In a couple of weeks, the WWE is going to have a draft. I have no idea how it’s going to work. I would bet money they probably don’t either. I remember when the draft first happened, and all the drafts since always became appointment television for me and my friends. Wrestling is so much more fun when you can make side bets. I love it. The whole thing really appeals to me. Even if nothing changes, the illusion of change and a fresh start is a really powerful tool.
I suppose that this draft is a bit different, in that there are a lot of rumors going around that it will lead to many of the NXT performers being called up to RAW or SmackDown. So I guess in this regard, the draft could actually represent a true change, and the beginning of a new era that they are so clearly trying to brand. It’s gotten me thinking about who I would draft in order to start a company or run a weekly show.
In the spirit of fun and the fact that it’s a holiday weekend and I didn’t want to write an actual article with thought and introspection and all of that garbage, here is an awesome listicle containing my top ten draft picks for the impending WWE draft.
A few caveats: I know that some of these people aren’t in the WWE, or even on their radar. I don’t care. It’s my article. I also know that my roster would probably not draw a dime. Again, don’t care. My article. I have zero reason for picking people in terms of a big picture, I just think the people I have picked would make for fun cool match ups and I want to see said matchups. Also, we should probably just go ahead and say there will be no wellness testing for my draft picks either. Okay, cool? Here we go.
First Overall Pick: Rush
With my first overall pick, I’d take Rush from CMLL. I just read on twitter that Rush has had a couple of tryouts and was basically told thanks but no thanks. This is bonkers. I don’t speak Spanish, but Rush could cut a twenty minute promo and I was watch every second of it. He emotes hate and disdain and anger better than any other active wrestler. I can’t imagine a better top heel. Wrestling, at it’s heart, is a pantomime, a wordless morality play where we pay to watch good triumph over evil despite the odds being stacked against it. I can’t imagine anyone coming across more palpably evil than Rush sauntering down to the ring, sneering at a crowd, dressing them down in a foreign language, and standing, defiantly triumphant over a fallen hero as a crowd throws trash and chants USA.
Second Overall Pick: John Cena
That leads me to pick number two: John Cena. Who better to wrap himself in the American Flag and fight against Mexican tyranny than John Cena? I think Cena is the best in-ring ace in the world, and works on top better than anyone. He has excelled and reinvented himself in recent years, and his best programs have been against people like Kevin Owens and AJ Styles. Nothing is more riveting than Cena deciding that he needs to prove he can hang with wrestlers that others have said are better than him. He;s like an aging gunslinger that knows his days are numbered, but he’s not just going to lay down and let the world pass him by. Rush would be the latest test, a man who is almost completely antithetical to the three part mantra of hustle, loyalty and respect. A match between Rush and Cena would have this same atmosphere, but would also have an added layer of personal hate that a Cena program hasn’t seen in quite some time. Also, Cena may cut a long promo, to which Rush would respond “tranquilo”. New boom period.
Third Overall Pick: Zack Sabre Jr.
The third pick would be Zack Sabre Jr., an entrant in the ongoing cruiserweight classic. Over the past few years, I’ve grown fond of Sabre, and I’ve come to realize what I initially wrote off as clear aping of the WoS lightweight style is in fact a loving homage. Really, I just want an excuse to force the announcers to talk at length about Jim Breaks and Steve Grey, the two most underrated wrestlers of all time.
Fourth Overall Pick: Shinsuke Nakamura
In keeping with the international theme I clearly have going on, the fourth pick would be Shinsuke Nakamura. I don’t need to write a ton here, right? You all know why I picked him. He’s awesome. Everyone thinks he’s awesome. Even when he sleepwalks his way through random tags and stuff, he’s awesome. I want him to come out for no reason and kick knee people in the face really hard. I want him to dance and move around all weird and I want to see gifs and pics on twitter of him at all times. I want him to do cool stuff to make punkrockbigmouth draw cool pictures. This is a pick for the sake of art, and creation everywhere. I feel like it’s fulfilling a civic duty of some sort.
Fifth Overall Pick: Cassandro
The fifth pick in my imaginary company that would surely succeed beyond all expectations would be Cassandro. I am obsessed in some way with the idea of the exotico, and when healthy, Cassandro is the best exotico in the world. In a time when our ideas of sexuality and masculinity are becoming more fluid by the day, I think wrestling needs to embrace the change, and offer up a character like Cassandro, not to be mocked, or to serve as low card comedy, but to stand as a beacon, to prove that toughness isn’t inherently heterosexual. America is on the verge of being ready for something like this, and with each step back we take, people steel their resolve to fight even further. I want to be able to say that wrestling tried on some level to push boundaries, and help foster acceptance of all.
Sixth Overall Pick: The Miz
You all may laugh at The Miz being my sixth pick, but here me out. I have reasons. First, the Miz is from Cleveland, so he gets preferential treatment. Second, The Miz is actually pretty freaking great. Wrestling fans, myself included, are often very slow to change an opinion, and when a wrestler gets a reputation as bad (or good) for that matter, it takes a long time to change what becomes accepted public knowledge. I know he has his detractors, but everyone the Miz has ever worked with has ended up more over after their program than they were before. He made people cheer for Alex Riley and Damien Sandow, two of the worst in ring performers in the roster, like they were Jesus mixed with Stone Cold Steve Austin. No one is better at having a punchable face than the Miz, and in a company with lots of new faces and fresh matchups, no one would be more useful at helping the audience warm up to less familiar workers.
Seventh & Eighth Overall Picks: Trevor Lee & Luke Harper
I’m gonna do the seventh and eighth picks together, because I have an insane idea, but here me out. The seventh pick is Trevor Lee. This is an idea that I’m sure only I think is awesome so I’m sharing it. You know how Finn Balor comes out as the demon sometimes, and he has his face all painted and he crawls around before hitting some dropkicks while the announcers talk about how he’s tapping in to a dark place or some such garbage? I wanna do, like, the hillbilly equivalent. So Trevor Lee comes out to Taylor Swift, and he’s dancing, doing his thing, but all of a sudden his opponent makes him mad. He warns them they wouldn’t like him when he’s angry, but threats are made, and suddenly Trevor can’t shake it off any longer. The lights go down, and he undergoes a terrifying transformation.
In his place, the eighth pick, Luke Harper, stands before a shocked opponent, before destroying them with a massive lariat. The crowd goes wild. Screw all of you, this idea is awesome, you can’t convince me otherwise. They could be faces and use their redneck hulk powers for good, beating up The Miz over and over again. They could be heels, using their powers to dominate a cruiserweight division clearly unprepared for matches against Luke Harper. The possibilities are endless! Kind of endless. Well, those are basically the only two possibilities, but they still rule. Shut up, this is my column.
Ninth Overall Pick: Sami Zayn
The ninth pick is Sami Zayn. Who better to stop Trevuke Harlee than the best babyface in wrestling now that Daniel Bryan has retired? All joking aside, I can’t imagine putting together a wrestling roster and not having Sami Zayn on it, who does everything you need out of a face. He doesn’t need to win to stay over, he connects with the crowd in a way that you can’t teach or manufacture. He fixes narrative problems just by going out and dancing to ska music and getting beat up. He has good matches with virtually everyone. I would bet if the entire VOW staff did a top ten of who they would start a company with, Sami would be one of the most common answers.
Tenth Overall Pick: Dolph Ziggler
Finally, my tenth pick is Dolph Ziggler. This pick is pure spite. First of all, if you’re from Cleveland and make the announcer say you’re from Florida, you are a garbage person. Second, last year, the Cavs were up 2-1 against the Warriors in the NBA finals and Ziggler showed up at the game and probably did his stand up routine or something and LeBron and the rest of them were so off put that they lost three straight games.
The reason that the Cavs aren’t repeat champions right now is 100% Dolph Ziggler’s fault, I will believe this ’till the day I die. Keeping those irrefutable facts in mind, I am drafting Ziggler in order to squash him repeatedly and embarrassingly on TV every week. Nothing would give me greater more spiteful pleasure than seeing him go through the motions in yet another loss to whomever fills out this roster. I am a hateful, awful person. I own that. I stand by it.
Who would you guys pick to start a company? Feel free to actually respond here in the comments or yell at me on Twitter (@WrestlingBubble). I’m all ears.