Monday, June 11, 2007

A Rough Draft

The WWE Draft is only hours away, and ever since it was announced, WWE.com has been asking, where would you like to see certain superstars wind up?

I have taken it upon myself to look at every wrestler on every brand's roster and suggest what I think would be best for their careers at this given time.

Active “Raw” Talent:

Shelton Benjamin - Benjamin is doing well on the “Raw” brand since being reunited with Charlie Haas. To my chagrin, his singles push was not successful. In time, Benjamin may be able to become a break-out singles star, but until then, I would keep the WGTT in the once-again-competitive “Raw” tag division.

Lance Cade - WWE.com has been teasing the split of Cade and Murdoch much more significantly than anyone else in the upcoming draft. I don't see why it even matters, as The Hardys were tag champs right before them while on separate brands. Someone might think it's cute to split them up, but the last time they did, we saw what happened...in a few months they were put back together. I think that Cade can be a main eventer someday, but for now, let him stay with Murdoch on “Raw”.

Carlito - Carlito is a superstar who is in desperate need of a shot in the arm. I actually have never liked him since he's been on the “Raw” brand, and I think that a move to “SmackDown!” might be the perfect medicine for this cool Caribbean superstar.

John Cena - Rumors have swirled that a Cena/Batista feud may be in the works. For now, I would guess it's just fan speculation. If the feud is to happen, Cena would likely move to “SmackDown!”, and Edge would come to “Raw” to feud with the returning Triple H and HBK. If WWE wants to do Batista/Cena, they will save it for WrestleMania. To have Batista and Cena on the same brand in June seems like a bad idea. If this match is to happen, I look for it to be inter-promotional one at 'Mania, rather than part of a brand split. If Cena does move, I think it will have a lot to do with Vince's son-in-law.

Hacksaw Jim Duggan - Here's a guy you don't think about. Suprisingly not released in the last string of guys dropped, Duggan is actually the type of guy that could experience a career rebirth if placed in the right setting. With better legends around on the “Raw” brand - namely Ric Flair - it would be interesting to see Duggan take a move to ECW with his 2x4 in hand, align himself with guys like Sandman and Tommy Dreamer, and get back to what he did best: beating people up, tough guy!

Kenny Dykstra - The Dykstra-Nitro combination is not working for me, and doesn't seem to be working for many others. However, WWE.com did an article to let us know this is not a fly by night affair. If WWE wants a tag team, send Dykstra to “SmackDown!” and put him back with Johnny Jeter. Give them a freakin' baseball gimmick and call it a day.

Eugene - Eugene needs more than just a change of scenery. If ECW was the ECW we all remembered, I would place him there. When the hostile ECW fans tore the gimmick to shreds, Dinsmore could repackage himself, and deliver the goods in the ring like he did before he was saddled with his retard gimmick. Unfortunately, today's ECW fans come for “SmackDown!” shows, and would respond to Eugene the same way as “Raw” fans do. With indifference.

Ric Flair - Everyone hopes The Nature Boy has a 17th title run in him. It doesn't seem likely. What could change that? The reemergence of The Four Horsemen. Who could be candidates though? Well, as much as Flair thought him leading HBK, HHH, and Kurt Angle sounded great a few years ago, it is not likely the group will be so elite. One proven member however could be Chris Benoit, after a jump to “Raw”. Picture Flair as World Champ, Benoit as IC champ, and Cade and Murdoch with the tag gold. Heel or face, that sounds like money to me. WHOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!

Shad Gaspard - Big Shad has a great upside, but is probably not ready to be all Vince wants him to be. Breaking up Cryme Tyme seems like a good idea, but it's probably premature. Shad however should be ready to be a big star by the next draft.

Charlie Haas - Poor Charlie. So vanilla, that getting no reaction from fans is actually named after him. Cheer up Charlie, WGTT might be able to get you and Shelton over enough so that people will remember you as the Marty Jannetty of the team 5 or 10 years from now. Stay on “Raw”.

Jeff Hardy - The IC title is beneath him, the World Title is above him. What can Jeff Hardy do? After single handedly reestablishing the Intercontinental title, and watching Santino Marella single handedly give it less clout than the WCW TV title when it was pulled out of a garbage can, Hardy should take his extreme self to the ECW brand to give it some star power, and take the place of what will hopefully be a departing CM Punk.

JTG - Wow, who gives a crap about JTG? He'll stay on “Raw” with Shad until Vince wants to make Shad into something greater. Then JTG will become Scotty 2 Hotty 2.0, wearing his gimmick even thinner while jobbing on “SmackDown!” each week.

The Great Khali - No one has traded brands more recently than the Great Khali, and no one has less to do creatively than him after both tapping and being pinned by John Cena. You can send him on a World Tour to let Lashley and Batista do the same, or you can just release the big guy. I will say, however, no matter how much he sucks in the ring, he is a draw just based on his size and look. Leave him on “Raw” I guess, but who cares?

Santino Marella - I would move him if he wasn't the IC champ. Keep him, and the belt on “Raw”, but give the belt to someone who has clout or will be a main eventer someday.

Chris Masters - Masters is languishing as well, but his bread and butter is likely to be on the “Raw” brand, as he doesn't seem to fit on any other show. Hopefully he will step up his game in the next year.

Robbie McAllister - The Highlanders should move to “SmackDown!” with The Boogeyman and everything else that should be aimed basically to the younger audience.

Rory McAllister - See Robbie. (I'm Robbie!)

Trevor Murdoch - Stay on “Raw”.

Johnny Nitro - Either let him be a U.S. or IC title contender, or find a legit tag team partner for the guy. I was playing "'SmackDown!' VS. 'Raw'" yesterday and remembered how sweet the guy was when paired with Melina just based on his entrance alone. He may not have gotten over to the company's liking, but right when he started to catch on, they pulled the red rug from underneath him. I say leave him on “Raw”, give him back his girlfriend, and give him something to do. Melina's Women's title run has played itself out anyways.

Randy Orton - Orton is rumored to be Triple H's opponent for SummerSlam, which means an extended stay on “Raw”. His last move to “SmackDown!” wasn't very productive anyways. If I were Vince, I would throw him on ECW, as a brand of punishment. It wouldn't be too harsh, however, as he'd feud with Lashley over the World Title.

Chuck Palumbo - Harley riding Chucky P has no real significance. Leave the guy on “Raw” and see what happens.

Umaga - I'd keep him on “Raw” and prepare him for a new program with John Cena, but that may be all but ruined now that Cena has beaten both Umaga and Khali. Cena/Snitsky anyone? Didn't think so.

Val Venis - Basically forgotten is Val Venis. This guy needs to be more than just enhancement talent, as I have said before. He has the look, the mic skills, and the in-ring ability. Send him to “SmackDown!” and have him serve in an enforcer/bodyguard role for Edge. Play up their Canadian background as a reason for them being together, play up Edge mistreating Val, and then remind fans that Edge dumped Val's sister years ago. Then start an Edge/Sean Morley blood feud over the Heavyweight title. Morley doesn't have to win, he just deserves a push.

Viscera - Who would have thought that King Mabel would still have a job? His only usefulness is to seem like he'd be a contender in Battle Royals. Leave him on “Raw” or release him.

Inactive “Raw” Talent:

Armando Estrada - Bring him back to light the fire under Umaga that makes him a contender again.

Shawn Michaels - Leave him on “Raw”.

Super Crazy - Move to “SmackDown!” to be a Cruiserweight or to ECW to be his old ECW-self. On “Raw” feuding with Chris Masters, the guy is a bathroom break.

Triple H - Stay on “Raw”.

Active “SmackDown!” Talent:

Batista - Leave him on “SmackDown!” to be a major babyface character, until the time is right to pull the trigger on a Cena/ Batista feud. When it seems that Cena has vanquished all the monsters, he will see what it is like to run into an animal.

Chris Benoit - A move to “Raw” and a legitimate purpose would do Benoit a lot of good. Hold up your four fingers (that's wishful thinking!).

The Boogeyman - Stay on “SmackDown!”, be all goofy, have kids like you, whatever...

Daivari - I have a strict Cruiserweights on “SmackDown!” policy. Why, if you weighed under 220, would you want to be anywhere else? Leave him.

Deuce - Leave him.

Domino - Leave him.

Edge - Leave him for now. As I said, some type of shake up before WrestleMania setting up Edge/Triple H and Batista/Cena sounds like a good idea, but it's too soon.

Finlay - Finlay has a lot of momentum on the “SmackDown!” brand that could be lost in another setting. I would leave him.

Funaki - Cruiserweight, stay on “SmackDown!”.

Chavo Guerrero - Kerwin White? Stay on “SmackDown!”

Matt Hardy - If people want a Matt Hardy push, it will have to come on ECW. He is not good enough to main event on “Raw” or “SmackDown!”. He may be able to wrestle, but he is boring and he can't talk for shit.

Mark Henry - Another monster to line in front of the champ? Move him to “Raw”. He's injured all the “SmackDown!” guys, and Henry/Edge isn't exactly a money match.

Kane - A Kane/Edge program would not be too bad, but they may have missed the bus on Kane being pissed about Edge's opportunistic MITB win over his brother. I think he should stay put however, because “SmackDown!”is his best chance of another World Title run before he retires.

Brian Kendrick - Stay on “SmackDown!”.

Paul London - Stay on “SmackDown!”.

The Miz - You don't matter to anyone, so either die or stay on “SmackDown!”

Shannon Moore - Cruiser, stay on “SmackDown!”

Jamie Noble - Cruiser, stay on “SmackDown!”.

Montel Vontavious Porter - U.S. Champ? Stay on “SmackDown!” .

William Regal - Stay on “SmackDown!”

Dave Taylor - Stay on “SmackDown!”

Jimmy Wang Yang - Cruiser, Stay on “SmackDown!”

Inactive “SmackDown!” Talent:

Gregory Helms - Breaks the Cruiser policy. He had the longest Cruiserweight run EVER, and he's done about all he can do there. Send him to “Raw” as an IC title contender, possibly as a babyface to feud with Johnny Nitro.

Mr. Kennedy - He's going to have a score to settle with Edge. Leave him on “SmackDown!” .

King Booker - Move to “Raw” to feud with Cena or my wishful new Horsemen faction.

Rey Mysterio - With Batista and possibly a turned Mr. Kennedy, Rey is the babyface fuel that drives “SmackDown!”. That is until Batista turns heel and John Cena moves to the brand.

The Undertaker - The most controversial decision? Move him to “Raw”. When he is healthy, he will give Umaga, Khali, and other's someone to feud with, and if Cena does leave “Raw”, he will give them the babyface they need to keep drawing kids.

Active ECW Talent:

Elijah Burke - This guy could be money everywhere. I would have to look at the big picture to see where he should end up. He will probably stay put to give ECW some needed star power.

CM Punk - Move to “SmackDown!” to feud with MVP.

Marcus Cor Von - Move to “Raw”.

Tommy Dreamer - Stay put.

Bobby Lashley - Stay put.

Balls Mahoney - Stay put.

Brett Major - Stay put.

Brian Major - Stay put.

Nunzio - Stay put.

Stevie Richards - Stay Put.

The Sandman - Stay Put.

Snitsky - I guess they are moving him to “Raw” to be Cena's next opponent, but Mark Henry makes a lot more sense, and Snitsky and Lashley have some unfinished business. I would keep him on ECW.

Matt Striker - Stay Put.

Kevin Thorn - A better choice for a Cena feud than Snitsky, but not as good as Mark Henry. Stay put for now, but be ready to break out by this time next year.

Inactive ECW Talent:

Hardcore Holly - Stay Put.

WWE Divas - Here is my policy. If they can wrestle, put them on “Raw”. If they can't, divide them between “Raw” and “SmackDown!”. Maria and Torrie Wilson are taking up space that could be occupied by Jillian Hall and perhaps Michelle McCool.

Referees, Ring Announcers, Commentators - No one gives a shit, so don't waste time moving them.

My mind is subject to change, as I have not yet really looked at a final roster of these brands based upon the moves that I have made. I do know that I gave ECW some more star power and a shot in the arm. I took some good wrestlers off of “Raw”, but gave them a few talented workers and the possibility of a Horsemen stable to counteract the John Cena/Hogan-esque downing of the monsters that WWE seems to want to do right now.

I gave Edge some decent guys to feud with, although there is an assumption that somehow Edge and Mr. Kennedy will move to “Raw”, and John Cena will move to “SmackDown!” to feud with a heel Batista, both before WrestleMania, giving “Raw” Taker, HBK, HHH, Edge, Benoit, Flair while “SmackDown!” has Cena, Batista, Kennedy, Punk, Carlito, Mysterio, MVP. ECW becomes a bit stronger with Lashley, Orton, Burke, and The Hardys.

As far as real predictions go, I don't really have any. My only real prediction for the draft is this: No matter who gets moved where, I think “SmackDown!” is going to get raped hardcore.

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