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WRESTLING COLUMNS

Time for a Change: The 2005 Draft
May 5, 2005 by Frank Janisch


I've read two columns concerning the upcoming WWE draft in the last week, and after seriously considering the opinions expressed in Antonio M. Figueroa's DRAFT 2005: Can it Save the WWE" and Phil C's On The Mat: Leading To The Lottery, I've decided to articulate my own meaningless opinions.

A wrestling fan for almost fifteen years, I must admit wrestling isn't as exciting as it could be, but neither is it as bad as it was in 2002 or 2003. Making both RAW and SmackDown! exciting is a difficult task, but the WWE has the talent to pull it off. Whether or not they have the creative writing talent to pull it off remains to be seen, and judging from the lackluster storylines offered in the past couple years they definitely should reconsider hiring writers with an actual wrestling background, but the talent is there to mold and shape. Some of the wrestlers are performing on the wrong shows, however. Without further rambling, these are the wrestlers that should change shows.

THE RAW DRAFT BOARD

1. Kurt Angle: It really is time for Kurt to leave SmackDown! He's been wrestling for the brand since the WWE split. Like Antonio Figueroa pointed out, he's wrestled everyone on SmackDown! He's held the WWE Championship and has been a Tag Team Champion. On RAW he could challenge Batista for the Heavyweight Title, renew his rivalry with Chris Benoit, and make an allegiance with Edge at the same time. Feuds with Shelton Benjamin, Chris Jericho and Kane would also insight much fan interest.

2. Big Show: Another perfect selection for RAW. The giant would look great turning heel and challenging Batista for the Heavyweight Title. There's nobody left for him to destroy on SmackDown! A Big Show vs. Kane rivalry could also be entertaining. Maybe Big Show could disfigure Kane's face again. Kane was a better man behind the mask.

3. Luther Reigns: People say Gene Snitsky should team with Heidenreich. I believe Reigns and Snitsky would actually be a better combination. Snitsky is six foot four and 310 pounds, Reigns is six foot five and 285 pounds, both men have a demented quality to their characters, and both men have similar wrestling abilities. Combined, Snitsky and Reigns could make an exceptional tag team on RAW.

4. Charlie Hass: When a talented technical wrestler can't even get air time on SmackDown!, I doubt there's a chance for improvement on RAW, however, matches with Shelton, Jericho and Chris Benoit could have writers and other personnel taking a longer look at Charlie Hass. There's also the possibility of putting him under the guidance of Triple H and Ric Flair. Joining forces with Chris Masters is another possibility.

5. Eddy Guerrero: Let's see, Angle's gone, The Big Show's gone, and now Eddy Guerrero's gone. The rivalry with Rey Mysterio Jr. has been intense, but it was forced down the fans throats since well before Wrestlemania. On RAW, Eddy could be an excellent heel, and matches against Jericho, Benoit, Benjamin and Batista would have fan's interested for months.

THE SMACKDOWN! DRAFT BOARD

1. Shawn Michaels: One of the greatest wrestlers in the history of the WWE, and probably the most entertaining. He is the one man on the RAW roster that could make SmackDown! pay per views exciting. Imagine Shawn Michaels fighting JBL, Jon Cena, or The Undertaker. Of course bringing Shawn Michaels to SmackDown! allows the Show Stopper to go one on one with the Whole (you know the word) Show. Shawn Michaels vs. RVD is another dream match that has never happened effectively.

2. Muhammad Hassan: Khosrow Daivari would follow Muhammad to the other brand, and together might form a decent tag team. I would also like to see Muhammad on Carlito's Cabana. Of all the new guys in the WWE, Carlito and Muhammad are the most gifted talkers, and Muhammad's views could easily make Carlito a baby face, which could also be interesting. Can you imagine Muhammad as the US Champion"

3. The Hurricane: Perfect for the cruiserweight division, just as long as he drops the stupid super hero gimmick. Helms is an extremely talent wrestler, and on Monday Nitro, a small glimpse of his potential was shown. Facing Paul London, Rey Mysterio, Billy Kidman, Psicosis, Super Crazy and Chavo Guerrero would allow Helms to display all his talents in the ring.

4. Christian: Nobody on RAW would fit better on SmackDown! He's a potential United States Champion, and a possible WWE Champion. He's more talented than John Cena, and as good a talker as JBL. Rivalries against Cena, Booker T, Rey Mysterio and a baby-face version of Carlito would be an exciting lure on Thursday night.

5. Randy Orton: Randy Orton is the final piece to the puzzle. With his presence on SmackDown! the show can only improve. The feuds between Triple H and The Rock early in their careers helped make them the stars they eventually became. A John Cena/Randy Orton rivalry could have the same effect. The two could push each other to higher limits while competing in great matches, which would provide the entertainment and action the WWF had in the late 90s.

These roster changes can make both brands more exciting, but other factors must play out as well. The Dudley Boyz must go to RAW. The Shane Twins can follow them to RAW. With great tag team wrestling comes great entertainment. By turning the Undertaker heel, confrontations between Shawn Michaels and John Cena become more intense. Imagine if JBL was in control of the dead man. I believe Eugene and Christy Hemme should be traded to SmackDown! Eric Bischoff has always wanted to get rid of Eugene, and on SmackDown!, Eugene would get a fresh start. Christy and Torrie Wilson would get along fine. Eugene and Heidenreich would make a decent tag team. In return, RAW can have Michelle McCool and Matt Morgan. Michelle McCool would be an excellent edition to the RAW divas, and she has some potential as a wrestler. Matt Morgan can be built up just like Batista. When it comes to in ring talent, I believe Morgan and Batista are equals. Val Venis and Sylvain Grenier also need SmackDown!

At this point, I would like to put an end to my rant. I realize that many of the opinions I have expressed mean nothing to the WWE, but a man can dream. I love wrestling and would do anything to watch a more exciting product. I would like to thank Antonio M. Figueroa and Phil C. for their inspiration in the writing of my first OWW article.

by Frank Janisch ..


nathan jones wrote:
I'll start of by saying that your analysis on how the WWE has changed since the Draft Lottery is 100% correct. The WWE promised "big" changes but to be truthful, what really happened" Let's look at the first Draft and what happend because if it. Draft no. 1: RAW took Undertaker who became the champ soon after, NWO who split up soon after, Booker T who did nothing most of the time until the IC title came back, Kane who got injured and was out for most of the time, RVD who ended up like Booker T after a few small pushes, Lesnar who went to SD!, and Big Show who wasted his time in the Hardcore division. SmackDown took The Rock, Kurt Angle, Beniot who went to RAW, Edge, Jericho who went to RAW, and Hogan who sucked. Everyone else was put in the melting pot and thrown to whatever show they got pulled from. The Titles went to shreds and meant nothing. No one really came out on top because it wasnt enough of a change with enough pushes to mean anything. After a few years like this, it all came down to 2005 and the new "SHAKE 'EM UP" lotter...yeah right. 6 guys really make a combo to shake up the shows doesnt it" Give me a break. RAW got Shelton Benjamin who has 0 personality and has done nothing but win an undefended IC title, Nidia who was fired, Tajiri who is out of his zone without the Cruiserweights, Edge who has yet to be given a shot at stardom with the Title, and Heyman who walked out, and Rhyno who was forgotten. So really no one got anything out of this group. SmackDown got Rene Dupree who is a tremendous athelete but has not been given any push because of that idiot John Cena, RVD who soon went down to the Tag Team division, HHH who went back to RAW for Booker T who is always left out, and the Dudley Boyz who are out right now, Teddy Long who is now the GM, and Spike Dudly who does nothing anymore aswell as Mark Jindrak who many had high hopes for was also shoved down to lower mid-card level. So with the 2nd draft done, no one was pushed that was drafted. So maybe the 3rd times a charm. Maybe we will se some major changes aswell as pushes that will come after the Draft.
Huthaifas wrote:
I agree with alot of your picks, except for HBK,Guerrero,Angle.Not only would I love to see HBK vs Angle, but also HBK vs Eddie Guerrero. Those guys would bring a match of the year every other week out of Shawn.HBK vs RVD would also be excellent, so would HBK vs Paul London would be damn interesting, and push London far.I would love to JBL,Taker, and maybe Booker.JBL has no one to fight on SD, and him and Batista/HHH have heat.Taker can just be Taker there.Booker is just a better fit on RAW
"Lucifer" Nick (from Singapore) wrote:
Totally like agree on moves from Charlie Haas, Christian and The Hurricane. They are all wasting their talent in their current brand. Some of the wrestler i also think should move would be Chris Jericho and Rene Dupree
Daniel Broda wrote:
I agree with most of your picks, however if Angle, Eddy and Big Show went to Raw, Smackdown would lose 3 of it's biggest stars. Raw has much more talent in my opinion so take Eddy out of a move and put Hardcore Holly or Jindrak instead, who both seem lost at Smackdown.

Also give Christian a huge push to main event status, can't the WWE see that the fans love him! The way he enters the ring with his hooded jacket has me in stiches i'm laughing so much. But they should also get rid of Tomko, who basicialy is a waste of space.
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