Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Draft Thoughts

No, not that draft. I'm done dissecting the NFL Draft until after mini-camp happens. Besides, today is a Big Ben free blog. I will not discuss his rather underwhelming written statement from yesterday nor will I discuss if I think his words mean anything. Nope. Not today. Tomorrow, on the other hand, is another story as I delve into what's being asked of Ben by the commish and how I think some people are just missing the point.

Anyway, onto last night's annual WWE Draft. Eight WWE Superstars changed brands from RAW to Smackdown and vice versa last night with 12 more shifting brands via the supplemental draft this afternoon.

I've always been a big fan of the draft and like how it can very often shake things up on both of WWE's shows, and with no ECW this year, I think that the affects of this year's draft will be even more evident.

So, let's start with the wrestlers who changed brands last night.

Smackdown to RAW

1. John Morrison - This move didn't surprise me at all. Morrison is an A-list talent who's been relegated to WWE's B-show since being drafted there last year. His in-ring abilities are among the best in WWE, and he certainly has the look of a future heavyweight champion. However, with the other moves made on Monday, there's a good chance he could get lost in the shuffle. At first, I think he may be moved into a program with his old partner The Miz over the U.S. Championship. After that, I really hope he gets moved into the WWE Title picture because he's definitely one of the young guns that WWE should be building around.

2. R-Truth - I haven't seen much of R-Truth since I don't regularly watch Smackdown, but he's definitely seemed to have gotten somewhat over. I'm sure he's been moved to RAW to help with the urban demographic, but I doubt he'll be anything more than a mid-carder. I'd advocate a heel turn, but he'd probably be stuck in the mid-card as a heel, too.

3. Edge - The first of two former world champs who was moved to RAW last night, Edge will undoubtedly be a part of the main event mix along with Cena, Orton, Sheamus, Triple H, Batista, and Chris Jericho. Last night, Edge speared his old Rated-RKO partner, causing Orton to lose a number one contender's match to Batista. I don't know if this signals an Edge heel turn or not. Frankly, I'd make both Edge and Orton tweeners and have them only be out for themselves. Let the crowd cheer or boo them as it sees fit. Besides, I just like Edge on RAW better.

4. Chris Jericho - As Jericho himself Tweeted after the draft yesterday, "I've spent most of the year on Smackdown, Raw and NXT, so what's the difference?" And he's exactly right. Jericho is probably the hardest working guy on the whole WWE roster, and he just belongs on RAW. Yeah, I know he's wrestled Cena a ton of times, but I really look forward to a feud between Jericho and Orton and a continuation of Jericho's feud with Edge. And there's always the possibility, however sleight, for a Jericho face turn. That would be interesting.

RAW to Smackdown

1. Kelly Kelly - Eh, I'm not sure what to make of this. Kelly has improved leaps and bounds as a wrestler over the past 12-18 months, but she's still on the low rung of Divas with actual in-ring talent. On the other hand, she may be the prettiest Diva. It's obvious that Eve Torres passed her up big time, so maybe Kelly will get a chance to compete for the Women's Title on Smackdown. If anything, it's a fresh start for her as she's been on RAW for several years now.

2. The Big Show - I think Show has the distinction for having wrestled for RAW and Smackdown the most combined times. I would have to guess that Show will immediately be thrown into the World Title picture with Jack Swagger and, um, I guess CM Punk and Ray Misterio and, um, Kofi Kingston and maybe Christian. Or there could be yet another revival of the long standing program between Big Show and Kane/Undertaker. Whatever happens, Show will continue to be the rock of WWE - he goes about his business and doesn't have any agendas backstage.

3. Kofi Kingston - Kofi had pretty much done all he could on RAW outside of winning the WWE Title. Going to Smackdown may finally get him in the World Title mix what with the lack of legitimate contenders. Heck, there's even a chance for Kofi to become the top face on Smackdown who's not named The Undertaker. I like Kofi a lot, and I really hope he isn't relegated to a program with Drew McIntyre over the I-C Championship.

4. Christian - Captain Charisma now has the distinction of being on RAW, Smackdown, ECW and NXT all in the space of a few months. Christian is always going to be a solid mid-carder who will put on a good match and be effective as either a face or a heel. If Kofi does get involved in the main event mix, then I definitely think Christian will be vying for the Intercontinental Title before long. McIntyre could learn a few things from taking on a seasoned veteran like Christian.

Supplemental Draft

Smackdown to RAW

1. Hart Dynasty (Tyson Kidd, David Hart Smith and Natalya) - This really isn't a surprise since the tag champs are usually on RAW even though they can defend the titles on either show. They'll get better exposure on RAW, though I'm already wondering where their competition is going to come from. Memo to WWE: Please find a tag team or two for them to wrestle. And Natalya will take Kelly Kelly's place as a mid-card Diva face.

2. Goldust - It'll be good to have Goldust back on RAW, if only for nostalgic value since his time in the upper card has long since passed. I wonder if he'll be involved with Ted Dibiase's Fortunate Sons stable in some way?

3. The Great Khali - Not sure if this is even remotely significant since Khali is supposedly taking some time off. I have no use for Khali and pray to God he's kept far away from anything more than being a side show act.

4. Ezekiel Jackson - Big Zeke is currently on IR and out for probably 4-6 months. I think he was being groomed to take the next step to the upper mid-card before his injury. I'll let you know what I think about this pick when he is finally wrestling on RAW.

RAW to Smackdown

1. Cody Rhodes - This was the biggest non-surprise of the Supplemental Draft. Cody was definitely the odd man out in Legacy, so off to Smackdown with him. I can't see him being anything more than a mid-carder. Maybe he does a quiet face turn or maybe he finds himself a tag team partner. Honestly, I have no clue, and I'm going to guess neither does the WWE brass. We'll see.

2. Chavo Guerrero - Who cares? No really, who cares?

3. Hornswoggle - See above. Repeat as needed.

4. Chris Masters - See numbers 2 and 3.

5. Rosa Mendes - Turn her face, and then we'll talk about whether she's anything more than a Diva jobber.

6. MVP - Oh, how the mighty have fallen. Last year, MVP was the U.S. Champion and one of the crown jewels of RAW's draft. This year, he returns to Smackdown in the Supplemental Draft. Maybe going back to Smackdown will revive his career (a heel turn might help, too), but I fear he'll be lost in the shuffle instead of being in the title picture (I-C or World).

It's pretty obvious that RAW definitely got the best of the draft getting 2 former World/WWE champions and the current tag team champions. Yes, Smackdown did get the Big Show, but let's face it - Show doesn't carry nearly the kind of cache he did 5 years ago. Kofi and Christian are nice additions but only if they're allowed to be part of the World Title picture. Lord knows Jack Swagger needs someone to wrestle.

We'll all find out in the coming months just how much the draft really does mean. For some, it will mean fresh starts and elevated profiles. For others, it's a one way trip to jabronieville.

Anyway, check back here tomorrow or Thursday for my riveting take on whether being a dirt bag can be classified as a mental deficiency. Here's a hint: NO!



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