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WRESTLING COLUMNS

Botmaster Rates the WWE Draft Lottery
May 3, 2004 by Botmaster4lyfe


Vince McMahon claimed that it was going to be a new beginning for WWE. New feuds, new rosters, new everything. So that required a DRAFT LOTTERY (Cue impressive Music)

The draft happened on March 22, 2004. Paul Heyman and Eric Bischoff picked names out of hoppers to get superstars.

But, was the lottery a good idea? Was the roster shake up good for business? Well, that's what I'm about to talk about. I've divided it up into "TO RAW FROM SMACKDOWN" and "TO SMACKDOWN FROM RAW" to make things easier. NOTE: I am only focusing on the major draft. So none of those trades made after, except for the HHH one because it's quite important.

TO RAW FROM SMACKDOWN:

1. Shelton Benjamin
The second that they announced this, everyone let out a collective "Oh ****", thinking that WWE had just taken Shelton Benjamin from a great tag team into a HEaT jobber. I did. But the RAW after the draft lottery, we were ALL proven wrong. Shelton got a main event slot, and CLEANLY pinned HHH, something that, as we all know, is very rare. Then, the next week, Shelton beat HHH again. And the next week, he was in a huge 8 man tag match, alongside legends like Chris Benoit, Shawn Michaels, and Mick Foley. And to top it all off, in his first singles PPV appearance, Shelton pins Ric Flair. And now he's in a feud with Randy Orton, which backstage WWE guys are calling "The next Rock/Austin Feud". Wow. WWE did the right thing by having Benjamin go to RAW, as he has gotten EXTREME Exposure that he wouldn't have gotten on Smackdown in a tag team.

2. Nidia
Uh.......okie dokie. The next trade was Nidia, former Tough Enough 1 winner. The main reason she went to RAW was to be part of the Women's Title division. She made her RAW debut by pinning Molly Holly in an upset. But come on, NIDIA? I think that she makes a MUCH better Manager than a wrestler. Putting her in the Women's division is a BAD move. I would have kept her on Smackdown.

3. Rhyno
Rhyno had been struggling for some time in obscurity since his return from Neck Injury. He got new life when Paul Heyman became the Smackdown GM, and Rhyno started to get a great push. However, now he was sent to RAW. I didn't think it would work, but now I see that they're pushing Rhyno as a face, which works. He is over, and he sure as hell has talent. He fits in on RAW, which has more ECW Alumni. And he's getting over quite well as a face. Overall, a good move by WWE.

4. Tajiri
I think that when Tajiri was drafted, every wrestling fan watching let out a collective "WHAT THE ****?!?" Here we have a cruiserweight, who is over as a heel on Smackdown, and the leader of a FACTION (Kyo Dai with Sakota and Akio), and they're moving him to RAW. No logic at all. While he has gotten over as a face and had a feud with Coach, that was only set up as a push for Garrison Cade. Tajiri on RAW makes about as much sense as having....uh.......something that doesn't make a lot of sense. There is a good thing to come out of this, though: with Tajiri out of the SD spotlight, Hopefully WWE Will look for a Cruiserweight to fill that gap. I'm crossing my fingers for Akio or Paul London.

5. Edge
We had all been hearing online for weeks that one of the main reasons this lottery was set up was to get Edge onto RAW to feud with HHH. A good move by WWE, as Edge was given a great reaction by the crowd, and is currently the RAW Tag Champion with Chris Benoit. This was another good move my WWE. However, I feel that Edge's character may be becoming Stale. My suggestion: a heel turn. Perhaps aligning with his brother to re-create one of WWE's top tag teams? I can see it now: Edge, Christian, Trish Stratus, and Tyson Tomko: "Three Blonde Canadians and a Bald Guy". I like the sound of that.

6. Paul Heyman
BOO! I BOO THIS, I SAY! Heyman should NOT have been drafted. Heyman was doing an INCREDIBLE job as the GM of Smackdown. I mean, ever since he was in charge, ratings have been up, storylines have been incredible, and what not. Heyman is the PERFECT idea as General Manager: Evil, Slimy, and yet he's so incredible on the microphone people will pay to see him. Having him go to RAW, then quit, was a BAD BAD BAD move by WWE

TO SMACKDOWN FROM RAW:

1. Rene Dupree
HURRAH! From what I had heard about him, Rene is a great charismatic worker. On RAW as part of La Resistance, he was just 1/3 of a faction that the crowd didn't like, and it wasn't because they were heels. But on Smackdown, Rene has a chance to shine without any La Resistance. On his own, Rene has gotten a SERIOUS push, getting his own dog (VIVA LA FIFI!), a feud against John Cena, and his own talk show (Café De Rene). On Smackdown, Rene is flourishing, and that's a good thing.

2. Mark Jindrak
Before this, Jindrak had formed everyone's favorite tag team along with Garrison Cade. They would come to the ring, wrestle, and leave. No character for each of them. Now, on Smackdown, Jindark has gotten a character for himself as almost the "New Lex Luger". But unlike Lex, Jindrak has TALENT. He can do power, he can fly, and he has the highest vertical leap in the WWE (man, what a dropkick). So, moving him to SD was also a good move. He is currently paired with his new manager, Theodore R. Long. Keep that in mind, please.

3. Triple H
An even LOUDER "OH ****" gasp came up when we heard this. We all had the same vision in our minds: HHH holding the SD world title over a beaten Eddie Guerrero. We were all quite worried. But HHH was traded BACK to Raw in exchange for Booker T and the Dudleyz. So you can't really rate HHH on SD, you can only rate the people he was traded for. Booker T has gotten over as a main event heel on Smackdown, while the Dudleyz are quite over as well. So HHH being traded was a pretty good move, because it caused SD to acquire several key superstars.

4. Rob Van Dam
It's about freakin' time, too. RVD on Smackdown is a GREAT move, because it gives him chances for a bunch of matches with people he works well with. Guys like Eddie, Rey Mysterio, hell, EVERY Crusierweight. He has also had a few entertaining matches with Charlie Haas. With RVD as a face, it gives Eddie Guerrero a constant "Go To" guy whenever he needs a main event tag partner. Plus, if there's ever a RVD heel turn in the future, it gives us a chance for an RVD/Guerrero Series.

5. Theodore Long
LEMME HOLLA AT YA PLAYAZ! Sorry, I had to say that. Anyway, this came as a big shock, because the only African-American superstar I could think of on Smackdown was Orlando Jordan, and Theodore tends to manage African-Americans (D'Lo Brown, Rodney Mack, "The World's Hungriest Man" Mark Henry, and Jazz). But now, on Smackdown, Theodore has reverted to his old Managerial work by managing anyone. And who is that anyone? Mark Jindrak. WAIT A SECOND! Both Theodore and Jindrak were on RAW, but WWE had no ideas to team them. But now on SD, they're a team. Uh..........why did they need to send them to Smackdown? Nevertheless, still a good trade.

6. Spike Dudley
Uh......ok. For what reason did this happen? Spike Dudley has been thrust into obscurity by WWE, so I don't really think anyone cared when he was announced as the last trade. In fact, WWE made Spike look like a piece of **** by having Bischoff LAUGH when Heyman acquired him. PATHETIC. Spike on Smackdown is a useless move, sadly.

So, overall, I would have to say that the WWE Draft Lottery was a success. It created several new storylines for the WWE, as well as keep the rosters fresh. So, good job by WWE. It has opened up many potential feuds that I look forward to hopefully seeing in the future.

And THAT, my friends, is a dose of Bottitude for ya!

by Botmaster4lyfe..


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