Monday, April 13, 2009

Kick-Out's Thoughts on the WWE Draft

Hey, how about that?! After my embarrassing WrestleMania predictions, I managed to do pretty well in my Draft predictions and there's still Wednesday's Supplemental Draft which could help them out even more, especially in the ECW category. When it's all said it done on Wednesday, the WWE landscape is going to look a lot different, but I think it will be for the better. But first, my thoughts on Raw:

Batista's opening promo did what it needed to do and I really do want to see him and Orton lock horns once again after their great match at Armageddon, but I am over the Orton/McMahon saga. The Triple H and Shane portion of this story isn't doing it for me anymore and I hope Backlash puts it to rest. Triple H and Randy Orton undoubtedly are two of the top stars in WWE today, but they just do not click with me when they wrestle.

Rey Mysterio vs. Evan Bourne was fun, but way too short. Obviously there's a future match down the road between these two, so I can't fault them for not giving too much away in a match that will be overshadowed by the Draft. Rey starts the night off right for Raw and gets the US Champ MVP over to the red brand for the first time ever!
My predictions: 1 for 1

Kane vs. The Brian Kendrick was acceptable, I'm surprised Kane just didn't walk in, chokeslam him and walk out, but Kendrick actually managed to get some offense in! Not too much though, Kane made short work of the most under-utilized talent in professional wrestling today and his win brought The Big Show back to Raw.
My Predictions: 2 for 2

Six-Diva Tag Team action pits Michelle McCool, Maryse and Natalya against Mickie James, Melina and Kelly Kelly, but the match may as well have just been McCool vs. James as they were the only two that really saw any action. Of course, they can't just do a one-on-one Divas match on a show this big, because "less is more" never applies to WWE's attitude on the Divas. McCool wins after a sick boot to Mickie's face and Smackdown picks up Melina in the Draft. My first miss, but to be fair, I didn't predict any Divas.
My predictions: 2 for 3

Champion vs. Champion pitting World Heavyweight Champion John Cena against ECW Champion Jack Swagger, with Cena making Swagger look like a million bucks out there. Easily match of the night and Swagger's most impressive performance to date, I thought he might actually get a shock win out of nowhere in this one, but Cena pulled it out in the end with the Attitude Adjustment/STF combo platter, that's a #1 on the WWE Value Menu. Cena's win in a Champion vs. Champion match gets Raw two picks in the Draft, they are Matt Hardy and WWE Champion Triple H! I was a bit surprised by Hardy coming over, but I think just about everyone saw HHH coming back home.
My preditions: 3 for 5

Santino Marella makes his return to Raw after his sister filled in for him last week, and he's welcomed by The Great Khali, who's looking for love in all the wrong places. Santino loses the match and due to a stipulation announced by The Glamazon, Santina Marella must be the special guest on Khali's Kiss Cam... and you were worried the PG rating was going to change things. In a much bigger story, Khali gets a draft pick for Smackdown and it's Mr. Money In The Bank, CM Punk!
My predictions: 4 for 6

This next match was an odd one, The Miz against Kofi Kingston and these two had a surprisingly long match. Nothing against either guy, in fact I enjoy them both immensely, but there really isn't much to say about this one and a wonky finish with Morrison getting Miz DQed just made it even stranger. Sadly, WWE did the one thing I really hoped wouldn't happen, they split up the greatest tag team in the business today and moved The Miz to Raw.
My predictions: 4 for 7

15-man tri-branded battle royal played out much like last year, except there wasn't a disgusting head-on collision between Edge and Batista. Ugh, the reminder of Batista's head gushing blood is permanently etched in my brain. Not a whole lot to say about this one, bodies were flying everywhere in rapid succession and it came down to Big Show for Raw, Edge for Smackdown and Mark Henry for ECW. Show eliminates Henry, and then he goes barreling towards Edge, only for the Rated-R Superstar to pull down the ropes and send the big man crashing to the mat. Edge wins two years in a row and gets two picks for Smackdown: Kane and Chris Jericho! I mentioned Jericho in the closing of my picks, but didn't put him on a list and Kane was legitimately surprising since he was just on Smackdown not that long ago. Brothers of Destruction reunion, perhaps?
My predictions: 4 for 9

Christian and Shelton Benjamin put on decent little match, Shelton shining especially bright in this match, displaying his athletic gifts, but Christian came out on top and got ECW their first and only draft pick of the night - Vladimir Kozlov! I gotta give Matt Striker credit for line of the night, saying "Kozlov is from a country where their favorite drink is Molotov Cocktails!" Hilarious.
My predictions: 5 for 10

One of Smackdown's newest Superstars, CM Punk does battle with one of Raw's, Matt Hardy in a solid, but fairly quick match. Not much to say here until Jeff Hardy storms the ring and inadvertantly gives Matt a DQ win and Raw's final draft pick of the night - Diva's Champion Maryse! Not very surprising after Melina was moved to Smackdown with the Women's Title, now Maryse fills the void.
My predictions: 5 for 11

The final interbrand match features the newest member of Smackdown, Chris Jericho taking on the heart of ECW, Tommy Dreamer in what Matt Striker claims is their first encounter ever. Anyone want to verify that? It's a damn good match, but Tommy going to the unfamiliar territory of the top rope costs him after Jericho catches him midair with The Codebreaker. Jericho nabs Smackdown their final draft pick and it's no surprise after MVP getting drafted, the Intercontinental Champion, Rey Mysterio!
My predictions: 6 for 12

Main event closes out the show and it just doesn't do it for me at all, because I... hate... handicap matches. Triple H, Shane McMahon and Batista take on Cody Rhodes and Ted DiBiase; if Priceless wins, all three members of Legacy battle the guy who takes the fall next week 3-on-1, but if HHH's team win, the guy who scores the pin gets Orton 1-on-1. The faces battle over who gets the pin since they all have a bone to pick with Orton, but while Batista and Shane are brawling, HHH nails The Pedigree and picks up the win. I have no issue with the Mania rematch next week, they're in London, it's always a big show and those fans deserve to see a huge main event since they only get WWE once or twice a year.

Great Raw tonight, even if some of the matches were rushed, but like I said about Bourne/Mysterio, any of these matches will be overshadowed by the overall experience of the Draft, so why give away too much? I'm pretty impressed with getting half the predictions right, especially when I fudge the numbers! Two of the draftees were Divas and I didn't predict any Divas to be moved and I should totally get a half point for Chris Jericho, so it's really like I got 6.5 out of 10... right? Right!?

Overall, I'm thrilled with all of these moves except splitting up Miz & Morrison. MVP has never been on Raw, so it's a whole new venue for him; Big Show's been gone for years; Melina and Maryse switching works since Maryse is quickly becoming the best Diva on the roster and should be on the flagship show; Matt Hardy on Raw will hopefully halt the uncomfortable feud with his brother; Triple H is Raw; CM Punk could enter the upper echelon on Smackdown; Kane and The Undertaker are always fun together; Jericho did it all on Raw in 08, maybe he can do it all on Smackdown in 09; Kozlov was lost in the shuffle on SD, but will be the big fish in ECW; and Rey Rey is Smackdown. I really like the landscape right now as it looks like it's confirming my hopes of SD becoming the show for the young main eventers of tomorrow while Raw cements its status as the home for the dominant A-listers.

Hopefully the Supplemental Draft will bring more guys to ECW, it did last year, so I'm banking on that happening for guys like William Regal, Hurricane Helms and The Brian Kendrick, who would all fit in really well on that brand. Don't be too surprised if a couple more Divas move around and who knows, maybe there will be a big shocker to drive up hits on, we'll know for sure Wednesday at noon.

1 comment:

  1. As far as the supplemental draft goes, whoever loses tonight's Elimination Chase match will get drafted. Hopefully Christian, and hopefully to Smackdown. :P