WWE Draft 2012: Counting Down the 20 Most Incredible Surprises in Draft History
Pro-wrestling fans rejoice! It is mid-April and just when you thought your WrestleMania hangover was over, the excitement of the 2012 WWE Draft now looms in the air.
Love it or hate it, the past nine editions of the WWE Draft has provided fans with some shocking moments.
What follows is a countdown of the 20 most incredible surprises in the draft's history:
20. Alberto Del Rio Drafted to Raw (2011)
At No. 20 on this list is Alberto Del Rio's trade from SmackDown to Raw—a move few expected.
After winning the Royal Rumble in January 2011, the Mexican aristocrat had been involved in a series of SmackDown feuds for the brand's World Heavyweight Championship.
However, this move to Raw would eventually prove to be a smart one, as the former luchador would go on to win the WWE Championship twice.
19. Kelly Kelly Is the First Pick (2010)
Once again proving that good looks and a pretty smile can get a person far in life, Kelly Kelly was the 2010 WWE Draft's No. 1 pick.
Granted, this move is a little less surprising than others—if we had the opportunity we would probably pick Kelly Kelly to be on our team too.
18. Dolph Ziggler Loses to Hornswoggle (2010)
The victor in a Dolph Ziggler versus Hornswoggle match should be easy to predict—ideally.
But during the 2010 WWE Draft, in a match set to determine which brand (SmackDown or Raw) would get a draft pick, a bit of Irish luck helped Hornswoggle defeat Ziggler.
The surprising upset would lead to the drafting of Chris Jericho from SmackDown to Raw (and the further burial of Ziggler).
17. Jim Ross Goes to SmackDown (2008)
Good God almighty!
Known as the voice of Raw, good ol' Jim Ross had called many exciting matches during his tenure with the red brand, where he had been a dominant figure for much of the show's running history.
Many were surprised to see the Sooners fan move to SmackDown in 2008. His vacant spot on Raw would then go on to be filled by...
16. Michael Cole Gets Drafted to Raw (2008)
After Jim Ross was drafted to SmackDown, Micheal Cole was drafted to Raw to fill Ross' commentator role.
Since this 2008 WWE Draft, Cole has remained the red brand's primary commentator.
15. Matt Hardy Drafted to ECW (2008)
Known as the draft year that ECW got "cheated," the 2008 WWE draft was marked by its unfavorable treatment of the ECW brand.
After losing most of their talent to Raw, the former Philadelphia-based promotion gained its only pick of the night by getting the United States Champion Matt Hardy.
Hardy would remain there until 2009, when he was drafted to SmackDown.
14. Triple H Gets Drafted to SmackDown (2004)
For years, Triple H had been a dominant force on the WWE's flagship show, Raw, it was then to much surprise when it was announced that he would be drafted to SmackDown.
The trade, however, would be short-lived, and after a week of being part of the blue brand, Triple H made his way back to Raw.
13. Randy Orton Gets Drafted to the Blue Brand (2011)
Orton's time on Raw after the 2011 Royal Rumble had escalated to a feud with CM Punk's New Nexus.
Randy Orton's draft to SmackDown effectively ended his feud with Punk.
Nonetheless, the move would prove to be an interesting one and saw Randy Orton in a series of great feuds, including one of the best feuds of 2011 against Wade Barrett.
12. Stone Cold Gets His Way (2002)
During the first incarnation of the WWE Draft, two things were made clear: 1.) all superstars on the roster were eligible for drafting, and 2.) Stone Cold Steve Austin was still "The Toughest Man on the planet."
While other superstars were subject to Vince McMahon and Ric Flair's division of talent, the Texas Rattlesnake was free to pick whichever brand he wanted.
A week after the draft, Steve Austin would join Raw's roster.
11. Batista Drafted to SmackDown (2005)
After dominating on Raw, many were surprised to see Batista join the blue brand.
His presence on SmackDown brought the World Heavyweight Championship there—a title the Animal would go on to defend against JBL.
10. CM Punk Gets Drafted to Raw (2008)
After dominating the ECW scene, CM Punk was drafted to Raw.
This move would eventually cement the Second City Saint's career but would unfortunately leave ECW without one of its greatest stars.
9. Triple H Is Drafted to Raw (2009)
The 2009 WWE Draft brought many surprises, but the best of these however, happened after the WWE cameras stopped rolling.
Perhaps overjoyed that the was drafted from SmackDown to Raw, The Game treated the WWE Universe to his best interpretation of Shane O-Mac's classic dance. Enjoy!
8. nWO Is Drafted as One Pick (2002)
The first-ever WWE Draft in 2002, had many surprises, the most interesting of these?
The Vince McMahon's leniency on the rules, after he allowed Raw owner Ric Flair to draft the nWo (Kevin Nash, Scott Hall and X-Pac) as one pick.
7. Rob Van Dam and Kurt Angle Are Drafted into ECW (2006)
The 2006 WWE Draft, brought a change to the traditional format of the lottery, rather than having the WWE Superstars drafted to Raw and SmackDown, new ECW manager Paul Heyman was allowed to pick a star from both shows to add to his roster.
His picks? Rob Van Dam and Kurt Angle
6. Paul Heyman Is Drafted to Raw (2004)
The 2004 WWE Draft, showed fans that ALL the people on the WWE roster could be drafted.
In a move that surprised everyone, Raw general manager Eric Bischoff, drafted rival general manager Paul Heyman.
Heyman chose to quit, and the blue brand was left without an authority figure.
5. Edge Returns (2004)
After being sidelined with a real injury for almost a year, Edge made his return during the 2004 WWE Draft.
The Rated R Superstar would take his talents to Raw where he feud with Shawn Michaels and Chris Benoit for the World Heavyweight Championship.
4. The Rock Is the No. 1 Pick (2002)
The first edition of the WWE (then still called the WWF) Draft, was a night filled with surprises.
None, however, was more exciting than Vince McMahon choosing The Rock as his first pick of the night.
After becoming the first pick in the history of the draft, The Rock would go on to compete on SmackDown until his contract expired in 2004.
3. John Cena Gets Drafted to Raw (2005)
The 2005 WWE Draft, marked John Cena's move from SmackDown to Raw.
Cena would remain as part of the red brand until 2011, when...
2. John Cena Gets Drafted to SmackDown (2011)
After six years of having John Cena be a constant presence on Raw, 2011 was the year that made the hopes of fans everywhere go up.
The 2011 WWE Draft began with a bang, as the first person to be picked was John Cena, who would be making his way to the blue brand.
A few hours later however fans would learn that..
1. John Cena Gets Drafted to Raw? (2011)
After spending less than three hours on the SmackDown roster, John Cena returned to Raw.
The biggest surprise of this night? The fact that the WWE could actually do something surprising.