Let’s say I won the lottery, or a Nigerian prince wanted to deposit $44.3 million into my bank account if I would just give him my routing number. I would totally go behind Carly’s back and finally start the professional wrestling company I’ve always dreamed of.
Or would I? Has the free agent talent pool dried up in the past few years? Until today, WWE hadn’t executed a mass release of superstars for ages. TNA still hoards wrestlers like TV Guides. Anyone who Ring of Honor releases isn’t worth their weight in, well, anything, since they all weigh 148 pounds soaking wet. And most other notable names are old, getting old, hurt, or just sick of pro wrestling and are now working for big-time medical device companies.
A few wrestlers stand out as must-haves. I would throw my mom down the stairs to acquire Colt Cabana. It’s been a few years since I’ve seen him, but I was wowed by Go Shiozaki and would want that international element in my league. And then most of the other guys are dudes I know.
With WWE’s flush of talent today, though, a few more names rise to the top of the draft board…and a few don’t even qualify as the tail on the donkey. Let’s find out who’s who.
Evan Bourne: Any wrestling company who can’t find something for Evan Bourne/Matt Sydal to do doesn’t know their ass from a hole in the ground. That said, if this cut had happened five years ago when the talent roster wasn’t as deep, we’d all be screaming “the end is nigh” for WWE. Today, there’s enough talent to feed an army and choke a horse, so Bourne’s departure doesn’t harm WWE one bit. It does, though, give another company a chance to score a real blue-chipper, a young, athletic man with an incredible look for mass appeal. He’s also a 14-year veteran who’s seen it all, knows almost everyone, and could be an asset to a locker room. Easy thumbs up.
Curt Hawkins: Here’s a quality guy with a nondescript look and a personality that just never quite shone through on television. But there’s something there, and whatever it is, it makes him worth drafting. Plus, he seems to be friends with all of those other popular indy dudes like Colt, Cliff Compton, Trent? and others. Networking is a good thing.
Brodus Clay: I’m on the fence with this guy. Every league needs a monster, and Clay could fit that role. With a mouthpiece, there’s almost no question about it. But he’s no Big Van Vader. And that’s what pro wrestling needs right now, is Vader, not Vader Lite. As soon as he figures out a few intangibles, I’ll say yes. But if I’m spending that Nigerian prince’s money, I have to table this discussion for now.
Aksana: I don’t mean any disrespect to the female gender, but I can’t see one reason why a woman would step foot in, on or near my pro wrestling ring. I’m in the business of drawing money, not spending it. She never amounted to anything anyway, and there’s no upside here.
Teddy Long: Teddy is my playa, playa, but I’m not sure what role I would cast him in. No more heel GMs, no more ambiguous GMs, no more assistant GMs. Wrestling needs to be done with this now. Long is too old to referee. He’s not too old to manage, but he would need to manage the right person. (Brodus Clay? As long as he’s angrier than Rodney Mack.) Color commentator? (Too easy, pipe down, Maes.) I could see that, too. Teddy has value to a young locker room…I just don’t know what the ROI is on him. Pass for now.
Yoshi Tatsu: This guy got the second- or third-best reaction of the night on Raw… in 2009. I don’t know what he brings to the table today, except an embarrassingly unaware Twitter account. Honestly, this is an easy pass. I don’t care if he beat up Sheamus and stir-fried his dog for dinner; thanks but no thanks.
Jinder Mahal: Good riddance.
Drew McIntyre: If you can’t get over in WWE as “Vince McMahon’s chosen one,” you don’t deserve to be a pro wrestler.
Marc Harris: I don’t trust people who spell “Marc” with a “c,” and I don’t trust referees who aren’t named Mike Chioda or Jack Doan (“What’s up, hoes?!”)
JTG: I was always a JTG fan, when/and no one else was. I don’t think I was seeing things: During his time with Cryme Tyme, he was charismatic, athletic and funny. He could chain wrestle, he could execute a string of cool maneuvers… I’m really not sure how he got relegated to enhancement status, followed by complete obsolescence. I’ll take him, and Shad Gaspard, too, wherever the hell he is.
What about you? Who are your top 5 draft picks right now? Leave a comment below, or hit us up on Facebook.