It appears as though it's time for one of my favorite WWE events of the year (even though it always leaves me furious) - the WWE Draft! I wasn't expecting it to come this early, especially on a standard show rather than a 3-hour special, but I guess with the retiring of Edge, they're scrapped and need to bump it up. I'll be doing both my predictions and the results/review on this blog entry, so keep checking back for updates!
Supplemental Draft Predictions - Supplemental Draft Results - Supplemental Draft Review
1. Smackdown will get screwed again. Yes, even though the whole point of this seems to be to help Smackdown, they will end up with less than they showed up with. Right now you're thinking "Tony, what the hell, that doesn't make any sense" and I agree with you. But look at the history of the WWE Draft. Every single year, we all go into it expecting Smackdown to be saved and every single year, they follow this pattern: 1) raid 75% of the talent from Smackdown and put it on Raw, 2) move over one or two upper midcarders and a few divas or jobbers, 3) lose track of everyone on Raw so they end up looking like crap while the Smackdown people get boosted up to a higher spot on the WWE Roster Hierarchy, 4) when the next draft comes along, they put that talent back on Raw and shift the guys over to Smackdown that they've now devalued and the whole cycle starts again. Smackdown will not be trading the likes of Tyler Reks and Hornswoggle for Triple H and CM Punk.
2. THESE PEOPLE WILL NOT CHANGE SHOWS: John Cena, The Miz, Alex Riley, Santino Marella, Alberto Del Rio, Undertaker, Christian, and Rey Mysterio. I will be utterly shocked beyond belief if any of them switches, save for the slight possibility of Alex Riley, but I've got to assume that he'll stick around with the Miz, who will definitely stay on Raw. There are some rumors that Miz and Del Rio will switch place, and even though I'd put my money on neither of them moving, if one does, the other will. They definitely won't have both of them on the same show.
3. Don't be surprised if there are very little changes that actually take place, considering how they're planning on releasing people soon and replace them with NXT/FCW talent.
4. Also don't be surprised if lots of midcarders change hands and then they lose track of everyone. They've done this before, where they shift over a bunch of people and then release a bunch and a month later are totally fucked due to poor planning foresight.
5. I originally thought John Morrison was a shoe-in to move to Smackdown to help balance out the gap that Edge leaves and also to "punish" him by taking him off the A-Show and separating him from Melina. Now, with Morrison being in the title match, I'm starting to think Melina may go to Smackdown and Morrison may stay. If Morrison stays, I could very well see Orton moving over to Smackdown.
6. If Kofi Kingston or Kane moves over to Raw, look for Daniel Bryan, Sheamus, or Mark Henry to move to Smackdown. My guess is Kingston and Bryan switch places.
7. I can see them switching Jack Swagger to Raw and screwing up the potential for him to be a big fish in a small pond on Smackdown. If so, I can see R-Truth going to Smackdown to balance it out.
8. I can see them moving Cody Rhodes over to Raw and replacing him with Ted DiBiase, thinking that it'll balance itself out, but in reality, doing the same neglecting of the big fish/small pond situation. Rhodes could be rewarded for his good job as of late and moved to the A-Show in relation to how Dolph Ziggler did the same not too long ago.
9. Hornswoggle may move to Raw. Never count out them wasting a draft pick on him.
10. Outside of Melina possibly being demoted to Smackdown, the only diva switches I could see taking place are to move Layla to Raw and replace her with Alicia Fox or to shift Natalya/Beth around.
11. If Tamina is drafted to Smackdown, look for the Usos to be released soon.
12. Johnny Curtis has a tag team title shot with R-Truth. This most likely doesn't affect the R-Truth situation at all, but if for some reason they need to balance Curtis out with someone, it could very well be Evan Bourne. That being said, I don't think this is even on their mind at all.
13. I would not be surprised to see Sheamus go to Smackdown, but I hope it doesn't happen, for two reasons. First, I don't want them to have both midcard champions on Smackdown. Second, I like Wade Barrett better than Sheamus and I think if Sheamus goes to Smackdown, they need to balance that out by moving Barrett back to Raw, but Wade will be better off if he stays on Smackdown.
14. I don't think we'll see any announcers or commentators switch brands.
- I had a feeling that Orton might go to Smackdown, and I was extremely surprised when both he and Cena were put on there. It didn't feel right, to me, and I started to panic once Del Rio went to Raw that Miz would shift over to Smackdown as well. Since there are really only 6 drafts in this, rather than 8, let's go through them:
- Rey Mysterio going to Raw could go both ways. On Smackdown, he's a bit of a big deal, but he loses that on Raw, I think. Plus, if the Hispanic viewership drops like it did before, it may be a mistake to move both Rey and Del Rio off Smackdown and plant it all on the shoulders of Sin Cara. I'm also a bit disappointed that Rey and Sin Cara aren't on the same show, even though I probably wouldn't have done that myself, because I was hoping these two could have some matches while they still can. You never know when it comes to Rey. Sin Cara will probably be a big deal on Smackdown because of this.
- Mark Henry moving to Smackdown and turning heel is a bit confusing to me, in the sense that I have no clue what they're planning. I guess we'll see.
- Big Show moving to Raw, especially without Kane, threw me for a loop. I was expecting him and Kane to move in the 2-pick spots, but splitting them up is an odd choice. That being said, it'll be interesting having the tag team champions on separate shows, and I'm an advocate of keeping Kane and Big Show on separate brands from the beginning.
- Orton to Smackdown makes sense to replace Edge. I'm just disappointed that we won't have Orton vs Del Rio. The same goes for Dolph Ziggler, but he might move in the supplemental.
- Alberto Del Rio to Raw. Hm...I guess that means he doesn't win the title at Extreme Rules.
1. I'm hoping both Drew and Jack stay on Smackdown, but I think one of them (hopefully Drew) is going to Raw.
2. I don't see it happening, but I think Morrison and Ziggler need to move to Smackdown if they want to succeed and become main eventers.3. Sheamus will move to Smackdown.
4. The Corre will be broken up. Ezekiel to Raw?
5. Nexus may be broken up as well, with possibly Mason Ryan going to Smackdown.
6. One of Daniel Bryan or Evan Bourne will end up on Smackdown, possibly as a replacement for Kofi Kingston.
7. Layla to Raw.
8. Melina to Smackdown.
10. Drew McIntyre to Raw
11. Natalya to Smackdown
12. Curt Hawkins to Raw
I assumed earlier that they would kill Smackdown yet again and as always, they didn't disappoint with that. Smackdown once more was just destroyed in this draft. Wade Barrett and Sheamus by default have become the two biggest heels on the brand, followed by Cody Rhodes and essentially Mark Henry. Raw is MASSIVELY overloaded, to a ridiculous level. How in the world are they planning on leveling out the talents of Triple H, John Cena, the Miz, John Morrison, Alberto Del Rio, R-Truth, Big Show, CM Punk, Dolph Ziggler, Drew McIntyre, Jack Swagger, Kofi Kingston, and Rey Mysterio? Several of those, along with people like Zack Ryder and Evan Bourne, could have had the opportunity to make a big name for themselves on Smackdown. Drew McIntyre was one of the bigger names on Smackdown and now he moved to an even more stacked show...do you really think that's going to lead to a push? Hell no.
The divas moving between shows were just wasted drafts in my opinion. When the title is dual-branded, there's no point in having a separation between the brands for divas.
My favorite draft move was Alex Riley to Smackdown. By default now, he has to become one of the biggest heels on the brand. If he somehow doesn't, then they're screwed. The same goes for Daniel Bryan. Now that he and Kofi switched places, if Bryan doesn't step his game up, Smackdown's going to be screwed in the face department. You can't put everything on the shoulders of Randy Orton, especially considering his injuries, and if WWE truly isn't too fond of Christian, then WTF are they thinking?
There's also the issue that both the US and IC titles are on Smackdown at the moment. I assume this means they'll add a Wade Barrett vs Kofi Kingston match at Extreme Rules and have Kingston win the title and take it to Raw. It doesn't look like anyone from Raw is going to be taking the US title from Sheamus in comparison.
This draft could very well spell doom for Smackdown's ratings and quality....but we'll just have to wait and see if they've got something up their sleeves.