Less than a week before WWE Battleground 2016, theWWE Drafthappens onSmackDown Live. WWE has made several proclamations that everyone on the WWE roster is eligible. The NXT roster certainly isn't off the table, and there's no reason to think a returning star like Kurt Angle couldn't be announced onWWE SmackDown during the WWE Draft. In the build-up to the launch ofSmackDown Live and the WWE Draft, the commentary teams have discussed what it would mean for Stephanie or Shane to draft someone likeBrock Lesnar or The Undertaker—that is, a big-name Superstar who only works a few shows every year.


Since this year's drafts aren't being done by lottery, the number at which aWWE Superstar is selected directly relates to the value WWE wants theWWE Universe to place on that grappler. Vince has made it clear that Shane and Stephanie are to treat this as a war, with everything from television rating to merchandise sales determining the winner. That being the case, how valuable is The Phenom in the upcoming WWE Draft? Over the last few years, Taker has rarely appeared more than once or twice outside ofWrestleMania. With so few appearances, does it make sense for either the Raw brand or SmackDown brand to have The Undertaker on their roster?

Taker's WWE Draft history.

The first draft was heldshortly after Vince McMahon acquired World Championship Wrestling (WCW) and Extreme Championship Wrestling (ECW) and the Alliance storyline had been played out.

In 2002, Vince was runningSmackDown, while Ric Flair ranMonday Night RAW. The Rock went toSmackDown with the first overall pick, and Flair took The Undertaker as the firstMonday Night RAW draft choice of all time. Since that time, however, The Undertaker has never been affected by the draft.Between theRaw, SmackDown and the now-defunct ECW brands, there have been eight WWE drafts since the original.

Most of them have been lottery-style drafts, meaning the draft selections were determined "randomly" as opposed to a general manager making the selection. If The Undertaker is one of the WWE Superstars drafted to Monday Night RAW by Stephanie McMahon or toWWE SmackDown Live by Shane McMahon, it will be the first time since 2002 that the Dead Man has been assigned to a specific brand via the WWE Draft.

The Undertaker:Raw orSmackDown?

The WWE has credited Shane McMahon with helping to usher in the WWE's "New Era," highlighted by talent like Kevin Owens, Sami Zayn and Apollo Crews. The fact that Vince McMahon made Shane the Commissioner of the newly brandedWWE SmackDown Live, it would be reasonable to suspect that many of Shane's picks in the WWE Draft will be young, New Era talent. There's no one on the current WWE roster that is further from being a new WWE talent than The Undertaker. While the battle Undertaker and Shane had atWrestleMania 32 probably resulted in mutual respect between both men, it would make sense from a storyline perspective that Shane and Undertaker wouldn't be great co-workers, even on a limited basis.

Stephanie McMahon, on the other hand, has been given the task of being the Commissioner for the WWE's flagship program, the weekly cable juggernaut that isWWE Monday Night RAW. The Monday night staple has been around since long before the World Wrestling Federation was forced to drop the "F" and adopt WWE as its new initials. If Shane represents the New Era, then it only makes sense that Stephanie represents the Old School—and no wrestlerrepresents the WWE "old school" more than The Undertaker. While his limited schedule means he likely won't go No. 1 or No. 2 for either brand, The Undertaker seems like a logical draft choice for Stephanie McMahon and Monday Night RAW.

Where to watch the WWE Draft.

The 2016 WWE Draft will be broadcast as part ofWWE SmackDown Live on Tuesday, July 19. The show airs at 8/7c on the USA Network. Replays ofWWE SmackDown are available to stream on-demand the following day via Hulu Plus and several weeks later via the WWE Network.

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