WWE Draft 2008 – My Thoughts
NB: This was posted originally on June 23rd on the original TotalWrestling.net.
Its WWE Draft Night, and based on the 2007 draft, will this be a success or a complete failure?
Before you all jump on my back, I will be watching the draft live as the random nature is interesting to me. I will be tuning in for the full 3 hours. But look at last year. RAW got the best draft picks, SmackDown! and ECW basically got raped for talent. RAW got:
Booker T, Bobby Lashley, Mr Kennedy, Paul London, Brian Kendrick, Daivari, Snitsky, William Regal, Sandman and Jillian Hall
That is 10 wrestlers. Lashley was the reigning ECW champion at the time, he was stripped of the title. Looking at the list, Booker T left after being jobbed out to Triple H after building his character on SmackDown!. Bobby Lashley left for reasons that have still never been confirmed, but a lot of people speculated that it was something to do with Michael Hayes after his incident with Mark Henry. Mr Kennedy missed out on 1 big push and blew another, one due to injury, the other due to him failing a wellness test. London and Kendrick are M.I.A recently. And with there being no more Sunday Night Heat, they are basically jobbers now. Daivari was released because “creative had nothing for him”. William Regal started to get a huge push, then failed Wellness himself. The Sandman was released from the company for whatever reason, possibly because of the lawsuit that was filed against him, but WWE wouldn’t confirm that. Ironically, the only one who has even succeeded on RAW is Snitsky of all people. Now, in the same draft, SmackDown! got:
The Great Khali, Torrie Wilson, Ric Flair, Kenney Dykstra, Victoria, Eugene, Hardcore Holly, Zack Ryder and Curt Hawkins
So, SmackDown! got 9 wrestlers, but look at the quality change. With the exception of Ric Flair (who wasn’t really a SmackDown! guy since he took a hiatus before returning as a tri-branded superstar) who is even close to the level of the talent RAW got? The Great Khali only got moved because he couldn’t be trusted to wrestle on a show that can’t be edited. Torrie Wilson retired due to a back injury. As mentioned before, Ric Flair went from being a SmackDown! guy for a few weeks, taking a break then returning on RAW as well. Kenny Dykstra is also M.I.A, I mean, does anyone remember when he was last seen on WWE television? Eugene was released due to a number of wellness related issues. Victoria (one of the more talented women on the WWE roster) spent most of the year losing to Torrie Wilson. Hardcore Holly went to SmackDown! and I have no idea how he ended up back on RAW. The other drafts were Edge’s lackeys. However as bad as SmackDown! got it, ECW only got 5 guys:
John Morrison, Miz, Big Daddy V, Boogeyman and Chris Benoit
Ironically, ECW probably did the best and the worst with the draws. Boogeyman is injured and Big Daddy V got repackaged, but is now home attending fat camp in an effort to lose weight before he will come back. The Chris Benoit Incident was a huge down side for the company, and with it being his first pay per view match as an ECW
superstar that he missed it gave John Morrison a huge opportunity.
Now, looking at tonight. There are some potential draft choices that people would expect. The biggest rumour going around is that John Cena will be moving to SmackDown!. I am not too sure of this, but I think it would be better to move a few more younger talents who could get elevated into the main event since Edge vs Cena has been done to death (and that would be the main program WWE would run with). The other potential (since Edge is the only real heel) is Batista vs Edge (which again has been done to death).
My picks personally would be:
CM Punk, Matt Hardy, John Morrison, MVP, Tommy Dreamer, Colin Delaney
Chris Jericho, Paul London, Brian Kendrick, Umaga, Kofi Kingston, Carlito
Lance Cade, Paul Burchill, Finlay
To me, this would make sense. SmackDown! needs another main event heel, Chris Jericho fits the bill. Lance Cade to ECW would make him one of the top heels on the brand. Splitting up Miz and Morrison makes sense since Morrison is the more talented and it would give Miz a chance to branch out on his own. London and Kendrick are doing nothing on RAW, so moving them back to SmackDown! where they were established as the best tag team in WWE. Tommy Dreamer is a pick mainly because like last year with the Sandman, there will always be one which makes no sense whatsoever.
These are my picks for the main draft, as usual, I expect a suplemental draft on WWE.com tonight, which could see one or two move back to initial brand (possibly Burchill).