Brick by Brick: WWE Draft Analysis part II
Before I begin this week’s ‘Reality’ and cause your brains to hemorrhage with a vigorous dosage of statistics and hard facts regarding the upcoming WWE Draft, let me describe to you the setting I’m in right now…
It is 8 in the morning. A full pot of coffee is sitting downstairs assisting me in my efforts. On my computer desk are the trusted pieces of technology that help to distribute my thoughts and gatherings to you, the VIP and ‘Realist’. More important than all of these are what is sitting to my left side on a small rollout cart that I pull out from underneath the desk.
The clean white sheets of paper polluted with spreadsheets, tables, and charts lay spread across my side. Hours upon hours of research that I undertake whenever I have the time. All to realize and understand many of the claims and hypotheses that have come out of some of the mouths of the many ‘pundits’ on the internet.
I take great pride in this research. I believe that without researching, understanding the facts, and verifying your pre-determined notions… you have no viable or relevant opinion. Anyone can say what is on their mind but only the few can say what is on their mind and have the evidence to back it up.
If you have not been introduced to ‘Reality’ in the past, I welcome you again.
Anyway… with that short little rant out of my system and my IV of the magical extract of Juan Valdez’s magic beans fueling me, it’s time to tap into part II of our WWE Draft Analysis. Last week, we looked at short little tidbits of statistical wonderment from last year’s draft and where performers truly end up regardless of the 3-hour extravaganza.
This week we look the current big picture involving ratios, which programs might be reaching their end come ‘Extreme Rules’, and the most important topic of all… who you and I think will be drafted during the 3-hour televised program.
With that said, let’s look at what I consider to be the most important and constantly-changing ratio in all of professional wrestling (on TNA especially) and that is the face/heel ratio. Both Raw and Smackdown have their fair share of face and heel performers (one far more than the other as you’ll soon find out), but there is a certain class of faces and heels I want to look at for this analysis.
Looking at both Raw and Smackdown’s roster of talent, they seem to house 3 major face and heel performers respectfully. In conjunction, through WWE Creative’s labors since the previous draft, we have 3 talents that would have never been considered a ‘major face/heel’.
Definitions for the word ‘major’ when paired with ‘face’ or ‘heel’ are pretty self-explanatory. The performer is on television on a weekly basis, particularly a major factor in that program’s main event or opening segments. The performer has had consecutive pay-per-view appearances, many of them not involved in multi-man matches as to keep them out of the audience’s view. Whenever the performer’s introduction music hits, you can literally feel the reaction from the surrounding live crowd; the breeze from their arms being lifted in celebration or the warmth from their jeers of contempt.
With all of this said, here are the major face and heel performers from both Raw and Smackdown:
Raw Major Face: John Cena, Randy Orton, Triple H
Raw Major Heel: Big Show, Sheamus, The Miz
Smackdown Major Face: Edge, Rey Mysterio, Undertaker
Smackdown Major Heel: Batista, Chris Jericho, CM Punk
Don’t agree with this list? Feel free to e-mail me your complaints and concerns.
The reason I bring up this listing with regards to the upcoming draft is that these are talents that can right now do no wrong with their character.
Imagine Batista being drafted to Raw (which seems the more inevitable with every Monday). Do you ever see him swerving to face-mode again? Can you picture Randy Orton being drafted to Smackdown and having the same amount of heat he had racked up as a heel in the summer of last year? These 12 talents can do no wrong with their characters and they seem to be pretty much etched in stone when they could be potentially drafted.
While it is somewhat interesting to see the complete face/heel ratios on both programs…
Raw Face/Heel Ratio: 15/13 (10 superstars considered neutral)
Smackdown Face/Heel Ratio: 22/16 (6 superstars considered neutral)
These figures can easily be altered on any program. At Wrestlemania 26, we saw The Hart Dynasty take their mentor’s side and turn face. Two weeks ago we saw the splitting of Cryme Tyme, turning Shad into a heel. Any performer can quickly turn their persona, but it’s the main event talents that have a more deliberate and methodical pace to enact the swerve.
With ‘Extreme Rules’ being the final pay-per-view before the draft, look at the current card:
Batista v. John Cena – Last Man Standing Match (WWE Title)
CM Punk v. Rey Mysterio – If Punk is defeated, he loses his hair
I believe we could easily predict what the rest of the card may look like. Let me take a stab at it:
Sheamus v. Triple H – Street Fight
Edge v. Chris Jericho v. Jack Swagger – Triple Threat (World Title)
Beth Phoenix v. Michelle McCool & Layla – Handicap Match (Women’s Title)
The Hart Dynasty v. ShoMiz – Submissions Match or Tornado Tag (Unified Tag Titles)
John Morrison v. R-Truth v. Dolph Ziggler v. Drew McIntyre – Fatal 4-Way (Intercontinental Title)
Notice anything peculiar about my predicted card? It’s pretty Smackdown-heavy, isn’t it? There’s a reason for this. This is in order to build up momentum for most of those performers since they could very well be put into upper-echelon situations.
The sudden push of Hart Dynasty, the steady climbs of Morrison & R-Truth, and the change of development of Ziggler (from the worst-named finisher known to mankind to sleeper-hold); all of these are indications of changes to come within Smackdown’s roster and hierarchy.
Notice some names missing from the card as well? Where are Randy Orton and Undertaker? They were omitted from the card for a completely different reason: To create a sense of shock when they are drafted the following night. Speaking of which… I might as well get to yours and my predictions for said draft!
Alright… as I said before on last week’s edition of ‘3R’, many of you didn’t understand what I meant by ’12 televised draft picks’. These were to be the 12 picks that would merit recognition on TV… not the 12 picks that you want to see. Sorry Jamel Watson… but I don’t think the announcing of William Regal being drafted to Smackdown would garner the same response as say Randy Orton.
So here we go!
Batista (From SD to Raw) – It may seem pretty ridiculous to say this since he’s been on Raw more than Smackdown for the past month and a half, but he is a member of the Smackdown roster according to WWE.com. Just get this over with and make it easier for all of us.
Christian (From Raw to SD) – This is the first step that everyone in “Internets World” has been waiting for. No… this is not to reunite him with Edge! Guys, that happened nearly 10 years ago. Wouldn’t it be easier to swerve him into heel-mode instead of trying to retell the story about a team that also involved someone who works in Orlando?
CM Punk (From SD to Raw) – You can definitely anticipate Serena and Gallows to follow him in the supplemental draft. I dare you to find someone who can gather just as much heat from the crowds as CM Punk can. In fact, isn’t it odd that the best heels (Batista, Jericho, Punk) seem to all come from beating up on Rey Mysterio?
Drew McIntyre (From SD to Raw) – I do see McIntyre dropping the IC belt; let’s just get that out of the way. ‘The Chosen One’ makes his way to the flagship show where Mr. McMahon just happens to be on the roster. Now granted we know McMahon won’t be playing any major parts in the show… but imagine all of the different feuds that could be lined up for Drew and all of the different reasons you could hate him now!
Evan Bourne (From Raw to SD) – Alright, I know what you’re thinking. How can I consider Bourne worthy of being drafted on TV but not someone like Goldust or Finlay (according to Rick Jackson)? Easy… those two guys haven’t been uncorking a maneuver that makes an entire arena stand up in awe every single time it is unleashed. The kids watch Smackdown. Ratings are slowly slipping. What better way to keep them glued on the fledgling independent network?
Kane (From SD to Raw) – So many reasons to choose from for this pick. Last swansong possibly. Raw in need of a good big man worker potentially. The biggest reason? Free up room for Mike Knox to move within Smackdown’s roster, he is the ‘new Kane’.
Kelly Kelly (From Raw to SD) – Last year, we traded female champions. This year, we are trading spokes-models. Kelly has been jobbing for too long on Raw; it’s time for a change. Why is this on TV? Are you questioning the relevancy of Kelly Kelly appearing on television? Stop being so serious, look up a picture of her, and enjoy the feeling of your IQ dropping 30 points as drool flows out from the corner of your mouth.
Kofi Kingston (From Raw to SD) – Remember the reasoning I gave for Evan Bourne? Same goes for Kofi Kingston. Besides, the whole ‘Kofi-Orton’ experiment didn’t work on Raw. Maybe he’ll have better luck climbing the ladder on a program that has a little more experience doing so.
MVP (From Raw to SD) – The grand MVP-to-Raw experiment ended nearly 6 months ago. WWE’s Purgatory brand welcomed him with open arms and he has done nothing but feud against the powerful tag team of Mediocrity and Obscurity. Maybe a heel swerve and returning to his roots will do him some good.
Randy Orton (From Raw to SD) – This pick has been widely anticipated. With Legacy disbanded, Ted DiBiase not changing face any time soon (seriously… with ‘The Million Dollar Belt’?) and Cody Rhodes left high and dry (Sad face), Orton could quickly take the reigns as the new top face on Smackdown. Feuds with Jericho, Swagger (foreshadowed), and the inevitable honor grudge against Edge would make for great matches.
Tiffany (From SD to Raw) – See logic behind Kelly Kelly draft pick. Duh… girl pretty…
Undertaker (From SD to Raw) – While this may come as a shock to some, it seems just as inevitable as Batista’s brand shift. On Raw, Undertaker can have the limited number of in-ring appearances that his body cries out for. More important, send-off celebrations for a storied career look so much better on Raw (Flair, Shawn Michaels) than they do on Smackdown (Victoria).
So there are my 12 televised picks. What does that mean for the major face/heel ratios?
Raw Major Face: Big Show (thru slow turn v. Miz), John Cena, Triple H, Undertaker
Raw Major Heel: Batista, CM Punk, Sheamus, The Miz
Smackdown Major Face: Edge, Randy Orton, Rey Mysterio
Smackdown Major Heel: Chris Jericho, Christian (thru swerve), Jack Swagger (current push)
The debate has begun! The draft is coming! A new year of statistical bounty commencing! JOY!
Until next time, mouth-breathers!
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