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SLAM! Speaks: Feeling a draft
By SLAM! Wrestling Staff


Cartoon by Annette Balesteri, our SLAM! Wrestling Editorial Cartoonist


As much as the cliche has been used in the past, the winds of change will indeed be blowing through World Wrestling Entertainment shortly, as the Draft Lottery is set to kick off in a couple weeks.

This year, at least eight superstars will be filling out change of address forms, with trades set to happen as well. With a ton of possibilities, the SLAM! gang has decided to make their selections. Here's what we think will happen.

Greg Oliver

Call me crazy, but I think that there is still life left in Steven Richards. Having him switch to Smackdown could be a career saver. He could be shown all morose about switching, but then he gets there and "Stevie gets his groove back". He could make his way up the ladder, sometimes with fluke wins, sometimes outright pinfalls. He becomes an underdog people can root for, and, though he eventually gets beaten by the U.S. or WWE champ, he's at least an established, veteran talent that can help out the non-stop rookie-like roster additions.

Smackdown has become the "where are they now" file in WWE-land. Calling The Dudleys or Rene Dupree ... wherefore art thou? But the one that has to move is JBL. He's been the big fish in the smaller pond, and now it's time for him to put up, or even better, shut up. Cena has lots of opponents -- Angle, the Guerreros, Mysterio and a returning Rob Van Dam. No more JBL. Please.

Steve Rennie

Chris Benoit and Christian would both definitely benefit from a move to Smackdown. Benoit has had his run at the top on RAW and a move to Smackdown to feud with Eddie Guerrero or Rey Mysterio would give the fans some great matches. Benoit has always been fantastic between the ropes, but he never seems to get a feud that the fans can really sink their teeth into. A move to Smackdown might be just what the Crippler needs.

In Christian’s case, here’s a guy who I think has had star written all over him for years. I’ve always loved his character, from the E & C days to now. By switching brands, Christian could inject the Smackdown brand with a little “Vitamin C.” He’s just hitting his head on RAW’s glass ceiling, so a move might help him finally break through.

On the Smackdown side, I’d like to see John Cena and Kurt Angle come to RAW. Cena would undoubtedly feed off the live crowd, and working with guys like Shawn Michaels, Triple H, and others would help him up his mat game. Angle is just running out of opponents on Smackdown and has a potential feud with HBK waiting for him on RAW.

Bob Kapur

Raw to Smackdown: Chris Jericho is floating in limbo on Raw, and should benefit with the move. He can take his new-found "I'm bigger than wrestling" attitude there, and start a feud with Cena over whose album is better. The Hurricane is a great cruiserweight wrestler who would be better suited for that division on Smackdown.

Smackdown to Raw: Even though Rob Van Dam is injured, they should move him over to Raw to help promote the upcoming ECW Pay-Per-View -- maybe resurrect the "Mr. Monday Night" character and have him join Bischoff's Raw team -- if they're going to make an angle out of it, they can at least have ECW stars play on both
sides.

Rene Dupree has been completely buried on Smackdown, even though at one point he was considered to be one of the hottest properties in WWE. Moving him back to Raw would be a good way to kickstart him back into secondary title contention.

Jon Waldman

With Christian becoming more and more involved in the Raw angles, especially with Batista and Ric Flair, it would seem almost as if WWE has given up on Christian vs. Cena. More likely, we'll see the two champions switch, as Cena needs more fresh faces to work with. He's battled Angle and Guererro enough that anything on TV would be repetitive. Batista coming back to SD! would also be an interesting touch, as you can draw out HHH doing everything he can to get to the soon-to-be Friday night show via the trade day.

Another likely move is Rob Van Dam. With all of the backstage stories being used in the ECW storylines, RVD's leaving the company because of payment problems could be used as a tool to turn him heel and side with Eric Bischoff, whom he never really encountered in his WCW tenure. All the talk about Sabu on Monday would seem to hint that the extreme fighter will be at the ECW PPV, and a match between the two could draw reasonably good money, even if it's put off until Summerslam.

One of the two Canadian Chrises has to go to Smackdown. Jericho's character has become stale as all heck on Raw, and letting him get back in the ring with guys like Guererro, Mysterio and Angle would be awesome. Y2J and Latino Heat had wicked chemistry in WCW, and Jericho/Angle was barely done in WWE in the past.

Jason Clevett

Raw to Smackdown:

Christian. With only three major heels that could challenge John Cena (JBL, Angle and Guerrero) Smackdown could use a fresh face and the seeds are already planted. Charismatically, Cena and Christian can go at it very well, and Christian continues to be a great wrestler who could give Cena all he can handle. With so many guys top tier on Raw, this is Christian's opportunity to shine.

Shawn Michaels - Michaels has pretty much done all he can on the flagship show, except a match with WWE Champ Batista (which has happened before). A switch could add some star power to SD! and create unique matches. Angle vs. Michaels was fantastic and I would have no issues with seeing a rematch; and could you imagine how off the charts Michaels vs. Eddie Guerrero or vs. Rey Mysterio Jr. would be? These are never before seen matches and I know I would pay for them.

Smackdown to Raw

Charlie Haas - Poor Charlie is just as talented as Shelton Benjamin, but after an initial hot start got lost in the shuffle. A switch to Raw and a feud with his former partner could be enough to jump start Haas, who has had "Intercontinental Champion" written on him since he debuted. I was hoping he would get a United States title run on SD and some high profile matches, but it seems he has been forgotten.

Mark Jindrak - With Luther Reigns gone, Jindrak hasn't had a heck of a lot to do since Team Angle 2K5 fell apart. Another guy who seems lost in the shuffle, he could also hit the refresh button by going to RAW.

So who do you think will be switching shows next month? Send us your thoughts on who will be drafted to each show. Results will be posted in the coming weeks.

-- compiled by Jon Waldman