So I can't seem to stop talking about Wrestling right now, first with Wrestlemania, and now something else rather exciting, the upcoming WWE Draft. While it is earlier this year than in previous years, it still promises to be quite exciting.
I think that the main reason to have the draft now is two fold. For starters, it maintains any post-Wrestlemania interest, and helps keep the viewers returning from one week to the next, and secondly, and more importantly, it just makes more sense financially. Both SciFi and MyNetworkTV are getting rebranded, and losing a fair bit of steam, as such I think that a great deal of talent will makes it way back to RAW, which is on by far the most stable network that the WWE makes use of. They moved a number of big names like Triple H, Jeff Hardy, and Jim Ross to Smackdown last year in order to increase the profile of the show for them to change networks effectively. Now that they have moved, and the network seems to be in trouble, it is a good time to get a lot of the bigger names off of the show. While I see a few names moving shows, I think that it will end up with a pretty big divide, with Raw as the #1 show, Smackdown as the #2, and ECW in a distant #3.
The WWE has already announced that 12 talents will be switching brands on the big show, but fails to mention the details. I think that it will probably end up like the last few years, with interpromotional matches where the winner gets a pick for their brand, I have listed the 12 highest profile talents who I think are most likely to switch sides.
Punk's run as a top face on Raw can't really be seen as a success, despite the number of titles he's won in the past year. If the WWE unloads the talent to Raw like has been reported, I think that Punk would get lost in the shuffle, so a move to Smackdown could go a long way to keeping the brand afloat, and help Mr. Straight Edge out a great deal.
Punk's former partner should join him in a switch to the Blue Brand. It would be nice to get them together as a team, only for Punk to turn on Kingston, leading to a great summer feud between the two.
While a lot of people seem to think that they will reunite Lawler and Ross, I just don't see that being in the card. I think that Lawler-Grisham has much more potential in the long term, and could be the direction that they are headed.
Mysterio really is an awkward fit on Raw, as he doesn't match up well with his opponents there, and for whatever reason just fits better on Smackdown to me. The Intercontinental Title may be a bit of a problem, but they could easily have Rey defend it on SD for a while before someone on Raw comes to “reclaim it”, or it could be balanced out with a later move.
I'd love to see Jericho go and help Save_SD from the surefire exodus of main eventers that is going to happen over there. I think that Jericho would be a good choice to run with the brand, like Edge has done for the past few years.
This one has practically been telegraphed. He is getting way too big for ECW, and while I enjoy him appearing on all three shows, he needs to make the next step to being a star, and I think that a move to a different show would be a big step, I see him going to Raw to get all the exposure.
Another easy choice to move, as he was really only put on ECW to work as a different top face after Hardy left. I'd like to see him move to SD, as he would be a great wild card in the ongoing Hardy Boyz feud.
He has spent most of his time on SD injured in some capacity, so he could really use a fresh start of sort. Some time on ECW as the Monster Heel Champion could be well suited for everyone, similar to Mark Henry.
Here is one of those ones where I think it is what they will do, and not necessarily what they *should* do. I, for one, like The Deadman on Smackdown, for some reason it has always suited him. But I think that it may be time to shake things up, and have perhaps the one wrestler who has never really been drafted to switch sides, so it certainly would open up a series of fresh opponents for the Deadman.
This is complimentary to the Lawler swap. Apparently, Ross was moved to SD to help beef the show up for the move to MyNetworkTV, but that has sort of fallen flat, so JR should switch back. A pairing with Cole, could increase Captain Vintage's learning curve.
A move that has been simply telegraphed by Vickie becoming the full-time Raw GM. It just makes a heck of a lot of sense to have Edge go with her, as there is still more to be gained in the interaction between those two. I'm not entirely sure how this fits with their World Title plans, but I somehow see The Big Show holding the title on Smackdown after taking it from either Edge or Cena.
He's in a feud with Raw's hottest star, and shows up on Raw more than Smackdown anyway. His drafting would just be a formality here.
So to summarize:
Raw gains: John Morrison, Jim Ross, The Undertaker, Edge, Triple H
ECW gains: Umaga
Smackdown gains: CM Punk, Kofi Kingston, Jerry Lawler, Rey Mysterio, Chris Jericho, Christian
In addition, there is also a Supplemental Draft taking place on Wednesday, at this time I am uncertain as to who will move one way or another, but I think that the biggest names should end up being R-Truth, Mark Henry, William Regal, Michelle McCool, and Kelly Kelly.
Tune back next week to find out!
Until next time,