By now most of you are aware of both Raw and Smackdown's Championship Scramble matches. After watching Smackdown, I'm very interested in this concept.
Much like this year's No Way Out, the concept for Unforgiven's main event is the same for Raw as it is for Smackdown, but they have different purposes.
While Raw's is due to a surplus of main eventers, Smackdown's is to raise the mid card. This is a very interesting, but much needed move.
This year's draft was good to both brands (and for the record ECW has done a good job staying entertaining while seemingly getting raped in the draft).
After the draft the two brands almost felt even, as Raw had an all-star cast of main eventers in Batista, John Cena, JBL, Randy Orton, Chris Jericho, Shawn Michaels, Kane and Rey Mysterio. With the addition of CM Punk to the main event, you can run your own WrestleMania from that roster.
With Smackdown switching networks they took the "you gotta tune in" approach casting "must-see" wrestlers such as the always popular HHH, the always exciting Jeff Hardy, the unpredictable Edge, the (no introduction needed) Undertaker, The outspoken Mr. Kennedy, along with guys The Big Show, Umaga, The Great Khali, and MVP.
Raw's overcrowded approach seemed to work better for them, as they were able to use it to their advantage with everyone chasing a title or each other. The problem is they don't have enough faith in their champ to see him headline a PPV on his own. While CM Punk is popular, he doesn't have the star power like other guys.
Smackdown's luck in the world title picture...well, it kind of went dry. Mr. Kennedy and Umaga both went out to injury. Edge has to sell an injury. The Undertaker is seeking revenge on La Familia, Khali blew his chance at Summerslam, and The Big Show is being "overlooked."
So the WWE answered both of their problems with a concept new to the World Title's. A Championship Scramble. It seems like a great idea. Raw will no doubt have the main event of the night surrounding Punk with big names in an exciting match. Smackdown will put on a great showing with their new stars.
For many, this will be their first time in a world title match. Shelton Benjamin is a guy who could always put on a show but never could do much with his pushes. He has some credibility as he is the current United States champion and has actually beaten HHH before a few years back.
Jeff Hardy is right on the brink of the main event. He's had a bittersweet year as he's been arguably this year's hottest wrestler, but his personal problems have kept him from going to that next level.
MVP had a tremendous year last year and it seemed like he was on the brink this year competing in the elimination chamber and Money In the Bank then after losing to Matt Hardy he was kind of just lost on Smackdown. The WWE appears to be trying to build his momentum back up.
The biggest surprise in this match however is The Brian Kendrick. A man who re-debuted on Smackdown a few weeks ago. Since then he's been in a squashing jobbers with the help of his bodyguard. The WWE seems to have wanted to split him up from Paul London and give him a push for a while, even including a small heel turn just before Wrestlemania.
Now it looks like they were able to do it with the draft. Unlike the other names in the scramble, he has never even made it to the upper-mid card. In fact he's the only guy in the match who has never held a singles title.
So who will win these matches?
The match is advertised as only recognizing the winner of the match as the champion, so if you won it at the 10 minute mark at the end of the match you were never the champion. It's like the winner an Iron Man match you can get the 1st pin fall, but it's only the real winner of the match that counts.
So who do you have as the real winner? We will probably have a big gimmick match from Shawn Michaels and Chris Jericho to headline the PPV. Undertaker will probably have a match with someone from La Familia or maybe all of La Familia.
ECW will have a world title match (in all actuality, they could use a scramble, as Henry, The Miz, Morrison, Finlay and Hardy all could use the ppv to gain momentum.)
Kofi seems to be chasing the title he never lost and a diva's or woman's championship match is on every ppv. (Beth vs Mickie has the most momentum). We may even see Team Priceless and Cryme Tyme have a tag title match.
After those matches have gone on, you bring in your title matches. When you have two of the same matches both for titles in order to keep them both exciting you need to pull a swerve.
In other words, if someone retains in the first of the two matches then you lead the viewer to believe that the odds are beatable, so it's predicable and unentertaining to see the second match carry out the same way.
With CM Punk being the new champion, he will benefit greatly from retaining over Kane, Cena, Batista and JBL. Overcoming those odds will give him even more credibility.
It's one thing to beat Kane, Batista, and JBL, but to beat them all at once gives you a big boost. None of the opponents really need this win right now anyway.
Cena will probably benefit more from not being champion right now as fans like him as long as he isn't holding the belt for a year at a time. Batista can be looked at is a similar manner.
This match is a way to prolong a one-on-one rematch between the two as long as possible (if Mania is possible).
Kane looks to have an interesting storyline with Mysterio in the works and doesn't need the belt right now to get over, and JBL is beyond his years for being the centerpiece of a show but he can still be an entertaining antagonist. With nobody really needing the win, there we look at the Smackdown scramble.
HHH, the 12-time World Champion, is in a match with four superstars who altogether have a total of 0 world title reigns.
Needless to say, he doesn't need the belt to get over. So let's look at his title reign so far. He had a full-fledged feud with Orton that they milked dry. Then he had the rematch that the WWE has been wanting to do for years with Cena.
HHH had a halfway feud with Edge that looked like it was a side story to Edge's real story with Undertaker and Vickie, and a match against a fresh opponent The Great Khali.
Let's look at the other opponents he could face to continue his reign. Edge is always an option. However, with Edge there is a few things you have to look at:
In the conclusion of his last match with the Undertaker, Edge was set on fire. The WWE's next video game features an Inferno Match. Unforgiven is also the 10th anniversary of the 1st Inferno match.
It would be a smart business move to have one on a PPV to promote the feature. Undertaker and Edge looks like the only feud that could go that far without looking like a obvious plug.
Edge is also a very big name right now and could be a very big match at Mania. Looking at HHH's Wrestlemania history and the current WWE roster there isn't many people who HHH could have a match with at Mania that's not a rematch. (Big Show at WM2000, Undertaker at X7, HBK at XX, Y2J AT X8, Orton at 24, Cena at 22, Batista at 21, Kane at XV). So it's best the WWE save new someone with momentum for Mania.
For HHH's reign to be exciting, he needs matches now. When Orton comes back from his break, he does have a legit reason to come after HHH. He could easily move to Smackdown, as the new home will give him fresh opponents, not new but opponents he haven't faced in a while. A blow off match with HHH could get exciting for one ppv.
Back to Triple H, The Undertaker is always a feud that can be done but he has some unfinished business right now with La Familia, and a HHH/Taker match should not be a side feud. The Big Show looks to be regaining a bit of momentum after last night's Smackdown and could get a title shot eventually, but right now he's not in the title picture.
So losing this belt to a new guy would give HHH will give him a fresh opponent for now. This match is also so weird that it can appear that HHH got screwed. HHH never has to get pinned to lose this belt. Add in the fact that HHH's desire to be champion is well documented and you have a instant interesting rematch.
Now who is the person to give the belt to? Let's look at the participants:
The Brian Kendrick will get a rub out of just being in this match; all he needs is a good showing an his momentum increases 100 percent. You will have a guy that will be a instant upper mid-carder.
Shelton Benjamin is the current United States champion; that belt did wonders for MVP. A good showing for Benjamin and even a possible pinfall mid-match will boost him and give his title reign more momentum.
So that leaves MVP and Jeff Hardy. Of these two you have to look at who is ready for a title reign. MVP reminds me much like Randy Orton of last year. While Orton had already been a world champ before it had been years since so it was a rebuild of sorts.
For much of 2007 Orton had been in many matches involving world title's or world title shots, being one of the Final Four of the Rumble, Money In the Bank, a Fatal 4 Way at Backlash, A 5 way at Night of Champions. Orton was so close to his eventual title reign for much of that year.
MVP is much like that this year with his Elimination Chamber Matches and MITB matches and now this match. He's getting the big match experience needed to be a world champion, just not right now.
So that leaves us with Jeff Hardy. He's the most credible from an experience standpoint . He's held the most gold of any competitor in this match besides the champ. He's had plethora of big matches within the last year with names like HBK, Y2J and Orton. Plus he's beaten the champ before at last years Armageddon.
Hardy is the one guy in this match fans won't be disappointed to see win. In fact, the crowd would erupt. He's extremely over with the crowd, and is known enough by casual watchers to bring in viewers.
A feud with HHH will do him wonders in the future. HHH is allowed to win the belt back from Hardy after a feud to bring in other matches like HHH/Taker, HHH/Edge or HHH/Big Show.
Jeff Hardy getting the belt even for a month or two will give him credibility to win it again in a bigger match. Winning it right now people, will look at it like "yeah, but he was in a match with nobodies," but being the champ makes you credible regardless.
What a Hardy/HHH feud will give him the most is big match training with one of the best in this industry. Love HHH or hate him you cannot deny his resume of big matches as a ring general.
He puts on matches that will be remembered and talked about for a very long time and he's been in the main event for a decade. He can prep Hardy now for big matches later by having big matches now.
So Hardy is the best logical choice to win the Scramble.