WWE has been changing lately. Following years of flat storylines and declining viewership, the company has decided to inject some fresh blood and new ideas into both of its major weekly shows - and, if fan reception is any indication, WWE has been making the right moves.

What's even better is that the WWE shows no signs of slowing down. Following the announcement that SmackDown would be going live, the company revealed that it would be 'splitting the brand' - basically, instead of SmackDown and Monday Night RAW sharing the same talent, each show would have its own roster of Superstars. Not only will the split give fans a reason to watch WWE's other shows, but it should give more up-and-coming wrestlers a chance in the spotlight.

Last night, the brand extension finally went through, and the majority of SmackDown Live was dedicated to a new WWE Draft. For the first time in five years, there are two distinct talent pools in the WWE: a larger group of wrestlers for the three-hour marathon that is Monday Night RAW, and a smaller, more experimental group for SmackDown Live.

If you happened to miss either of the drafts last night (the latter half of which was broadcast exclusively on the WWE Network), we've got the full list of both rosters right here:

Monday Night RAW

Overall Pick Brand Pick


  1   1   Seth Rollins
  3   2   Charlotte
  5   3   Finn Balor
  6   4   Roman Reigns
  8   5   Brock Lesnar
  10   6   The New Day
  11   7   Sami Zayn
  13   8   Sasha Banks
  15   9   Chris Jericho
  16   10   Rusev (w/Lana)
  18   11   Kevin Owens
  20   12   Enzo & Cass
  21   13   The Club (Gallows & Anderson)
  23   14   The Big Show
  25   15   Nia Jax
  26   16   Neville
  28   17   Cesaro
  30   18   Sheamus
  31   19   The Golden Truth
  33   20   Titus O'Neil
  35   21   Paige
  36   22   Darren Young
  38   23   Sin Cara
  40   24   Jack Swagger
  42   25   The Dudley Boyz
  44   26   Summer Rae
  46   27   Mark Henry
  48   28   Braun Strowman
  50   29   Bo Dallas
  52   30   The Shining Stars
  54   31   Alicia Fox
  56   32   Dana Brooke
  58   33   Curtis Axel

In all honesty, the RAW draft went how most people expected it to: WWE is obviously positioning Roman Reigns and Seth Rollins as its top faces, and big names like Brock Lesnar and The New Day should guarantee that RAW's larger audience stays right where it is.

To be fair, there are a few surprises: the fact that the Wyatt Family has been split up is huge, and Finn Balor is guaranteed to pull in NXT fans. Also...wait, Curtis Axel still wrestles?

SmackDown Live

Overall Pick Brand Pick


  2   1   Dean Ambrose
  4   2   AJ Styles
  7   3   John Cena
  9   4   Randy Orton
  12   5   Bray Wyatt
  14   6   Becky Lynch
  17   7   The Miz (w/Maryse)
  19   8   Baron Corbin
  22   9   American Alpha
  24   10   Dolph Ziggler
  27   11   Natalya
  29   12   Alberto del Rio
  32   13   The Usos
  34   14   Kane
  37   15   Kalisto
  39   16   Naomi
  41   17   The Ascension
  43   18   Zack Ryder
  45   19   Apollo Crews
  47   20   Alexa Bliss
  49   21   Breezango
  51   22   Eva Marie
  53   23   The Vaudevillains
  55   24   Erick Rowan
  57   25   Mojo Rawley
  59   26   Carmella

Again, the SmackDown Live roster is more or less what fans were expecting. As the smaller of WWE's two main shows, the new roster is a bit more experimental, with a larger focus on up-and-coming stars and NXT transfers. That's not to say that there's no major talent on the show, however.

John Cena is the obvious draw here - while the Superstar's momentum may have slowed down over the past few months, there's no denying that Cena is still the face of the company (regardless of what the Authority claims). It's something that SmackDown Live desperately needs, especially when compared to its Monday night counterpart.

The only worrisome thing is the addition of Dean Ambrose. It'd be shocking to see the WWE Championship stay on SmackDown Live - and, with Rollins and Reigns both on RAW, there's a good chance that Ambrose could lose his title at Battleground. The WWE would have its flagship title back on its flagship show, which makes sense...but it'd leave Dean without a feud and SmackDown Live without a major title.

Honestly, the Draft is the best thing that WWE could have done for SmackDown Live and the company as a whole. With two separate rosters, there will be more chances for more Superstars to make an impact - and, considering the fact that the brand split has been behind some of the company's best storylines, the week-to-week action should also get a boost.

The true start of the new SmackDown Live kicks off next week, following WWE Battleground this Sunday.

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