"John Cena to Smackdown? Well I never..."
Well, after two gruelling days, and 29 different wrestlers being drafted, the 2011 WWE draft has come to an end. What happened, and what do I think of all the transactions that's taken place?
This could be a long one, so stay tuned. As I said, there were 29 different wrestlers being drafted, but there were 30 picks...hmmm, interesting.
Let's analyze the 2011 WWE draft, here, on The Harrison Analysis!
The Main Show
Eight picks took place here on the (shorter than usual) two hour draft during WWE Raw from Monday. So, here's what I thought on all eight picks:
John Cena to Smackdown...And Back to Raw again: Well, this was an initial shock, but instantly I had my suspicions that this was going to stand.
John Cena is the biggest man in professional wrestling right now, and behind the scenes, we all know that Smackdown is considered the "B" show due to it's lower ratings, so I really didn't think John Cena would actually go to Smackdown for real, and I was proved right as he was sent back to Raw at the end of the show.
Entertaining bait and switch, but sort of a waste of two picks if you think about it. Why even bother trading him to SD, if you're only going to bring him right back?
Rey Mysterio to RAW: Dug this. Raw in general is in need of mid-Main Event level babyfaces, and Mysterio is overall, the second or thirrd most over wrestler in the WWE, with huge amounts of support. Considering the child support he has, he definitely has a place on Raw, and should do well. Me gusta.
Randy Orton to Smackdown: Probably the biggest pull of the night, as the seven time World Champion Randy Orton makes his way to Smackdown for the first time in a good few years.
This I REALLY dug. I called it on Friday and I was right.
If you didn't read that post, my reasoning was that Smackdown needed a primary babyface and a ratings puller to give them a boost, and Orton's the perfect man for the job.
He's probably the most over babyface in the WWE. And if all else fails, they can turn him heel again now that another superstar has gone the other way.
Alberto Del Rio to RAW: The way this man has been hyped up for the last six-eight months, this was inevitable really, wasn't it?
After being pushed to the moon in a really short space of time, Del Rio definitely should be on the red brand for the time being and make him an even bigger star than what he already is.
However, I do think that has made the outcome for his World Heavyweight Championship match at Extreme Rules on Sunday a little obvious. Looks like Christian will be winning the World Title...(About damn time!)
Sin Cara to Smackdown: Good move here as well, I think. Sin Cara is still a little green for the WWE ring, considering he's not in Lucha style matches any more and he's in a WWE ring, and yes, he's botched here and there.
But now that he's on a taped show, they can edit it out to polish him up a little bit, as well as putting him in there with the better workers, for a future move to Raw. Rey Mysterio two, anyone?
The Big Show to RAW: Maybe I'm making a big deal out of this one, but he's one half of the WWE Tag Team Champions right now with Kane (Happy Birthday Glenn), so if they lose the Championships, they have to instantly separate.
Odd, but since the division is unified anyway, they can appear on both shows, so for the time being, this is no biggie. However, I'm fine with this move, as The Big Show is definitely more over than most, surprisingly, so there's nothing with him being on Raw as an established name.
Mark Henry to Smackdown: Umm....Why? He's an established figure and all, but this serves no purpose to me, he was just fine on Raw. Blah, let's move right along, shall we?
So there we have it, all eight (sort of), televised picks.
What do I think? Well, the John Cena double trade was iffy, as was Mark Henry, but besides that, I have no major complaints with any of the others. They all serve a good purpose for a move in colour.
Right, onto the Supplemental Draft.
The Supplemental Draft
Well, this took AGES to get through, as Raw and Smackdown superstars from 12 pm to 4:30 EST (Yeah, four and a half hours), and 22 picks later, we had a complete draft.
Let's have a run down of all 22 of these moves and of course, provide some analysis.
Daniel Bryan to Smackdown: I TOLD YOU SO! Haha, yes, an excellent move. Daniel Bryan's been nowhere in the WWE since the turn of the year, and it's about time he has some fresh opponents to wrestle.
The WWE obviously sees something in him for his big matches he's been in so far this year, so let's see if a change of brand can rejuvenate his career. With the new set of faces in his locker room, I look forward to it!
Jack Swagger to Raw: Called this one as well. Sweet! I just hope that he doesn't get lost in the shuffle, because as I said in my prediction post, he has the ability to hang with many of the big established names in the WWE, and produce good quality matches.
He's been stuck in mid-card hell since he lost the World Heavyweight Championship, maybe this will get his career back on track.
The Great Khali (w/Ranjin Singh) to Smackdown: Minor attraction, who adds very little to the WWE now. Unless he dances. Next!
Kelly Kelly and Beth Phoenix to RAW: Rounding the Divas together. Kelly Kelly never really did anything of note on Smackdown until January with her release and involvement with Dew McIntyre, Edge, Dolph Ziggler and Vickie Guerrero. Since that story's now done, this is a fine way to pass her off to something new.
As for Beth, good move, as the debut of Kharma (Amazing Kong), looms near, she'll have some big competition in the Glamazon, and hopefully she'll be Divas Champion.
Anything's an improvement on Brie Bella right now, quite frankly.
Natalya and Alicia Fox to Smackdown: Nattie! Sorry, excuse my marking out there for a moment. Yep, no issues with this at all, as Natalya can have good matches with both Laycool members, and Alicia Fox is far from terrible, and considering she's been on Raw for a good couple of years, a new brand is just fine to me as well.
Jimmy Uso, Jay Uso and Tamina to Smackdown: Meh, doesn't matter too much, considering the WWE have very little care for tag teams right now. However, I am very happy that they weren't split up. That would have REALLY driven the final nail in the coffin.
JTG to Raw: I think they've just done this to get him off of TV and lost under Raw's undercard. *Pink Slip Alert*
William Regal to Smackdown: Now THIS I can appreciate. I've said it before, and I'll say it again, William Regal's work is amongst the very best in the WWE, and he can be used to put over guys other and have good matches with them. And we can also get that Regal/Danielson feud many are hoping for. Hopefully. Please?
Drew McIntyre to Raw: About time he lived up his name as the chosen one. I fear that he'll be lost in the Raw shuffle of doom, but he's getting better and better.
If the WWE lets him, this could be a huge opportunity for McIntyre, or a career downturn. We'll have to see on this one, as it could easily swing either way.
Yoshi Tatsu to Smackdown: Again, could be a big opportunity for the little man who can from Japan. His ECW work was stellar in 2009, and he's emulated that on Superstars, but never on the RAW brand he became a part of when ECW was shut down in February 2010. Hopefully this can change and he can produce good matches with Smackdown's mid-card.
Curt Hawkins to Raw: I've said before that I feared for Hawkins' job secruity, and this move doesn't change my point of view. He may end up doing a Jamie Noble or something. Don't see how he gets himself over on Raw to be honest. Damn shame. *Pink Slip Alert*
Ted DiBiase to Smackdown: Interesting one, this is. Hopefully this means he's split from Maryse, as his gimmick needs a total re-work. The sad thing is that he doesn't have the tools that his dad has when it comes to charisma or work skills.
Maybe the use of other guys can make him seem more relevant again. Bear in mind, him, Cody Rhodes and Randy Orton are now all on the same brand for the first time in 14 months...#LegacyAnyone?
Chris Masters to Raw: I said this was happening, and I'm happy it did, as Master's the WWE's Most Improved Player of the last couple of years. And he's rather entertaining, so maybe, just maybe, this will result in a Masters push. Just don't make his breasts dance again. o_o
Tyson Kidd to Smackdown: Another one I correctly called, and someone in DESPERATE need of a push here. One of the most talented guys in the WWE here, and he's been hung out to dry ever sine the Hart Dynasty split.
With Smackdown's bolstered mid-card, now may be his best chance to prove that he can be a big singles star as well, as DH-Smith is unfortunately still on Raw.
Kofi Kingston to RAW: BIG pull here for the red brand. Kofi Kingston's probably the most deserving mid-carder out there right now, and now that Orton's moved aside, he can have some stellar matches with guys like Morrison and Ziggler, where Raw needs more babyfaces in general. If the WWE really are into Kofi, now is his best chance. Hopefully, they can make it happen.
Alex Riley to Smackdown: I don't know why the heck this happened. The Miz had him as a perfectly good lackey, and The Miz is staying on Raw, so this one is puzzling.
I know he's good enough to have a half decent match on Smackdown, but I think he's better off being Miz's partner in crime. It could be their way of getting him off TV. No matter how you cut it, this is an odd one.
Tyler Reks to RAW: Another odd one. I don't think Reks has been on main TV for months now. I think this is the beginning of the end for him in the WWE, as I don't see him getting any sort of push on RAW. *Pink Slip Alert*
United States Champion, Sheamus to Smackdown: The No. 30 Pick, and this was BIG for Smackdown. You instantly have a mid-card level Champion, and possible Main Event level heel, and a very good replacement for Alberto Del Rio.
On top of that, there's some great guys he can feud with on Smackdown and have good matches with, as he's constantly improving. This could be huge for Sheamus, which is big considering he's already a Double World Champion.
Harrison's Final Analysis
Everyone complained to begin with that Smackdown got screwed at the beginning of last year's draft due to them losing Jericho and Edge.
However, this year, they may have lost their biggest heel in Del Rio, but they gained a stack load of decent to great mid-card wrestlers, who I'm sure will be able to have really good matches if given time on free TV to perform. And they also have the biggest pick of the entire draft with the huge pick of Randy Orton, who'll definitely increase viewership.
Raw's roster right now in general looks like a mess, and I don't think they really gained much in this draft besides Del Rio and Mysterio. Their mid-card looks to be all over the place and will need some pruning.
We'll see how things go in the coming months, especially with the Spring Cleaning releases dawning nearer, but for now, I definitely think Smackdown were the big winners for this year's draft.
Also, the Supplemental Draft was excellent this year. Despite it being really long, it had some BIG picks take place, and I was surprised in a good way at who was changing brands.
You can argue that there were too many picks, but we'll have to see how the shake-up affects the programming in the medium-to-long term.
What did you all think of the Draft? Did it need more Main Picks? Were there too many picks in general? Did you like the John Cena double pick? Let me know your thoughts as always below. I've been Andre Harrison, thanks for reading, and Sayonara!