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If the WWE Draft Had Trades



The day of the WWE draft is upon us. Mock drafts and power rankings have dominated the internet over the last few weeks in speculation of what will occur this evening. A draft is among the most exciting events that a sport can offer. We all become armchair General Managers, evaluating each selection as if we know better. On draft day, before your team is on the clock, there is hope, suspense and shock. Perhaps the person that walks onto that stage will be the savior of a franchise, or maybe they’ll be the centerpiece of a trade that will be announced in the coming moments.

The WWE Draft might be the company’s highlight of 2016, at least in terms of anticipation. It has something for all of us; well, except draft day trades. Obviously, the WWE cannot do draft day trades like the NBA or NFL, but what if we set that aside? If WWE could make trades similar to those commonly seen in the professional sports world, what would they look like? Below are a few trades that are not based in any reality. They contain very little logic, and make even less sense. They assume a lot, while backing none of those assumptions up. Enjoy!

The “Don’t Let Him Leave for Nothing”

John Cena for Bayley, the Wyatt Family (Harper, Rowan, Strowman), Zack Ryder and No Way Jose – It happens all the time. A star player, heading into free agency, has not made a commitment to his/her incumbent organization. The General Manager of said organization is faced with a dilemma for the ages: trade the player before they leave, or ride it out and hope for the best. Basketball nerds will tell you that it can be feast or famine if you choose to trade; the Deron Williams trade (feast), or the James Harden trade (famine).

This week on the Ringer’s Masked Man Show, it was theorized that John Cena could soon be cutting his schedule in favor of Hollywood, in light of his recent successes hosting the ESPYs and appearing on the big screen. If Cena were a member of the RAW roster, would Stephanie McMahon wait that out, or be proactive and gather assets before he vacates? If she chose to trade him, this deal has all the makings.

Smackdown, perhaps in need of a star, gets a giant one for the stretch run into WrestleMania season. RAW gets a package of assets made up of the usual building blocks of these mega-deals. Bayley is the centerpiece; a star in the making who isn’t quite there, but has a bright light shining over the future. The solid, consistent veterans that can help you right now (the Wyatts and Ryder) help bridge the gap while your younger acquisitions get ready. Finally, RAW gets a prospect (No Way Jose) to round out the trade. The prospect is generally a few years away, and may never pan out, but GMs love to take a shot in the big trades.

The “Change of Scenery”

 Cesaro for Dolph Ziggler – In this deal, Shane and Stephanie are both coming to the table with a bit of hubris (no, really?!?). Each commissioner thinks they lead the organization that finally taps into the floundering performer’s potential. Ziggler and/or Cesaro will say they are looking forward to the “change of scenery” in their post-trade press conference. These moves happen constantly; the high draft pick, in danger of becoming a “bust” gets traded to a team who feels like they will crack the code. Sometimes it works, but usually, if it quacks like a duck…

The “Clearing Salary Cap Space for a Free Agent”

 Alberto Del Rio for Sin Cara and a future draft pick. – After news of this trade breaks, Smackdown fans would riot on Twitter. We just traded Del Rio for Sin f’ing Cara?!?! Never fear, because Shane McMahon has a plan. He was clearing some salary cap space (which does not exist in WWE, big whoop), to sign a free agent to a massive contract. The next day, Shane welcomes Kurt Angle to Smackdown on a multi-year contract. Sin Cara, the throw-in portion of this trade, ends up giving Smackdown some good matches, while Del Rio leaves for New Japan in two years. As a result, Shane is forever applauded for this crafty maneuvering.

The “System Trade”

The Miz and Rusev for Kalisto, Kota Ibushi, Gran Metalik, Johnny Gargano and the rights to The Brian Kendrick – A team signs a head coach with a specific style; a defensive specialist, perhaps. At the press conference, it’s all fun and games until the inevitable “oh sh**” moment when it’s realized that they don’t have anybody on their roster who can actually play defense. Stephanie McMahon promised a brand new Cruiserweight division, but barely has enough cruiserweights to fill out one match, let alone an entire division. Steph needs to make a trade to fit her show’s system, and Shane is ready to pounce. Smackdown needs a couple of above average performers that can hold a title in a pinch, and their system is stocked with cruiserweights. (Shane, in another innovative managerial move, stockpiled cruiserweights in anticipation they’d become in-demand assets). This deal could easily benefit both sides. Steph gets a foundation for her cruiserweight division, and Shane gets his credible superstars.

That was fun!


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Photo Credit: WWE

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