Wednesday Morning Backlash: WWE Supplemental Draft Review/Commentary (Daniel Bryan, Sheamus)

You can find the entire results of the Supplemental Draft right here. Let’s discuss how things ended up.

The first major move was Daniel Bryan going to Smackdown. With Kofi Kingston headed to Raw, that means that the mid-card workhorses are trading places. It also means that Bryan can help under-card young heels on Smackdown improve in the ring quickly. Unfortunately, all the top up and coming heels but one are now on Raw. Bryan had better hope he gets to work with Cody Rhodes, which would be fantastic for the record, because if not, only Tyson Kidd seems primed to work with him and Kidd shan’t be getting a push. Bryan has a story with Corre begging to be exploited, but it almost surely won’t be unless he’s extraordinarily lucky. Still, even without anyone to work necessarily, he will get more time for matches on the slower paced show that is Smackdown and, as such, have more a chance to stand out. Kofi, meanwhile, will likely get some decent storylines, but is on Raw mostly to have an occasional good match and lose.

There were a lot of guys not being given a shot moved around: Chris Masters, Kurt Hawins, and Tyler Rex to Raw; Usos, Yoshi Tatsu and Regal to Smackdown. These changes won’t be notable, as Superstars is already inter-brand, but two guys being moved who weren’t used might get new opportunities out of this. Ted Dibiase has finally moved to Smackdown. Michael Hayes likes second generation talent and Dibiase absolutely oozes talent. He now has a thinned undercard to work with to tryand find his voice and role. He’s among the most talented guys on the roster, but also the blandest. Hopefully, this switch allows him to find where a great direction. Going to Raw, Drew McIntyre gets a new chance. Vince McMahon, who supposedly likes Drew, pays far more attention to Raw and could force him into storylines. McIntyre has lately seemed to turn a corner and is just one story from catching fire. Fans also want to cheer him seemingly and, with so many new heels on Raw and only Kofi and Morrison as mid-card faces, Drew could break away from the pack.

Drew does have one problem if he doesn’t turn face quickly though. The initial new heel on Raw pushes will go to Del Rio first and then Jack Swagger. Swagger was essentially a Raw superstar already for working with Cole, but with Miz and Swagger getting the heel pushes AND each seeming likely to eventually go face, Drew has to catch fire soon or that big chance may never arrive. Swagger is absolutely set, seemingly, with heat magnet Michael Cole attached, but he, too, must seize his opportunity, lest the heat of another not be enough for WWE to make him a permanent top guy. Ziggler, who was pushed and did excellently with Vickie Guerrero, only to fall back to the mid-card, should be a warning to Swagger.

Speaking of managers, one guy that lost big is Alex Riley. Unless he can develop into a viable character from being a lackey, a rare feet, separating him from Miz without a story likely consigns him to a lower-midcard semi-comedy career. WWE kept putting him back with Miz, so I suppose the point here was to take away their temptation to use Riley as a crutch. That won’t hurt Miz, but will almost certainly cripple Riley, unfortunately.

The divas actually got interesting this week, as well. Beth Phoenix is headed to Raw, where Kong is seemingly ready to show up, which could build to a divas match that will actually draw in WWE. I’m not holding my breath, but I like the set up. Getting dead weight like Alicia Fox and Tamina to Smackdown keeps them with a divas division, but makes Raw the clear A-list. Sadly, poor Natalya is going to end up the one A-Diva on the B-show. At least she’ll get plenty of time to stand out likely, especially one the LayCool feud ends.

And finally, we come to the big winner of the draft. No, not Khali. Within weeks he’ll be back to being the big guy who shows up to punish mouthy heels again. Sheamus is the huge winner here. Smackdown is utterly without a top heel with Del Rio leaving. Sheamus has already proven more valuable than Wade Barrett and that he can hold a title long-term on the flagship, so there is no reason to expect anything but Sheamus atop the card for the majority of the next year. On Raw he was behind Miz, Punk and Swagger (who was in the far more important angle), with Del Rio coming along to the show and Truth in line for a big push, he was seemingly 6th heel on the depth chart. He’s now the absolute top Smackdown heel, likely even in Christian turns, and is in a great place to become the MVP of the brand.

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