Raw Roundup: The Draft

WWE, TNA, Wrestling

The WWE's Apex Predator will be taking his game to Friday Nights.

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!

3 thoughts on “Raw Roundup: The Draft

  1. i know theyre paid well but how can some of these “wrestlers” be okay with the company they work for? is 100k and scripted house show matches enough to keep them happy? i wish tna wasn’t so self destructive, so maybe there would be a place for ziggler or orton or punk to jump ship to.

    with the punk contract rumors starting, the only other place that can offer him a decent salary is tna, right? this is the spark that they need, a current ex wwe wrestler to get them ratings. 12 year old wwe fans are not going to tune into tna because rvd, tommy dreamer or ken anderson show up, if they were that badly missed wwe would have just brought them back before tna signed them. But just because they may be expendable in the wwe universe that doesn’t mean that tna can afford to have guys like dreamer or rvd not wrestle for them. it would all come together though if they were able to snag someone like punk or orton. those guys equal ratings. wwes younger demographic will tune in if it was promoted well enough (actual tv spots, not just tweets to 1,000,000 followers and then expect every wrestling fan to be informed on whats going on). TNA has better young talent, you can not tell me that a 12 year old c.m. punk fan tuning into tna for the first time will not SHIT his pants when he sees punk with an Xed up chair cracking james storm in the face and breaking a bottle over robert roodes head.

    wwes youth movement is a sham, because the best young wrestlers are still in the indies/tna. who is the next superstar, or even respectable wrestler out of these goofballs ive been watching for the past two years? justin gabriel? daniel bryan? do i want to watch evan bourne cheerlead for himself? i can name 40 guys i would rather watch over justin gabriel. daniel bryans entire wwe run post strangulation has been nothing but embarrassment transfer. i know dragon is awesome but the idea that now that hes finally made it to the show hell get a chance to showcase his talents is laughable. it doesn’t matter that he can wrestle like michaels because if michaels had his talent and marty jannettys personality he would have been out of a job before the 90s. wwe in 2011 can do nothing for him.

    i know im all over the place here but the state of pro wrestling just bothers me. raw is really hard to watch and their only competition seems to be dead in the water. its odd to me that even though vince won the war, eric bischoff and hogan run the only wrestling company in 2011.

    • The shame in all this is that even if WWE signed the top talent in the country, they wouldn’t be any fun to watch in the WWE anyway. Too many regulations are placed on matches – no piledrivers, no crossfaces, no unprotected chair shots, no this and that – that WWE bouts follow a formula to a fault. Regardless of how good the talent involved is, it’s almost impossible to make a match stand out. They’re all the same. Danielson is a prime example of this – he’s one of the best pound for pound wrestlers in the game, but he’s inhibited by the WWE style. If we was back on the indies or in TNA, he’d immediately be a lot more fun to watch.

      I’m always torn with where I’d like to see wrestlers go. I love guys like the Kings of Wrestling, Austin Aries, etc. Naturally, I’d love to see them succeed, and I’d love to see more of them. Unfortunately, I can’t hope for them to go to WWE because I know they’ll be muted and altered and buried to the point that they cease to be the guys I like and just become another “superstar.” Colt Cabana stands out as a great example of this – he’s absolutely hilarious on the indies, then he comes to WWE and they make him Scotty Goldman. Come on. And TNA, as much better as their wrestling is, they’re slipshod writing and horrible stories make the product hard to watch sometimes. I wouldn’t care if they abandoned storylines all together, but they don’t – they let them consume half of Impact every week, and most of them aren’t the least bit entertaining. So there’s really no place for an indy guy to break-in on national TV where they’ll be able to perform as well as their capable of, in my opinion.

      Like you, I wish there was a true alternative to WWE, some real competition for guys to jump ship to if they aren’t happy in their situation. The Monday Night Wars were perhaps the best era in wrestling history (without a doubt my favorite), and it’s because competition forces everybody to step their game up. Unfortunately, without some drastic changes, I can’t imagine TNA becoming competition. Even if somebody like Punk went there, I feel they’d probably misuse him. It’s a sad state of affairs in mainstream wrestling right now.

      Also, it’s a great point you raise about how Bischoff and Hogan are still running a “wrestling” promotion and VKM is not. Funny to think about.

  2. Pingback: Smackdown Breakdown: A Viper’s Friday Night | ProRasslin.com

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