Laying the Foundation: WWE Draft Analysis, Part I
Throughout the WWE calendar year, something magical happens. A full 365 days’ worth of statistical analysis, roster building/deconstructing and jaw-dropping number-crunching comes to full circle.
That’s right; T-Minus 21 days until the WWE Draft.
For those of you who have followed and partaken in the rows upon rows of numerical bounty that I have strewn before you every week for the past calendar year… it’s now time to discard the leftovers. The WWE Draft is considered my alpha and omega when it comes to my fact-finding and boundless research.
While I know I should hold off on writing about the WWE Draft until it is actually deemed current and relevant, I looked at my own calendar. With 2 pay-per-views to provide hangovers for, I won’t be able to make your hungry bellies full with cholesterol-jacked trivia unless I do it right now!
This week, I have decided to examine last year’s WWE Draft and see what has happened since then, what has happened to the performers who were ‘drafted’, what other ‘drafts’ have occurred outside of the actual WWE Draft, and finally… what we can expect structurally from this year’s draft.
Open wide for some tasty numerical chunks of obscurity!
In the 2009 WWE Draft, there were 36 total ‘picks’. 12 of them were televised.
Let’s start with the basics. The reason I do this is because… well… I need your help! You know I’m going to be predicting the WWE Draft… so why the hell shouldn’t you do the same thing?! Send your 12 televised draft predictions to email@example.com. I’ll make my own assumptions be known in part II of this wondrous analysis next week!
Of the 12 televised ‘picks’, 2 have ended somewhere other than where they were drafted.
With the 4th pick in last year’s draft, Raw acquired Matt Hardy. With the 10th pick, the now-defunct ECW acquired Vladimir Kozlov. According to the current rosters, Hardy resides in Smackdown (where he was originally drafted from) and Kozlov has staked his claim on Raw (HAIL KOZLOV~!)
What this means, essentially, is that sometimes it doesn’t matter where performers are drafted from to go wherever… rosters are never permanent. This point will be further proven later in the column… brace yourselves…
Of the 12 televised ‘picks’, 3 have yet to wear a title of some form.
With Hardy and Kozlov fresh on your mind, add Kane (2009 WWE Draft: Pick #8 to Smackdown from Raw) to this list. All of the other draftees (MVP, Big Show, Melina, Triple H, CM Punk, The Miz, Chris Jericho, Maryse, and Rey Mysterio) have worn championship gold at some point in time since then.
So before you get that neato-keeno thought in your noggin that Christian is getting drafted to Smackdown and will immediately vie for the World Heavyweight Title because he did it in Orlando, recoil and breathe deeply. I’m still waiting for The Great Khali to get back into the World Title picture since Triple H was drafted to Smackdown in 2008.
While the 2009 WWE Draft produced 36 selections, there were 47 brand shifts throughout the year following the draft. (This statistic also counts talent released since the 2009 WWE Draft and out-of-ring talent labeled as ‘superstars’ by WWE.com)
Even though the dismantling of ECW can attribute to this gargantuan statistic, most of these brand shifts occurred immediately following Donald Trump’s ‘selling’ of Raw to Vince McMahon and also through the storyline modification.
He was never ‘selected’ in the draft, but Goldust has been a member of every roster this year except NXT’s. The Bella Twins alone have swapped brands 3 times!
The point is this is: Don’t think that the prediction you make for the upcoming draft is going to stay permanent. Although 9 of the 12 draft picks have remained where they were drafted to, you can never predict what may happen within the year… plot developments, surprise ‘future endeavors’, or the unpredictable injury.
Now prepare yourselves for this 16 oz. prime-cut sirloin of a statistic! I divided this into smaller portions to make it easier for you to digest.
On the current 93-man roster, 66 were present for the 2009 WWE Draft…
Of these 66, only 23 have remained at the same brand since then!
This list of ‘immovables’ is a virtual cornucopia of WWE talent. In fact, if you thumb through them you might realize that one of two things would be happening… either major programs are headed their way or their release is eminent. Of course you should ignore the out-of-ring talent I mention but alas, WWE has labeled them as ‘superstars’ and must be regarded as such.
Cody Rhodes, Curt Hawkins, Edge, Jillian, Jimmy Wang Yang, John Cena, Kelly Kelly, Kofi Kingston, Kung Fu Naki, Michelle McCool, Mr. McMahon, R-Truth, Randy Orton, Ranjin Singh, Santino Marella, Slam Master J, Ted DiBiase Jr., The Great Khali, Undertaker, Jerry Lawler, Jim Ross, Michael Cole, Theodore Long… The Immovables.
Some considered the faces of their respective brands. Some used for comedic relief or prototypical squash matches. Many are wondering when the pink slip will be handed to them.
Moreover, I bet you could look at this list and anticipate half of them to shift brands at some point in time. Names like McMahon’s and Ross’ might vanish silently while Funaki’s and Hawkins’ will drop from the roster with a loud thud.
Again, send me your 12 WWE 2010 Draft predictions. I will compile them together and compare them to my own for part II of this overblown and overwhelming analysis.
Make your predictions wisely, my loyal ‘Realists’. Just because it is something you would like to see happen doesn’t necessarily mean it will happen.
Until next time, mouth-breathers!
Annoy me with your assumptions and affronts… adore me with your adulations and acknowledgements: firstname.lastname@example.org
Don’t forget to check out “Reality from Ringside Radio: 3R” this Tuesday on Wrestleview! It’s only available to Wrestleview VIPs though… so sacrifice a Big Mac value meal! Become a VIP! I need as much feedback as possible about how incredible/horrible I am!