The dates for the upcoming WWE Draft have been officially announced as RAW and SmackDown Superstars get ready for the annual shake-up.
The WWE Draft is set to take place this year on the 1st and 4th of October with the company confirming those dates on Monday Night RAW.
The event kicks off on SmackDown on the 1st of October before concluding on the following episode of RAW three days later. Andrew Zarian of The Mat Men Podcast recently reported that these would be the new dates for the draft after it had apparently been postponed from September.
This will be the third year in a row that the WWE Draft has taken place in October with last year’s event held on the 9th and 12th of October. That year’s draft saw The New Day split as Kofi Kingston and Xavier Woods headed to RAW leaving Big E on SmackDown. AJ Styles and Bray Wyatt also joined the red brand while SmackDown gained Seth Rollins, Kevin Owens, and Bianca Belair.
The draft began after the first brand split in 2002 when Vince McMahon took control of SmackDown leaving the company’s flagship show in the hands of Ric Flair. The very first draft pick in WWE history was McMahon picking The Rock for the blue brand much to the chagrin of The Undertaker who was then drafted to RAW by his then-rival Flair.
In 2005, a memorable WWE Draft saw WWE Champion John Cena leave SmackDown behind and head to be the face of RAW. That draft took place over several weeks, leaving SmackDown without a champion. General Manager Teddy Long held a tournament to crown the first-ever SmackDown heavyweight Champion but that title never came to fruition as SmackDown drafted World Heavyweight Champion Batista on the very last night of that draft.