The draft has been a joke for a while now. The WWE actually conducted a draft with the original show by having the general managers make the picks. I’m not sure they’ve used that concept since then. The WWE started conducting their draft like a swinger’s party. Everyone puts their keys in a bowl, you pull them out and one can get stuck with the hot or the fat wrinkly swinger. The WWE draft is the same way, everyone is in the pool, one of your brand members wins a match and then you could get stuck with the wrestler that’s the hot act or that’s probably going to get cut.
After making fun of Todd McShay in my Raw Blog, I felt like needed some dumb stats to lead off the review. I did a quick roster count. Minus announcers (I’m including Jerry Lawler as an announcer) and managers of which there is 11, you have 74 wrestlers. 30 of them got moved around plus one manager in Ranjin Singh who counted with Khali. 2 of the picks were “wasted” on John Cena so really only 28 people got moved around. 16 people went to Smackdown and 12 people went to Raw. There were 14 heels and 14 faces swapped. Let’s go to the basic list to start comparing them.
To Smackdown: Randy Orton (face), Mark Henry (Newly heel), Sin Cara (face), Daniel Bryan (face), The Great Khali & Ranjin Singh (face), Jimmy Uso (heel), Alicia Fox (heel), William Regal (heel), Yoshi Tatsu (face), Natalya (face), Jey Uso (heel), Ted DiBiase (heel), Tyson Kidd (heel), Tamina (face?), Alex Riley (heel), Sheamus (heel)
To Raw: Rey Mysterio (face), Big Show (face) Alberto Del Rio (heel), Jack Swagger (heel), Kelly Kelly (face), JTG (face), Drew McIntyre (heel), Curt Hawkins (heel), Chris Masters (face), Kofi Kingston (face), Tyler Reks (heel), Beth Phoenix (face)
Smackdown Analysis: No big surprise that Randy Orton was moved over to Smackdown. The program needed a number one face with Edge’s retirement. Orton had been hitting the glass ceiling around Raw anyway with John Cena. Give him top dog status. Which I find a little strange though because Christian is almost assuredly winning the World Heavyweight Title with Del Rio moving to Raw. There’s no chance of the WWE Title moving to Smackdown which makes me feel even stronger about that happening. Sheamus, Mark Henry and Wade Barrett will be the top three heels on the brand. One would have to think Sheamus will be dropping the United States Title at Extreme Rules since Barrett is the current Intercontinental Champion even though he doesn’t have a scheduled match yet. Sheamus is the only one of the three that can really get into the World Heavyweight Title picture the easiest. He could be the transition champion between Christian and Orton.
After those names, you head to what I said was “potential central”. Sin Cara (hot mess and moved to stay away from Rey), Daniel Bryan (He could beat Barrett to let him move up), Yoshi Tatsu (Was still over the last I watched Superstars despite limited chances), Ted DiBiase (needs to step it up more on the mic than in the ring but some there would help too), Tyson Kidd (Great ring work, in a bigger hole than DiBiase mic wise) and Alex Riley (It’ll be nice to not see him sucking on Miz’s teet). There are 3 faces and heels each so they can quarrel amongst themselves with some help for the faces from fellow draftee William Regal.
The bottom feeders are the rest of the draftees. I had forgotten about the Usos even though they were a Superstars staple. I did love the classic “Break up the tag team only to reunite them” routine. Khali was involved in the annual big man swap with Big Show. That statement in no way compares their in ring skills. Natalya and Alicia Fox took to Twitter during the draft. If you can’t get mic time, you can get yourself out there online. Tamina doesn’t have the Santino crutch but it’d be easy to reunite her with the Usos. Physically, she is better suited than most women to take on Kharma and present a challenge. We’ll know more about their fates when the WWE gives Kharma her spot.
Raw Analysis: Rey Mysterio, Big Show and Alberto Del Rio are the big names on the move to Raw. The WWE must have felt they’d rather have a possible injury for Rey pop up on Raw than have Sin Cara botch another 12 moves per match live. Rey’s move does allow Cody Rhodes to move on over at Smackdown too. The bad side for Rey is that he’s feuded with fellow draftee Alberto Del Rio, CM Punk, Dolph Ziggler, Drew McIntyre and Jack Swagger. That leaves The Miz and R-Truth to feud with a fresh opponent. Big Show will continue to be a problem because he is so much larger than any potential opponents. Alberto proved himself to WWE management (I’m still a bit suspect on his in ring work) so he gets to head to the big time. I expect him to feud with John Morrison, HHH and John Cena.
Raw’s middle of the pack names are Jack Swagger, Drew McIntyre and Kofi Kingston. I’m not sure what they’re going to do with this trio. They’ve all shown potential at some point in their run but have been less than impressive recently. Swagger hasn’t added anything to the Cole & Lawler feud. McIntyre showed good fire in the Elimination Chamber but got crushed by the WrestleMania juggernaut and needs another kick start. Kingston has been on a losing streak that even face announcer Booker T has noted. Swagger & McIntyre have more mic problems than Kingston but are better in the ring.
JTG, Curt Hawkins and Tyler Reks may not want to answer their phones anytime soon. They’ve got no place for them on Raw and I don’t see a whole lot in any of them. Reks improved his look when he went heel but that’s about it. Kelly Kelly has been on TV a lot but still doesn’t project a tough image to me. She’s been better in the ring too but that does the women no good these days. Beth Phoenix needs a new push. She has teamed with KK some on Smackdown but she’s been mostly absent since returning from her injury. They are also just waiting to see where Kharma ends up. I’d have to think that Phoenix would be the apex feud for Kharma so I hope she heads to Smackdown.
I would be remiss by not mentioning a couple of things. Jeremy and I took to Twitter during the draft so check out our account (@Stuntgranny) for snarky commentary. I didn’t pay much attention to the message board that the WWE ran with the draft picks but plenty of Zach Ryder fans were talking him up. To add to the mayhem, he used Twitter (@ZachRyder) along with a big appearance on the message board to pimp himself. How can you not love this guy? He’s getting himself everywhere. Fans have had signs in the crowd 3 straight weeks now including a pair in London. The WWE almost has to push him at some point. -Kevin