-- The WWE is taking its brand into a new direction. Actually, two directions. On the first live Smackdown on Tuesday, the roster will be split in two, creating a new dynamic and extensive opportunities for superstars on the roster. Ahead of the draft on the Cheap Heat Podcast, Peter Rosenberg and Brian Campbell took part in a 10-round mock draft to offer a look at how the draft might go down.
ROUND 1 (Pick No. 1 overall) - Seth Rollins (Campbell)
Campbell's take: It's a no-brainer. He was the only one in the company who is a no-brainer at No. 1. You couldn't make an argument against him because he's the most well-rounded superstar, right now, at the peak of his prime. I don't even think they have begun to find out how good he will be when he eventually turns babyface down the road.
Rosenberg's take: He's the [Randy] Savage of today. He can do every single thing that you need him to do.
ROUND 1 (Pick No. 2) - Charlotte (Rosenberg)
Rosenberg's take: Speaking from the perspective of my show, our strategy and the way that we approach the business, may not be the same as you. We know moving forward in the new era of WWE, I believe that in having Charlotte, not only do we get the prestigious women's title, we also have someone who you know can have good feuds with every other woman on the roster.
Campbell's take: That's a reach.
ROUND 2 (Pick No. 3) - A.J. Styles (Campbell)
Campbell's take: At this second, he's operating as the best worker in the company. He has proven he can be a heel on this level and on this platform. But as a babyface, he's also incredible. With Rollins and Styles, we're going to have some serious five-star match potential down the road. And sell a lot of gloves and hats.
ROUND 2 (Pick No. 4) - The New Day (Rosenberg)
Rosenberg's take: It's thinking about what you get. It's thinking about a tag team, and thinking about who you get down the road in individual superstars as well.
Campbell's take: Ratings wise, you are getting someone who can carry a 15-20 minute comedic segment. And you get long-term Big-E breakout star potential as well.
ROUND 3 (Pick No. 5) - Sasha Banks (Campbell)
Campbell's take: She's deserving in this spot -- without question -- but this was a bit reactionary to Charlotte. I couldn't let you have both Charlotte and Sasha. They are starting to rewrite her as a babyface, but a nasty face who doesn't have friends and acts like a heel. She is going to carry the women's division to the next level.
ROUND 3 (Pick No. 6) - Dean Ambrose (Rosenberg)
Rosenberg's take: I'm not a Dean guy but I watch what the fans want. This is a show of champions. We have the women's champion, we have the WWE world heavyweight champion.
ROUND 4 (Pick No. 7) - Roman Reigns (Campbell)
Campbell's take: It was going to be interesting to me to see where he went. I could see him going as high as No. 2 or I could see him really slipping. He didn't necessarily fit perfectly into my show but the talent is too large to let him go. What we learned from his amazing two matches with A.J. Styles, there is no doubt about the work he can do on the highest level. We haven't even tapped into what he's capable of character wise as a heel.
ROUND 4 (Pick No. 8) - Kevin Owens (Rosenberg)
Rosenberg's take: What is there to say? He's arguably the most talented guy in the company. You want to talk about some feuds down the road? You want to talk about Big E and Kevin Owens? His matches are as good as anyone there is in the company.
Campbell's take: I'm envious of that pick. In hindsight, I should have taken him over Reigns.
ROUND 5 (Pick No. 9) - Shinsuke Nakamura (Campbell)
Campbell's take: The "King of Strong Style!" We're about the future and there's no one with a bigger future right now, and if we're looking at anyone in NXT who can cross over to the main brand, you know that Nakamura, above all, has the charisma to do major things in this company. He's a wild-card pick now. This was the right time to pick him.
Rosenberg's take: How can you not like him? There's no question about what that guy is capable of.
ROUND 5 (Pick No. 10) - Brock Lesnar (Rosenberg)
Rosenberg's take: I'll take Brock Lesnar however I can get him, knowing that he'll likely be a part-timer. You want to see Brock Lesnar versus Kevin Owens down the road? I recognize it's part-time Brock but there's a reason he's getting the opportunities that he's getting. It's not because he doesn't get eyeballs. You can call this one a risk but when he appears, it's going to be a moment.
ROUND 6 (Pick No. 11) - Bray Wyatt (Campbell)
Campbell's take: He's making sense in his promos and he's as scary as ever. Right now, he's about to find out how good he can be. This is a steal for me. Bray Wyatt is going to do big things. He has tremendous babyface potential and he's going to be a chief protagonist against A.J. Styles down the road.
ROUND 6 (Pick No. 12) - Enzo Amore and Big Cass (Rosenberg)
Rosenberg's take: I get a great tag team to play along with The New Day and No. 2, we have no idea what the ceiling is for Enzo and Cass. The sky is the limit with Enzo. And then there's Cass. He's 7-feet tall, and you can't teach that.
ROUND 7 (Pick No. 13) - John Cena (Campbell)
Campbell's take: Cena could've been selected much higher. My roster has some workers and a lot of future here, but you need to bring those eyeballs in and have somebody who is going to work that mic and cross over. The way that John Cena is going to compliment the guys of the future on my roster is incredible.
Rosenberg's take: I considered Cena for every pick.
ROUND 7 (Pick No. 14) - Rusev (Rosenberg)
Rosenberg's take: I love this pick in this spot. I really believe that, week to week, the work this guy does is as good or better than anyone in the company. So much potential that hasn't been shown yet. And I get Lana, too.
ROUND 8 (Pick No. 15) - Finn Balor (Campbell)
Campbell's take: I'm a little worried about his size and whether his entrance will get over on the big stage. But with Finn and Styles in the same stable, we're going to do some things.
Rosenberg's take: It seems like Finn's best time to get moved up from NXT may have already passed. There are still question marks around Finn but as far as his talent level, I love him as a pick.
ROUND 8 (Pick No. 16) - Randy Orton (Rosenberg)
Rosenberg's take: This is a guy who still has a few good years left. Let's not forget, in his most recent run or two, he has been the most over he has ever been. I love getting him at this point in his career. I think the final run for him is going to be really, really fun.
Campbell's take: When you add Orton into any situation, it adds a lot of name and star power.
ROUND 9 (Pick No. 17) - The Miz (Campbell)
Campbell's take: Rosenberg forced my hand. I do need that comedic element. I need someone who can talk. And I need some Maryse on my show. I never thought one year ago that The Miz could be a top-10 pick but the guy is back.
ROUND 9 (Pick No. 18) - Bayley (Rosenberg)
Rosenberg's take: There are other women on the board that interest me, but this show is about the future. I would love to see what Bayley has. There are things about her gimmick that I still don't love, but there's something about her. The "Little Engine That Could" vibe that she puts out, I think there's potential for her to be a great babyface. I already have the best female heel woman in the company in Charlotte. I wanted to have a division that people could really get excited about.
Campbell's take: Of all the NXT stars who we question whether their gimmick in the 400-seat NXT arena can get over the same on the big stage, she's my No. 1 question. As much as she can work and you cheer for her involuntarily -- which is the essence of her character -- I still think there's a reason why she hasn't been called up yet.
ROUND 10 (Pick No. 19) - American Alpha (Campbell)
Campbell's take: I put myself in a tough spot because Rosenberg jumped out there and grabbed the New Day and Enzo and Cass. I'm taking a team that has extreme babyface potential and I do think their gimmick will get over.
ROUND 10 (Pick No. 20) - Cesaro (Rosenberg)
Rosenberg's take: You just want to add someone who can straight up work and has not reached his potential yet. There's a lot on the roster for Cesaro to fit in.
Analysis on the first 10 picks
Campbell (Rollins, Styles, Banks, Reigns, Nakamura, Wyatt, Cena, Balor, The Miz and American Alpha): While coming away with a balanced roster is the goal of any draft, you ultimately lean on one or two strengths. For me, finding a combination of strong in-ring work and superstars with the styles and looks that are more representative of where the WWE is headed (as opposed to where it has been) was paramount. In Rollins, Styles and Reigns, the potential for classic matches is unavoidable. But the addition of unique wild cards like Nakamura and Balor, and the potential of how they will mix with established stars like Cena and Wyatt was too attractive to pass up. I may have sacrificed a ratings spike up front by choosing seasoned workers over comedic talkers, but it's the unrivaled in-ring product that will give this show its identity as the names of the future continue to evolve.
Rosenberg (Charlotte, The New Day, Ambrose, Owens, Lesnar, Enzo and Cass, Rusev, Orton, Bayley and Cesaro): Monday Night Rosenberg is the show of champions, and not just because we boast all three major champions. It is the show of champions because of the quality and diversity of talent that we have. We have the best mic work in the company (The New Day). We have the best in ring work in the company (Kevin Owens and Cesaro). We have veterans (Orton) and amazing women (Bayley and Charlotte). And we have the two best tag teams in the company. We have the perfect blend of NXT and WWE bred talent. And did I mention we have the biggest draw in the business in Brock Lesnar?
Who would you have drafted next?
Campbell: Alberto Del Rio. He returned to the WWE in impeccable shape and has looked better than ever as an underrated in-ring technician. He connects with the Hispanic fan base and knows how to get over as a nasty heel. All Del Rio needs is a push that is representative of his talent, with more attention to detail in his storylines.
Rosenberg: There were several people I would have loved to have drafted. The names that kept jumping out to me, but I never pulled the trigger on, were Samoa Joe and Nikki Bella. The Joe pick would be obvious for any wrestling fan. He is arguably the best wrestler of the past decade who has not yet been on the main roster. There is so much to do with him. Nikki is a tantalizing pick because I am so curious about how she will mix in with the NXT girls and I think her and Charlotte have some potential gold. I have long maintained that she is the best physical matchup for the women's champion.
Superstar you wanted most
Campbell: Shinsuke Nakamura. In recent years, there hasn't been another NXT superstar who I've been more intrigued about to see just how well his unique mixture of talent and personality resonates on the main brand. No one else in the world has his exact charisma. But getting over to the exact level of your potential is never automatic. Considering Nakamura's style and skill set are so different from the typical WWE mold, watching him try will be interesting.