Now each of the other 4 WWE Drafts have been completely different than any of their predecessors, and this one should be know different. Apparently on the three hour edition of RAW there will be a series of inter-promotional matches and the brand who the winner represents will earn the right to make the next pick. Hell, the opening match is a huge one as RAW's WWE Champion, John Cena takes on Smackdown's World Heavyweight Champion, Edge.
I have to say, I like this stipulation, adding the third brand of ECW into the mix really makes it complicated, and the traditional "draw one ball" would get kind of convoluted, plus some brands need more than others at this point. I expect that we will probably see 7-10 matches tonight (including at least one degrading women's match involving Extreme Expose). I am interested in seeing which ECW Superstars (clearly seen as the lowest on the pecking order) are able to gain victories over RAW or Smackdown Superstars.
Since I seem to completely love making predictions, I am going to guess which wrestlers will (and which ones should) change brands. The possibilities really are endless, but I'll give it a go.
The Samoan Bulldozer's time on RAW, has to be coming to and end by now. He started the year with a surprisingly excellent series of matches against John Cena, but cam up short in his quest for the title each time. He then went on to serve as Vince McMahon's representative in the Battle of the Billionaire's at Wrestlemania, and since then has been relegated to the role of a McMahon lackey against Bobby Lashley. He is in a dire need of a credibility boost and a switch to Smackdown could give him a fresh series of opponents to dominate. A feud with Batista and eventually The Undertaker could be pretty fresh. While Umaga would be excellent in ECW, he has come up short many times against Bobby Lashley already.
I gotta say, I have a pretty unhealthy love of the Nature Boy, so perhaps I'm not the most partial of observers here. The reason I think that Flair needs to leave is pretty simple, he still has one more run left in him. Yeah I went there. I don't care if he's 57 or not, but the man is a living legend and deserves one more run as World Champion, even if it's just for a night.
He has spent the last several years on RAW (in fact they first split when he was the "owner" of RAW way back in 2002) so it would be really fresh to have him switch brands. Plus he has spent a lot of time languishing in the mid-card on RAW, and so a switch could really help push him up the card. I would absolutely love to see him go over to Smackdown, and re-ignite his feud with Edge from last year before winning the World Title one more time. You know it would make for some great TV!!!
In the debut/only edition to date of Heel Heat, I sang this guys praises, and nothing has changed. CM Punk (along with Elijah Burke) have been the breakout success stories of the new ECW. Does anyone else remember back in November when he was standing in the ring with the Hardyz and DX and he got louder cheers than any of them? I'm sure the WWE's marketing directors sure remember that!!! I think that a move to Smackdown could do absolute wonders for the Straight Edge Superstar and for the blue brand. A feud between CM Punk and MVP could make both of these men into huge stars, plus future matches with Edge, The Undertaker or Rey Misterio would be exciting and fresh.
The only one who could be losing out on this would be Elijah Burke who would lose his current opponent. I think that I may have an answer to that one though...
Chris Benoit is the king of switching brands, having done it a record 4 times!!! So why not keep at it? And if he's going to move than why not go to ECW!!! With RVD's WWE run up in smoke (see what I did there?), ECW is in need of a top level talent with some extreme credentials, so why not Benoit? A feud with Elijah Burke could be spectacular and help Burke's development in much the same way that MVP has been helped by a feud wit the Crippler. Plus, an eventual heel turn and feud with Lashley could make for some really interesting television, something that ECW has been lacking since well...2001.
If there is any one move that I am begging for it's this one. Come on WWE make it happen!!!
Sure he's injured, but he should be due back at any moment now, and this could be the perfect opportunity for our Royal Highness to make a triumphant return.
Booker would make a perfect fit right into the top of the RAW. If you haven't noticed by all of the Great Khali main events, the red squad is pretty thin in the top. Booker would be a perfect foil for Cena over the summer. After all, he is one of the few people to pin Cena in the last couple of years at the Champion of Champions match back in the fall.
Also Cena has been the champion for 8 months, which is an incredibly long time for a champion in this day and age, a short little 2 month or so break could do wonders, and who could do better than royalty?
The only thing that scares me is the inevitable feud with H after he returns...I have terrible memories of Wrestlemania 19 going through my head.
I've gotta say, I've been pretty damned impressed with Jeff Hardy since he made his WWE return back in September. I really thought that he would flake out like he did in TNA so many times, but he seems to be doing really well. His feud with Johnny Nitro over the IC Title was great, and the reunion with Matt has been fantastic!!
I don't think it was a coincidence that the Hardys just dropped the titles last week on RAW. It really only makes sense if they plan on moving Jeff. And really that's not a bad idea at all. I say send him to ECW, someone needs to put the Extreme back in it all, and he would be a great choice.
Batista really has been on the decline since he returned from injury a year ago, and what better way to boost his ailing star power than have him go back to the "Flagship" program? They have been quick to point out that his match with Edge at Vengeance is going to be his last chance at the World Title and that it will take place regardless of whether or not either of them get drafted. Sounds to me like they have it well telegraphed.
Really it would be perfect, new, exciting and fresh to have The Animal return to RAW. He could have a great summer feud with Randy Orton before turning heel and reigniting his feud with Triple H before moving on to face Cena at Wrestlemania. Ta da, a year worth of story lines that is certainly better than having him beat up Mark Henry for a couple of months on Smackdown.
Plus, giving him some more matches with Triple H (or even Shawn Micheals) could only do great things to get Batista back to his form of 2 years ago when he really was the hottest thing going.
Well that concludes my picks for this year, I'm sure there will be a few other surprise picks to show us that nobody is safe. Perhaps one of the women from ECW or Smackdown will end up on RAW (look for Michelle McCool to be a likely candidate), or perhaps some manager or non-wrestler will get drafted similar to how Theodore Long was back in 2004, or we could see some tag team get split up and receive singles pushes as a result.
Either way, I hope that those wrestling fans out there enjoy tonight's show, it should be a good one!!!
Until next time,