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SLAM! Stats: Analyzing the draft
By JON WALDMAN -- SLAM! Wrestling


Cartoon by Annette Balesteri, our SLAM! Wrestling Editorial Cartoonist


Later tonight, World Wrestling Entertainment will begin the 2005 Draft Lottery.

For weeks, wrestling writers have been speculating as to who will be switching brands. Tomorrow, the questions will start to be answered.

Before tonight's festivities begin, we're taking a look back at what has happened at prior WWE Drafts, and a few of the quirky facts and figures that have arisen.

  • The first WWE Draft occurred on the March 25, 2002 edition of Raw. That night, 20 superstars and teams were announced as being property of one show. The remainder of the roster was drafted after Raw went off the air, and results were announced on wwe.com.

  • Of the 20 superstars and teams that were drafted on Raw, six are no longer with the fed: The Rock, the nWo (Scott Hall, Kevin Nash, X-Pac), Hulk Hogan, Billy Gunn/Chuck Palumbo (then WWF Tag Team Champions), Brock Lesnar and Rikishi. Mark Henry, who was drafted ninth to Smackdown, is currently rehabbing from injury.

  • Of the remaining 37 wrestlers who were drafted after Raw, 18 are no longer with the company: Matt Hardy, Raven, Albert, Jeff Hardy, Mr. Perfect Curt Hennig, D'Lo Brown, Diamond Dallas Page, Shawn Stasiak, Terri Runnels, Jacqueline, Goldust, Test, Justin Credible, Faarooq, The Big Bossman, Crash Holly, Molly Holly and Perry Saturn.

  • Of the 33 wrestlers who are still with WWE, five are no longer in-ring competitors: Ivory and Tazz now broadcast for WWE programming (Experience and Smackdown respectively), while Tommy Dreamer, Al Snow and Lance Storm are trainers, primarily with Ohio Valley Wrestling (though Storm has announced plans to leave OVW to start a Calgary school).

  • Of the remaining 28 talent, 16 were originally drafted to Smackdown and 12 were drafted to Raw. To put that in perspective, there were 29 rounds in the original draft.

  • Only 11 draftees are still with their draft brand, including Kane, William Regal, Lita, Steven Richards and Trish Stratus on Raw and Kurt Angle, D-Von Dudley, Billy Kidman, Torrie Wilson, Scotty II Hottie and Hardcore Holly on Smackdown.

  • It is interesting to note that only two Cruiserweight wrestlers, Kidman and Scotty II Hottie, are still on Smackdown after being drafted to the show, while Tajiri and The Hurricane have both moved to Raw.

  • Of those who were part of the Draft in 2002, three have passed away (Mr. Perfect, The Big Bossman and Crash Holly).

  • Of the 42 wrestlers who were selected in the Draft, six are listed as being superstars in TNA (source: tnawrestling.com): Nash, X-Pac (Sean Waltman), Raven, Jeff Hardy, Goldust (Dustin Rhodes) and DDP. Page, however, has announced that he is no longer actively with the group.

  • Originally, the WWE Undisputed Champion and WWE Women's Champion would appear on both Raw and Smackdown programming. The Undisputed Heavyweight Title came about after a WCW/WWF Heavyweight Title unification match following the InVasion.

  • Only five champions held the WWE Undisputed Title during the brand extension: Triple H, Hulk Hogan, Undertaker, Rock and Lesnar.

  • Lesnar, along with his agent, Paul Heyman, signed a contract to be exclusive to Smackdown that was announced on the August 26 edition of Raw. Because of this, Raw General Manger Eric Bischoff resurrected the WCW Heavyweight Title (now known as the World Title) and awarded the belt to Triple H, as he was the number one contender for the Undisputed Title. Lesnar?s title would now be called the WWE Championship.

  • Since the Draft, The European and Hardcore Titles have been retired. The Intercontinental Title was also retired at one point.

  • Since the Draft, the United States Title has been resurrected, and is now property of Smackdown.

  • Billy & Chuck were drafted to Smackdown as a pair because they were the Tag Team Champions at the time. Lance Storm and Christian defeated the tandem for the belts and later defected to Raw. As a result, Stephanie McMahon created the WWE Tag Team Championship for Smackdown, while Storm and Christian's titles would now be known as the World Tag Team Championship.

  • On March 22, 2004, 12 superstars were selected in the first ever Draft Lottery.

  • Of those 12, two are no longer with the Fed (Rhyno and Nidia).

  • Only four wrestlers have been part of both drafts (Rob Van Dam, Edge, Spike Dudley and Tajiri). Only two of those, RVD and Edge, have been announced as being drafted during live broadcasts.

  • Following the '04 Draft Lottery, Albert, Palumbo and Triple H are traded to Raw in exchange for Booker T, The Dudley Boys, Jackie Gayda and Rico.

  • Of the eight traded superstars, three (Albert, Palumbo and Rico) are no longer in WWE.

  • In the three-year period of the brand extension, there has only been one G.M. on Raw (Eric Bischoff), while there have been four on Smackdown (Paul Heyman, Stephanie McMahon, Kurt Angle and Theodore Long). Steve Austin was co-GM of Raw for a short time, while other talent has taken the role on one-time occasions.

    Jon Waldman has been with SLAM! since 2000. Look for complete draft coverage in the coming weeks here on SLAM! Wrestling