Last night marked the WWE’s annual draft, and as a result, the Raw and Smackdown rosters look a little bit different today. John Cena was the first pick of the event, being drafted from Raw to Smackdown. To conclude the event, Cena was drafted once again, this time from Smackdown back to Raw. It seems like a bit of a waste to have used two picks on him, since this isn’t even a new idea. Triple H was drafted by Smackdown and landed back on Raw by the end of the draft years ago. But whatever, Cena’s staying put, as he should be. It’s not a surprise that the man already announced for the WrestleMania 28 main event is going to remain on the WWE’s only live program.
The most established name to actually change brands was Randy Orton, as predicted here last week. I suppose the thinking is that he’ll fill the void left by Edge, although those are some big shoes to fill. Raw’s biggest acquisition was Alberto Del Rio, which seems to indicate Christian will be the new World Champion after Extreme Rules. You never know, though. Raw also gained the Big Show, although the impact of this likely won’t be felt immediately since as one half of the tag team champions, Show is appearing on both shows at the moment anyway. In exchange, Smackdown took Mark Henry, who made a heel turn last night. It’s hard for me to imagine that now is the time WWE turns him into a star after 15 years of mediocrity. Also changing brands were WWE’s two resident masked high flyers. Rey Mysterio will now make his home on Monday Night Raw, while newcomer Sin Cara is the newest addition to the Smackdown roster.
The WWE’s supplemental draft will be taking place this afternoon on WWE.com, and we’ll have results from the event posted here later in the day. In the meantime, the rest of Raw is dissected after the jump.
- Raw opened with a 20-man battle royal to determine which show would be getting the first pick. Pretty much everyone below the main event scene was included in this, yet there were no real standout performances. Big Show and Kofi Kingston picked up the win for Smackdown, last eliminating Mason Ryan. After his assault on Randy Orton last week and his longevity in the battle royal last night, it looks like Ryan is in line for a little bit of a push. At this point, Cena was drafted to Smackdown, and Miz sent him off with a few choice words.
- R-Truth delivered a pun-laden promo (the Truth has set him free, ugh) before being attacked by John Morrison. As you already know, Truth isn’t the most eloquent speaker, so his stumbling through this segment shouldn’t come as a surprise. It seems a little strange to me that Morrison is still being included in the triple threat match at Extreme Rules; it seems more like he should be taking on R-Truth in another #1 contenders contest.
- Eve beat Layla in under a minute. After the match, Layla laid a pretty heavy beatdown on Michelle McCool. Unlike their stupid therapy session, this was actually a pretty convincing performance. For the first time in all of this LayCool drama, I’m mildly interested. I’m sure I won’t be by the time Smackdown gets here, but last night, it was attention grabbing. Another Kong promo aired prior to the match, officially dubbing her Kharma, as the rumors had suggested she’d be named.
- Cody Rhodes is still the man. That is all.
- Kofi Kingston defeated United States Champion in a quick match. Nothing really to this one, although it was weird seeing Kofi actually win for once. Actually, having survived in the battle royal that opened the show, Kofi Kingston won TWICE last night. I’d need to fact check on this, but I’m inclined to think that’s more than he won in the entire span between the Royal Rumble and WrestleMania.
- JR scored a victory over Michael Cole. This match was about five minutes long, but it seemed like an eternity. I’m going to stop reporting on anything that goes on between these guys in the future. It’s too dumb to mention. I don’t like writing about it, you don’t like reading about it, nobody likes watching it. It’s the worst. At Extreme Rules, the tag match involving them is going to be a “country whipping” match. The worst.
- Randy Orton was the winner in a match with Dolph Ziggler. The match was outrageously short, but it was good while it lasted. It would have been really nice to see these guys given some time. If they’d give Ziggler more than three minutes a week, he’d be a star. Orton’s still using the Angle Slam.
- Mysterio went over Wade Barrett in another extremely short match. There’s really nothing to talk about with these bouts that don’t last three minutes, but I will say this: Rey Mysterio’s ridiculous little frog splash might be the most annoying move in professional wrestling.
- The main event was a 6-man tag team match that saw CM Punk, Alberto Del Rio, & the Miz defeat John Cena, Mark Henry, & Christian. Mark Henry went heel, costing his team the victory. Whoopty doo. There is nothing that can make Henry relevant, nor was there much purpose for this match other than getting Cena back on Raw.
Raw was all about the draft, through and through. If you tuned in to see who was going to switch brands, there’s a good chance you enjoyed the show. If you wanted to see any storyline progression or *gasp* actual wrestling, you were probably sorely disappointed. The only match that was relevant to any ongoing feud was the one between Michael Cole & Jim Ross, and that was obviously terrible. The rest of the show revolved around the draft, and there wasn’t much substance outside of the picks. Feel free to berate me in the comments if you disagree!