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WRESTLING COLUMNS

Draft Lottery 2005: What Are The Effects
July 4, 2005 by Antonio M. Figueroa


After a month of back and forth Draft picks, it is over. The second WWE Draft Lottery is done, and huge changes have been made to both rosters. In my opinion, the changes are too huge. I find it a little odd that in a draft where wrestlers, Divas, announcers, and referees were all eligible to switch shows, no one but main event stars and top level mid-carders were drafted. But, I'm not going to complain. As many of you know, I wrote a previous column here at OWW on my draft predictions, and I didn't do too badly. Four out of my picks were actually drafted; five if you count the people I thought should be traded. Now, I will follow up that column with my predicted effects of the draft, both on the Superstars who were traded as well as WWE as a whole.

Draft Pick #1: RAW picks WWE Champion, John Cena. I will admit that I did not expect Cena's music to hit on June 6th, 2005 (my birthday, by the way, my 19th). I was expecting to hear the music of Kurt Angle, but I was floored to hear Cena's instead. After seeing Cena wearing the belt, I was confused. In the 2004 Draft, it had clearly been stated that if a champion switched shows, he would lose the belt, and I was more than a little angry, as a SmackDown! fan, to learn that SmackDown! had just lost the WWE Championship. Cena could be replaced, but the belt could not. As for Cena himself, I was amazed to see just how quickly he adjusted to being on RAW. He carried himself a little differently, almost as if he was challenging anyone nearby. I think this move, however, will hurt his career in the long run. It has been well documented that Triple H does not like John Cena, and we have all seen what happens when you are on the Triple H show and he doesn't like you (i.e., Chris Jericho). I predict that Cena will lose the WWE Championship at SummerSlam, possibly to Edge.

Draft Pick #2: SmackDown! picks Chris Benoit. This was another shocker for me, to see Benoit switch brands yet again, but I was still pleased to hear his music play. To me, Benoit never seemed like a RAW Superstar, even when he was their champion. To me, he was a SmackDown! Superstar competing on RAW, and I was glad to see him come home. This can mean nothing but good things for Benoit, as he can get back to doing what he does best, winning. Unlike RAW, SmackDown! knows how to properly use Benoit, and I see great things in his future. I predict that Benoit will soon be feuding with Eddie Guerrero, possibly at SummerSlam, but more likely at No Mercy.

Draft Pick #3: RAW picks Kurt Angle. I was not surprised to see Kurt Angle move to RAW, but I was very surprised to see how quickly he was placed on the Vengeance card. I personally think it was a little to early for an HBK/Angle rematch, because the build-up to it should have been huge. After watching Vengeance, I was seriously disappointed in their match. I felt like it wasn't even HBK that Angle was wrestling. I never found myself really getting into the match, like I did with their first one...I just kept looking at my watch, checking to see if it was going to be over soon. Once his feud with HBK is over, I see a very bright future ahead of Angle on RAW. However, I do not see him becoming the champion for quite some time.

Draft Pick #4: SmackDown! picks Randy Orton. Here is a guy who has the potential to be one of the greatest stars of all time. I was so happy to see him make the move to SmackDown!, I don't even think I can describe it here. As far as I am concerned, this kid was not only the biggest pick in the entire draft, he is probably the future of the entire wrestling business. I just can't wait for his shoulder to heal so we can see him in action on a regular basis again. As long as they keep Orton heel, SmackDown! isn't going to miss John Cena at all. I predict Orton feuding with the Undertaker until Survivor Series, then gunning for the title.

Draft Pick #5: RAW picks Carlito. Seeing Carlito come out on RAW was a big shock to me, but seeing him defeat Shelton Benjamin for the Intercontinental Championship...now that was COOL. I think RAW is a perfect fit for Carlito, and I see a bright future ahead of him. I predict he will get a big push over the next few months, culminating in a face turn at Survivor Series.

Draft Pick #6: SmackDown! picks Muhammad Hassan. Out of all the draft picks, this one surprised me the most. After seeing the ridiculous way RAW ended his undefeated streak, however, this may be the best thing possible for Hassan. In my opinion, Hassan has all the makings of a great heel: irritating entrance music, a great gimmick, a fantastic finisher, and amazing mic skills. I can't wait to see SmackDown! Superstars left and right being taken out by Hassan's brutal variation of the STO (By the way, could someone please tell me what the official name for that move is" When Scott Steiner used it, it was called the Complete Shot; but when I saw Undertaker use it in an old match, Tazz called it the Flatliner). I think Hassan will do quite well on his new home. I predict that Orlando Jordan will turn face, which will allow Hassan to beat him for the United States Championship at the Great American Bash.

Draft Pick #7: RAW picks the Big Show. Out of everyone that was drafted this year, I believe Big Show will suffer the most. Although he wasn't being properly utilized on SmackDown!, I see nothing better in store for him on RAW. Last time he was on RAW, he faded into obscurity and was left off of three consecutive Pay-Per-Views. I can only hope he has better luck this time.

Draft Pick #8: RAW picks Rob Van Dam. After ECW One Night Stand, I had a feeling RVD would be put back on RAW, but personally, I really don't care. RVD is one of the few wrestlers who works well on either show, but is probably never going to main event status. I have nothing personal against Van Dam, but I don't see any Pay-Per-View main events in his future. I think this move to RAW was a great one, since it gets the loudest voice of ECW off of the show I watch.

Draft Pick #9: SmackDown! picks Christian. After watching Vengeance, I really didn't think he would actually go to SmackDown!; I had predicted that Jericho would win the title and then get drafted, but as we all know, that didn't happen. After the horrible finish of that match, which accomplished nothing but make Jericho look pathetically weak, Christian is obviously not on the roll he was on before Vengeance, and therefore isn't going to be as big of a draw as he would have been had he been drafted before Vengeance. I predict a feud with Benoit in the coming months, followed by a feud with Muhammad Hassan over the US title.

Draft Pick #10: SmackDown! picks World Heavyweight Champion, Batista. To the casual fan, this is probably SmackDown!'s biggest pick of the draft. After all, Batista equals Cena, one belt equals another, right" To me, nothing could be further from the truth. In no way does Batista's star power match John Cena's, not in my eyes. The only thing Batista has going for him is his Hell in a Cell victory, which was horrible in my opinion. Never mind the fact that Triple H, HIAC veteran, lost to Batista, HIAC virgin. Never mind the fact that last year, Triple H was able to go forty-five minutes in HIAC with Shawn Michaels and kick out of a Sweet Chin Music, while this year he went twenty minutes with Batista and couldn't kick out of a powerbomb. The fact is that Triple H botched the finish, holding the sledgehammer in his hand for 5 full seconds, just kind of looking at it, calmly waiting to be powerbombed, instead of hitting Batista with it. That finish did nothing but look poorly planned. Also, the World Heavyweight Championship is in no way, shape, or form the equal of the WWE Championship. I've heard people say that the World title has the lineage of the NWA and WCW titles, but the fact is it does not. It is a replica of the WCW belt.

The full lineage of the WWE and WCW titles, good and bad, is in the belt that Cena is wearing (Not that specific version, the bling-bling, pimped-out ghetto championship belt he made, but it is still the title he represents). Now SmackDown! has a "B" championship to go along with JR's claims that it is the "B" show. I predict Batista dropping the title to JBL at the Great American Bash, so at least the belt is on someone who deserves it.

All in all, since this year's draft seemed like nothing more than an excuse to put bigger stars on RAW, I feel that SmackDown! got the short end of the stick, but they have the chance to make ends meet by taking the belt off Batista as quickly as possible, and putting some dignity in that title by putting it on someone more deserving, like Undertaker, Benoit, JBL, Booker T, Eddie Guerrero, Muhammad Hassan, or...any other SmackDown! Superstar whose name is not Dave Batista, or Rey Mysterio, the one Superstar even less deserving of his push than Batista. Vince, for once in your life, do the right thing. Take the belt off Batista. NOW.

by Antonio Figueroa ..


Mark Ruthers (Perth Western Australia) wrote:
Good interesting column, as a fan that unfortunately due to work is not the full bottle on all things wrestling I would like to know if possible why you feel this way about Rey Mysterio. ( Rey Mysterio, the one Superstar even less deserving of his push than Batista.) I am not being smart or funny I would truly like to know "
Pauline Knott wrote:
Great column except why on earth does rey mysterio not deserve the title"""""""" Oh yes that guy who was a great help in revolusionising the cruiserweight devision and is by a long way the most famous cruiserweight today he doesnt deserve the title whereas JBL (John Belittleing Layfield) deserve the title . In the words of Stone Cold...What"
Eduver3 wrote:
wow man, nice aticle. thank you for pointing out that wwe bookers made a bad choice when they picked batista to beat triple h in the HIAC, hhh = veteran, batista = virgin, nuff' said. when i found out orton was sd! i was ever so happy, i as well cant wait to see this future hall of famer return to the ring to wrestle. cena going raw and benoit going sd!, raw's loss. i was pissed seeing cena take the title but when i heard benoits music hit, i was saying cena who" carlito going to raw, i really see no difference, he's good, definitely future legend, just hope wwe doesnt ruin him. angle going to raw was bitter sweet, sd! no longer has one of the greatest, but on raw he can finally have new competion. big show and rvd, like them both but i just hope they get their proper push. christian, the very first guy i wanted on sd! came 4th, so i was happy w/ that, definitely should be in the title run, heavyweight or U.S, probaly U.S. and batista, well i do prefer a dave over cena personally, and hes from d.c like me (i know that doesn't matter, but dammit dont take that away from me! lol) but i dislike two things about him, he's not really a good wrestler and he's using a fake age, but i just think thats way better than a cena. now, sd! a "b" show"! sd! is way better than raw, alot of people just see alot of the big names on raw and the fact thats its live and more "wild" i guess and jump to saying its better but its not.seriously, the diva search and hogan (yes, again.) over mexicool", MNM", jbl", taker", booker t" holly" hell no! now yes, i know, i know, raw has shawn, hhh, jericho, rvd, kane, but sd! is the better show. sd! has the future (morgan, MNM, hassan, orton) and present (jbl, booker, christian, rey, eddie) just think about it, sd! is better.
Matt Green wrote:
No offence meant, but do you do anything but bitch" If Randy Orton is so brilliant, why did he fall flat on his face when given the WWE title"

HBK Vs Angle 2 was boring""!!!! They put on a wrestling clinic which used awesome in ring psychology and fantastic wrestling talent. Not to mention an awesome spot were HBK was belly to back suplexed off the ring onto a freakn' table

As for this crap about taking the title off Batista and giving it to JBL, you have got to be shi$*ing me. Give the title to JBL, a man who drew no money and zero interest when he had the title. He held the belt for ten months as it is, what the hell do you have to gain from giving it straight back to him" And your idea to give the belt to Rey Mysterio" He's a brilliant wrestler don't get me wrong but theres no way he can be the figure head that a champion needs to be.

And I'm sorry but as much of a mark as I am for the Undertaker, there is no way that a man who only makes two shows a month should be the World Heavyweight Champion.

In my opinion the belts are on exactly the right people, there both making money and they're both getting huge reactions from the crowds. Sure they may not be the best wrestlers ever but then neither was Stone Cold, and look what he did.
Rohit Ramnath wrote:
As far as analyzing what's going to happen because of the lottery...I urge you to think of the following too:

1. Tyson Tomko: He didn't move to SD and has been left on RAW to solve nobody's problems. He is big and he is strong but he has no character. He used to compete with CC in tag matches but I have never heard him speak and never seen him do anything besides dirty work for CC. Now what's he going to do""" I predict he will fade into obscurity and then re-appear after sometime with a new gimmick or some such odd thing which will speak a huge bunch about not maintaining continuity in the WWE.

2. Matt Morgan: I thought he could do damn well with Carlito talking for him but with CCC gone to RAW what's he got left""" A stutter and a big body!!! Well another fading into obscurity because there's very little he can do on his own. Either that or he teams with JBL...that would make a good team huh"""

3. Edge: EDGE!!! HOW WHEN WTF!!!! I'm not sure so please correct me if I'm wrong, but wasn't Edge's "Money in the Bank" Guaranteed only for the World Heavyweight Title""" Now that him and the championship are on 2 diff shows has that angle gone""" And how come it was never mentioned after WM21"!"!"!"!"
Steven Brooks wrote:
I think you wrote an ok column. You did write a slightly factual column about the draft but you did two things wrong. First off you wrote what you thought their upcoming rivalry's were going to be. Now I'm OK with predictions but you basically said that Hassan( who's finisher is called the Finishing Touch. before he debuted I saw a sight that talked about who WWE recently picked up. The guy who wrote the sight said that Hassan's finisher was called the Finishing Touch and when I saw him lay on that STO to Jerry Lawler I've called it the Finishing Touch ever since) was going to win the U.S. title and then feud with Christian" I just don't see that happening. I could be wrong though. Your second mistake was bashing Big Show and Mysterio. Rey is and has been the most unorthadox the WWE has ever seen. No joke. However he probably won't were the Heavyweight belt for a while if he ever will. Big Show has been having decent matches with Snitsky and Edge since he debuted. Now he, like Rey, probably won't get the WWE belt for a while too. Just trying to help you make a better article.
Antonio Figueroa wrote:
I said that Rey is not deserving of his push simply because it is true. Rey Mysterio should never be champion, and hopefully he never will be. The guy has no charisma, zero mic skills, and a stockpile of LAME finishers, not to mention the fact that half of his matches are carbon copies of each other. Rey is being pushed at the cost of destroying Eddie Guerrero's career. If you don't believe me, simply check the OWW archives: Since the start of 2005, Eddie and Rey have had 7 matches. The score" Rey: 7 --- Eddie: 0. That is just plain wrong. Eddie is ten times the Superstar Rey is, if not more. Rey is the one who should be jobbing for Eddie, not the other way around. Eddie deserves to be champion, Rey doesn't. In fact, in my eyes the only good thing about Smackdown! losing the WWE title and getting the World title is that the World title is for HEAVYWEIGHTS, so Rey cannot compete for it. Now, we have this stupid "secret" storyline, which will probably end with Eddie jobbing for Rey YET AGAIN.
Brent Teraoka wrote:
It's great to see an insightful debate involving serious wrestling fans. Anyhow, here are some ideas that I want to throw out there for debate in response to the posts if seen from this article.

I believe that the WWE should use Bautista the same way that WCW used Goldberg. Being rather old and not incredibly talented, the writers need to ride this wave of momentum and extend the hype as long as possible. I feel that Bautista needs to simply have a long, dominant title reign for about a year or so before he eventually wears down. They should have done this with Brock, but failed to capitalize on his short-lived success. If Brock returns, he won't have the same impact he had a few years ago, period. Bautista should not be beaten by anyone on the Smackdown roster realistically. JBL, Rey Mysterio, Benoit, and the rest of them are not in the same class as HHH and by having Bautista losing the title on SD (whether it be clean or not) would make HHH simply look weak. Bautista's hype can last a long time if done correctly. He has more talent than Goldberg both in the ring and on the mic, though not by much. I know that JBL already had a long title run, but the WWE needs to find some way to create a mega-star. Bautista is the ideal person to fit this short-lived, hyped up character that the WWE can use to propel them to back to the same success seen in the late 90's.

Orton's move to SD was very smart. When the WWE debuted Cena and Orton around the same time, I felt that the WWE has planted the seeds of the future to take the place of the Rock, Stone Cold, and HHH. I honestly thought that Orton was going to be the bigger star and that still might happen. In the end, if they both stay on the right path, the Cena vs. Orton rivalry has the potential to match any rivalry in the last decade (Hogan v. Ultimate Warrior, Bret Hart v. HBK, Rock v. Stone Cold). With that said, I totally agree with your insight that the Orton move from Raw to Smackdown may be the most beneficial move that the WWE has made to its company.

The only bad thing that resulted from this draft is the imbalance that has been created by both roster changes. I feel that RAW has too many heels in the main event circuit while Smackdown has too many babyfaces in the main event circuit. Now that HBK has turned heel, it leaves RAW with HBK, HHH, Angle, and possibly Edge with only Cena and Benjamin (this is stretching it) left as the only two babyfaces that have main event status. Furthermore, SD now is left with only JBL and Orton as the only major heels that have main event status (although I feel SD is now a little more balanced than RAW is). However, if the Undertaker turns heel again, this could definitely change as I think he's a better heal than babyface.

Okay and finally as bad as they may sound, just hear me out. Don't you think that the WWE should go back to the old clique, stable, group idea"" NWO, DX, Nation of Domination, 4 Horsemen, Undertaker's Ministry were all successful gimmicks. I know that the WWE has already tried and failed with this idea, but I think that if new stables formed or if old school ones were revived, maybe this could help the ratings a bit. Evolution was a great start, but why not continue this success. Look what it has done to Bautista and even Orton's career.
Michael Yu wrote:
If you want to talk about someone beating a HIAC legend what about Lesnar. First ever Hell in a Cell Match and he beat Taker, for the title none the less. And how can you say Rey Rey has a stockpile of lame finishers. I can see how a powerbomb or a superkick is alot more original in terms of finishers.
Julie Clark wrote:
i do not think we are talking about the same rey mysterio here, the one i know has mic skills and charisma, i would say he isnt that half bad of a wrestler as well, the problem is the WWE style. If he could wrestle without restrictions you would see some really good matches this also applies to RVD but because both are restricted neither are going to get the Main Title anytime soon. i dont think theres any need for so much attitude for rey rey.

As the the hell in the cell match between batista and HHH i found it be an alright match and the ending wasnt nearly as bad as your making it sound. i thought the ending made it look like HHH was trying to get the strength to hit batista but couldnt before batista slammed him then got the win....but hey i could be wrong
Huthaifas wrote:
It surprises me that so many think that Raw got the better of the deal. I just see Carlito and Big Show, to be non factors. SD got guys that can make the US title worth fighting for(Hassan and Christian) and guys who can who change the landscape for the SD world championship(Benoit,Orton,and Batista). Plus the trades to Richards and Simon Dean(BWO RETURNS) .Add to the fact. that Eddie is World title caliber and Rey is definitely US title worthy. What is surprising is the roster cuts. It really cut down SD depth. But hopefully,Lesnar is going to SD. Lesnar vs Batista is money in the bank. Also hopefully, Matt Hardy goes to SD as well, because there is money to be made there as well. If Benoit and Sullivan can work on the same show, so can Hardy and Edge. Sad to say, but this real life tragedy has done more for Edge,Lita, and Matt's career than anything that WWE creative has come up with.
Michael Cuozzo wrote:
Chris Benoit is totally in Triple H's league. You're crazy to think otherwise. If Benoit is not in H's league, then who is" He did beat him 3 times.

I would have no problem with Batista dropping the belt. It wouldn't mean H is weak, just that Batista lost to someone else. It would actually be better for WWE to spread it around more than just the same few guys always having the belt, or feuding for it. Guys will get shots (like Christian) and you know they won't win. Benoit is championship material, but WWE refuses to give him another push. They seem to think we're satisfied with just seeing him.

Now, as for Rey Rey. I will agree that he and guys like RVD are not allowed to showcase their full potential, but Rey is by no means anything special. He is NOT good on the mic, he stumbles over his words and his mouth looks ridiculous in his match (no disrespecting what the mask represents). He does have some charisma, but his matches are all the same. It's all about him pulling off his moves (much like Jeff Hardy was near the end, and I hate saying that b/c I liked Jeff) The main problem with Rey is that while I appreciate and enjoy the luchadore style, Rey does no traditional wrestling moves. It's all him jumping around b/c he can't pull of any wrestling moves (1 exception is that reverse DDT faceplant). Chavo and London are cruiserwieghts too, much better than Mysterio b/c they are able to high fly and mat wrestle. Sorry, Rey Rey deserves to go to the dregs of the locker room, esp. for what they've done with the STUPID storyline btwn him and Eddie, another superstar they've ruined.
Ryan Ward wrote:
I'd have to agree with you, I find it hard to believe that all the picks were main eventers. Not saying I wasn't happy with them, I'm just saying its kinda funny how that happened and how Batista just happened to be the last pick. It kills me to say this, but JBL should be champion right now.
wrote:

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