July 14, 2005
Readers pick top drafts
By SLAM! Wrestling Staff
Last week, SLAM! weighed in with their thoughts on the top picks from the WWE Deaft Lottery. This week it's the readers' turns, and there are some pretty interesting choices. Here's what you had to say.
The Draft lottery, I believe, was a huge success for WWE, as it has definitely boosted ratings for both shows and has gained my interest as of late to the once stale WWE product. John Cena on Raw creates fresh new match-ups like Cena vs. Shawn Michaels or Cena vs Kane. The only person I believe is out of place on Raw is Chavo Guerrero Jr., or now Kerwin White. I doubt his new character will get over but a man of his size belongs on Smackdown with all the cruiserweights. The creative department of WWE should have had him leading Mexicools instead of them beating him down. Anyway, the Draft Lottery was a success and the next step in my opinion is to make the draft on pay per view to bring up buyrates. That would be the next best thing to do with the draft lottery.
The person to benefit the most from his trade to RAW is John Cena, as he now finally has someone different to fight, instead of the same old JBL/Orlando Jordan. There is a lot of potential for Cena on RAW, because I really don't think the WWE will degrade him into cannon fodder for Triple H. His star is far too bright and rising far too well to just make him into another notch on Triple H's belt. The same went for Batista, who was sent over to Smackdown! just so he'd finally have someone else to beat on besides HHH and Ric Flair.
The preson to benefit the most from his trade to Smackdown! is Muhammad Hassan. Already he's been in the spotlight, competing in main events and taking on a huge star in the Undertaker. Hassan has nowhere to go but up, as he is a person easily capable of keeping the WWE stocked with what it thrives on: controversy. Not that his character was getting stale on Raw or anything, but there are only so many time we can see him fight Chris Jericho, and he did finally lose a match, too, so at least on Smackdown! he has a clean slate.
What a exciting month of June it was for WWE. The upcoming stories and matches should keep things interesting until at least Royal Rumble. Then, of course, the not so huge trade between the two brands, Which by the way was sort of pointless for a couple of stars as they were released by WWE this past week. The question I have is why would WWE announce a trade involving people they were going to cut anyways? Doesn't make sense to me. I'm guessing it's not only to save money and try to make the numbers look good for quarterly profits for the board of governors but for the possible returns of Matt "Freakin" Hardy and of course Brock Lesnar. Now on to your question as to who will benefit the most from the draft.
I've been calling for John Cena to make the move to RAW since last year's draft. He needs the live environment to thrive and to be able to work with the more skilled superstars RAW had or has; HBK, Chris Benoit, Randy Orton, Edge, Christian, Y2J, HHH and so on. Mind you, with Benoit, Orton and Christian gone, he will still have plenty to work with. The other superstar that will get over more as a great, if not the greatest in ring performer is Kurt Angle. Say what you want about HBK and HHH. This guy is amazing in the ring. The matches at Wrestlmania and Vengeance with HBK not withstanding. I honestly can't wait to see Angle and HHH go at in the ring for top heel on Raw. As for SmackDown. I really hope Christian gets the push he deserves as one of the top guys. The writers on RAW have been misusing him since Mania and a fresh start should help him. Too bad he has to contend with Batista.
I think that Kurt Angle will benefit the most from the draft. He's done all that he can do on Smackdown. He's beaten all the greats. Undertaker, Cena, Bigshow, Lesnar, Benoit. It was about time for him to make a jump. Its time for him to have new opponents. It all began with him making Shawn Michaels tap out. Now he can set his eyes on new fish... Triple H, Edge, Kane, RVD, Flair... he's just adding to his resume' Right now, building up for another title run and further cementing his mark in the hall of fame someday.
I think Batista is benefitting from the draft to SD more then anyone, because it gets HHH off his back, although now he faces the likes of JBL. I don't think he'll lose the belt to JBL so easily, because Teddy Long seems to like prolonging things of the sort. It seems really, just up in the air right now, but either way, Batista is still my pick.
I'm hoping that Christian and Batista will be huge on Smackdown, so we might finally see an end to that seemingly bottomless pit of mediocre wrestling that we all know as JBL. Plus, maybe Smackdown can finally get a little respect and not be looked at as an inferior product that always plays second fiddle to Raw.
Randy Orton will be a break through on Smackdown if he comes back and gains credibility by beating Undertaker. He should become the top heel on Smackdown and getting away from HHH and letting him shine through. On Raw it's going to be John Cena, he is simply the biggest favourite and he'll feed off the live crowds. Feuds with HHH will only make him stronger because taking the belt off of HHH is something every fan wants to see. Trades such as Benoit, RVD and Big Sho;w wont make much impact because of the powers that be.
Who I think will get the most from the draft is Big Show. Maybe now that he is away from the "cruiserweight action" of Smackdown, he will find equal size (almost) competition, and this will help Smackdown too. They won't keep ruining their cruiserweight action by bringing in heavyweights so they can use Big Show.
But for who I want to get the most is definately, hands down a three man tie. Rene Dupree, Sylvan Grenier and Muhammad Hassan. I have been a La Resistance fan since they debuted and since it seems the original two will never get back to the same show before one or both of them is fired, I at least want them to be great singles competitors, which i think they could be, providing you forget how more recently they have been jobbing (unless you watched Dupree on Velocity!). And Hassan being a star would just stick it to the idiots who are always cheering "USA", but since they buy most of the tickets and smackdown always goes for faces, that won't happen.
The thing is, the person who I was really hoping to breakout was Jindrak, provided he ditched the left hook and went back to the Mark of Excellence, but so much for that.
-- compiled by Jon Waldman