WWE: Who Should Switch Brands in the Annual Draft Lottery This Year?
The WWE draft lottery has become irrelevant; that’s understood. With all of the Raw and Smackdown! wrestlers appearing on opposite shows so often, it’s now very difficult to keep track of who’s on what WWE program.
Even so, let’s not forget that the latest edition of the WWE draft lottery is upon us. It’s bound to happen shortly after WrestleMania 28.
So with that said, which WWE Superstars should be switching brands?
Here’s a list.
Many WWE fans probably scoff at the notion of the company’s flagship superstar, John Cena, leaving its flagship program, Monday Night Raw. For those skeptics, hear me out.
Cena has always been a top draw in the Raw ratings. Now though, the show has another top draw in CM Punk.
With Punk holding down the fort on Monday nights, WWE can ship Cena to Smackdown! in an effort to boost that show’s lesser ratings. Plus, Cena can still make his weekly appearances on Raw via the Supershow.
And for those who don’t think Cena would be willing to pull double duty on both shows every week, let me remind you that he still wrestles house shows on a frequent basis.
It would be business as usual for the hard-working Cena.
The Miz has suffered quite the fall from grace over the past 12 months. A year ago at this time, he was prepping to defend the WWE Championship at WrestleMania (a feat he successfully pulled off).
These days, Mizanin’s golden age seems like it happened moons ago, as opposed to months. In 2012, the Miz has been mired in the mid-card rankings.
He’s spent the past few weeks jobbing to virtually every babyface wrestler on the Raw roster and is now in danger of not even having a match at this year’s WrestleMania.
It’s time for a change.
Getting drafted to Smackdown! would give the Miz the fresh start he so desperately needs right now. Even if he wouldn’t immediately contend for the World Heavyweight Championship, a change of scenery would allow the Miz to escape the string of bad mojo he’s run into on Raw.
Surely for Mizanin, that would be “awesome!”
If the Miz is drafted to Smackdown!, he should take his former protégé, Alex Riley, with him. Riley saw a spike in popularity after rebelling against the Miz last spring, culminating in a pay-per-view victory over Mizanin at 2011’s Capitol Punishment.
Since then, however, the young and promising Riley has been totally buried by WWE management. His last appearance on television was a brief cameo as the second entrant in 2012’s Royal Rumble (he didn’t even last two minutes in the match).
It’s gotten so bad that Riley doesn’t even wrestle the Raw dark matches anymore. When Raw made its recent appearance in Boston, Riley (a Boston College alum) was nowhere to be found.
A big reason for Riley’s disappearance is the Raw Supershow. The top stars of Smackdown! have taken the place of Raw’s bottom feeders, leaving guys like Riley behind in the dust.
A move to Friday nights could get Riley back on TV and give him the chance to recapture his brief 2011 popularity surge.
Everyone’s giddy about CM Punk’s showdown with Chris Jericho at WrestleMania, and rightfully so. But when that feud runs its course, Christian could be the next ideal wrestler to tussle with Punk.
Drafting Captain Charisma to Raw would sow the seeds for a throwdown with the self-proclaimed Best in the World at Summer Slam and beyond. Personally, that scenario has me quite giddy, and rightfully so.
Both Christian and Punk are incredible on the microphone and can carry a rivalry for several enticing months. For underrated examples, just look at when the two both had beef with Randy Orton in 2011.
The CM Punk-Orton and Christian-Orton struggles were two of the best rivalries of the year. Christian can’t get on Raw and confront Punk soon enough, as far as I’m concerned.
Another dream rivalry would be one between CM Punk and Daniel Bryan. Who cares if Bryan was drafted to Smackdown! just last year?
The WWE Universe has already gotten a taste of Punk and Bryan squaring off in the squared circle a few times, and they want more. Wrestling enthusiasts would be ecstatic over the prospect of an extended Punk and Bryan feud.
They would come out in droves to support it and WWE would make a ton of money in the process. Both Ring of Honor alums are arguably the two best in-ring competitors in the industry and already have gimmicks that complement each other nicely.
Bryan’s pretentious vegan persona is a perfect antithesis to Punk’s passionate straight-edge mentality. It has the makings to be one of the best rivalries in WWE history.
Any of Smackdown's Injured Superstars
It’s no secret that WWE Smackdown! has had a slew of injuries lately. Therefore, maybe it’s in WWE’s best interest to send one or the entire injured trio of Ted DiBaise, Sin Cara and Wade Barrett to Raw in the draft.
For starters, if you’re superstitious, they would get out of the cloud that is the Smackdown! injury curse. But realistically, all three could serve a solid purpose on Monday nights.
A change of scenery may revitalize DiBiase’s disappointing career with WWE thus far. Sin Cara could add more in-ring excitement to the program, as long as he doesn’t botch anymore moves.
And Barrett would be primed to recapture some of the momentum he had on Raw, like when he wreaked havoc as the leader of Nexus. Moving over to Mondays could do this trio some good, not to mention prevent them from further injury.