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RAW: Draft tries to shock WWE Universe
By DALE PLUMMER -- SLAM! Wrestling




It’s the time of the year WWE likes to shake things up with the annual draft. Unlike, say the NFL draft, the rules and dates of the WWE draft change from year to year. Heck, a few years ago the draft took an entire month. Raleigh, North Carolina hosts the draft extravaganza this year.

In addition to the regular report, I will be providing some instant analysis. If you think I’m an idiot feel free to let me know.

The show kicks off with a twenty man battle royal in progress. The show that wins gets the first draft pick of the night.

Match #1 – RAW vs. Smackdown! 20 Man over the top Battle Royal.

Some of the bigger superstars get eliminated early, with Kane and Great Khali hitting the floor. Sheamus gets eliminated and we go to commercial. After the break, Santino tries to hit Big Show with the cobra from the apron. Show just shoves him to the floor.

And then there were four. Big Show and Kofi Kingston represent Smackdown, while Mason Ryan and Evan Bourne are rocking the red. Mason corners Big Show, while Bourne drops Kofi over the rope. Kofi lands on the apron and the two trade near eliminations. Kofi leaps a leg sweep to get back in the ring. Bourne goes high risk, but Show catches him and tosses him to the floor. Big Show then knocks Mason Ryan over the top rope to get Smackdown the first pick of the night.

Winner: Team Smackdown!

Pick No. 1 – Smackdown drafts – John Cena

Here’s a move that had to be made. Cena is getting booed too much on RAW. Smackdown is more kid friendly and hopefully he will get more cheers on a Friday night.

Todd Grisham gets Cena's thoughts on being drafted. Cena is excited and makes some shout out to the SyFy network. Cena says he will beat The Miz on Sunday and take the WWE Title belt to Smackdown! Miz has other ideas, though.

R-Truth walks out on stage to address the crowd. In full heel mode, Truth tells the crowd to shut up. And they respond with the "What?" chant. (Please, stop it. I’m begging you, if you go to a live show, don’t join in. In fact, feel free to smack anyone who does.)

Truth blames the fans for him losing his number one spot last week. He was trying to please the fans, and it hasn’t gotten him anywhere. The silver lining of this promo is that Truth will not be rapping and dancing anymore. John Morrison attacks Truth from behind, cutting his promo short. WWE officials are on the spot to break them up. Morrison can’t be restrained, going after his former friend.

Next week, The Rock will be celebrating his birthday on RAW from Miami.

Another vignette of Awesome Kong, I mean Kharma, ripping apart a doll.

Match #2 – Eve (RAW) vs. Layla (Smackdown) w/ Michelle McCool – Draft Pick Match

Once again, Michael Cole steps all over this match to promote his bout later tonight. Eve picks up the win with a roll up, as Cole rambles on. Cole says he is going to dissect Jim Ross later tonight.

Winner via pinfall: Eve

After the match, Michelle attacks Layla, but Lay turns the tables, smashing McCool into the ring. She breaks into tears, but not before tossing her partner over the announce table.

Pick No. 2 – RAW drafts – Rey Mysterio

I haven’t been watching Smackdown all that often, but it did seem Rey’s feud with Cody Rhodes was getting stale. Maybe we will see him work a program with Sin Cara?

Cody Rhodes says he is going to hospitalize Rey this weekend at Extreme Rules.

Match #3 – Kofi Kingston (Smackdown) vs. Sheamus (RAW) – Draft Pick Match

Sheamus pounds Kofi on the apron, and then floors him with a shoulder block. Sheamus explodes out of the corner with a clothesline, but Kofi floats over. Kofi connects with the Trouble in Paradise, twice, and covers to get the win.

Winner via pinfall: Kofi Kingston

Pick No. 3 – Smackdown drafts – Randy Orton

WOW! Smackdown was hurting for star power, not anymore. Someone is going to have to step up as the face of RAW, now.

Match #4 – Michael Cole w/Jack Swagger vs. Jim Ross w/ Jerry Lawler

Booker T takes Cole’s spot on the announce team.

Cole taunts JR before the match. Cole then rolls out of the ring to grab JR’s hat. He stomps on it in the ring and then Cole towels off. JR finally shoves Cole to the mat, and Cole tries to call timeout. Swagger provides Cole with some water, and the crowd is starting to get restless. Cole tries to pick up and slam JR, but Ross falls on him and starts punching away. Cole tries to escape, so Lawler helps him back in the ring. Swagger runs Lawler into the ring post before hitting the ring. He attacks JR. The ref calls for the bell, disqualifying Cole. Swagger applies the ankle lock, as Cole is furious that JR busted him open.

Winner via DQ: Jim Ross

Cole starts whipping JR with his belt, until Lawler makes the save. Swagger is knocked from the ring, and Cole is caught. Lawler gets in a few shots with the belt, before Cole can run to the back.

WHAT YOU THINK
Of these names, which is the biggest surprise to switch brands?
Orton to SD - 55%
Sin Cara to SD - 21%
Mysterio to Raw - 15%
Big Show to Raw - 7%
Henry to SD - 2%
The RAW GM sends an email weighing in on the situation. He makes the match between the four men at Extreme Rules a country whipping match.

The Miz can’t believe everyone is talking about the Rock’s birthday. He says they will be talking about how Miz defended his belt in a triple threat match. He also puts over that he can lose the belt without being pinned. Miz says USA execs better be praying he doesn’t get drafted to Smackdown or RAW will be canceled in a month.

Match #5 – Randy Orton (Smackdown) vs. Dolph Ziggler w/ Vicki Guerreo (RAW) – Double Draft Pick Match

I don’t like Ziggler’s new look, with short dark hair -- it’s very generic.

Orton knocks Ziggler to the floor, but when Orton gives chase he gets dropkicked over the security barrier. Orton barely makes the ten count, but he safely returns to the ring. Orton answers with a scoop slam, and then counters a clothesline with a back breaker. Orton pounds the mat, looking for the RKO. Vicki distracts Orton, and Ziggler nearly gets roll-up pin. Orton kicks out, and then hits an RKO from nowhere.

Winner via pinfall: Randy Orton

CM Punk delays the pick to talk to Orton. Punk says the rules don’t apply this week, except for one. He has to answer the referee’s ten count. Punk tells Orton a surprise RKO won’t get the job done. Orton says he won’t miss Punk rambling on and on, in fact Punk won’t be talking, walking, or eating after Sunday. He’ll just be sleeping.

Pick No. 4 – Smackdown drafts – Mark Henry

Pick No. 5 – Smackdown drafts – Sin Cara

I could care less about Mark Henry, he’ll bounce around the mid-card over there. AS for Sin Cara, I’m not happy, but at least they will be able to cover up when someone botches a spot, (I’m looking in your direction Primo), with some fancy editing.

Match #6 – Rey Mysterio (RAW) vs. Wade Barrett (Smackdown) – Double Draft Pick Match

Barrett pounds Mysterio on the mat and into the corner. Rey kicks out of a pin. Mysterio follows with a springboard lateral press, but Barrett quickly kicks out. Rey fights Barrett off the top turnbuckle, connects with the head scissors, sending Barrett into the ropes. Rey hits the 619, and covers to the win.

Winner via pinfall: Rey Mysterio

Pick No. 6 – RAW drafts – The Big Show

Pick No. 7 – RAW drafts – Alberto Del Rio

The Big Show is back on RAW, and he brings one half of the tag teams belts with him. The Del Rio pick is what I was hoping for. I smell a title dual title change this weekend.

Backstage, Del Rio isn’t happy about getting moved, and Brodus Clay wants to know what happens to him.

Smackdown General Manager Teddy Long walks out to announce the main event. It will be a six man tag team match to decide the final draft pick.

Match #7 – The Miz, CM Punk, and Alberto Del Rio (RAW) vs. Christian, Mark Henry, and John Cena (Smackdown) – Draft Pick Match

Miz and Christian start things off, but it doesn’t last as we go to commercial.

After the break, Henry and crushes Punk in the corner and then stands on him next to the ropes. Christian tags in, hitting a flying elbow. Del Rio distracts Christian so he can’t hit the Kill Switch. Del Rio gets the tag, and kicks Christian in the corner. The WWE champion gets a quick tag, and applies a chin lock on Christian. Punk tags in, dropping a leg on Christian. Miz blocks the Kill Switch and counters with a clothesline in the corner. Christian kicks out of the pin. Christian plants Del Rio with a tornado DDT off the top rope. Miz and Cena get the respective tags, and Cena hits the sidewalk slam. Cena shoots off the ropes, only to get clothesline by Mark Henry. He then takes out Christian on the outside. Miz hits Cena with the Skull Crushing Finale and covers to get the win.

Winner via pinfall: The Miz, CM Punk, and Alberto Del Rio

Pick No. 8 – RAW drafts – John Cena

Now I’m just angry. Are they trying to get Cena booed out of every arena? Cena coming back to RAW makes no sense, other than WWE is dead set on keeping him the face of the company, despite the fact he is getting booed relentlessly. I wish someone in WWE creative had some guts to try something new.

The show ends with Cena clearing the ring of the heels, and standing victorious in the ring.

Dale Plummer has been writing for SLAM! Wrestling since 2003. Follow Dale on Twitter @DPlummer627 for more of his draft reaction.