Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Thoughts on the WWE Draft

First, RAW received 15 superstars, Smackdown received 15 superstars, and ECW received 6 superstars. Based on who went where, it is obvious RAW won the draft, as the Supplemental Draft was mainly used to trade names that comprise the undercard or the jobbers. This way, RAW could get rid of a bunch of their jobbers to beef up the program. People like Chris Jericho and Rey Mysterio were sent to Smackdown to keep some sort of balance between the programs - and of course to provide fresh storylines.

I like that they are keeping Cryme Tyme, the Colons, and the Bellas together for now. At least that is what appears to be the case. Morrison and Miz, on the other hand, will be fine on their own. Perhaps it is time for John Morrison, especially, to live up to people's expectations of being the next Shawn Michaels.

Speaking of HBK, it appears his knees are in very bad shape and he will need to take on a more reduced schedule from now on (until he retires). Quite frankly, I am fine with this. Mr. WrestleMania has given us so many memories over the years, he doesn't have to do any more for this company. And I still hope to God that Dave Meltzer gives Taker/HBK from WrestleMania XXV the full five stars. It's been way too long since WWE has had a five-star rating. Of course, Taker/HBK from the first Hell in a Cell in 1997 was the last five-star match. Surprisingly, I didn't give it the full five.

ECW gets the shaft again, with Kozlov (not the best worker in the world) the best known of the bunch, at least to how WWE is currently using that bunch of talent. It is unknown to me as to whether Helms will actually make an impact or be fed to guys like Mark Henry and Kozlov. Same goes for DH Smith, who has not appeared on TV in a very long time. Natalya will likely just take on more of a valet role with Tyson Kidd. It's a shame...Natalya is one of the few Divas on the roster with formal training. This is how the WWE repays the Harts?

So much for Alicia Fox remaining with DJ Gabriel. Does this allow Gabriel to turn full-on heel, you think? Or will this signal the end of DJ?

I have read rumors of Chris Jericho going to Smackdown so he can feud with the Undertaker. This should be quite the feud.

The Brian Kendrick and Ezekiel Jackson are finally splitting due to the draft. Kendrick, to my knowledge, is still in the WWE doghouse, which shows why his push from last year has been all but thrown into reverse. On the other hand, Big Zeke looks like he could become a big-time star on ECW. He has the size, but he needs to prove to me that his mic skills and in-ring skills can also do the job.

The Divas are being shaken up in a big way, and I like it. Maryse on RAW will get the Divas title more air time. Vince is high up on Maryse, so this should be good for the Divas belt. Notice that the Bellas have also moved to RAW collectively. Is this just so they can remain with the Colons? Will they form a formidable team to go after the Divas title? Or will they just be on TV as eye candy and then break up down the road? It just might be a combination of the first and last ideas.

To me, Smackdown did win with respect to gaining the Women's Title. They get a great talent in Melina, and now Alicia Fox, Candice Michelle, and Layla might get into the mix. Note that Alicia and Layla were likely thrown to Smackdown also because their in-ring abilities are not up to par and WWE can do some major editing (remember, RAW is a live show with no edits). A Melina/McCool rivalry seems to be the best bet here. Throw the belt on McCool, and she will have all sorts of challengers, including Gail Kim. There actually might be a reason to watch Divas matches now!

Of course, Smackdown gets Rey Mysterio, and it was no surprise. Rey never wanted to leave Smackdown in the first place due to the strong Hispanic demographic that the show has. Now that Rey is back on Friday nights with the IC title, maybe I can see a feud with Shelton Benjamin on the horizon.

It will be interesting to see how Miz does on his own. Miz turning on Morrison just after finding out about the draft move seems to at least spark interest that Miz will be a more aggressive heel character. But will he end up just being fed to the big-name stars?

One more name drafted to RAW that really intrigues me is Festus. WWE has now officially split up Jesse and Festus. While it seems clear to me that Jesse will just disappear fromTV now (or become a jobber), Festus may have a chance. If they give Festus a push, it makes me wonder if he will have the same gimmick (ring the bell and he goes nuts, ring it again and he becomes a lazy defenseless person), or if WWE will repackage him?

Expect Matt Hardy to become a major superstar and establish himself as a top heel on RAW. Maybe not in the short term, but perhaps later down the road.

Curt Hawkins and Zack Ryder are officially split apart. Not that it mattered, because after their alliance with Edge faded, they were basically thrown into jobber roles - if even on TV at all. Theoretically, it could be a chance for Ryder to do something, but I wouldn't hold my breath.

Finally, Vladimir Kozlov is another name to throw into the mix of people who could claim the ECW Title. However, Swagger seems to be doing pretty good, and I wish WWE would go ahead and put the belt on Christian already. Enough dragging this Elimination Chase for the ECW Title. I seriously don't see how Vince McMahon can be so negative on Christian's abilities when "Captain Charisma" has proven otherwise.

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