With the WWE Draft upon us, let’s look back at last year’s draft to see the best and worst draft picks.
WWE loves to present like typical sports, so let’s do a little bit of a sports breakdown. We’ve had one year since the last WWE draft to see which picks were steals and which were busts. Some picks didn’t pan out due to injuries or other circumstances, so Asuka or Lacey Evans won’t be considered busts. With one year gone by and a few days left until the 2021 Draft, here are the best and worst picks from last year’s draft.
Best 2020 WWE Draft Picks:
Day 1, Round 4, Pick 17: Big E to SmackDown
Hard to say that getting the current WWE Champion in the fourth round is anything other than a steal. Big E was a standout on SmackDown even prior to getting the Money in the Bank briefcase. He had a stellar feud with Sheamus and was Intercontinental Champion heading into Wrestlemania 37. Big E is a star and one of the brightest parts of WWE’s future. Getting that in a fourth-round pick is a bargain.
Day 2, Round 5, Pick 21: Nikki Cross to Raw
Another first-time world champion was found by Raw in the fifth round of Day 2. Once Nikki Cross turned to Nikki A.S.H., she reached new heights. The newfound superhero won Money in the Bank and cashed in the next night for her first-ever Women’s Championship reign. While she only held that title for 33 days, she then found success as one-half of the Women’s Tag Team Champions with Rhea Ripley.
Day 1, Round 2, Pick 9: Bianca Belair to SmackDown
Ever since being picked in the second round of the 2020 Draft, Belair has been the woman on SmackDown Live. From her amazing win in the 2021 Royal Rumble to dethroning Sasha Banks in the main event of Wrestlemania 37, Belair was a star. She still is a star, even if Banks screwed her during her title match with Becky Lynch at Extreme Rules. Belair was only the fourth woman selected on her day and was arguably the most valuable of all of them.
Worst 2020 WWE Draft Picks:
Day 2, Round 3, Pick 11: Retribution to Raw
Retribution, as a whole, just didn’t work. When they were drafted with the first pick in the third round, there was still hope for the stable. Mustafa Ali is a great pick-up, and T-Bar and Mace are making a name for themselves in the tag division. The pick was definitely a reach, even with Raw picking up five members. Only three remain and none made a big impact in the last year.
Day 2, Round 3, Pick 12: Lars Sullivan to SmackDown
The next pick after Retribution was also a poor pick. WWE had high hopes for Sullivan, but for a multitude of reasons he never worked out. From his homophobic, sexist, and racist comments on message boards and his anxiety forcing him to ask for a release in January of 2021, Sullivan’s time on SmackDown was short. People left on the board before his pick: Keith Lee, Sami Zayn, Aleister Black, Cesaro & Shinsuke Nakamura. Quite the murderer’s row of better picks.
Day 1, Round 3, Pick 11: Ricochet to Raw
At the time, Ricochet made sense as a high pick. He was still being hailed as a blue-chip prospect. In the time since then, he hasn’t been given a great opportunity despite still being a phenomenal wrestler. He’s been relegated to Main Event matches and one-off feuds. Raw could’ve selected guys like Jey Uso, Big E, or The Miz, all of whom have been used more effectively in the past year.
Who will be the best steals and biggest reaches of the 2021 Draft? It kicks off on SmackDown on October 1st and continues on Raw on October 4th.
Evan Gomes is a freelance pop culture & sports writer. Follow him on Twitter at @ItsEvanGomes, and check out his two podcasts: Crossbody of Work and The Pop Capsule Podcast.
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