I’m sure to be crucified for this, but when its draft time, there’s a lot to go over. 24 picks to discuss, and I intend on going through them all. Ready, Palace readers?? Well, whether you are or not, let’s roll.
#1 – Mr. Kennedy to RAW from Smackdown
This guy bounces around more than a superball. His injuries make him a liability to any brand. He was what I considered to be the future of the sport, but now, unless he has a significantly long run as being healthy, and relatively tight lipped outside of the microphone on stage, he may be in significant trouble with his position within WWE. I think he’ll be fine, down the road, but he has to have some significant payback for being out so long, even with the movie in the can that WWE has, I think they need a little return with their investment here.
#2 – Cryme Tyme member Shad Gaspard to Smackdown from Raw
I’m not a fan of breaking up tag teams, especially those who are legitimately tag team wrestlers. Fortunately, outside of the implosion of the Miz and Morrison, who both are potential singles stars, (actually, I’ll correct myself there in a minute), but fortunately, this is not the case here, as JTG goes to Smackdown later in the draft. Cryme Tyme on Smackdown is a good fit, as they’ve been on Raw since being in WWE, and having new opponents is never a bad thing. I don’t think they will be on tap for any title shots anytime soon, so the move bolsters a pitifully lame tag team division on the blue and white.
#3 – Alicia Fox to Smackdown from ECW
I have not seen Alicia Fox compete since she has become an actual ‘diva’, instead of being involved in dumb storylines with Edge and the Raw GM. I have to see her more to be able to comment on her. Her look is amazing, and I look forward to seeing how she develops on a more national stage, but I hope she has the talent to hang with Melina, because if not, the women’s champ will tear her apart, due to Fox’s diminuitive size.
#4 – WWE Unified Tag Team Champion Primo to Raw from Smackdown
As the spoilers read, Raw was gonna get beefed up, which meant that the tag team champions would end up there, and this was the case with this draft. I am happy to see that the Colons did not get broken up, as it would have turned the clean title situation in the weak tag team division in to muddy waters, so the fact they both got sent to Raw is a good move. On Raw, the Colons have an entirely new plethora of challengers to come at them, and I still would not be surprised to see them do the brand hopping for a while as champions. This is a non-descript move, all things considered, and more clerical than anything else.
#5 – Mike Knox to Smackdown from Raw
This move makes me angry. Why? Simple. I watch Smackdown weekly, and this guy is a talentless oaf, and I don’t want to see him on friday nights. Hell, I don’t want to see this guy in WWE, period. Considering some of the guys who have been buried and future endeavored in this company, I am stunned this guy still has a job. Now, I gotta deal with him possibly getting a push on my show, and have to listen to JR try and make this guy seem better than he actually is. I don’t think its feasible, but I guess I have to suffer with this.
#6 – Ezekiel Jackson to ECW from Smackdown
The continuing burial of ECW to nothing more than a developmental territory with a national television contract continues. Jackson may get some availability to shine on his own without being Kendrick’s lackey, but this is a step down for him, I believe. Maybe its the beginning of a singles push, who knows, but there has to be some major receipts on this investment soon, I would believe.
#7 – Nikki Bella to Raw from Smackdown
I don’t even remember when the Bellas split up during the whole schmere with the Colons and Miz & Morrison. Are they back together now, or are they still at each others throats? Anyway, the Bellas on Raw is a non descript move, as I think they still are a long way away from challenging for women’s gold. Whether or not they continue to fight each other, or go back to the twin confusion routine is anyone’s guess. From my aspect, I’m disappointed, the Bellas are eye candy to the 1,000th degree, and having them off Smackdown is a pain for me to endure.
#8 – Candice Michelle to Smackdown from Raw
A lot of Raw divas got moved which is kind of weird, but not too terrible for me to have. Candice’s return is imminent, and she is going to need a big push of her own to get back in the good graces of WWE. Her abilities were improving drastically before her span of injuries, and her recovery and return to ring shape will be tatamount to how Smackdown uses the Candy-coated diva. I think it’ll be interesting, and a little devilish, to say the least. It’ll be new, that’s for sure.
#9 – Zack Ryder to ECW from Smackdown
Welcome to the first installment of the death knell watch. Mr. Ryder and Mr. Hawkins are both on the clock, I think. Without themselves to help their account in WWE, I think it’s a matter of time before the fateful future endeavour clock ticks to zero for the former Major Brothers. They have shown little since their days in La Familia.
#10 – Chavo Guerrero to Raw from Smackdown
Thank you. Now, I don’t have to be disgusted with anyone named Guerrero on my show. I know that’s a hit to Eddie, and I’m sorry, Lation Heat, but the remaining members of your family in WWE have driven me nuts. Now, I don’t have to watch them on my show anytime soon, and that, is something I am a happy panda about. Chavo ought to be pissed, as he’s liable to remain Vickie’s lackey for the forseeable future, and his wrestling is going to suffer tremendously because of it.
#11 – Ricky Ortiz to Smackdown from ECW
This is the next step in the evolution of who I think was the former Atlas DaBone in Ohio Valley Wrestling. I can’t comment much about this guy because I haven’t seen him much. That being said, it will be very cool to see how he reacts to the pressure cooker that is Friday nights.
#12 – Layla to Smackdown from Raw
Layla remaining with the company continues to surprise me. She has little wrestling ability, she doesn’t use the mike very often, and is basically just major eye candy. Now, with this move, she is going to have to step her game up to a big level because there’s only one other heel diva on Smackdown, and that’s Michelle McCool. It’s a tough road ahead for Layla, and she had best up her game if she doesn’t want the ‘knell’ to fall on her.
#13 – Hornswoggle to RAW from ECW
What else can be said here? When you have Hornswoggle, there’s Finlay, and where there’s Finlay, there’s Hornswoggle. It worked, it worked fine. I have no idea why they did this move, and frankly, it scares me. I would not be the least bit surprised to see Hornswoggle disappear off radar in a big way on mondays. This one chalks up to a big, what the F is going on here move.
#14 – DH Smith to ECW from Smackdown
Drafted to friday last year, never debuted, and now re-drafted to tuesdays. He may get a shot on tuesdays in ECW, but he had damn well better take it, and take it hard when and if he does, because he’s not going to have a lot of rope to work with. I am guessing with the addition of Natalya to ECW, and Tyson Kidd also there, and all three of them having Hart Family connections, the Hart Foundation 2.0 is en route to being reality. Not a bad move, but it better work well, for at least the male members of this team. Stunning how Smith was never used on TV for the entire year from draft to draft, and he still makes the move to different brands. Truly.
#15 – John Morrison to Smackdown from ECW
This hurts ECW big time. Morrison, as I was saying before while discussing Cryme Tyme, Morrison has had singles success, and the Miz has a chance to be a singles success, so the implosion of this team, while discouraging, is probably the best for both men involved. Morrison has a real chance to be a major player on Smackdown, perhaps re-new his rivalry with Punk, and challenge perhaps for world title gold down the road?? It’s a big time for John Morrison on Smackdown, and one I personally an very anxious to see unfold.
#16 – WWE Unified Tag Team Champion Carlito to Raw from Smackdown
As I said with Primo, this was a no brainer. I would’ve went ballistic if they had unified the belts, then broke up the champions. This is a good move, non descript, but neecessary to beef up monday nights.
#17 – Natalya to ECW from Smackdown
Natalya is probably the final cog to the forthcoming birth of the Hart Foundation 2.0, alongside DH Smith and Tyson Kidd, and that’s going to be very fun to watch happen, if it does. It’s been on the plate for some time, and if it does happen, ECW is good for it to happen, because of the notoreity, and the chance to make it work on the proper stage without killing the big shows. Out of the three members of this proposed stable, Natalya is in the strongest shape to remain with WWE for a long term, because damnit, she’s talented beyond belief, and she can do whatever is needed to succeed in this company. I’m a big supporter.
#18 – Festus to Raw from Smackdown
Jesse & Festus came up as a tag team, they were moderately successful until they basically has their push swiped out from underneath them. Now, they’re broken up. Festus probably has more of a shot to make it as a singles wrestler, but he’s going to need to be repackaged, and Raw is going to not be the place to re-invent yourself. This is bad news for both Jesse & Festus, as I believe they’re both going to be future endeavored, sooner, rather than later.
#19 – JTG to Smackdown from Raw
This is the same thing here as I mentioned earlier while discussing big Shad’s move to fridays. It’s a good thought, and let’s see if it can work. It’s got a lot of potential, and it’ll be very fun to see how things happen out of the gates.
#20 – Dolph Ziggler to Smackdown from Raw
Hi, I’m the next superstar to be released. How are you? Sorry, former Spirit Squad member, but if you last six weeks past the draft, it’ll be a shock to me. This is a death knell pick if I ever saw one. I’d be stunned to see him get a role on fridays in any sense.
#21 – The Brian Kendrick to Raw from Smackdown
He became a singles success on Smackdown, even competing for the WWE title on a couple of occasions, but he had major muscle backing him up. Now, he goes to Raw, and his bravado will be put to the ultimate test, as he does not have his muscle behind him anymore. What happens now is anyone’s guess. I think it’ll work out, hopefully, for the short term for Kendrick, but it’s definitely a move that I think has more down side than up for the former ROH stalwart. He could be in trouble. He could be. I doubt it, but creative could screw him here, as he has had his push decrease significantly, and on Raw, it could be non-existent for all we know. It’ll be a tough road, I think, for him to endure.
#22 – Charlie Haas to Smackdown from Raw
I think Charlie’s in trouble, and could be future endeavoured himself. His imitations have disappeared, and he’s been mostly an after thought on television for some time. I’d be surprised if he landed a storyline on fridays, and I think he may be in serious trouble to keep his employment with WWE.
#23 – Hurricane Helms to ECW from Smackdown
Although I personally would like to have seen one of the two men I am going to mention in a moment drafted to Smackdown, the fact that we could get this type of match or tag team coming on tuesdays nights is something to make me salivate. Hurricane Helms vs. Evan Bourne, or Helms & Bourne teaming. That, ladies and gentlemen, can be golden. Big time. I think Hurricane will make some noise in ECW, and maybe, JUST MAYBE, be enough of a spark to bolster the ranks of the roster on tuesdays. He is going to be asked, I think, to hold a lot of the burden of the newcomers to the land of the extreme.
#24 – Brie Bella to Raw from Smackdown
I’m glad they weren’t broken up. Whether or not they’re fighting or a team again, I don’t know, but separated, they’d both be in trouble. Together, there’ s a good chance they’ll succeed on mondays. I’m not happy to lose them on Smackdown, but I’ll be anxious to see how creative puts the twins to use on mondays.
Raw gained 15, and lost 12. Big names joining Raw following the draft include Big Show, Matt Hardy, MVP, Mr. Kennedy, and Triple H. Raw gained the unified tag title, WWE title, US title, and divas title. They lost the IC title, and women’s title. They got beefed up major. Probably not as major as I think most of the WWE universe had forseen. But they got beefed.
I would not be surprised to see a reprisal of Matt Hardy vs. MVP, with the roles being reversed, over the US title in the coming months. Big Show will ally himself with Vickie, and become her personal bodyguard, perhaps leading to a tag team with Chavo, and months of vignettes that will be unwatchable. Kendrick has the possibilities of teaming with Miz, as their arrogance would almost cancel each other out, and I think two men who came to Raw are in big trouble of keeping their presence on television consistent. Festus & Hornswoggle are in definite hot water on monday nights.
Smackdown gained 15, and lost 19. Smackdown got taken to the cleaners, but again, probably not as badly as forseen. Friday nights gained Jericho, Punk, Morrison, Kane, Rey, and Melina, among others. Friday nights lost the Game, the tag champs, the US champ, the Divas Champ, Big Show, Kennedy, Kozlov, and Natalya, among others. Smackdown lost a lot of titles here, losing the tag champs, the US champ, the divas champ, the WWE champ, while only gaining back the IC title and the women’s title. The title picture on Smackdown is in bad shape.
I would suspect Punk will go after Edge to begin things, while perhaps Jericho and Rey will heat things up over a title or just supremacy on the brand. Cryme Tyme has a chance to become big players in this brand, if given the chance, and Melina can really cement herself as a global brand diva with wins over Michelle McCool and other Smackdown stalwarts, if given the opportunity. Smackdown took a hit here, but there is possibilities to keep fridays interesting for time to come.
In my own opinion, Smackdown won with addition by subtraction. Out goes Vickie and the stupidity, in comes Teddy and the rhythm. Lemme holla at ya playa.
ECW also took a big hit, getting 6, and losing 5. Gaining Hurricane, Natalya, and Kozlov is good news for ECW, but losing the Miz & Morrison is something they’ll suffer from.
Obviously, the best option for EC-Dub is the formation of this new fangled Hart family tag team involving DH Smith, Tyson Kidd, and Natalya. Outside of that, I expect Vladimir Kozlov and Mark Henry to butt heads in a big way, with a possibility of Ezekiel Jackson becoming allies with Henry to make the feud even more intriguing. Zack Ryder is in deep trouble on this brand, and is going to need a miracle to keep his job.
I’m really surprised no major, major players moved on wednesday during the supplemental draft. I think it’s also a mistake, and I credit my friend Suzanne for bringing this up, along with others who have emailed me, I think it’s a mistake to not get this part of the draft televised. I would think that, with Superstars debuting, it would have been good material to sprinkle in amongst the matches on WGN. It may not have had the chance to go through 24 picks, but it would have given some nice new current fodder to a show that I can’t see in New York because my cable provider doesn’t have WGN. Life is bad. Ah well.
I’d like to hear your opinions on the draft. Email them to me, if you’d like.
One quick note before I go, I have read, and seen the website, of Dragon Gate’s expansion in to the US. I am THRILLED by this news, as I have seen the Best of North American DVD release from Dragon Gate, and having them on US soil is going to benefit pro wrestling in every single aspect for the long term, short term, and immediate future. I’m anxious to see how it goes, and frankly, I’m pumped up for it. Ok, soap box over.
Thanks for reading. I PROMISE, this is my last of the week. My fingers are killing me. Thanks much goes to Hunter, Adam, Paul, and the Wrestleview administration for giving me the chance to write for them, even as much as I have done this week. This was a first for me, doing four in one week. Hopefully, you guys enjoyed them.
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