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Some thoughts on The Draft
By JON WALDMAN -- SLAM! Wrestling


Kurt Angle: No. 1 draft pick? - Sun file photo

It's draft time in the WWE, and much like the original brand extension that occurred just about two years ago, there's a ton of speculation as to which wrestlers will end up on which show.

What is different this time, however, is that we have a better idea going into the roster tooling of the shows themselves -- RAW has defined itself as the traditional WWE product, loaded with dramatic storylines, bigger-than-life superstars, and the women's division; Smackdown!, on the other hand, has made itself into a more in-ring show, focusing on some of the more competitive wrestlers and the cruiserweights.

With these factors in mind, there are some interesting possibilities of who could be moving shows. Here's a look at just some of the names who culd be changing their main employment date:

Edge - This one has been rumoured for a long time. Edge was looking like a champion-in-wait before his neck surgery, and his return hype looks to be going strong thus far. Many had speculated he would be returning to the RAW brand, and this makes the move over from SD! a lot simpler. Edge, however, is a good fit on either show, and could easily step up and challenge Chris Benoit or Eddy Guererro for the top title on each show.

Kurt Angle - Many will expect the Olympic hero to move shows, primarily because he has had numerous encounters with just about everyone on the Smackdown! roster. There is a possibility he will move, but it's more likely that Angle will stay put, especially with the rumoured reunification of Team Angle looming. The only factor that would see Angle moving over to RAW is the possibility of matches against Shawn Michaels, which would be a stellar feud.

John Cena - Cena's antics are perfect for RAW, as he has shown to be stronger on the mike than in the ring. The major benefit here, however, would be that he'd be able to take his rap to its old, edge-pushing ways on cable, after being somewhat stifled on network TV in the States due to FCC worries.

Randy Orton - If you're going to move one title, you have to move its equivalent, and this one makes complete sense. Orton has gained a lot of charisma from working with Ric Flair, but now he needs to work on his in-ring style, something that will come from facing guys like Eddy Guererro and Rey Mysterio Jr. on a regular basis.

Kane - The big thing here is that you MUST keep the Big Red Machine away from The Undertaker. 'Mania's match should serve as the final confrontation between the two, and now what is left is for Kane to be re-ignited (pun not intended) in a new light with a hot new feud. Theoretically, this would mean a move to Smackdown, but right now the best move would be to put him against Cena, and with the aforementioned roster-shift, we should see Kane remain on RAW.

Rene Dupre - Everyone around the world is acknowledging this guy as a break-out star in waiting, and distancing him from La Resistance would go along way in cementing his popularity. Dupree's moveset undoubtedly needs work, but there's no question that he needs to be as far away from the French Connection as possible. Whether he's the one tha moves to Smackdown! or not, however, remains to be seen.

The Hurricane - Fans were left scratching their heads when Hurricane made his jump to RAW a couple years ago, after leading the cruiserweight division for sometime, mainly in matches against Jamie Noble and Tajiri. With an expanded cruiser roster and a new focus of the cruiser division on Chavo Guererro Jr., look for Hurricane to make the move back do Smackdown!

Jamie Noble - Well, if you're putting one of the cruiserweights on Smackdown, theoretically you should replace your depletion on RAW. Noble is as good a candidate as any, especially since his match with Nidia basically has killed his credibility and career on SD! Noble could easily move onto RAW in a role where he goes through the women on RAW after being ridiculed for his performance against his former girlfriend.

Shaniqua - Another strongly rumoured move, Shaniqua was recently sent back down to OVW for more in-ring training. This is as strong an indicator as anything else that the well-built Tough Enough champion will move to the Women's division on RAW, especially given the lack of credible heels in the female portion of the roster.

Jackie Gayda - By all accounts, the Gayda in-ring experiment has been a bust. The creative staff has realized this, and put her as a valet to Rico. Given how small the women's roster is on the Smackdown! side, there looks to be an opening for a valet to accompany one of the up-and-comers to ringside, and Gayda fits the bill quite well.


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    Jon Waldman has been with SLAM! Wrestling since 2000.