July 7, 2005
SLAM! Speaks: Draft analysis
By SLAM! Staff
Throughout the month of June, World Wrestling Entertainment captivated its audience with the third Draft Lottery.
The Draft Lottery, designed to, "shake things up," as Vince McMahon described on WWE TV, saw 22 men and women switch between the Raw and Smackdown brands. With last year's draft enabling some talent like Shelton Benjamin to move to a new environment and become a star, we at SLAM! decided to take a look at this year's crop to see who will breakout on their new show.
It's hard to say exactly who will benefit the most from the trades and drafts. Having already seen the debuts of Kerwin White (huh?) and Rene Dupree, it is obvious that the trade isn't necessarily a good thing. I can't see Christian beating Batista for the strap as I could have John Cena. Cena moving makes it seem like he is just going to be fodder for Triple H down the road, although potential bouts with Chris Jericho and HBK should be fun. Everyone thought RVD's move to SD would result in him breaking out, but he was lost in the shuffle there as well. We now know how well the draft went for Mark Jindrak and Kenzo Suzuki.
I am going to go with Cena, who now gets to be the top guy on the top show. Having beat everyone on Smackdown, potential new matches against Chris Jericho, Shawn Michaels, Edge, Rob Van Dam and even Triple H will help him improve as a wrestler and continue to see his star grow.
By far, the wrestler that will benefit the most from the switch in shows is John Cena, who gets far greater exposure on the 'A' show. He also gets a slew of new people to work with, many of whom will be able to carry him to excellent matches, teaching him along the way. But the hope in this corner is
that Stevie Richards is the one who gets the big break on Smackdown. Talk about a misused, floating-in-limbo guy!
My pick is Batista. Moving away from Raw (and, thus, away from Triple H) means that Batista will have a little breathing room as far as his title reign is concerned. The problem with him staying on Raw is that everyone kept expecting that the next time he faced Triple H, he'd be losing the title. On Smackdown, yeah, there's a chance he'll drop the belt to JBL. but it doesn't seem quite so predetermined.
If there is any wrestler that will be helped by the live "feel" of Raw, it will be Carlito. Already on the cusp of becoming a breakout star on Smackdown thanks to Carlito's Cabana, the son of Carlos Colon will continue to flourish in his new environment. There are a great amount of excellent mic-workers on Raw, especially Chris Jericho, who Carlito will inevitably keep trying to one-up with guests and smooth talk.
Now it's your turn. Who do you think will be the biggest star to come out of the WWE Draft Lottery? E-mail SLAM! with your thoughts. Responses will be posted next week.
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