|What were the parameters set up by the draft?|
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So, the Cruiserweight Classic started out with 32 wrestlers in the main bracket. Of them, Johnny Gargano, Tommaso Ciampa, Rich Swann, Noam Dar, Kota Ibushi (rumored), and Gran Metalik (rumored) are all going to feature heavily on NXT. They're out. Brian Kendrick will probably go back to scavenging the post-apocalyptic landscape when he's done (read, he'll probably go back to being a trainer at the Performance Center). That subtraction leaves 25 left to go to RAW. I don't care how robust WWE wants the RAW roster to be for its extra hour; Vince McMahon is not adding 25 people for a division that probably wasn't his idea to add anyway. So, I'm going to go through each one and try to predict their fates. Warning, this is barely informed, so don't be surprised if all these picks are absolutely wrong:@tholzerman how many CWC stars will go direct to RAW after the final match airs?— Naito G1 Champ 2016 (@LUtang_Secret) July 20, 2016
- Yoshihiro Tajiri - He apparently signed back with WWE for good, so he's a lock to go to RAW.
- Drew Gulak - I think his lot in life is to anchor EVOLVE, help out at the Performance Center when he can, and keep his non-WWE related job as Chikara trainer. Nope.
- TJ Perkins - TJP, conversely, seems like he's going to get a rocket up his ass, perhaps all the way to the finals of the tournament. I can definitely see him on RAW, especially if he's gonna hit that dab all night long.
- Zack Sabre, Jr. - He feels like he could go either way. I think he's going to sign with Titan in some capacity, but I'm not sure if he's bound for NXT or RAW. I think I'll peg him for NXT for now.
- Akira Tozawa - I haven't heard any rumors whether or not he's going to sign, so I'll say no.
- Ho Ho Lun - He feels like a project to feature on EVOLVE after the tourney's over. I could be wrong, but I don't see him on RAW.
- Cedric Alexander - The reactions he got for his first round and, spoiler, his second round matches were off the charts, and Triple H took a picture with him. Signing with WWE seems like a foregone conclusion, and I think he might be one of the lucky ones to get right to RAW.
- Tony Nese - According to reports, Triple H and other WWE guys have made no secret of how much they dig Nese. He's gonna go to RAW.
- Lince Dorado - I get the feeling WWE likes him, but I also get the feeling that if they dig around about some of the stuff he's known for, it'll pass on him.
- The Bollywood Boyz - If they get brought in, my gut feeling says it'll be as a tag team in NXT.
- Tyson Dux - He's been around for awhile, so his shelf-life is pretty limited by WWE's standards. He's my bold pick for a RAW hand even if just for a year or two before McMahon forgets about the cruiserweights and scraps or downsizes the division.
- Jack Gallagher - WWE is big on quotas, and I feel it's at its limit with English/UK guys right now. Gallagher will probably get EVOLVE bookings out of this.
- Ariya Daivari, Prince Mustafa Ali, Damien Slater, Sean Maluta - I wouldn't be shocked at all if they all got developmental contracts out of this and started immediately in NXT.
- Da Mack, Raul Mendoza, Alejandro Saez, Jason Lee, Fabian Richner, Clement Petiot, Anthony Bennett - I wouldn't be shocked if they got signed and then got stashed away in the Performance Center for varying lengths of time before being reintroduced into the general population.
Again, these picks aren't insider picks, so I may have the beats wrong here. But if I'm right then that means RAW will get an infusion of five of the above cruiserweights (Tajiri, Perkins, Alexander, Nese, Dux) when the smoke clears.
You're insane. This idea is one that seems cool at first, but like with everything WWE does when the cameras rolling, the brand split is just another story, and to endanger the ratings of TWO shows, especially by putting one on a poisonous network where wrestling has not really worked before, would be business suicide.@tholzerman If WWE really wanted to sell this brand split idea, I think they should run Smackdown on SyFy on Mondays. Am I nuts? #TweetBag— Star of Savage (@StarOfSavage) July 20, 2016
Since I named the five I think are going to go up to RAW in the prior CWC question, I'll pick six that I want to come up with this question:@tholzerman pick 6 cruiserweights from the CWC not already signed or affiliated w/ NXT to join Raw.— Sean Orleans (@SeanOrleans) July 20, 2016
- Akira Tozawa - Apollo Crews needs a friend. I know he got drafted to Smackdown, but WWE can pull off a trade to get Crews on the flagship and be Tozawa's heavy.
- Cedric Alexander - In addition to thinking he will get there, I so want Alexander to get the shot on the big stage. Ring of Honor didn't know what it had with him, and I think he can do a lot of work on a big stage, especially one focused on in-ring work like the cruiserweight division.
- Clement Petiot - Since Ryback's never gonna be back in WWE, might as well sign his Mini-Me version. He really impressed me with his match against Alexander, and he'd be a great bully for the division.
- Da Mack - Seriously, he would be the most popular person on the roster within minutes. Plus, he could easily be Enzo Amore and Big Cass's foreign exchange partner.
- Zack Sabre, Jr. - RAW really needs to be introduced to the #grapplefuck.
- Jack Gallagher - I admit, I'm picking a guy I've never seen wrestle before, but he comes with good grades, and he's got a great vibe about him. He might make the Vaudevillains obsolete (although WWE booking already got a good jump on doing that), but he'd legitimately be interesting to watch.