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SLAM! Speaks - WWE Draft thoughts
By SLAM! Wrestling Staff




As World Wrestling Entertainment prepares to shake up its roster again, we here at SLAM! Wrestling enter into our prognosticator modes once again.

Yes, the WWE Draft is this Monday and we're ready to make our official predictions of who will be heading to which brand.

Though we may not have the caps and jerseys ready in our hands, the SLAM! Wrestling crew is ready to step up to the podium and make our selections for who should move from and to Raw, Smackdown and ECW, with each of us selecting one wrestler from each brand.

Of course, when you get the SLAM! Wrestling guys and gals together for a debate, you're guaranteed to get more than just this straight-forward analysis. Additionally, the question laid out was who needs the draft the most. As you'll see, the answers to this pressing question were somewhat varied.

Once you're done seeing our predictions, we turn the microphone over to you for your thoughts on the WWE Draft. Make your selections and e-mail Jon Waldman with your thoughts.

Onto the draft!

Greg Oliver
Though it's hard to see the actual lines between each brand now, it's not hard to see who WWE is high on. I see Kenny Dykstra moving to Smackdown and getting a push as U.S. champ; I see MVP going to ECW, which gives him an excuse to lose the outfit; and I see Elijah Burke moving to Raw and moving further up the card.

ECW is the easiest brand to freshen up, and that'll happen at the end of the summer when the TV deal on Sci-Fi ends and the brand goes kaput -- or lives on via the WWE website, which is the same thing.

Brian Elliott
From RAW - Shelton Benjamin's fall from grace on the RAW roster has been quite stunning, and seems to have been since his "Mama" was forced out of action through illness. A move to Smackdown would afford Benjamin a new challenge, and give him the opportunity to remind us why we enjoyed his work in the first place. A series of bouts with Chris Benoit would be a start.

From Smackdown - Rey Mysterio is the man that I have selected to move from Smackdown, and I would like to see him move to the RAW roster, opening up a new set of interesting match-ups for him. In particular, I'd like to see him programmed with Johnny Nitro, whose stock has inexplicably fallen recently, before moving into the title picture with Michaels, Triple-H, Cena, and Umaga.

From ECW - With ECW certainly being the red-headed step-child of the WWE organization, it is difficult to recommend that anyone come to it, and so easy to say that top stars should leave it; but CM Punk is the performer who stands out to me, a wrestler who always draws great crowd reactions, but has yet to have a definitive WWE match. Such a problem would be sorted by a move to Smackdown, where he could feud with Finlay and Edge, proving his potential whilst doing so.

Freshening up - I wonder if there will be any member of the SLAM! Wrestling crew who does not think that ECW requires freshening up, moreso than RAW or Smackdown. The problems with the brand go deeper than just its personnel, however, and much of the problems are down to its booking ideology. The spirit of the old ECW cannot be recreated in the WWE, and that either needs to be emphasised following the draft, or the brand must be dropped entirely. At present, ECW television feels less than third rate.

Andy McNamara
ECW - CM Punk- Punk will be moving on up and I believe he makes the jump to Smackdown to initially feud for the U.S. title.

RAW - With Cena having disposed of The Great Khali I believe the big man gets a change of scenery to Smackdown.

Smackdown - To go with the general weirdness in ECW, Boogeyman gets drafted to the so-called extreme program.

Freshen up - ECW is a lost cause so I won't even consider them. Raw has gone stale so they need the most freshening up. After Khali, Cena has no contenders for the championship so I would expect some major players coming to Raw.

Matt Mackinder
Raw - Scoot The Great Khali to ECW and make him a 911-type character in a stable, maybe the New Breed? This was attempted once before, but all the zero talent did was beat up on Tommy Dreamer.
ECW - Move Rob Van Dam to TNA. Did I write that? Um, seriously, I don't know. Who's left? Maybe move CM Punk to Raw? How does that sound to everyone out there?
Smackdown - Put Matt Hardy on Raw. Or is he already there? I don't know.

Freshen Up - Are there still three different brands? In my eyes, WWE is a cluster right now and I don't see that changing any time soon. So, to say which brand needs the most freshening up - all of them! The whole company needs an overhaul. Am I alone in thinking this?

Jon Waldman
Raw - While there are a plethora of wrestlers who could move, there aren't a lot of guys Vince is willing to move from his flagship brand. To me though, there are a number of guys who could benefit from new scenery. Number one on that list is Carlito, who could move to either show and fully establish himself as a top heel. My money's on him going to Smackdown and becoming the number two heel behind Edge.

Smackdown - A few weeks ago I would've said Mr. Kennedy, so he could feud with John Cena, but with Edge on the SD! roster now, that's not going to happen. Instead, I'll say that Batista will be moving on, with shenanigans from Edge in some fashion, and go to ECW to work a "dream" feud with Bobby Lashley through the summer.

ECW - It would be easy to say CM Punk to go to Raw or SD!, but in reality he needs to stay on Tuesday nights a bit longer to fully cement his name. So who goes instead? Easy - Gene Snitzky moves to Raw to be the next monster there to take the fall for John Cena.

Freshen Up - In all honesty, and it's going to sound odd, Raw needs the biggest overhaul. If you look at the current roster, we've had Cena, Orton, DX and Umaga as the main eventers on the brand virtually since SummerSlam last year. Only Edge and Kane have moved around, and Khali only came on the Raw scene a few months ago. Smackdown got a breath of fresh air with Edge coming in and a new talent or two coming to the Raw roster and being inserted in to the main event slot would work wonders for the Monday night brand.

RELATED LINKS

  • Nick Tylwalk column: Mocking the draft
    Visit the SLAM! Wrestling store!


  • WWE Ladder Match DVD Set

    Now it's your turn at the podium. Make your selections and e-mail Jon Waldman with your thoughts on who will be going where next Monday.