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   Mon, June 23, 2008



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Countdown to the WWE Draft
By SLAM! Wrestling Staff


CM Punk is often discussed as a name that needs to move. Photo by Mike Mastrandrea


World Wrestling Entertainment is getting set to "shake things up."

Yes, in just a few short hours, the WWE Draft will take place and, like we have seen on a nearly annual basis, a wide variety of wrestlers, both headliners and curtain jerkers, are going to be changing their addresses, or, at least their business cards.

So to honour this occasion, SLAM! Wrestling's equivalent of Gord Miller, Pierre Maguire, Bob McKenzie and James Duthie (we'll leave it to you to figure out who's who), Brian Elliott, Matt Mackinder, Andy McNamara and Jon Waldman all took their turns on predicting who would be moving from Raw, Smackdown and ECW.


Brian Elliott

If you're wondering why my predictions seem a little obvious, it's because that's what I expect - and I think we'll all have to have some sort of medical treatment if Triple H in particular is drafted to Smackdown (let's not even consider ECW).

Therefore, with the number of losses that he's compiled in recent months, it makes absolute sense for Umaga to be drafted to Smackdown for the long-planned program with the returning Undertaker. Also on the heel side, MVP could take the next step up in his career by moving to Raw from Smackdown.

From ECW, CM Punk may have his chance to move to Raw. Expect him back the next time he turns down an after-show beer.


Matt Mackinder

Raw - Umaga needs to go to Friday nights where even less people will care whether or not he wins or loses. When he came in two years ago (as Umaga), he was this unstoppable, flabby Samoan who didn't speak except for the occasional "Samoa!" and I think he only says that because it's tattooed on his gut.

ECW - This brand can't afford to lose people aside from the viewers it loses week in and week out. Like Matt Bishop said in his recent Mat Matters column, put Trevor Murdoch and someone like Kenny Dykstra here. Take away Mike Adamle and let him do, I don't know, backstage interviews on SmackDown! Just take the mic away from this fossil.

SmackDown! - I see a Diva getting moved, probably Michelle McCool or Natalya, to Raw. Monday nights are getting very bland, routine and repetitious, so getting some new flesh on board will hopefully boost ratings for a segment or two. Right?

Wild Card - Send Charlie Haas to the point of no return - ECW. What has he done lately besides impersonate Val Venis? And remind me again why he and Shelton Benjamin were split up?


Andy McNamara

Raw - Umaga is the man to go to Smackdown as he has essentially run his course on Raw. Smackdown could also benefit from an athletic monster.

ECW - Cross your fingers that CM Punk gets moved and actually may receive, dare I say, a push! Punk goes to Smackdown to feud with Edge.

Smackdown! - Batista really needs a shake up and a change of atmosphere just might do the trick. The Animal goes back to the flagship show RAW.

Wild Card - Chuck Palumbo. If I had my pick, Mr. Palumbo would be moved to the unemployment line. However, the next best thing is Chuck to move his zero fan reaction butt out of sight and mind to ECW.


Jon Waldman

WHAT YOU THINK
Your feelings on Monday's WWE Draft?
I'm excited - 15%
I hope it shakes things up - 41% Shrug - 16%
I don't care - 28%
Raw - I get the feeling we're going to get the most movement from the Monday night broadcast, and it looks like we'll get one of the biggest names going to Fridays - John Cena. There are essentially two reasons for this. First, having two top-tier babyfaces who could carry the big gold belt on Raw leaves a crowded scene, so either John or Triple H has to be moved. Second, and more importantly, SD! needs a face to build their show around with the move to MyTV. Cena can be that star.

ECW - While CM Punk would be an obvious choice, there seems to be a bit of a movement towards the smaller, sleeker guys showing up on Tuesday nights, with Evan Bourne debuting and Kofi Kingston continuing to get a push. Thus, I'm betting that Kane will move to Raw for his final year or so in the squared circle. The dynamic of ECW running with the Raw group on the road will allow him to finish his run with the belt, while also pushing the feud with Big Show as what will likely be his final tilt.

Smackdown! - To most, moving MVP to ECW would be seen as a step down, but to me it's a step up. MVP can go to the show and cut his teeth as a main eventer, while also getting some exposure on the Raw tour. Plus, it makes storyline sense - Teddy Long was the one who originally signed MVP, so for Porter to move to be with a GM that would appreciate him and his talents is a no-brainer.

Wild Card - The tease of an announcer moving shows has to be done, so I'd expect Mike Adamle to be moved to Raw. If done right, Adamle's, ahem, less-than-stellar commentary could be well-hidden next to Jim Ross and Jerry Lawler. This would also leave open a spot on the ECW commenting team, which to me would be the perfect training ground for Josh Matthews.


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