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WRESTLING COLUMNS

DRAFT 2005: Can it Save the WWE?
April 23, 2005 by Antonio M. Figueroa


Well, it's FINALLY official. On the RAW following Judgment Day, WWE will be holding its second-annual Draft Lottery. The 2004 Draft saw major changes on both rosters, especially after the trades that took place the following day. This year, who will go where? Will careers be helped or hindered? Who will emerge as the dominant force on

RAW? On SmackDown!? In this column, I will give my opinions of who the six picks for each roster should be, and what trades should be made, starting with the 6 picks for RAW.

Doug Basham- There's not much doubt in anyone's mind that Doug is the more talented of the two Bashams, and drafting him will weaken SmackDown!'s tag team division.

Carlito Caribbean Cool- SmackDown! seems to be bad luck for Carlito. After just two months on the roster, his shoulder was seriously injured. To make matters worse, his associate Jesus went down with a severe neck injury just weeks later. A fresh start on RAW would be...cool.

Big Show- The Big Show has done everything possible on his brand. Name any major player on SmackDown!, and Big Show has feuded with them. (JBL, Cena, Angle, Undertaker, Guerrero, Mysterio, etc.) Show has also held the WWE and United States Championships, and a switch to RAW would give him promising new feuds and a new objective, the World Heavyweight Championship.

Tazz- Taking the "voice of SmackDown!" would be a huge benefit for RAW, and will actually help SmackDown! in the long run, as I will explain later in the column.

Charlie Haas- As much as I like Charlie Haas, even I have to admit that he came up on the short end of the stick when it came to charisma. A move to RAW and a feud with Shelton Benjamin could be just the spark he needs to ignite the potential we all know is there.

Kurt Angle- Like Big Show, he has done everything he can on SmackDown!. He's been with the Thursday night show ever since the beginning, held the WWE and WWE Tag Team Championship, and feuded with everyone SmackDown! has to offer (and won, in most cases). Moving to RAW could be the best thing possible for him, as it would bring him back together with his nemesis, Chris Benoit, and we could finally see some great matches from the RAW brand if those two locked horns again.

SmackDown!'s Picks:

Hurricane- Has anyone else gotten tired of this phenomenal athlete being mistreated? I know I have. The RAW brand hasn't done a single thing right for him since he left SmackDown! in mid-2002. Helms would make a "super" addition to the failing Cruiserweight division- pun most certainly intended.

Sylvain Grenier- I'm not sure if I spelt his name right, but I know that I see MAJOR potential in the 4-Time World Tag Team Champ. And frankly, that potential isn't going to do squat jobbing for Regal and Tajiri every week on Heat.

Chris Jericho- Without a doubt, Chris Jericho is a Main Event caliber star. When was the last time he headlined a PPV? (Please don't mention the Elimination Chambers; you know he never really had a chance). Other than in a Tag Team Elimination match in the 2004 Survivor Series, Jericho hasn't headlined a PPV since losing the Undisputed title at WrestleMania three years ago. RAW has turned Jericho into a laughingstock. Why should he settle for mid-card Intercontinental title losses when he could be headlining PPVs holding the most prestigious title in the industry, the WWE Championship?

Val Venis- Another star destroyed by RAW. Val Venis has been on one PPV in the last three years. One. And he was a guest referee at a PPV. What a great way to treat a guy who has worked for this company for 6 years and has more skill than RAW's current World Champion. Interesting.

Shawn Michaels- Like Big Show and Kurt Angle, HBK has done all he can on his brand. A move to SmackDown! and a major heel turn would breathe fresh life into his career, which has grown quite boring over the last year, with the exception of his feud with Angle. HBK could capture the WWE title in no time, and defend it against Superstars he has never faced, such as JBL, John Cena, Eddie Guerrero, and Booker T.

Edge- Edge is right. He IS being screwed. A guy with his talents should have captured the World title several times already, but he is held back under the glass ceiling of Triple H. Now, his spotlight is being stolen by a jacked-up nimrod with the technical skill of a garden snail, and the charisma of a corpse. Edge needs to go to SmackDown!, and he needs to go there NOW.

After reading this, many of you may be wondering, "Why is this lottery favoring SmackDown!? Why does RAW only get two main eventers, when it loses three? And why does SmackDown! have only of a broadcast team now?" The answer is simple: TRADES. After losing Tazz to RAW, SmackDown! will need a replacement, while RAW will be looking to fill an open Main Eventer spot. Therefore, trading Jerry "the King" Lawler for Rob Van Dam would benefit everyone. Also, trade Danny Basham for Rob Conway, and two tag teams will be reunited. After all, what fun would a draft be without some trades?

So that's my opinion on how the 2005 Draft should be done. Imagine the possibilities: Angle vs. Benoit, Triple H vs. Angle, Batista vs. Big Show, JBL vs. HBK, JBL vs. Y2J, Cena vs. Edge, Cena vs. Y2J. . .the combinations are endless. I, for one, would love to see SummerSlam headlined by the first SmackDown! Elimination Chamber: JBL vs. Undertaker vs. John Cena vs.Chris Jericho vs. HBK vs. Eddie Guerrero. WOW. Any feedback would be appreciated.

by Antonio M. Figueroa ..


Leeds907 wrote:
Gotta say i agree with you i cant wait till the draft. I agree with you on cool and Y2J switching and edge you are so right about the draft i cant wait.
Matthew Geddes wrote:
Jeez I'm getting sick of people bagging Triple H. Val Venis has more talent ? Hmmm.
XtremeFalls43 wrote:
One thing the WWE isn't even close to dead so its not really saving anything. The Draft Lottery is lame because it will kill another division like it killed the tag team division last year. Also the Bashams need to stay together period neither has anything that would make them interesting.
Tyler Keef wrote:
It is also confirmed that Kid Kash is signing with WWE. If his bodyguard Lance Hoyt is signed these are some possibilities:

Kid Kash vs. Paul London vs. Billy Kidman vs. Akio vs. Shannon Moore vs. Psycosis at Judgment Day for the Cruiserweight title. I would completely mark out for that one. How about Lance Hoyt vs. Tyson Tomko? After Draft lottery the Tag Division can improve with Hoyt/Kash vs. Tomko/Christian. Bring Christian/Tyson Tomko to to SD for a tag team title fued while the Dudleys, Mark Jindrak and Dupree all go to RAW. La Resistance vs. Dudleys vs. Cade/Jindrak.
Brad Dykens wrote (to Tyler Keef):
Why did you have to ruin it by adding all those jobbers, you had me hooked at Kash vs London.
John Fenton wrote:
i can agree with all of trades you propose but what about the womans div. they have all but killed it off by getting rid of molly holly. gail kim, jazz, nidia and for what ....christie hemme....why not send dawn marie and miss jackie to spice things up????/just a thought
Jim Bryan wrote:
I think you hit the nail right on the head with about everything you said. I think Carlito is going to become a big fan favorite no matter what brand he is on. Everyone heard the "Carlito" chants the last few weeks during his new interview segment. Jericho no doubt needs to get back into gear and a fresh start on Smackdown would do that. I would personally like Angle and Michaels to end up on the same roster so that we could see a rematch between the 2. I don't think WWE will ever break apart King/JR and Tazz/Cole. It would be interesting to see the Worlds Greatest Tag Team feud over the IC Title on Raw. Val Venis has been with the company since late 97 and you're right, he hasn't even really been pushed since Right To Censor broke up in 2001. Hopefully, WWE will really spice it up and don't forget..... Kazarian, Juvi, Psicosis, Super Crazy, the Thrillseekers and the Shane Twins all are expected to debut at anytime now.
Jarrad Russell wrote:
I have to agree with what you said. You`re write on the money but yo u forgot one thing that i disagree and yet agree with.Having edge moved to smackdown would be good because as you said the stupid wwe wont give him and others a plush while he is there ( jericho benoit ) thats where i agree with you. BUT they may or may not move edge for the reason is the money in bank briefcase thats why they may not move him or they may move him for the reason of adding fustration to his character so he can go on and cry about that.

2ndly Chris jericho ( my favorite next to hbk) may not be moved to raw as his contract runs out and near end of year and is getting tired wiht being as you said basicly a useless midcarder i heard from a rumour site. so they may not bother to do anything worth while with him until he signs again last thing great job wiht movie charlie and huricane i agree with bigshow and
Antonio Figueroa wrote:
To Matthew: I said Val Venis has more talent that RAW's CURRENT champ, Batista...I never mentioned Triple H, I'm a huge fan of him.

To XtremeFalls43: You're right about the WWE, I should have said, "Could it Save RAW?"...my apologies. As for your Bashams comment, try reading the WHOLE column, I did keep them together, I just have them both on RAW now after I traded Danny for Rob Conway.

To Tyler: I can understand why WWE gets rid of guys like Rikishi, Test, Rhyno, etc. to bring in new talent...but I HATE it when they get rid of them and then bring in WCW guys like Psicosis. Bringing him and Kid Kash in is a mistake, mark my words.

To John: Dawn and Miss Jackie need to stay on Smackdown! so that Joy and her little friends don't become the only females there. You see, I have no problem with a little T&A, but I agree letting the women wrestlers, especially Kim, go was a mistake.
Brandon Riley wrote:
One positive thing that the WWE could do would be to create a ranking system by points, much as there is for the fantasy pool on wwe.com. This would allow viewers to see who is near the top statistically, and with such a system (much like in sports) have a formula to determine who is at the top.

Have a division for wrestlers with 10+ years in pro wrestling and an according title for over-the-hill wrestlers like Al snow, val venis, ric flair. This would let the fans have a chance to see more classic wrestlers, who lack the spotlight. Also, this would allow top performers and high carders not to waste matches, and at least have somewhere for them to go, once they get older. For example, what would HBK do in 5 years??? Hes already falling out of the world title scene...

Finally, change the World Title into the RAW title, WWE title into the Smackdown title. Have a REAL world title, that would be held by a champion that would appear on both shows. The champion would not have to wrestle twice a week, but cut promos, and give credibility, and allow the less hardcore wrestling fan to see who is at the top, and see that champion on every telecast. This could occur...say at Summerslam in an elimination chamber some type of ornate setup that may include Batista, HHH, Taker, Cena, JBL, RVD.
Antonio Figueroa wrote:
I have said it before, and I will say it one last time. The WWE Championship is the only true World's title left in this business. The whole "World = RAW", "WWE = Smackdown!" thing is just ridiculous. Whoever has the WWE Championship is #1; the guys on RAW just have to settle for #2.
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