I announced my first 9 picks (the one’s that would air on TV), real-time style, on twitter last night (http://twitter.com/#!/RTVWOW). Now i’m going to go through them in more detail here anyway, as well as the supplemental draft, but that should let you know the benefits of following @RTVWOW on twitter! Dave Lagana (@Lagana), a former member of the WWE creative team has been blogging on his IWantWrestling blog about former drafts with a very interesting perspective. Like he has argued, I think the brands need to return to a bit more of a tribal relationship with much less cross-over. Hopefully, that will be the way it goes. So without further ado …
1) Big Show –> RAW
My first draft move would be Big Show to RAW. The reason behind this is that most people will be expecting Smackdown to go over in a big way in this draft, so making the first draft a big name draft to RAW will have great shock value. Also, eventhough tag teams can appear on either show anyway, drama can be built up around whether Kane will join him on RAW with the tag titles. Even without that, the Big Show being drafted to RAW, to appear exclusively when he drops the title, is a big deal.
2) Kelly Kelly –> RAW
Kelly Kelly has become a very popular diva as a babyface, and without getting crude, she is very ‘marketable’. All this adds up to Kelly being drafted to RAW, and she is now, rightly or wrongly, quite a big name. If Awesome Kong is to debut on RAW with some sort of ‘anti-Barbie’ gimmick, Kelly would also serve as a perfect foil for that.
3) Drew McIntyre –> RAW
Drew McIntyre has been on the bubble for a while, and a move to RAW could be enough to break him through to the main event, especially if he gets to work more with Mr. McMahon, who appears a lot more often on RAW. Not only that, but Sheamus is on RAW (and I don’t see him moving), and those two working together (be it together or apart), would be absolute money. Obviously, after the 3rd RAW draft in a row, there would be lots of dismay on the Smackdown side, but fear not, it’s all part of the story …
4) John Morrison –> Smackdown
The whole point of this draft is clearly to provide fresh main-event players on Smackdown, and that is where JoMo will come in. He is too lacking on the mic at this point to really make it big on RAW, but on Smackdown, I see him being an upper-mid carder again at the start, but being more regularly in high-profile matches, and breaking in to the main event eventually within a year, and maybe sooner rather than later.
5) Daniel Bryan –> Smackdown
Though the balance may have tipped a little recently, the blue brand is still more receptive to pure wrestling than the flagship show. Bryan is earning his popularity with every great match he puts on, but since dropping the U.S. title a few weeks ago, he has become lost in the shuffle on RAW. I see him moving to Smackdown to challenge Wade Barrett for the Intercontinental Championship. They have great history together, being two of the standouts of the original NXT and with Bryan quitting Nexus for ‘ethical’ reasons. THey could have a great programme, and going up against Corre could really get Bryan over. Depending on how popular he is on the heels of this, he too could get the main event push he deserves.
6) Melina –> Smackdown
To level out the draft, I think Melina going to Smackdown would be wise. She’s not been doing much on RAW, and is a big name move to add extra shock and prestige to this draft. (Also, if dirtsheets are to be believed, she wont stand for being on a different brand to boyfriend, JoMo).
7) R-Truth –> Smackdown
For very similar reasons to JoMo. If Truth is getting a push, as it shockingly appears, he too will struggle to make a big impact on RAW with his lack of mic skills. He is, however, a very interesting physical actor, which might play better on Smackdown. All that aside, the blue brand will be struggling for top heels, so there is a spot for someone to fill, and he will need to stay on Smackdown anyway for the inevitable feud with Morrison. For both of them, that needs to be top notch.
8) Kane –> RAW
To even things out on TV going in to the final draft pick, RAW will get it’s fourth pick and stem the Smackdown counter-attack. Like Big Show, Kane is a solid babyface who could be booked great to get someone like McIntyre over, and this would alleviate the tension of the tag champs maybe being split. Could I suggest Sheamus & McIntyre (The Celtic Connection) feuding with Kane & Big Show for the tag titles?
9) Randy Orton –> Smackdown
This is obviously the shocking, top name switch of the draft. Orton is arguably the most popular superstar on the roster and is more than adequate as a replacement for Edge as Smackdown’s top babyface. The only problem with this switch is that, while Cena is obviously still the top face of the whole company for now, he doesn’t get the universal pops that Orton does. This is part of the reason I drafted Kane and Big Show to RAW to add more babyface popularity to the brand, but I think for this to work, RAW really needs Triple H to be a regular feature on RAW to provide those universally big pops. We’ll see about that, but this is the most widely slated draft, and if it happens, I will look forward to the matches between the Viper and Alberto Del Rio.
That’s all i’d show on TV, but there are usually several further drafts announced later on WWE.com, and these can often end up being just as impactful as those shown on TV. I wont go into them too much, however, unless there is something interesting to be said about the decision. Most are to balance out numbers or to provide a fresh start for a superstar.
Evan Bourne –> Smackdown
Ted DiBiase –> Smackdown (He really needs to work with former Legacy ‘brethren’, Cody Rhodes, in some way)
Beth Phoenix –> RAW (This is ostensibly to meet Natalya, but if the Awesome Kong ‘anti-Barbie’ idea goes down, Phoenix, Natalya, and Kong together could be a ‘anti-Barbie’ faction, either heel or face.)
Yoshi Tatsu –> Smackdown
Chavo Guerrero –> RAW (I think Chavo needs to wrestle more on TV, and being on a brand with Vickie Guerrero will facilitate that. With that in mind, he could be a great help at getting Dolph Ziggler over even more)
Gail Kim –> Smackdown (It might seem Melina is the replacement for Kelly Kelly on Smackdown, but Gail is the real replacement as she is a babyface)
Michael Tarver –> Smackdown (I’m a big fan of Tarver, and when he was appearing on his own just looming backstage, I was hopeful that he might get a good story. That didn’t work out, however, so seen as it looks like someone might be leaving Corre, Tarver could be a good replacement potentially)
Tyler Reks –> RAW (I’m not a fan of Reks, but similarly to Tarver, he could go the other way to bolster the New Nexus is Mason Ryan leaves)
DH Smith –> Smackdown
Alicia Fox –> Smackdown
With all this in mind, and to round this all off, here’s a break-down of the post-RTVdraft rosters, in their orders of importance (not my opinion, but realistically):
The Great Khali
Alberto Del Rio