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   Wed, June 25, 2008



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COMMENT





SLAM! coverage of the 2008 WWE Supplemental Draft
By JON WALDMAN -- SLAM! Wrestling


Carlito moves to Smackdown ... but does the Cabana move too? Photo by Mike Mastrandrea

The WWE Supplemental Draft went 17 picks on Wednesday, and SLAM! Wrestling was there to document them all. Who got moved where, and what could it mean to their careers? Read on, faithful readers. Plus, we want you to email us with your thoughts.

Skip ahead to Jon's final thoughts.

WWE has announced that all wrestlers selected this past Monday in the WWE Draft are exempt from today's proceedings.

Pick 1 - Mark Henry - to ECW
Jon's Thoughts - Not a bad way to start the draft. This is a pick that could've been seen a mile away though, given how much Henry has been on ECW in recent weeks. I'm not sure of where they'll go once he has the title, which is now an inevitability.

Pick 2 - Jamie Noble - to Raw
Jon's Thoughts - If the Cruiserweight Division wasn't dead before, it sure as hell is now. Noble was doing some behind-the-scenes work, so you have to assume this will continue. The move is good for Noble overall and he will likely move into a deeper agent role in the coming months.

Pick 3 - Trevor Murdoch - to Smackdown
Jon's Thoughts - Fantastic move here. Murdoch moves to a brand that spotlights in-ring acumen, something Murdoch has not been given credit for in the past. If/when Smackdown gets a secondary title (to replace the U.S. strap), expect him to be in the hunt.

Pick 4 - Big Daddy V - to Smackdown
Jon's Thoughts - Matt Mackinder's favourite wrestler is on the move. Absolutely no loss here for ECW as BDV had pretty much worn out his welcome. Aside from Henry, ECW is looking much, much more speed and finesse-oriented.

Pick 5 - Deuce - to Raw
Jon's Thoughts - Solid but not spectacular. I almost would have preferred if Deuce went to ECW. I get the feeling that he's going to be re-packaged as Jimmy Snuka Jr. and become part of the rumoured second generation stable. Maybe he'll be DiBiase's partner on Sunday?

Pick 6 - DH Smith - to Smackdown
Jon's Thoughts - There goes the rumours of Harry being in the NextGen stable, but let the rumours fly about Hart Foundation v.2. Smith could also soon be in line for the Smackdown secondary title and could breakout easily here.

Pick 7 - Hornswoggle - to ECW
Jon's Thoughts - Well I guess Horny's safe from Big Daddy V now. I suppose this is supposed to tease that Finlay is coming to ECW as well, which wouldn't be bad since the young lions there can benefit from his experience, but I'd rather see the character put away for good.

Pick 8 - Super Crazy - to ECW
Jon's Thoughts - Great move here by WWE. Crazy is not only an ECW Original but was virtually non-roster on Raw, so this is a great step for the Latino extremist. A Super Crazy/Matt Hardy program is an interesting possibility.

Pick 9 - Chuck Palumbo - to Raw
Jon's Thoughts - I haven't been impressed with Palumbo since his return, but maybe a change of scenery is what he needs. Really though, Chuckie P will get lost in the shuffle on Monday night. ECW would have been a better destination in my opinion.

Pick 10 - Brian Kendrick - to Smackdown
Jon's Thoughts - I would've liked to have seen Kendrick and Paul London have a formal split a la The Rockers to build both men's characters a bit more. I also think Kendrick's style is well suited for ECW, but given the right opponent, Brian can become a very respectable player on the Smackdown brand.

Pick 11 - Matt Striker - to Raw
Jon's Thoughts - Great for Striker, bad for ECW. Matt is the perfect fit for Raw as a manager/wrestler, maybe even guest TV commentator should Jerry Lawler and Michael Cole not work well together. ECW suffers greatly from this though.

Pick 12 - Maria - to Smackdown
Jon's Thoughts - Part of me is deeply saddened by this. Maria was starting to turn a corner in her development as an actual wrestler. She will have more breathing and breakout room on Smackdown though. If Finlay stays on Friday night though, this could end up being a great move.

Pick 13 - Shelton Benjamin - to Smackdown
Jon's Thoughts - And ECW dies another painful death. Though Benjamin wasn't being properly used on Tuesdays, he was still a reason to tune in. Smackdown just got that much better. Like Murdoch and Smith, Shelton is a definite contender for the brand's secondary title and could advance to the heavyweight title picture easily.

Pick 14 - Finlay - to ECW
Jon's Thoughts - I guess we should've seen this coming. Unfortunately this means two things - 1> ECW is now getting its own tag division, and 2> its leaders will be Finlay and Hornswoggle. I like Finlay as a backstage leader, but hate the potential that this means Hornswoggle is well protected on ECW. Looks like the little guy is going to stick around for a while.

Pick 15 - Carlito - to Smackdown
Jon's Thoughts - End the draft now. Smackdown just got that much more awesome. Carlito is back where he belongs, has Shelton, Murdoch and Smith to feud with and should be very happy now. Carly could very well be wearing gold here, post haste. By the way, there goes another one of DiBiase's supposed stable mates.

Pick 16 - Layla - to Raw
WHAT YOU THINK
Of the men listed below from the supplemental draft, who will benefit the most?
Carlito to SD - 18% Kofi Kingston to Raw - 17%
DH Smith to SD - 15%
Shelton Benjamin to SD - 12%
Mark Henry to ECW - 10%
Finlay to ECW - 6%
Trevor Murdoch to SD - 5%
Deuce to Raw - 4%
Super Crazy to ECW - 4%
Chuck Palumbo to Raw - 3%
Matt Striker to Raw - 3%
Jamie Noble to Raw - 1%
Hornswoggle to ECW - 1%
Brian Kendrick to SD - 0%
Big Daddy V to SD - 0%
Jon's Thoughts - Best draft pick ever! Oh please, this is just a T&A move. Yes, Layla is getting better in the ring but she's not ready for the bright lights of Monday nights (and definitely not the live ones from what I've heard). Bad move.

Pick 17 - Kofi Kingston - to Raw
Jon's Thoughts - So long ECW. So much looked promising earlier today, but with this hot prospect now on the road to Raw, ECW is directionless and likely will soon be absorbed by the Monday night brand. Kofi, I hope, gets a fair shot on Raw, but somehow I doubt he'll survive there long.

Final thoughts
Many of the moves today were fairly obvious. We knew Carlito was going to move and expected that Trevor Murdoch would be on his way from Raw. There's no question that Smackdown has gained the most from this draft and today's pick-ups have solidified Friday night's stable of wrestlers as arguably the best on WWE TV. Raw's biggest gain, at this point, is that they were able to trim their roster of talented guys who weren't able to get the appropriate TV time, so they also ended up strong.

Unfortunately, ECW looks like it's all but done. Finlay will help young talent like Matt Bourne develop, but unless there's a sudden influx of guys from FCW, the ECW roster is looking as thin as Kate Moss. Sure, we will see crossover from lower-rung Raw guys, but there's so little drawing power now on top. The other thing is the Tuesday night division now has secondary and tag titles, and not a lot of guys to compete for them.

Which brings me to my final point. Smackdown now is in an interesting spot, whereby they are pretty much guaranteed not to have a second belt or a tag division. SD! can survive without the tags (seeing how Jesse and Festus are essentially the only tandem left), and now has the opportunity to bring in a new strap, maybe resurrecting the old WCW TV Title, with a very strong division.

Thanks everyone for tuning in today and we look forward to
hearing your comments on what was a fantastic Supplemental Draft.

RELATED LINKS

  • June 23, 2008: Raw: Draft goes Smackdown's way
  • June 23, 2008: Countdown to the WWE Draft

    Jon Waldman, SLAM!'s resident roster analyst, is now readying himself for the NBA Entry Draft. Any team wishing to negotiate with Jon can reach his agent via email here.