With the WWE concluding their two-night draft this past Friday and Monday, it's fair to say that many Superstars are heading towards greener pastures as they get settled on their new brand. One particular Superstar, Bianca Belair, has been waiting for a moment like the draft to make a name for herself.
In a past interview, Bubba Ray Dudley (Bully Ray) has gone on record calling Belair a future star in the making. During his interview on WWE's The Bump, Dudley was quite happy to see Belair be picked up by SmackDown during the second round on Friday. He believes that in order for Belair to shine in an already deep women's division on the blue brand, all she has to do is be herself and change nothing about her presence.
"There's only one thing Bianca Belair needs to do - be Bianca Belair," Dudley commented. "All she has to do is do what Mr. Perfect did 30 years ago, which was to be Mr. Perfect. All she has to do is just be Bianca Belair. She truly is the 'EST'; I mean, she is the total package when it comes to a wrestler. Forget about a female wrestler or a male wrestler - she's an athlete first. She's a superior athlete. She's got a great look. She's got great gear. She's awesome on the microphone and in the ring. She's just going to get better and better. She is the female version of Mr. Perfect."
It's extremely crucial for general managers to chose wisely about which Superstars they want to represent their brand. Dudley explained to the panel what strategies he'd have in place if he was put in these GM's shoes.
"If I was making the picks, in the world of sports entertainment, I'd probably look for the best storytellers and the best speakers first," he began. "Good wrestlers - we know we got that. It's the WWE; it's on top of the food chain. I want to build a company around athletes and talents that I can dive deep into - that I can see a character in.
"It's easy for a wrestling fan to respond to a wrestling move - a superkick, a 450, and RKO, what have you. But I don't want fans to respond to a move. I want them to respond to the performer, the talent, the athlete who is doing the move. If I'm a GM and I'm making my picks, I'm looking for depth of personality. I'm looking for guys and gals that I can get into, that I want to love and I want to hate. I want someone I can invest my emotions into."
For the past month, SmackDown has teased the WWE Universe with the pairing of Alexa Bliss and "The Fiend" Bray Wyatt. Now that this dynamic duo is one and the same, they will be heading over to represent the RAW brand for the time being. Dudley finds their paring to be superb, but also horrifying.
"This is the WWE's version of the Joker and Harley Quinn. The sky's the limit," he replied. "Listen, last night on Monday Night, I was watching the show, and I saw them looking at each other and hooking the double Sister Abigails. Bang! That was it.
"You know, we always talk in the WWE about WrestleMania moments. Monday Night with The Fiend and Alexa Bliss looking deep into each other's eyes, it was like a sick romantic moment between the two of them. That moment stole the three hours for me. It told me everything I needed to know."
Now that SmackDown has Seth Rollins joining the blue brand, as well as having Sami Zayn and Daniel Bryan staying put there too, Dudley believes that Universal Champion Roman Reigns will find himself up against his toughest opponents yet. He thinks the "Tribal Chief" will have a lot more challengers knocking on his door for title opportunities very soon.
"Any one of those names can," he answered. "I'm not trying to take the easy way out, [but] any one of those names could give Roman Reigns a run for his money. But I'll tell you what, it's going to be difficult now because Roman is now where he needs to be mentally. I've been waiting for this for a long, long time. He finally knows and believes in his head that he is the Tribal Chief.
"What I've appreciated since we've seen Roman and Heyman kind of side by side is that Roman isn't letting Paul do all of the talking for him. I love hearing from Roman. It's like the world of sports entertainment and pro-wrestling has hardened for Roman Reigns. I think he believes for the first time that this is his yard."
Concluding his final thoughts about the draft, Dudley was very impressed with all the top-tier picks SmackDown made. In fact, he accepts the fact that the Friday night lineup may be the best division out of the two brands.
"When it comes to the draft, nothing really surprises me," he noted. "I've been through this since 2002, so nothing really surprises me. To me it's not about individuals when it comes to the draft because the opportunity is there across the board. To me it's about the strength of the roster.
"If I had to look at the two rosters right now, I'm going to give the edge to SmackDown. It's just how I see it. I think a lot of people out there in the WWE Universe might be feeling the same way. All I care about is this - when I'm parked in front of my television on Monday nights at 8 o'clock, I want those three hours to knock my socks off. The same goes for Friday nights. I'm happy to say that happens to me every single Wednesday night on NXT."
You can watch Bubba Ray Dudley's full interview above. If you use any of the quotes in this article, please credit WWE's The Bump with a h/t to Wrestling Inc. for the transcription.