WWE have confirmed the date for its Crown Jewel spectacular in Saudi Arabia – with its annual draft also ready to begin tonight.
The blockbuster double header marks two of the company’s most significant events of the year, with a marquee match set for Crown Jewel and the Draft acting as a ‘reset’ for the rosters.
Friday night’s episode of SmackDown, airing live from Baltimore, is Night One of this year’s Draft and, if previous instalments are anything to go by, there could be a few surprises in store.
While the whole thing is, of course, part of WWE’s fictional programming, it does have a real impact on the next twelve months or so.
With many stars having been paired together for a year’s worth of storylines, battles and feuds and the vast majority of those stories explored, it’s likely some big names could be shifted around.
The ‘rules’ of the WWE Draft are that anyone and everyone is eligible to be picked, with the decisions about who goes where made ultimately by Vince McMahon – though on-screen these calls are said to be made by ‘TV executives’ from the USA Network and Fox, who air Raw and SmackDown respectively.
Raw, being a three-hour show, always gets a greater number of picks in the draft compared to the two-hour SmackDown, but it’s likely that NXT will also have talent poached as part of the shuffle.
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The Draft could result in new weekly homes for the likes of WWE Champion Big E and Universal Champion Roman Reigns, while Drew McIntyre looks a good bet for a switch having pretty much battled all the stars on Raw.
Bobby Lashley might also swap red for blue having recently lost his WWE title to the New Day member.
The WWE Draft concludes with Night Two during Monday’s Raw.
Crown Jewel, meanwhile, is to be held at the Mohammed Abdo Arena in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia on Thursday, October 21.
WWE has already confirmed that the show will be headlined by a titanic clash between Reigns and Brock Lesnar.
The company said the show is “set to be a signature event of the Riyadh Season”, with WWE’s trips to Saudi previously featuring megastars such as Goldberg, The Undertaker and Hulk Hogan.
Fans in the UK will be able to watch Crown Jewel on the WWE Network.
The WWE Draft, meanwhile, will be shown live on Friday and Monday night on BT Sport. For more details visit wwe.com
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