I’m Chris Hyatt, and I’m back with the Mop-Up, this time we’re covering the 2022 World of Wrestling Draft!
Hours prior to the draft, Megan Mouse released a news statement indicating that the EWA had been rebranded as All Elite Wrestling and BWM Inc. was finally under her full control as Benny Mouse remains MIA. And in an immediate contrast to her father, Megan Mouse was present on the floor – unlike Benny, who sent Rob Amick to the draft as a proxy.
In what could be considered her first “win” of the night, Megan talked the PWI into agreeing to expanding the draft from 15 exemptions with 30 rounds to 20 exemptions with 50 rounds. She then won the coin toss, and the right to the first selection.
AEW Exemptions: Cody Rhodes / Grand Daddy Duxen / Randy Orton / The Brothers Metal / ‘The Bastard’ Pac / Ronda Rousey / Miss Athena Star / Sasha Banks / AJ Lee / Charlotte Flair / Armageddon / Sammy Guevara / Rey Mysterio / Chyna / Asuka / Living Dead Girl / AJ Styles / Chris Jericho / Goldust / The Young Bucks
PWI Exemptions: Brandon Lee / Angelina Love / The Undisputed Era / Pretty Worthy / Matt Taven / Mandy Rose / Teo / Attitude / Beth Phoenix / The Harlem Turtles / Scott Nash / Dragonfly / Alexa Bliss / Slammer / MJF / The Fiend / FRED / Christian / Shayna Baszler / Naomi
In terms of draft exemptions, nothing too surprising in terms of the superstars selected from either side. What is surprising, however, are some notable superstars left off the exemption lists, but we’ll get to all that. Rumors began circulating immediately that Megan Mouse really wanted to sign a talent that was left on the PWI exemption list; she reportedly told several sources with knowledge of her thinking that she was willing to make some big changes to the traditional BWM Inc. roster in order to help sell the re-branding efforts.
In her first pick of the night, Megan picked Nyla Rose, indicating that she would perhaps model this year’s draft after last year in focusing on the women. The PWI immediately countered with Paige; a great selection if the focus is the be again on the women.
In her first curveball of the night, Megan Mouse selected Vader, perhaps signaling that she wasn’t as focused on the women’s roster as previous era drafts. That didn’t stop the PWI from selecting former Knockouts Champion Ember Lee, who was one of the EWA’s most featured in the division.
Megan Mouse then selected Alistair Black, which left some of my sources scratching their heads. Don’t get me wrong, Black is a tremendous talent and has unlimited potential, but to date he (and The House of Black) have played second fiddler to bigger, more established acts like the Wyatt Family. Rob Amick was at the draft, and it’s said that at this point he was furious that Megan was taking so many risks in such a pivotal part of the draft. The PWI countered with Seth Rollins, indicating that they too were willing to place big bets on unestablished talent. (And who are we kidding, if you’re an unestablished talent, where are you more likely going to better make a name for yourself? I have a ton of criticisms about the PWI, but I will give them credit for their willingness to push new talent…)
To kick of the fourth round picks, Megan selected Roman Reigns, who had an impressive showing in the PWI last season before sputtering out towards the final stretch. In the first massive pick up of the night, the PWI selected CM Punk (who was previously a top exemption for Benny Mouse.) If the goal was for Megan to prove that she isn’t her father, she did so by letting Punk go.
…only for Megan to come back with her fifth pick, and what I’m calling the “Pickup of the Night.” Brock Lesnar is ALL ELITE, BAY-BAY! The Beast Incarnate is coming to BWM Inc. for the first time in his career! Now I’m not going to claim to know exactly what went through the minds of PWI executives, but I heard A LOT of swearing coming from that end as Lesnar was somehow left from the exempted superstars. As PWI tried to spin this devastating loss by referring to their previous pick, Megan was said to be dismissive and is quoted as saying “I know who I left on the floor and why.” The PWI was able to counter by bringing Becky Lynch back, which will likely prove to be a ratings success. Is it on the same level as Brock Lesnar? I’ll leave that to you to ponder.
Megan turned her focus back to the women, selecting former PWI Women’s Champion and BWM Inc alum Natalya. The PWI selected Krusader Batman, who was moved from the inactive roster to the draft by Megan Mouse as “bait,” sources say.
Rounding out the first ten rounds, Megan selected the Masked Phenom, Samoa Joe, Jon Moxley, and Proud and Powerful, Santana and Ortiz. The PWI picked of Finn Balor, Bayley Rhyno, and Sabu. I’d call it an even swap, and definitely helps as the HCW looks to bring home some OGs for next season. It’s around this point that we realize Ted Brown and his HCW lackeys are draftable. Some advisors to Megan pleaded with her to bust up this obvious storyline in the making form her competitor, but she refused to let anyone have her ear or change her mind.
In rounds 11 to 15, Megan focused on tag teams, retaining the Bludgeon Brothers Luke Harper and Eric Rowan as her first “saves” of the night, followed by former PWI World Champion Kurt Angle. She then retained the Authors of Pain, brought the Samoan Connection back to BWM Inc., and retained Ruby Riott. The PWI retained Season Olson, picked up Rhea Ripley, Kevin Owens, retained Karrion Kross, and acquired Kofi Kingston.
Megan would turn her attention to the women for rounds 16-19, picking up PWI’s Britt Baker, followed by The Allure, Nikki Cross, and Nia Jax. PWI countered with Lita, Gail Kim, Bianca Bel Air and Trish Stratus. In her 20th pick, Megan selected American Alpha, and PWI picked up a sneaky selection by re-uniting the Bella Twins, drafting them both despite the fact they worked for both organizations. Nikki Bella was the first Knockout’s Champion of the era, and is one of four women to have held the title.
Mouse would follow that up by picking up Daniel Bryan, retaining Taya Valkerie and Kalisto, and rounded out the first half of the draft by selecting the Natural Disasters. It was around this point that some PWI officials begin showing increasing concerns about the so-called ‘raiding of the tag division.’ The PWI countered with Dakota Kai, Raven and the Big Show (because, you know, they were in the same room once), Ted Brown, Blade, and Jesse Hash. This marks the first time Hash will work under the MMouse Enterprises banner. I’m very excited to see how that goes. The fan in me should note that it’s perhaps an interesting indicator about the importance of the HCW moving forward, as Ted Brown seemed to be almost an afterthought for the PWI. Either way, the HCW boys are in tact, unlike myself. Sadly. MOM YOU MADE THEM CUT THE TIP OF MY PENIS, WHO THE FUCK DOES THAT TO A BABY?!? …but I digress.
Megan fired back by retaining Bane, before going on a string of pickups with Candice LaRae, The Elite, the Legion of Doom, and the ever-promising Kairi Sane. PWI rounded out the top 30 with Kaitlyn, Johnny Gargano, Drew McIntyre, Lace Evans, and Bobby Lashley. It should be noted that Megan requested to draft LaRae with her husband Gargano, but the request was ultimately shut down.
AEW’s Bottom 20: Buddy Murphy / Braun Strowman / Ricohet / Bret Hart / The Macho Man / Andrade / The Outsiders / Mystico / Victoria / Gran Metalik / Sarah Logan / Rusev / Abyss / Sherri Martell / The Legion of Maniacs / Ted DiBiase Jr / Io Sharai / Lex Luger / Sonya Deville / The IIconics
PWI’s Bottom 20: Mark Henry / Big E / Dolph Ziggler / The Duct Tape Men / The Revival / The Street Profits / The Hollys / The Usos / Liv Morgan/ The Rock / RVD / Ghostrider / Luna Vachon / Maniac / Edge / Alundra Blayze / R-Truth / Terminator / Phobe
On the AEW side, we saw a mixture of young talent with new. With the selections of the Legion of Maniacs and the Legion of Doom, Megan Mouse was able to acquire the entirety of the House of Black. Victoria is a veteran and will be a good addition to the women’s roster, which is noticeably trimmer than in years prior. That said, Io Sharai was a major pick-up. On the PWI side, we saw the company spend a significant effort to salvage some of its tag division, with some big pickups of legends towards the end. It’ll be interesting to see what happens with the likes of Terminator and Phobe, and were previously not eligible to be drafted.
Following the draft, Megan Mouse entered into heated negotiations to sign MJF, who was listed as a top PWI exemption. Ultimately, the PWI agreed to trade MJF for Grand Daddy Duxen and the Young Bucks! This is the first time such a trade has been made post-draft for an exempt talent. Sources on the ground say Duxen was exempted primarily to facilitate a trade.
Additionally, the EWA traded Io Shirai for Johnny Gargano, reuniting the latter with his wife Candace LaRae.
We asked Megan Mouse for a comment following the draft. Mouse said that the draft went better than her wildest expectations, and that she felt on top of the world following the biggest draft in years. She also promised more updates soon!