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Raw Results - 6/11/07 - Wilkes Barre, PA (2007 WWE Draft & more)

Reported by Hunter Golden of WrestleView.com
On Monday, June 11, 2007 at 11:56 PM EST

WWE RAW
June 11, 2007
Wilkes Barre, PA
Commentators: Jim Ross & Jerry “The King” Lawler
Reported By: Hunter Golden of WrestleView.com


Mr. McMahon popped up on the TV screen not being exactly ‘with it’. Tonight will be Mr. McMahon ‘appreciation night’. The loss of his title has had an effect on his psyche, but he reassured us he had control over his faculties. He said tonight we would hear from people who had had experiences with him throughout the years. He said tonight would be the defining moment of his life. He looked at the camera gingerly before the opening credits hit.

JR and King welcomed us to the show before handing it over to Smackdown announcers JBL and Michael Cole who ran over the draft stipulation. Each match will dictate which brand gets to make a draft choice. When they get the pick, the pick will be made at random and anyone, champions included, are eligible to be drafted. Also, one brand could accumulate more draft choices than another brand.

It’s time to kick things off with Raw’s Champion taking on the Smackdown Champion.

John Cena (Raw) v. Edge (Smackdown)

The two ducked under blows before Cena gained the upper hand and hit his Irish whip into a suplex combo for a quick one count. Cena bullied Edge to the corner and hit some back elbows before another whip attempt was made. Cena went to follow it up but Edge moved out of the way and came bounding off the ropes and hit Cena with a clothesline off the recoil. Edge hit some punches before capping it off with a big right hand and a cover attempt.

Edge grabbed a headlock. Cena managed to fend it off briefly before Edge hit him with a throat thrust and tossed the WWE Champion to the outside like a sack of potatoes. Cena caught a shoulder thrust to the mid section and a sunset flip on his way back into the ring before Edge sucker punched him after kicking out to maintain his advantage. Edge choked Cena out a little bit before bringing him out of the corner and hitting a nasty heel kick for a two count.

Edge jaw jacked with the referee for a little too long and Cena almost connected with the FU. Edge wiggled out and clocked Cena with a boot to the face before slowing things down with a reverse chin lock. Cena carried the weight well and was able to power out of the hold and almost snag the STFU. Edge reached the ropes and was able to punt Cena in the face to daze the champion. The World Heavyweight Champion went for a cover before trying to exchange shots with Cena in the middle of the ring. That’s dumb. Cena of course, gained the advantage and connected with a snap mare to turn the tables a bit.

Cena connected with two shoulder blocks and his inverted suplex. He signaled for the five knuckle shuffle before Edge got up and looked for a spear. Cena side stepped the Smackdown champ as Edge flew to the floor. The Champ followed Edge out to the ringside area and cleared out the announce table. Cena looked for an FU on the ring steps but Edge was able to rake the eyes and wiggle back into the ring. Cena was dazed for a second and that hindered him from getting into the ring on time. It’s a count out victory for Smackdown.

Winner: Edge (Smackdown) via count out

The draft annoying buzzer thing went off and our first draft pick is:

Smackdown pick: The Great Khali

Khali came out to the ring and Edge looked like he was going to cry.

****Commercial****

JR and King reviewed the last draft pick, The Great Khali, whose heading to Smackdown now.

A video aired putting over Vince McMahon’s accomplishments as an announcer. Former Minnesota Governor Jesse Ventura showed up and talked about how much fun it was to not call Vince “Mr.” McMahon. Jesse said he was befuddled as to why this night was happening.

Coach said Mr. McMahon had informed him that Vengeance would be a ‘night of champions’ where every match would be a title match. He said the main event would be a WWE title challenge. Any former WWE Champion would be eligible to challenge John Cena for the title. Oooh Goody.

Carlito v. CM Punk is next!

****Commercial****

Carlito (Raw) v. CM Punk (ECW)

The two immediately locked it up and Carlito bullied Punker to the corner before slapping him.; Punk returned a kick to Carlito’s face and hit a barrage of knees to Carlito’s face. Punker looked for the knee lift but Carlito caught him and reversed him in the corner and hit some shoulder thrusts.

Punk fought back and hit a knee lift to the face but got killed with a drop kick to the mid section as he came flying off the top rope with an axe handle. Carlito put the boots to Punk before hitting a running drop kick in the corner for a two count. Carlito nailed Punk in the mid section with some punches and then slapped on the good old body scissors.

Carlito cinched in the hold as Punk used the crowd to rally out of the hold. Punk reversed the hold into a Boston Crab, but Carlito quickly reached the ropes. Punk hit a flying lariat for a two count before ducking under a Carlito right hand and hitting a round house kick to the back of Carlito’s head. Punker again went for a cover and Carlito again kicked out.

Punk hit some Muy Thai knees to Carlito’s face, the knee lift, but Carlito tossed Punk into the corner and hit the back snapper off the rebound. Carlito gathered Punk from the outside of the ring and covered him but Punk again kicked out. Carlito was none too pleased with the perceived slow count. His momentary lapse was all CM Punk needed as Carlito quickly found himself on top of Punk’s shoulders for Go 2 Sleep. Three seconds later, this one is over.

Winner: CM Punk (ECW) via pin fall

ECW wins the next pick!

ECW Pick: The Boogeyman (Smackdown)

Mr. McMahon appreciation night continued with Snoop Dog talking about absolutely nothing. It doesn’t matter because it’s Snoop Dog. If It’s Snoop Dog, it’s cool. So therefore, Snoop talking about nothing is cool. He called McMahon an A-hole and that was that.

****Commercial****

Another video aired putting over the ‘lack’ of character on the part of Mr. McMahon. A great highlight reel of Vince kicking one legged people, cheating on his wife, unjustly firing people and beating his daughter aired. I love Vince. It was capped off with Vince’s legendary Royal Rumble victory and his screwing over of Bret Hart.

Mick Foley’s music hit and here comes the hardcore legend. He said under normal circumstances, the words of Coach do little to interest him. He said tonight was no different until he heard about Coach talking about an open WWE Championship match. He said it occurred to him that he was a former WWE champion and he’d be eligible for the match. He said given the fact that Vince re-hired him last spring, he was a member of the Raw roster and he said was officially announcing that he was a part of the open WWE Championship match should he survive the draft.

He said speaking of Vengeance, he wanted to talk about a guy who thrived on Vengeance, Mr. McMahon. He said Vince affected the lives of everyone In the back and at home. He said Vince had so much power to do so much good but had he really? Foley gave him some credit. He called him a super patriot. He said he had money, power but deep down, Vince was also an arrogant, misogynistic evil-doer who enjoyed doing terrible things to people. He said Vince had money and power, but did he have any real friends? Foley got his cheap pop in asking fans if Vince had any real friends. Foley listed off the people who were asked to participate in Vince appreciation night but declined because Vince wasn’t worth their time. He said they did not appreciate Vince McMahon.

Foley said he couldn’t say it any better himself. He told everyone to “Have a Nice Day!” and left.

****Commercial****

Balls Mahoney (ECW) v. Umaga (Raw)

Oh this is gonna be brutal. Umaga kicked Balls in the face who is already quivering on the mat. Umaga picked up Balls and killed him with a spike. Uh, wow, that was quick.

Winner: Umaga (Raw) via pin fall

Umaga wins pretty quickly and Raw gets the next pick.

Raw Draft pick: King Booker (Smackdown)

I just marked. A real king. On the show I recap. Wow.

****Commercial****

Steve-O was next up on Mr. McMahon appreciation. Steve-O said he was ready for Vince. Uh oh.

Lashley (ECW) v. Chris Benoit (SD)

Wow, did Benoit get a pop.

The two circled it up and Lashley immediately grabbed a takedown. The two exchanged some counters before Lashley planted Benoit onto the mat with a spine buster but Benoit, like a freakin’ tick, stuck to Lashley. Benoit was looking for an arm bar, but Lashley held it off.

The two broke up the love fest on the mat before the two locked horns again and again, Lashley got another take down. Lashley maintained a dominant position but couldn’t use it because Benoit was working so well off his back. Lashley shot on Benoit again and spine-bustered him to the mat again for a one count but Benoit again popped out and grabs an arm bar. Lashley fought out of the hold and Benoit began firing away with his usually stiff arsenal.

Lashley hammered away on Benoit in the corner and body slammed Benoit and managed another one count. Lashley went right back to a front face lock, obviously trying to use his size to his advantage, as slamming Benoit was doing much for him. Benoit powered out of the hold on his own and laid in some nasty chops and boots in the corner before taking the big man into the middle of the ring and hitting a snap suplex for a two count.

Lashley fought back with some strikes and went for the Canadian back breaker, but Benoit countered out and went for the cross face. Lashley powered Benoit up for the Canadian back breaker again and this time connected for the two count. Benoit came right back with chops and Lashley came roaring back with clubbing blows of his own before burying Benoit in the corner with a running shoulder thrust. Lashley looked for a spear, but Benoit countered and clamped on the cross face. Lashley barely made it to the ropes to a chorus of boos from the crowd. Wow, is Benoit over in PA.

Benoit countered again on Lashley but Lashley powered out of the attempt and powered up Benoit for the dominator. Benoit wiggled out into his rolling Germans and connected with all three. Wow, great match so far. Benoit went for more Germans but Lashley fought out and went for another charge in the corner but got caught with another boot. Benoit went for the sharpshooter a second time and sat in with it. Lashley looked like he was going to cry.

Lashley powered out of the hold and flung Benoit into the ropes before catching Benoit with a mean power slam for the win.

Winner: Bobby Lashley (ECW) via pin fall

ECW wins the next pick and it is…..

ECW Pick #2: Chris Benoit (SD)

Benoit got up and stared down Lashley before shaking hands with each other.

Donald Trump was up in front of a camera for Mr. McMahon appreciation night and as you can imagine, he laid into Vince pretty bad. He said Vince was completely pathetic.

****Commercial****

Oh look, It’s suspended Ashley. She said she was upset about being suspended but wanted to thank Vince for starting the Diva Search. Of course, she regretted spilling the coffee on Mr. McMahon. What is she talking about? Boobies? Unique relationships? Ashley introduced Mae Young and Moolah who came out and barked like dogs. WTF is going on?

Santino Marella v. MVP is next.

****Commercial****

YES YES YES YES YEEEEEEEEEESSSSSSSSS Iron Sheik on RAW!!!!!!!!!

Santino Marella (Raw) v. MVP (SD)

Santino shot in on MVP who was able to grab a gut wrench suplex on Marella. Marella responded with a side throw and some hip tosses. He went for a monkey flip in the corner before getting clotheslined out of his boots by Porter, who came flying off the ropes with a lariat.

MVP pressed his advantage slapping on a good old cravat on Marella. Marella began firing back with some punches to the gut before exchanging kicks. MVP won the exchange and hit a snap mare for a quick one count. MVP began laying into Marella with some cross faces before ripping and tearing at the Italian Intercontinental Champion Marella’s face. Marella used the crowd to rally himself and tossed MVP aside and hit a nice second rope shoulder block.

Marella slammed MVP’s head into the turnbuckles before Marella hit another running shoulder block for a two count. Santino kept up the heat and looked for a two count but the US Champ kicked out. MVP caught Marella on his shoulders and let him simply drop to the canvas.

MVP hit a knee to the face but Marella caught the kick and powered MVP down to the canvas for the two count. Marella connected with some forearms before striking MVP into the corner attempting a whip. The two exchanged reversals before MVP won the affair and followed up with a nasty boot to the face of Marella.

MVP loaded Marella up and nailed him with his finisher for the win.

Winner: MVP (Smackdown) via pin fall

The pick is….

Smack down’s #2 pick: Torrie Wilson

Jeez, Smackdown’s getting killed tonight.

****Commercial****

Bret Hart was in the gym and said it was hard for him to find the right words to express his appreciation for Vince. Bret said the best thing to do would be to give him one of these (shows a fist) and the only thing that would be better would be another one (shows a second fist). He told Vince to f-off. Yes.

The Miz (Smackdown) v. Snitsky (ECW)

Well, looks like ECW’s getting another pick.

Snitsky bullied Miz into the corner before Miz fought out and hit some blows to keep it fun. Miz looked for a high cross body block before Snitsky killed him with a power slam into the buckles upside down. Snitsky began punting away at the Miz in the corner before dumping him out and body slamming him hard for a two count.

Snitsky hit a brutal lariat and then smiled for us all showing us his lovely, yellow teeth. Snitsky wandered around I guess then covered Miz for the win.

Winner: Snitsky (ECW) via pin fall

Snitsky went in and murdered Miz for a little while longer before the referee reversed the decision.

Winner: The Miz via DQ

Smackdown gets the next pick:

Smackdown #3 pick: Chris Masters

Up next, I guess it’s Bobby Heenan time. Heenan credited Vince with putting more people to work than anyone in pro wrestling but also putting the most people out of work. Heenan said that McMahon walked funny due to either having the biggest ‘set’ ever or he was really chaffed.

Rowdy Roddy Piper is next.

****Commercial****

Piper came out and showed us all our favorite moments of Vince with feces and genetallia. On behalf of the WWE wrestling audience, Piper said we all really did appreciate him for what he really is.

Looks like it’s Krystal v. Candice next.

****Commercial****

Dallas Maverick’s owner Mark Cuban showed up and called Vince an entrepreneur.

This Wednesday at noon, there’ll be a supplemental draft. Here go the lower mid card guys.

Candice Michelle (Raw) v. Krystal (Smackdown)

Krystal hit a kick to the gut and spiked Candice’s face off the mat before grabbing her leg and dropping an elbow across it. Candice fought out with a wheel kick and clothes lining the smack down diva. Candice hit a knee to Krystal’s gut and hit her back snap back breaker. Candice hit the Go-Daddy elbow for a two count.

The two skirmished a bit in the middle of the ring before Candice nailed Krystal with a boot in the face and choked her out upside down in the ropes. Krystal fought back with some forearms in the face until Candice killed her with a drop kick to the face. That’s all she wrote.

Winner: Candice Michelle (Raw) via pin fall

Raw wins the next draft pick.

Raw #2 pick: Bobby Lashley

Wow, that’s a big one. Coach’s music hit and he came out to the ramp. He cut Bobby off and told him that he needed to speak with him. He congratulated him on being drafted to Raw. He said he just came from Mr. McMahon’s office and per Mr. McMahon’s orders, he could no longer be the ECW World Champion. Coach stripped Lashley of the ECW World Championship. Wow. Coach pleaded with Lashley to hand the title over to him. Lashley looked around in disdain before handing over the title.

Lashley grabbed Coach and said they may have retrieved their title and he was a real champion. He’d prove it on Raw.

Bob Costas showed up and said he was angry with Vince for passing him over for the WWE announce table. Costas says he gets stopped all the time to talk about the interview where he verbally kicked Vince’s butt on HBO. He said for that, in spite of himself, he appreciated Mr. McMahon.

****Commercial****

John Cena is driving race cars.

Triple Threat Match
Jeff Hardy (Raw) v. Elijah Burke (ECW) v. Batista (Smackdown)


Even if Batista’s drafted, he still has his shot against Edge. Looks like Batista will probably get drafted.

The three sized each other up before Hardy chased Burke to the outside and tossed him in the ring for Batista to chomp. Batista picked him up and killed him with a power slam before Jeff Hardy broke up the count.

Batista bum rushed Jeff in the corner and killed him with a few shoulder thrusts before taking his head off with a lariat. He set up for the Batista bomb but Hardy countered with a hurricanranna. Batista eventually caught Hardy and went for the power slam but Hardy hit whisper in the wind. Hardy hit the Swanton and went for the cover but Burke yanked him off in the nick of time.

Burke capitalized and went for a cover before dropping some boots and elbows on the animal, trying to maintain his advantage. Burke clotheslined Hardy before drop kicking Batista to the outside of the ring. Hardy connected with a body slam on Burke before launching himself over the top rope and to the floor. Hardy hit a cork screw and drop kick in the corner before looking for another Swanton bomb but missed.

Batista turned Hardy inside out before he gathered Burke and loaded up for a Batista bomb and dropping him on the back of his head. That’s that.

Winner: Batista via pin fall

Smackdown wins yet another pick.

Smackdown #4 draft pick: Ric Flair

Flair came out and strutted around on the ramp for fun and then went to the back.

Capt. Lou Albano showed up looking pretty skinny. Capt. Lou ran his mouth and told us all Vince was still a Punk little kid. He said he was a legend in his own mind often imitated but never duplicated. Fun stuff from the cap.

****Commercial****

The announcers went down their draft picks.

Dusty Rhodes came out to the ramp and lisped for us all. He talked about Dreaming and vis-ions. He said no matter who he stepped on or who he pushed aside.. Even how many families he put out of work, he said until he built a temple that we celebrated tonight, he wouldn’t stop. He ran down Vince some more before saying we didn’t have to like him or the mentality he brought to the industry. He said the one thing we all needed to do was respect him. The crowd boo’d. That didn’t work out too well I suppose.

It’s a battle royal for the final two draft picks.

****Commercial****

15 man Battle Royal
Chavo Guererro, Mark Henry, Chris Masters, William Regal (SD), Matt Hardy (SD), Kevin Thorne (ECW), Marcus Cor Von (ECW), The Sandman (ECW), Tommy Dreamer (ECW), Matt Striker (ECW), Johnny Nitro (Raw), Viscera (Raw), Eugene (Raw), Randy Orton (Raw), Kenny Dykstra (Raw)


Everyone went nuts and here we go for the last two draft picks in the draft. Here’s your order of elimination. BTW, we’ll DEFINITELY get a tri-brand brawl after this.

1. Matt Striker (by Matt Hardy)
2. Sandman (by Mark Henry)
3. William Regal (by Viscera)
4. Chavo Guererro (by Mark Henry)
5. Tommy Dreamer (by Mark Henry)
6. Kevin Thorne (by Mark Henry)
7. Viscera (by Mark Henry)

I love the Mark Henry human tossing contest.

****Commercial****

8. Kenny (by Eugene)
9. Eugene (by Randy Orton)
10. Marcus Cor Von (by Matt Hardy)
12. Johnny Nitro (by Randy Orton)
13. Chris Masters (by Matt Hardy)
14. Mark Henry (by Randy Orton & Matt Hardy)
15. Matt Hardy (by Randy Orton)

Winner: Randy Orton

Raw gets the last two picks:

Raw Draft pick #3: Snitsky (ECW)

Raw Draft pick #4: Mr. Kennedy (Smackdown)

****Commercial****

Steve Austin got on the camera and did his usual McMahon is trash thing.

The main event for Vengeance has been announced:

WWE Championship
John Cena v. Randy Orton v. King Booker v. Mick Foley v. Lashley

Mr. McMahon’s music hit and he came out to the ring.

McMahon stood around looking crazy before thanking everyone. He dropped the mic and just stared off into space with a weird smile on his face. He went to leave the ring and I guess that’s it. Vince walked up the ramp and into the back where there were a bunch of superstars in the back looking at him rather odd. After walking the wrong way in the back Coach turned him in the right direction. He ran across Jerry Briscoe and Patt Patterson before walking out the door and looking to the sky.

He turned outside with a smile before his smile turned to a snear. He went to open his limo door and got in quietly and closed the door. The car blew up. What the f_ck was that all about? Ladies and gentleman… wrestle-crap history.

RAW THOUGHTS

Show Thoughts-- Well the draft show tonight was LONG. I just feel like it went a little TOO long. The matches determining the picks were pretty good for the most part. Having Umaga and Snitsky squashes, while fun, don’t really do much to build drama or tension.

Edge-Cena is easily one of their not so great outings in my book. While Edge brought the hellish fun, Cena didn’t look like he was too into anything and none of the cheating or hate really built. The ending was cute, and protected both, but was a shade underwhelming.

Punk-Carlito was fun for what it was but man oh man is Carlito all about the MOVES. He just moves from spot to spot with really no rhyme nor reason. Punk more or less carried any energy the match had.

Lashley-Benoit was easily the match of the night but man oh man does Ashley’s being drafted off ECW sort of fry my hide. Even Snitsky leaving kind of gets me as there’s just not much depth to the show. The match however, was pretty great and highlighted both men’s strengths well. Easily the best match of the night.

MVP-Marella was far better than I figured it to be although Santino is another guy, like Carlito and Jeff Hardy, who just seems to move from spot to spot without any build or any real genuine sense of emotion. Wrestling is all about creating drama and Santino just doesn’t do it. MVP I could watch all day.

Candice Michelle is really my front runner for the most improved wrestler in the WWE right now. She dragged Krystal kicking and screaming to a half way watch able women’s match. Candice’s improvement has been a lot of fun to watch and she’s sculpted a fun move set for herself.

The triple threat match was basically a Jeff Hardy spot fest with some Batista head drops (he almost killed Burke on the Batista bomb) and some Elijah Burke wussy-ness. Hardy looks strong in taking the loss, which makes me wonder if they’ll just toss him on ECW anyways.

The battle royal was pretty awesome if for nothing more than Mark Henry just being a freaking animal. Say what you want about Mark Henry. He’s EXTREMELY athletic although not as ‘fast’ as people would like him to be. He is, however, EXTREMELY quick in short bursts (there’s that athleticism) and his selling is top freaking notch right now. Don’t even get me in to how awesome his new bad-a_s persona is. Here’s another guy whose becoming a player and for the first time since WWE’s signed him, really just had that ‘it’ they’ve been looking for. He looked great tonight. Some fun moments like the Viscera-Henry meat-fest, Eugene clapping, ECW getting destroyed and Orton looking at people in that homo-erotic way that only Randy Orton can pull off. Fun stuff for the most part.

The Vince Love-fest was pretty funny stuff and served as decent buffer the whole night. The ‘suicide’ angle at the end is wrestle-crap history in the making folks. Awesomely bad. Really awesomely bad.

Overall, the show dragged but was fun. It was great to see the Iron Sheik (!!!!), Jimmy Snuka, Lou Albano and co. They tossed together a wide spectrum of matches with some fun old school stuff with a twist of celebrity silliness topped off with a dash of WWE style weirdness. It was a fun show, nothing more, nothing less.

Overall Grade: B

Quick Results
Edge def. John Cena
CM Punk def. Carlito
Umaga def. Balls Mahoney
Lashley def. Chris Benoit
MVP def. Santino Marella
The Miz def. Snitsky
Candice Michelle def. Krystal
Batista def. Jeff Hardy and Elijah Burke
Randy Orton won a 15 man over the top rope battle royal

Who’s Hot, Who’s Not?

Biggest Pops
1. Chris Benoit
2. John Cena
3. Mr. Kennedy
4. Mick Foley

Most Heat
1. Mr. McMahon
2. Edge
3. Randy Orton
4. Umaga

Match of the Night: Chris Benoit v. Lashley **3/4

2007 WWE Draft

Raw Picks
1. King Booker (SD)
2. Bobby Lashley (ECW)
3. Snitsky (ECW)
4. Mr. Kennedy (Smackdown)

Analysis--Well, it’s fair to say Raw’s 2007 draft class is freaking loaded and leaves the door open for a lot of possibilities. Believe it or not, King Booker, in my opinion, is the best pick here. Booker can play a top guy when needed, can serve as a title opponent at almost any time and is solid as a face or as a heel. He’s really going to give that upper mid card some flexibility in terms of what they can and can’t do.

Ken Kennedy I think was, for many, a no brainer in this draft to end up on Raw and got pretty big billing as the last guy to go in the draft. Smackdown was getting quite cluttered thanks to this year’s draft class and this is probably the best move for him all things considered. He’s on the shelf now but he’s another guy who’ll benefit a lot from having guys like HBK, John Cena and Triple H to work with.

Lashley, IMO, is a terrible pick for Raw. With HBK, Cena and Triple H all slamming around the brand and Kennedy more or less over as a face, I think it’s a complete waste to put him on Raw, especially considering the complete and total lack of depth on ECW right now. I think this move does a ton of damage to him. Lashley’s up and coming for sure, but he’s nowhere near the level of Cena and company in terms of overness and I think he’s going to get lost in the shuffle as he’s not the most dynamic personality.

Snitsky is another guy whom I think is a bit of an odd pick. I’m not really sure what they’re going to do, but they seem pretty interested in putting him in a full-blown program with John Cena, which I think’s a huge, huge mistake as well. Snitsky’s not really all that over and it seems like the monster quotient is more than full right now on the Raw brand. Nonetheless, depending on how they build him, he could be a big deal in a few months.

Overall this is easily, name-wise, the best class of the three. I think Cena’s going to have some stuff to do with Snitsky and Booker running around. Kennedy’s got a shot to go places. I fear for Lashley’s career though. He does nothing to really stand out and IMO, is going to get totally lost in a field of super-strong baby faces.

Grade: B+

Smackdown Picks
1. The Great Khali (Raw)
2. Torrie Wilson (Raw)
3. Chris Masters (Raw)
4. Ric Flair (Raw)

Analysis-- I like this group a lot for some reason because I felt of all the brands, this really addressed what was needed on the show and that was some depth at the mid card. Smackdown’s US title is treated more like a World TV title than it is a mid card, up and comer belt like the IC title. Look at the guys who’ve held it: Benoit, JBL, Eddie Guererro, Booker T and Big Show, all guys who’ve been World Champions in the last three years. The only guy it ever really elevated was John Cena. When you do the math, John Cena is sort of factored out by the utter failure to get Orlando Jordan over with the belt. Kennedy and Finlay never really held the belt long enough to say it did much for either guy.

Regardless, if that’s the way the US title is going to be portrayed, then they need to beef up the mid card a bit. Chris Masters is a fantastic pick. Here’s a guy WWE’s been looking to do something with for a long time. On Smackdown, they’ll have that chance. Ric Flair falls into a similar spot, as he’s a baby face or heel who can work with anyone. A Flair and Batista faction will be great and I’ll guarantee we see it.

Khali is the interesting pick here. He was my borderline guy to go, but of the big three monsters (Henry, Khali and Umaga), he was the last on the list to go. I think maybe moving Mark Henry over to Raw would have been effective if for nothing /*. With Kane, Khali, Taker, Batista and Khali all on the same show, there’s some big m-fers running around Smackdown. Contrast them with the more wiry Edge and tiny Rey Mysterio and you have an awfully interesting picture. Smackdown is a VERY old school WWE style show now. Torrie Wilson is a TOTAL waste of a pick and frankly I’m stunned they went that way.

Overall, this is a decent class and the need was addressed properly, IMO. The supplemental draft is going to make Smackdown’s mid card a blast to watch so wait until Wednesday. Top to bottom, this is probably going to be the most entertaining show.

Grade: B+

ECW Picks
1. The Boogeyman (SD)
2. Chris Benoit (SD)

Analysis--This is a case of the good and the bad and nothing in between for ECW. First of all, ECW lost A LOT when they dropped Snitsky and Lashley. A ton in fact. Boogeyman is a good pick if for nothing more than that ECW is a place he’ll ‘fit in’ so to speak. I don’t have much hope for him in the ring, but he’s a good fit for what Sci Fi wants on the show.

Benoit is the pick of the draft, IMO and by the end of the night, no one means more to their show than Benoit does to ECW. He’s basically going to be charged with being a long term champion and basically working with every young up and comer on the show. Don’t kid yourselves, Benoit’s the only guy with any sort of drawing power on the show so he’ll be champ.

The bad news is that this roster gets depressingly thin after that. Outside of CM Punk, Elijah Burke and Marcus Cor Von, there ain’t much main event talent on this part of the roster. I’m hoping to god they get some major, major help in the supplemental draft because of the three brands they went from being the worst to REALLY being the worst.

Grade: D+

Power Rankings

5 Points= Title Win
4 Points= World Title defense/win
3 Points= Singles PPV Win
2 Points= Tag PPV Win
2 Points= TV Singles Win
1 Point= TV Tag Win
0 Points= Loss

WWE Champion: John Cena (17-6-1, 47 points) (Last Week: WWE Champion)— The landscape has dramatically changed for Cena and fresh feuds look abundant in his future. Triple H’s pending return looms, Randy Orton’s on a mean hot streak, King Booker is due back for Vengeance and it’ll be interesting to see which way Kennedy swings when he comes back.

Intercontinental Champion: Santino Marella 5-1, 13pts. (Last Week: IC Champion) — I was honestly a little surprised at how easily MVP dispatched of Marella this week. All that being said, I thought both looked pretty good and as far as in ring performances are concerned, I thought this was Marella’s best outing.

1. Randy Orton 6-15-2 , 16 pts. (Last Week: 3) -- Well, let’s see, after Mark Henry murders half of the entire WWE roster, Randy Orton sneaks away with a big battle royal win, making him, imo, easily the hottest guy in the WWE right now. It seems like they’re getting ready to ease him into a program with John Cena for the belt. I think this may be Orton’s lucky year, finally. There are plenty of title defense opportunities out there as well with Lashley, Shawn Michaels and Triple H all out there. Orton’s looking pretty good right now.

2. Umaga 14-8, 27 Points (Last Week: 3) — Umaga’s had a pretty decent run of things on Raw and here’s another guy who I’m quite baffled to see still on Raw. Of all the guys on the roster I figured he or Khali would likely go along with Hardy. Khali went but Snitsky also came over, so you have to wonder what management’s plans for Umaga are. Personally, I think he’s a little buried in the cavalcade of tweeners and heels that comprise the Raw roster right now. Here’s another guy whom I think could add a ton to the ECW roster with Jeff Hardy. I’d eat my own poo to see Benoit-Umaga.

3. Jeff Hardy 20-8-1, 38 points (Last Week- 2)— This is the one guy I’m stunned didn’t move tonight. I thought, for SURE, he was headed for ECW. They’ve booked him strong but I just don’t feel like there’s much /* they can do with him on Raw. With ECW’s roster being a complete train wreck right now, he could really be used over there. He’s well ahead of anything in the current Raw mid card but not quite up to the caliber of the top of the Raw Roster. He’s the exact center. Move him, please.

4. The Great Khali, 11-3-1, 12pts. (DRAFTED TO SMACKDOWN )— This is an ok move for Khali, I just hope they keep him settled on one show for more than five months. In a year in the WWE he’s spent around four months on every brand. Hopefully the settle him down on the blue brand.

5. Carlito 8-10-3, 13pts. (Last Week: 5)-- You’ve got to think that Carlito’s the top heel in the mid card on Raw right now. I think he’s headed for a feud with Santino Marella for the IC title. Time will tell.

6. Trevor Murdoch 4-10, 8pts. (Last Week: 6) -- Nothing doing this weekend.

7. Lance Cade 4-9, 8pts. (Last Week: 7)--See Murdoch.

8. Chris Masters, 4-10, 8 pts. (DRAFTED TO SMACKDOWN) —Chris Masters got the move he needed and now has an opportunity to do something. Hopefully he makes the best of it. He’s come miles in two years.

9. Ric Flair 5-9-3, 9pts. (DRAFTED TO SMACKDOWN) — Flair on Smackdown is a good move and adds some name recognition to a brand that needs it right now. I like the mix with Batista as that has potential for something fun down the road. IMO, Flair and Booker are the two best picks in the draft as you can use them virtually anywhere on the card and fans will buy it. He’s a great pick and I’ll miss seeing him on Monday Nights.

10. HBK 10-7-1, 19 points (Last Week: 6 INJURED)--Can’t knock him off the list yet, but this’ll be the last time you see him for a while.

OTHERS : Johnny Nitro, 2-9-1, 4pts (last week: 9)
Super Crazy 3-5-1, 5 points (Last Week: NR)
Kenny Dykstra 3-10, 6pts. (Last Week: NR)
Eugene 0-7, 0 pts. (Last Week: NR)
Shelton Benjamin 1-8-1, 1pt. (Last Week: NR)
Charlie Haas 1-7-1, 1pt. (Last Week: NR)
Viscera 0-4, 0 pts. (Last Week: NR)
Rory 0-4, 0pts. (Last Week: NR)
Robbie 0-5 0pts. (Last Week: NR)
JTG 4-5, 5pts. (Last Week: NR)
Big Shad 3-5, 3pts. (Last Week: NR)
Val Venis 0-1 0pts. (Last Week: NR)
Triple H 2-0, 4pts (Last Week: INJURED)