Thursday, April 9, 2009

Kick-Out's 2009 WWE Draft Predictions

This Monday, WWE will once again shake things up with the annual Draft. It's a little strange that they're doing it so early this year (traditionally the Draft takes place in June), but I suppose it might have something to do with the new taping schedules due to the return of Superstars on WGN America. After last year's surprising Draft that saw Triple H and Jeff Hardy moving to Smackdown, I'm sure these predictions will be hilariously wrong, but maybe I can get back on track here. I'm also expecting Smackdown to get completely gutted this time around, it was stacked last year for to the shift to MyNetworkTV, but due to that network's shaky future, I think WWE is just going to bank on their core audience to keep the show afloat.

To Raw

Triple H
He's pretty much on Raw anyway due to the continued feud with Randy Orton, and I don't think anyone really expected his time on the blue brand to last as long as it did, so it's a fair assumption that he's going back to Raw. Of course, that leaves the big question of the WWE Title and World Heavyweight Title being on the same show (I don't think Cena's getting drafted), but I'm sure they'll figure that out by Backlash.

Big Show
I think everyone's going to assume that Edge is coming over with Vickie Guerrero, but then the swerve will be Big Show, who hasn't been a part of the Raw roster since the ECW brand was created. Show's the best he's been in years, possibly the best he's ever been since his return last year, and I think there's a lot of potential in him feuding with Triple H on the flagship brand.

MVP
MVP's been on Smackdown his entire WWE career, he's done pretty much all there is to do there, I think it's time he gets a change of scenery. A couple months ago, during his whole losing streak angle, I'd say put him on ECW, but he's seems to have found his footing once again, and he'll fit in well on Raw. Have him bring the US Title with him as well (more on that later).

Mark Henry
Not that I really want to see this happen, but due to some other shifts I'm expecting, there won't be much for the World's Strongest Man to do on ECW. Tony Atlas can come too.

Evan Bourne
WWE's obviously extremely high on the guy and I think they feel he's pretty much learned everything he's going to learn from working in ECW. I wouldn't be surprised in the slightest if he's drafted, but predicting him going to Raw is a complete shot in the dark, he could just as easily end up on Smackdown.


To Smackdown

Rey Mysterio
Smackdown's Latino audience dropped with the move to MyNetworkTV and I don't think it was helped by the fact that Mysterio was moved off the show. If MVP moves to Raw with the US Title, there is no doubt in my mind that Mysterio will go to Smackdown with the Intercontinental Championship.

CM Punk
He's literally done it all on the two brands he's been on, why not send him over to Smackdown? He'll have a fresh new set of opponents and maybe on a less-crowded show, he won't get lost in the shuffle while he has the Money in the Bank briefcase. Smackdown could very well be the place where CM Punk shatters through that proverbial glass ceiling and takes his spot in the upper echelon of WWE.

Randy Orton
This would be the biggest shocker of the Draft this year, and I don't even really expect it to happen, but I think there's a distinct possibility that Orton winds up winning the WWE Title at Backlash and since Smackdown will need a World Champion if Triple H moves back to Raw, the Legend Killer will fill the void.

Christian
For the record, I much prefer Christian on ECW than the supposed original plan of him being Jeff Hardy's attacker. I think that angle would've been just as bad as the Hardys feuding, and with even worse results. But if Smackdown is losing top talent in the Draft, that will open up several spots for upper level, not quite main event, talent. Much like Punk, a new Smackdown landscape could be his ticket to the top.

Jack Swagger
As I mentioned in my ECW recap Tuesday night, I like the idea of Swagger getting drafted with the ECW Title and Tommy Dreamer being the brand's last hope of getting its belt back. Swagger had a meteoric rise which seems to have fizzled out after No Way Out, maybe the guy needs to work his way back up on a bigger brand? I'm all for a Swagger/Mysterio feud for the Intercontinental Championship.


To ECW

Vladimir Kozlov
If Mark Henry gets drafted, ECW's going to need a new powerhouse, who better than a guy that got lost in the shuffle on Smackdown? Perhaps not ready for primetime after he didn't quite cut it in any of his main event outings, maybe he can hone his skills in ECW? I think he'd make a good fit and he'd actually get some TV time.

William Regal
William Regal, ECW General Manager - make it happen. William Regal vs. Finlay in a series of brutal, old school style matches - make it happen. After his unfortunate suspension last year during what could've been the biggest run of his career, Regal has not had much to do on Raw. Let's move him to ECW and let him run roughshod over the brand, he has the ring talent, he has the verbal skills, the crowd loves to boo him, he'd be perfect in this role.

Hurricane Helms
Well he came back with the Hurri-pop and has now Hurri-flopped. Helms is a phenomenal talent in the ring and always a good source of entertainment, let him reestablish himself in ECW. It worked for Shelton Benjamin, John Morrison, and The Miz, why not Hurricane?

Jamie Noble
Is there really any reason that Noble is on Raw? If Kane needs someone to beat up for no apparent reason, can't we just use Santino? Noble could be a solid utility player on ECW, especially if Tommy Dreamer's days are winding down.

The Brian Kendrick
The Brian Kendrick is, without a doubt, WWE's biggest missed opportunity of the last year. Kendrick's style is one of the most unique in the business today, his gimmick is absolutely hysterical and he's damn good in the ring. They really dropped the ball on him after his performance in the Championship Scramble at Unforgiven and ECW would be the perfect place for him to get back on track.


Obviously these aren't all the moves that will transpire, after last year's Draft, over 30 guys had moved to a different show and I'm sure roughly that many will move this year as well. I think there's also good possibilities that guys I did not mention could be moved, one that sticks out is Chris Jericho, whose path is wide open in a post-WrestleMania environment. I think Jericho on Smackdown would work and I wouldn't be surprised if he moves instead of my highly unlikely Randy Orton prediction. R-Truth is a guy who could benefit greatly with a move to ECW, but each year there's always one lower level guy that you're positive will be moved and he winds up staying right where he is, so maybe that'll be him this year.

Of course, with a roster of nearly 100 people, it's next to impossible trying to pick the 15 most likely that will be moved and which of the three brands they'll end up on. And with WWE's recent attempts to be as unpredictable as possible, who knows what will happen? Feel free to leave your own predictions in the comments below and make sure to check back for my full thoughts on the Draft this Monday night after Raw.

3 comments:

  1. totally agree about kendrick yo

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  2. Maybe you missed it, but when Matt Hardy went to SD after his heel turn, Jamie Noble actually had a segment where he "took his spot" on ECW. As far as I know, Noble is already on SD.

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  3. I did miss that. WWE.com still has him on the Raw roster, but if that's the case, drop Noble and replace him with R-Truth in my predictions!

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