Not to be outdone by the NFL, WWE trots out its yearly draft just days after football wrapped theirs up. Although unlike the NFL, WWE made their cuts before the draft. (Bye, Mickie James...) Tonight, RAW expands to three hours to contain all the action from Richmond, Virginia.
Unfortunately, with all the superstars in the building, we are subjected to the cluster that is the three-man booth. Matt Striker joins Cole and King at the table. (I’m just hoping tonight isn’t as bad as Wrestlemania.)
Match #1 – ShoMiz vs. The Hart Legacy – Unified Tag Team Championship Match
There was a Pay Per View last night, and ShoMiz was forced into a gauntlet match, with the stipulation being that if a team beat them, they would get a title shot.
Before the match, Miz runs his mouth on the microphone. He also wants Bret Hart to pay up on his end of the deal from two weeks ago. Bret has to announce that ShoMiz is the greatest tag team ever. (This was supposed to happen last week, but there was that volcano thing.)
Hart upholds his end of the bargain, but he adds The Mountie was the greatest Intercontinental Champion and David Arquette was the greatest Heavyweight Champion of all time. Hart says talk is cheap, but the Hart Legacy will be the new tag team champs.
Tyson Kidd and Miz lock up to start the match. Miz elbows out as Bret Hart and Natalya look on. Kidd hits a low drop kick, and tags in David Hart Smith, who hits Miz with a delayed vertical suplex. Miz rolls out of the ring, and comes face to face with Natalya. He blows her off, but turns right into a clothesline from Smith. And now it’s time for USA to pay the bills.
After the break, the Miz has Smith in a chin lock. Smith breaks the hold with a back suplex, and both men are down on the mat. Show and Kidd get tagged, and Show tosses Kidd aside. He then drops him with a big boot. Show follows with an elevated head butt, and then a giant chop to the chest in the corner. Show taunts Bret as he doles out punishment on Kidd. Miz tags in, and taunts the crowd. Miz hits a neck breaker and then slaps on a rear chin lock. Miz grabs Kidd’s foot to prevent a tag, and then ducks an enziguri. Kidd finally breaks free and makes the tag. Miz quickly pins Smith, and gets his feet on the ropes for leverage. Bret runs over and pushes Miz off, breaking the pin. Show runs over to the other side of the ring, only to get caught by Kidd flying off the apron. Miz is rolled up, but kicks out at two. Smith blocks the Skull Crusher, and tags in Kidd, who connects with a springboard Hart Attack. Kidd then locks in a sharpshooter, and Miz taps. The Hart Legacy are your new Unified Tag Team Champions.
Winner via submission: The Hart Legacy
During the commercial, Big Show decked Miz “possibly” breaking his jaw.
Josh Matthews is backstage with Heavyweight Champion Jack Swagger. The champ builds up his defeat of Randy Orton, when Edge steps in. Edge reminds Swagger he is next in line for a shot at that title.
Match #2 – Michelle McCool and Layla w/ Vicki Guerrero (SD!) vs. Eve and Maryse (RAW) – Draft Pick Match
(Eve and Maryse are the ever popular we-are-rivals-but-will-work-together-for-the-good-of-the-show team in tonight’s match. If they win RAW gets to draft a Diva.)
The partnership hits a rough patch as Eve and Maryse fight outside the ring. Maryse then makes a blind tag, but after taunting Eve, she walks right into a boot from McCool and is pinned.
Winner via pinfall: Michelle McCool and Layla
The first pick of the WWE draft goes to Smackdown.
Pick No. 1: Kelly Kelly to Smackdown
Match #3 – Evan Bourne (RAW) vs. CM Punk w/ Luke Gallows and Serena (SD!) – Draft Pick Match
Punk drives Bourne into the corner, but Bourne responds with kicks. Punk counters a head scissors with a back breaker, and then focuses on the back with kicks. Bourne runs into a heel kick, and kicks out of a pin at two. Bourne catches Punk with a spinning heel kick and knocks him out of the ring. Bourne slingshots himself over the ropes, crashing into Punk and Gallows. Bourne climbs the turnbuckle, and Serena leaps the apron. She distracts the ref, allowing a masked man to come out from the crowd and knock Bourne off the ropes. Punk hits the GTS and covers for the win.
Winner via pinfall: CM Punk
Pick No. 2: The Big Show to Smackdown
Teddy Long welcomes Big Show to Smackdown! He seems less than enthused, until he gives Teddy a big hug. He was just messing with him, and Teddy does a victory dance.
Sheamus walks to the ring, and tells the crowd Triple H won’t be drafted to Smackdown! because he won’t wrestle again. Sheamus is taking credit for ending Hunter’s career and now he is moving on. He wants the WWE title. Sheamus doesn’t get the champ, though, Randy Orton hits the arena.
Orton tells Sheamus when he took on Hunter, he did it face to face. He didn’t need to jump him from the behind. Orton doesn’t think Sheamus deserves a title shot. Sheamus warns him to back off, or he will befall the same fate Triple H did. Orton wants a piece of him, but Sheamus doesn’t deal with losers. The champ finally arrives, and Cena stands atop the ramp.
The champ thinks this a is a great opportunity to introduce tonight’s guest host. Cena gives a great entrance, but no one walks out. Cena receives a call informing him there is no guest host; apparently Mel Kiper was busy with another draft. Sheamus tells Cena to cut the jokes, so the champ gets down to business. The only person who can name a number one contender tonight is the WWE Champion. Cena is going to make them earn it, so Sheamus will take on Randy Orton.
Orton sniffs out a sneak attack by Sheamus, but Sheamus blocks the RKO and rolls out of the ring.
Match #4 – Team Smackdown! - Rey Mysterio, Kane, Drew McIntyre, R-Truth, and Shad Gaspard vs. Team RAW - MVP, Mark Henry, Yoshi Tatsu, Santino, and Ted Dibiase – RAW vs. Smackdown! Battle Royal – 3 Draft Picks
(I don’t watch Smackdown! so I was disappointed to see Cryme Tyme has broken up.)
Santino faces off with Rey, only to turn around and find Kane waiting for him. McIntyre is the first star to hit the mat, and Yoshi Tatsu follows him.
After the break, Santino gets a double elimination, but Kane cuts his celebration short with a chokeslam. Mark Henry tries to take out Kane, but Rey makes the save, and Henry is dumped over the top rope. Dibiase eliminates Kane. Ted tries to knock out Rey, but Mysterio skins the cat, and this the West Coast Pop. Santino is still down in the corner, as Rey skins the cat again. DiBiase is almost eliminated with a head scissors, but he skins the cat. DiBiase gets a boot up on the apron as Rey charges him, and he knocks Mysterio to the floor.
Winner: Team RAW
After the match, DiBiase hits Santino with Dream Street
Pick No. 3: John Morrison to RAW
Pick No. 4: R-Truth to RAW (Boooooooo!)
Pick No. 5: Edge to RAW (Yeaaa!)
Match #5 – Chris Jericho (SD!) vs. Christian (RAW) – Draft Pick Match
Jericho demands Edge be suspended for his actions at last night’s PPV. Jericho also blames his loss on being mentally shaken because he lost to a NXT Rookie last week. Jericho demands an apology from Heath Slater for causing him to lose to Edge. Slater heads to the ring and says he is sorry that Jericho couldn’t beat Edge. He adds that Jericho won’t beat Christian, either.
Slater tosses Jericho out of the ring from behind, and then takes off as Christian enters. Christian smacks Jericho around, and then trips him and focuses on the left leg. Christian takes the fight to the floor and we go to a break.
After the break, Christian almost steals the win but Jericho kicks out. Jericho slams Christian to the mat, but misses the Lionsualt. Christian connects with a flying shoulder block off the top turnbuckle, but Jericho blocks the Killswitch. Christian goes up top again, but Jericho catches him. Christian counters the Walls of Jericho with a small package, but Jericho is able to kick out. Christian counters a bulldog with a facebuster, but Jericho kicks out again. Jericho counters the Killswitch, but Christian blocks the Walls. Jericho is finally able to get the Walls of Jericho on, but Christian is able to get to the ropes. Jericho runs into a right hand from Christian, who goes high risk again. Jericho catches him in mid air with a Code Breaker and gets the pin.
Winner via pinfall: Chris Jericho
After the match, Jericho attacks Slater, hitting him with the Code Breaker.
Pick No.6: Kofi Kingston to Smackdown
Kofi wastes no time make a statement. He runs to the ring and hits Trouble in Paradise on Jericho.
Match #6 – John Morrison (RAW) vs. Jack Swagger (SD!)- Draft Pick Match
Swagger slams Morrison into the corner. Morrison fights his way out, but is beaten over the back. Swagger shows off his mat wrestling skills, keeping Morrison grounded. Morrison escapes and locks in an arm bar. Swagger counters into a head lock, keeping the pressure on. Morrison pops back up quickly from a shoulder block, catching Swagger with a drop kick. Morrison follows with a corkscrew plancha to the outside. Swagger regains control by spearing Morrison in the corner. And we go to commercial, again.
After the break, Swagger has an arm bar locked in. Morrison breaks the hold, but gets caught in the ropes, and Swagger locks in an abdominal stretch. Swagger breaks the hold before the five count. Morrison connects on a spinning kick, and then a standing shooting star press. Swagger kicks out at two. Morrison follows with a springboard kick, but Swagger gets a foot on the ropes to break the pin. Morrison grabs the ropes to block the gut wrench bomb, and hits Swagger with a side Russian leg sweep. Swagger gets to his feet in time to stop Morrison from climbing the turnbuckle. Swagger hits the gut wrench powerbomb and covers for the win.
Winner via pinfall: Jack Swagger
Pick No. 7: Christian to Smackdown
Carlito is turning down on offer from Ted DiBiase, saying he would rather sit on the sidelines than take an offer from him. Ted turns his attention to new RAW superstar R-Truth. He wants a new confidant, someone to watch his back. Truth is on board until Ted wants him to carry his bags. Truth figures out that DiBiase is looking for his Virgil. R-Truth gives his final answer with a big slap across the face.
Match #7 – Dolph Ziggler (SD!) vs. Hornswoggle (RAW) – Draft Pick Match
Michael Cole informs us that the supplemental draft will now take place Tuesday at noon.
Hornswoggle takes off around the ring, but Ziggler catches him and tosses him back in the ring. Horny keeps knocking Ziggler off the apron and gets him counted out.
Winner via countout: Hornswoggle
The victory is short lived, as Ziggler attacks Hornswoggle. He applies the sleeper and Horny is knocked out. The King leaves his post to check on the little guy.
Pick No. 8: Chris Jericho to RAW
Match #8 – Randy Orton vs. Sheamus – Number One Contender Match
Batista cuts off ring announcer Justin Roberts. He grabs the mic, screaming he is the number one contender and he should be the champion. He says last night was a joke, and no one embarrasses him like that. He isn’t leaving the ring until Cena gives him a match.
Sheamus makes his entrance, and tells Batista to take a hike. Orton comes to the ring, and tells him to stop whining. Orton makes a deal. When he beats Sheamus, he will grant Batista a shot. Sheamus thinks he only deserves a title shot. John Cena steps in, and I smell a triple threat match.
Match #8 – Randy Orton vs. Sheamus vs. Batista – Number One Contender Match
Batista buys some time by slipping to the outside, and Sheamus goes to work on Orton. The Viper turns the tables and beats Sheamus into the corner. Batista enters the battle, tossing Sheamus into the ring post and out of the ring. Orton stomps Batista into the corner and out of the ring. Orton smashes The Animal into the security barrier, but a rake to the eyes turns the tide. Batista tosses Orton back into the ring, and slams him in the corner. He turns his attention to Sheamus, bouncing his head off the announce table.
Orton takes advantage of the distraction and smashes Batista into the turnbuckle. Sheamus catches Orton from the apron, but Orton counters, slamming him off the ring post and Sheamus falls to the floor. Orton kicks Batista in the head. It doesn’t slow down The Animal who slaps on a rear chin lock. Sheamus jumps in and breaks the hold. Batista hits a spinebuster on Orton and we go to break.
After the break, Batista is out on the floor, while Sheamus beats on Orton. The fight goes to the floor, and Sheamus eats the announce table. Batista slams Orton into the ring apron, and tosses Sheamus back into the ring. Batista drives Sheamus into the corner with shoulder charges, but Sheamus responds with a hammering blow that sends Batista out of the ring. Sheamus runs into a boot from Orton, who then catches Batista with an elbow. He slams Batista to the mat, and looks for the elevated DDT, but Sheamus counters with a back body drop that sends Orton to the floor. Orton saves the match by pulling Batista off Sheamus. Orton pulls Batista through the ropes, and drops him with a DDT from the second rope. Orton looks to finish off Batista, but doesn’t see Sheamus coming in with a knee to the head. Sheamus pulls Orton up, but a spear from Batista stops the Celtic Cross. The Animal covers, but Sheamus somehow kicks out. Orton punts Batista in the head and then ducks a kick from Sheamus. He power slams Sheamus and drops him with an RKO. Edge runs in and spears Orton. All three men are down. Batista crawls over and gets a hand on Orton. The ref makes the three count and Batista is the new number one contender.
Winner via pinfall: Batista
Dale Plummer has been writing for SLAM! Wrestling since 2003. Dale is happy there is a SLAM! Wrestling draft. If selected to cover TNA he would demand a trade ala Eric Lindros. Follow Dale’s Twitter feed @DPlummer627 for more updates.