring as well. If he ever gets the opportunity to turn heel and open up, he’ll fully live up to his potential. He’s going to be a top “bad guy” sooner rather than later.
10: Bray Wyatt
Bray Wyatt is a very polarizing figure in the sports entertainment world. The IWC seems split on his potential. Either way, he’s carved out a pretty nice niche for himself and will be a mainstay for years to come. Wyatt is one of the very best performers on the mic, and while his in-ring ability is hit-or-miss at times, he’s still capable of having a really good match. It remains to be seen what his ceiling is in the business, but he’s currently one of the best.
11: The Uso’s
The Uso’s paid their dues for awhile before finally breaking through in 2014. They took full advantage and had an amazing year. Jey has been out due to injury for a big part of 2015, but when he returns, you can bet The Uso’s will once again be in the mix for tag team gold.
Rusev is an example of how much a star’s career can change in the course of a year. He went from being absolutely dominant his first year to being involved in one of the most ridiculous storylines of 2015. Nonetheless, he’s still a really good performer and will always have a spot in the upper mid card or higher. If Rusev and Lana are paired up again in the near future, the Bulgarian Brute could go on another dominant run.
13: Dolph Ziggler
Dolph Ziggler is still one of the best in-ring performers in WWE, and he’d probably be placed higher on this list by many wrestling fans. He is capable of stealing the show, but he’s never really connected with the fans in a way that keeps him in the main event picture. WWE dropped the ball a little after he was the lone survivor at last year’s Survivor Series, so they deserve some of the blame as well. That being said, Ziggler is still one of the best on any given day and makes any show better.
14: Sami Zayn
Sami Zayn has been out for a majority of 2015 due to injury, but he had a really good run in NXT the last couple years. The WWE Universe seems to gravitate to him very well, and he’s one of the most exciting in-ring performers on the roster. It remains to be seen if he can be a main event talent on a consistent basis when he makes the leap to the main roster, but he’s definitely talented to go great places in the business.
15: Randy Orton
The Viper is well past his prime, but he still has plenty to offer. He’s been one of the best in-ring performers most of his WWE career, and he’s always been able to hold his own on the mic. Orton probably won’t win many more titles, but he’s still going to put on good matches and get over with the crowd for several more years.
16: King Barrett
King Barrett has never reached the point expected when he debuted as the pseudo leader of the Nexus, , but he’s been a really solid performer during his time. He still has the potential to win the WWE World Heavyweight Championship because he’s good enough on the mic and in the ring.
17: Samoa Joe
Samoa Joe debuted in NXT earlier this year as a a new face to many casual WWE fans. That being said, he’s been a big name in the non-WWE wrestling business for more than a decade . He’s probably not ever going to win a major championship on the main roster, but he definitely has potential to have a decent run with the NXT Championship.
The Celtic Warrior has gone on a pretty decent run since returning as a heel the night after WrestleMania 31. He’s probably on the downside of his career, but currently holds the Money in the Bank briefcase and could very well be the next WWE World Heavyweight Champion. He’s an underrated performer in the ring and can hold his own on the mic.
The Man That Gravity Forgot probably deserves to be higher on this list when it comes to in-ring ability. His style is very exciting, and he’s had a great run in NXT and the main roster. That being said, his mic skills aren’t great and he probably won’t ever be a mainstay in the main event picture. Neville is going to leave fans with plenty of great memories.
20: Daniel Bryan
When healthy, Daniel Bryan is at or near the top of this list. He’s arguably the best in-ring performer in WWE, and his fan following has been unmatched the last couple years. But he has missed far more time due to injury than he’s performed the last year and a half.
21: Luke Harper
Luke Harper is the most underrated wrestler in the WWE. If he was a little better on the mic, the sky would be the limit. Nonetheless, he’s a very good wrestler and has proven he can be a factor as part of The Wyatt Family or on his own.
22: Hideo Itami
WWE fans got a small glimpse of Itami after his NXT debut a little over a year ago. He’s been out the last several months due to injury, but he showed fans plenty to get excited about when he returns soon. What he does on the main roster remains to be seen, but the potential for good things is certainly there.
Cody Rhodes belongs somewhere around the top 10, but Stardust is probably a stretch at 23rd. He’s so talented and has made the most of his situation, but there’s so much more there than Stardust. Cody has consistently brought the most out of his gimmicks, and that’s why he’s ranked at all. If he ever gets to have another serious run as Cody Rhodes, the potential for great things is possible because he can deliver in the ring and on the mic.
24: Apollo Crews
I’ll be honest, I haven’t been blown away by Crews’ performance so far in NXT. He’s pretty high on a lot of fan’s list, but I haven’t bought in quite yet. It’ll be interesting to see where he’s at on the list in 2016 because he definitely has the look of a star. I’m just not sure what his staying power will be, and only time will tell.
25: Baron Corbin
It didn’t take long for Baron Corbin to get the Roman Reigns treatment from the NXT crowd, but it’s made him a better performer. He’s opened up more since turning heel, and he’s the kind of athlete Vince McMahon loves. In addition, his finisher (End of Days) is one of the best in wrestling. I think he’ll have a great run in NXT and a solid run on the main roster, but he probably won’t ever be a guy who wins a lot of gold.
26: Enzo and Big Cass
Look, Enzo and Big Cass aren’t going to put on any five-star classics in the near future. However, they are extremely over with the NXT fans and fairly over with most other WWE fans. They get the crowd involved from the start, and that will go a long way when they eventually make their main roster debut. They’ll be WWE Tag Team champs at some point, and they will sell a lot of merchandise in the process.
The Big Guy isn’t great on the microphone, even though he showed some progress during his heel run. He’s also not great in the ring, although he has improved greatly the last couple years. That being said, e has the look to be a dominant fan favorite, and he sells a decent amount of merchandise. Ryback is a great guy to have on any roster.
28: Tyler Breeze
Prince Pretty recently made his main roster debut after paying his dues for years as one of NXT’s most consistent performers. His character has the potential to get over with the WWE Universe for a while, but I’m still not sure how it’s going to stack up long term.
29: Lucha Dragons
The Lucha Dragons probably could’ve won the WWE Tag Team Championship recently without much backlash from fans. They’re flashy fan favorites who do a great job bringing loads of energy. They’re a great tag team to have around, and they definitely have the potential to win the gold at some point in the near future. Kalisto is definitely the star of the team and would be ranked even higher on his own.
30: Chad Gable and Jason Jordan
These two have only been a team for a couple months, but they’ve already found a great rhythm together. It remains to be seen how far they’ll go as a team, but both guys are very solid on their own. Jordan is a little better in front of a camera, but Gable is a legit stud in the ring. These two are plenty capable of winning the gold in NXT and on the main roster, but will they stay together long term? That’s the question.
Next In Line: Damien Sandow, The Vaudevillians, Tye Dillinger, The Ascension, The Miz.