Looking at the SmackDown roster after the 2021 WWE Draft
The 2021 WWE Draft has been completed, and now we get to look at how the rosters will look for the next year. WWE continued to build the blue brand around Roman Reigns and his bloodline. Let’s take a look at the roster and the divisions, and give them a grade. Be sure to also check out the Raw grades here.
- Roman Reigns
- Drew McIntyre
- Shinsuke Nakamura & Rik Boogz
- Jeff Hardy
- Jinder Mahal & Shanky
- Ridge Holland
- Sami Zayn
- Mustafa Ali
- Drew Gulak
The men’s roster for SmackDown looks a little thin on challengers to Reigns. McIntyre should get a crack at him if he survives Lesnar. There are other interesting challengers like Cesaro & Nakamura, but they’d need to be heated up a bit more. Nakamura does anchor what should be a stellar Intercontinental Championship division. Sheamus, Ricochet, Ali, Hardy, and NXT call-up Holland could all be great challengers for him. This could be the opportunity to make new stars, but right now the top looks pretty barren.
- Charlotte Flair
- Sasha Banks
- Shayna Baszler
- Xia Li
- Shotzi Blackheart
- Toni Storm
The SmackDown’s women’s division is going to be the land of opportunity once again. Charlotte runs the division as champ, but Sasha Banks can also carry for long stretches. Baszler will hopefully be used better, plus there is a trio of intriguing NXT call-ups in Li, Aliyah, and B-Fab. An unfortunate reality of this draft is that many women’s tag teams were split. Blackheart should do well on her own on SmackDown, and Natalya goes back to being a reliable hand for the division.
- The Usos
- New Day
- Viking Raiders
- Humberto Carrillo & Angel Garza
- Happy Corbin & Madcap Moss
- Hit Row (Isaiah “Swerve” Scott, Top Dolla, Ashante “Thee” Adonis)
Getting a combination of New Day & The Usos makes your tag team division elite. Remember when they carried the tag division of SmackDown in 2017, with their Hell in a Cell match being an all-time classic. The rest of the division is solid, with the most intriguing addition being Hit Row. While Scott will likely be a singles star, the combination of Top Dolla and Adonis could be a fun tag team. Erik & Ivar should also get a shot at The Usos sooner rather than later as one of the most established teams in the division.
Overall, SmackDown may go back to a formula that worked back in 2016. A solid women’s division, some quality tag teams, and a deep midcard that offset the main event scene of three guys. Reigns has carried SmackDown for a year, so he’ll have no problem making the main event scene still exciting. Plus this offers up some new opportunities for challengers, like heating up Ridge Holland or Ricochet. The blue brand is going to be just fine.
Be sure to check out the Raw grades as well here.