My Draft Analysis

The Katz Files – Arnie Katz
My Draft Analysis
The Kingfish Arnie Katz delves into the 2009 WWE Draft Lottery and discusses what the changes may mean for the three brands.

The Draft Lottery is done. Now it’s time to put the pieces together and see what it all means.

WE promised a revolution. That didn’t happen, but quite a bit of talent will be working in new surroundings. Thanks to some lazy booking, some of the changes are a little too coincidental, such as the IC and US title-holders switching places and the two Women’s Champions trading. (Of course, all the moves were planned and their was no random luck factor involved, but these kind of coincidences make the Lottery look hokey to the fans.)

Strangely, a lot of wrestlers, including quite a few very important ones, got no mention in the draft. Presumably, they will stay put, unless, of course, WWE decides to supplement the Supplemental Draft with more announcements.

Another small quibble is that it is not ye clear whether WWE will pay much attention to the brands. Big Show was on (4/3) Smackdown and Edge is part of the April RAW European tour. The brands won’t mean much with half the roster crosses over every week.

Let’s look at each brand…

RAW

Summary of Drafts Changes
Triple H (from Smackdown)
Big Show (from Smackdown)
MVP (from Smackdown
Matt Hardy (from Smackdown)
Mr. Kennedy (from Smackdown)
Chavo Guerrero (from Smackdown)
Hornswoggle (from ECW)
The Miz (from ECW)
Primo Colon (from Smackdown)
Carlito (from Smackdown)
The Brian Kendrick (from Smackdown)
Festus (from Smackdown)
Maryse (from Smackdown)
Nikki Bella (from Smackdown)
Brie Bella (from Smackdown)

The Kingfish comments: One obvious point is that the Vickie Guerrero Show appears to be moving, wholesale, to RAW. Edge is still, nominally, on Smackdown, but who knows how long that will last. It makes sense to move this little soap opera, since it has run for a long time on Smackdown.

The most puzzling moves were the break up of The Miz and John Morrison and the separation of Hornswoggle from Fit Finlay. The team break-up, which included an in-ring fight between the two, is simply wrong. The duo had acquired quite a bit of fan interest, partially through “The Dirt Sheet,” and it’s hard to believe that WWE will really want them to become singles competitors. It seems more likely that they will first feud and then reconcile.

There’s basically nothing for Hornswoggle to do without Finlay. You might expect one of two things to happen: Either Finlay will show up on RAW a lot or this is the first step toward easing out Hornswoggle after a long run.

MVP, Matt Hardy and Mr. Kennedy are all in an intriguing position. They could become involved in the US Championship picture or one or more of them could find themselves in programs with the likes of Triple H, John Cena and Dave Batista. Keep your eyes of this trio; WWE is hoping that one or more authentic stars will emerge.

Moving Maryse to RAW probably sets her up to drop the title, possibly to Gail Kim or, failing that, Mickie James. The Bella Twins are now on RAW Since the Colons are also part of the same brand now, it’s likely that we’ll see more interaction between the brothers and the sisters. They don’t seem to have a lot to offer in the ring, so a switch to RAW, which has more dramatic scenes than Smackdown is logical.

Smackdown

Summary of Drafts Changes
CM Punk – from RAW to Smackdown
Kane (from RAW)
Chris Jericho (from RAW)
Rey Mysterio (from RAW)
John Morrison (from ECW)
Mike Knox (from RAW)
Charlie Haas (from RAW)
Ricky Ortiz (from ECW)
Dolph Ziggler (from RAW)
Shad Gaspard (from RAW)
JTG (from RAW)
Melina (from RAW)
Alicia Fox (from ECW(
Candice Michelle (from RAW)
Layla (from RAW)

The Kingfish comments: CM Punk, Chris Jericho and Rey Mysterio should freshen up Smackdown quite a bit. Rey can work programs against traditional enemies like Mike Knox and Kane or he could strike out in a new direction with a series of matches against John Morrison.

Cryme Tyme is still together and now on Smackdown. This could be a chance for them to escape their clownish past. Unless The Miz is going to make a lot of guest appearances on SD, though, Shad and JTH are likely to be putting over a different heel team.

The women’s wrestling on Smackdown hasn’t been very good for some time. The newcomers are really not going to improve that, but Melina and Candice have great acts and WWE clearly believes that Alicia Fox is going to be the next big Diva star.

Dolph Ziggler will now have a whole new roster to whom he can introduce himself.

ECW

Summary of Drafts Changes
Vladimir Kozlov (from Smackdown)
Ezekiel Jackson (from Smackdown)
Hurricane Helms (from Smackdown)
DH Smith (from Smackdown)
Zack Ryder (from Smackdown
Natalya goes (from Smackdown

The Kingfish comments: This group of changes may be the most provocative of anything in the Draft Lottery. ECW on Sci Fi is the stepchild of the three WWE brands, so talent isn’t transferred there unless there’s a pretty good reason.

Opportunity knocked for Vladimir Kozlov, but the Taciturn Russian didn’t answer the door. WWE pushed him into the title picture on Smackdown, only to have fans turn up their collective noses at a guy who doesn’t have a great repertoire of holds, can’t do anything on the microphone and has an expressionless, stone face. He will be part of the ECW title picture, possibly battling Christian and, if he doesn’t improve, lookout below!

A big surprise, at least to me, is that DH Smith has moved to ECW. He never really got much of a chance on Smackdown, so this may be his chance to shine. On the other hand, rumors had Smith joining Legacy, but that doesn’t seem likely with Orton and the rest of his group on a different show. WWE will be watching DH Smith closely for signs of potential stardom. If he does well over the next month or so, that Legacy slot could still happen for him.

Natalya doesn’t entirely fit the desired look of the WWE Divas. Putting her on ECW might give her room to develop a more hardcore act that would go well with her appearance.

That’s all for today. I’ll be back with my Lockdown preview and predictions. I hope you’ll comeback and join me – and, please, bring your friends.

— Arnie Katz
Executive Editor
[email protected]
(4/19/09)