The 2011 WWE Draft: How I Would Make Raw and SmackDown Equals Again
Every year on Monday Night Raw, the night after Wrestlemania, WWE holds their annual draft to shake things up a bit.
In reality it is not a draft but more of a random lottery where the winner of each match earns draft picks for their respective brand. This is normally an exciting time for WWE fans because it brings unpredictability into play. You never can tell who will move from one brand to the other. It also brings us new match-ups for the next few months.
SmackDown has always been looked upon as the “B” show of the two brands, but last year after the draft the gap in talent was even more prominent. Raw for unseen reasons seemed to get all the talent in the draft. Raw was stacked with talent afterward, while SmackDown was left looking worst for wear.
To top that off SmackDown went on to lose a few key veterans due to injury and departure from the company, Undertaker, Christian, Matt Hardy and MVP to name a few. As of late WWE has been trying to fill the void by moving some younger talent over to the blue brand, but it still isn’t enough.
In this Slideshow I’ll show you what I would do if I was in charge of this year’s upcoming draft. I will show the people I would move from each brand to the other with a brief explanation. Hopefully after I’m done you will think the two brands look closer to being equal in talent.
Thanks for the read. I hope it is as interesting to read as it was to write.
Dolph Ziggler: From SmackDown to Raw
Dolph has been battling for the World Heavyweight Championship for the past couple months. With him not winning the title and Alberto Del Rio set to win it at Wrestlemania where does this leave Ziggler? He can’t move anywhere but backward if he remains on SmackDown. So moving him to Raw would give him new options. It would also add another good heel to the Raw roster to go along with CM Punk and The Miz. Maybe he could go on to challenge John Cena for the WWE title at some point. The two have already had a few good matches, which was a test, or at least looked to be that way.
Daniel Bryan: From Raw to SmackDown
Bryan is a very talented superstar in the ring. SmackDown is more known for it’s in-ring competition, so it is a good fit for both.
On Raw Bryan has always seemed out of place to me. I think he’s a much better fit on the SmackDown roster. It’s also good that he will have new competition for the US Championship if he still has it at this time. We then could see some good matches between Bryan and superstars like Cody Rhodes, Christian, Drew McIntyre, Jack Swagger, Justin Gabriel and Trent Barreta.
Darren Young: From Raw to SmackDown
Darren hasn’t really been used on Raw much since he was kicked out of Nexus. I think he has only made one appearance since. So Raw will not really be losing anything if he moves to SmackDown. I think Young would receive more time on SmackDown and that’s what he really needs right now. He needs time to learn and find himself as a WWE Superstar. It might be interesting to see him in some matches against his former stable mates Wade Barrett, Justin Gabriel and Heath Slater. I also think he could have good matches with some of the older superstars on SmackDown if given the opportunity.
Hornswoggle: From SmackDown to Raw
Raw is more of the entertainment show of the two, so Hornswoggle would be better on it. With the addition of Horny they would then have the smallest and largest superstars on the Raw roster for that special attraction. I’m not really sure what they would do with Horny, but he would give them another comedy role superstar. Maybe they could stick him with Santino and Kovloz or something. I don’t really know. I just see it as a better fit than him on SmackDown.
Evan Bourne: From Raw to SmackDown
Of course Bourne is out with an injury and I don’t know when he will return, but the move to SmackDown would be a good one for the high flyer when he returns to action. He would get more of a chance to showcase his athletic ability. It really wouldn’t hurt Raw that much and it could add some excitement to a sometimes bland SmackDown show. I really hadn’t thought about it before making the draft picks, but it seems I’ve moved a lot of the smaller superstars to SmackDown. So maybe they could bring back the Cruiserweight Championship and they could compete for that on SmackDown only. It would bring excitement and the sense of something special to watch the show for.
Gail Kim: From Raw to SmackDown
Gail is another person that is on Raw’s roster, but isn’t really being used all that much. Again SmackDown being known for wrestling, Gail is a good fit. Maybe she could come over and help some of the younger divas like Kaitlyn out. Gail being moved to SmackDown will allow her and Daniel Bryan to remain in some type of storyline too.
JTG: From SmackDown to Raw
This is another entertainment values over wrestling call. JTG is somewhat entertaining, but lacks the wrestling skill to make it big. Him moving to Raw will give him the chance to show what he’s good at. The move will also give him a larger platform to do vignettes like Straight Outta Brooklyn as it fits into the Raw style more than SmackDown. JTG could tag up with Mark Henry and make a run for the titles. They’ve pretty much tried everyone else with Henry so why not?
Jimmy & Jey Uso: From Raw to Smackdown
A change in scenery might actually be the best thing for this young tag team. On the blue brand they could have a chance to find a gimmick that works for them. It would also give them time to learn and grow in the ring. With no other tag teams on either show it really doesn’t matter which one they’re on. The draft could add other teams like Tyson Kidd and Ted DiBiase and Primo and Zack Ryder to SmackDown, where they can start to rebuild a tag team division that they are sorely missing at the moment.
Kane: From SmackDown to Raw
The Big Red Monster only looks right on the red brand. He has red in his nickname for Christ sake. They’ve already had Kane feud with his brother in destruction The Undertaker, so I don’t see much use for him on SmackDown. Moving him to Raw will open up new avenues for Kane. He can bring terror to a whole new group of people. Kane could have some key matches with young superstars like Mason Ryan, Husky Harris, David Hart Smith, Skip Sheffield and Alex Riley. He can also have matches against Mark Henry, John Morrison and Great Khali.
Maryse: From Raw to SmackDown
Maryse will be able to remain in her role as Ted DiBiase’s girlfriend. She could also be involved in a feud with Gail Kim while DiBiase is feuding with Gail’s boyfriend Daniel Bryan. I think that would make for some interesting matches. Then after that I can see Maryse leaving DiBiase for his former tag team partner “Dashing” Cody Rhodes. It could lead into a very interesting feud between the two.
Michael Tarver: From Raw to SmackDown
Well, another former member of Nexus coming to SmackDown. Tarver could tag up with Darren Young and they could try to take down The Corre because of Barrett, Slater and Gabriel and the way they were treated while in Nexus. Tarver could also have some matches with veterans so he can learn from them.
Kofi Kingston: From SmackDown to Raw
It’s only fair if Raw gets back a champion after losing US Champion Daniel Bryan. Kofi’s style is more suited to Raw. It will give him new opponents to face for his title as well. Kofi would be able to face superstars like The Miz, Alex Riley, CM Punk, Michael McGillicutty and William Regal.
Natalya: From Raw to SmackDown
I believe Natalya’s in ring style is more suited to SmackDown. Moving her from Raw to SmackDown is just something to even out the draft with a couple of key divas going to Raw. It would be nice to see a feud between her and Beth Phoenix somewhere in the future and this makes it a possibility.
Matt Striker: From SmackDown to Raw
Booker T returning to the WWE and taking Matt’s spot on the SmackDown commentary team leaves Matt without a place on the blue brand. I’m not really sure what he would do over on Raw either, but I think he would be more effective there. I like Striker’s commentary, but at times he tries too hard. Maybe with Tough Enough starting he can be a host on the show like he was on NXT. Superstars is another place he can be used for commentary until something else opens up.
Primo: From Raw to Smackdown
Primo is a very talented superstar, but since his brother Carlito left the WWE it seems he has been lost in the shuffle. He is another superstar that has suffered due to being on an overly populated Raw roster. On SmackDown he would have a better chance of getting opportunities. I like the team of Primo and Zack Ryder. Maybe they could stay together and go on to be future tag team champions.
R-Truth: From Raw to SmackDown
The truth is R-Truth has begun to become stale on Raw. They tried to change his entrance music, but ended up going back to the “What’s Up” song after a few weeks because it wasn’t working. I believe they had thoughts of turning Truth heel at one point, but changed their minds. Maybe a heel turn would do him good, who knows? The move to SmackDown will give him an opportunity to face different opponents and hopefully gain back some of the luster that was once there. I think he should turn heel and face Daniel Bryan for the US Championship personally.
Michelle McCool: From SmackDown to Raw
At first I thought of moving both Michelle and Layla to Raw, but after thinking on it more I decided it would be better for them to split up. I would have them break up and have a match at WrestleMania for the Divas Championship. Maybe a triple threat between them and whoever the champion is at the time. Splitting Lay-Cool up would give Michelle an opportunity to start something new. What better way than by moving to Raw since she hasn’t been there for a long time.
Randy Orton: From Raw to SmackDown
Randy has done almost everything possible on Raw. The move to SmackDown would peak an interest in the brand and Orton. He wouldn’t have to play second fiddle behind John Cena either. And with SmackDown’s top guy The Undertaker close to retirement and in and out all the time Orton would give them someone else to rely on. Orton would have a new group of opponents to feud with. Randy and Edge could even reform Rated RKO for a short run if they wanted. Lately WWE hasn’t moved their top superstars around much, so this would be unexpected.
Rey Mysterio: From SmackDown to Raw
With Randy Orton going to SmackDown, Raw would need someone in return. Mysterio would be that superstar. Rey fits in with the Raw style. This move would also make things different. Mysterio is another superstar like Undertaker and Edge and when you think of SmackDown you think of them. But Rey has been there too long. It’s begun to get old and it’s time to change it up.
Sheamus: From Raw to SmackDown
Sheamus could come to SmackDown and become one of it’s biggest heels. If he remains on Raw he won’t be able to say that. So the move to SmackDown would be a good one. He would be able to face some of the top superstars in the WWE. Superstars like Edge, Undertaker, and Big Show who he hasn’t really gotten the chance to face yet. It will give the fans something new to wait and watch for.
Tyler Reks: From SmackDown to Raw
Reks hasn’t been on SmackDown very long, but in that time he hasn’t really done much. It’s almost like they don’t know what to do with the guy. Maybe moving him to Raw will give someone an ideal. They could build him up and let him face John Cena or something that he hasn’t done yet. Tyler has a good look and some talent. They just haven’t found his place yet. Maybe moving to Raw will help or maybe it won’t, but at least it’s something.
Ted DiBiase: From Raw to SmackDown
Ted will join his former Legacy members, Randy Orton and Cody Rhodes on SmackDown. As stated before his girlfriend Maryse will also be there. Potential feuds with both Orton and Rhodes would be interesting. Daniel Bryan would be another option like I said before. There are also a lot of other opponents for DiBiase that he hasn’t faced before. Plus it’s not like he’s doing much on Raw other than being sucker punched and jobbing to an old man. Even if it is Jerry Lawler it isn’t good.
Vickie Guerrero: From SmackDown to Raw
Vickie will follow her boyfriend Dolph Ziggler to Raw. She will just be his manager there and nothing much other than that. They have already tried her as general manager of Raw and she didn’t work out. So much so that she quit the WWE for a while. Maybe we will get lucky and history will repeat itself.
Tyson Kidd: From Raw to SmackDown
Kidd is a very talented superstar that like many others is lumbering around in limbo on the Raw roster. It’s obvious to me that they don’t know what to do with Kidd. He has gone from one thing to the other for months now. Moving him to SmackDown might be the key to him finding himself. He is another superstar that could be in the cruiserweight picture. He could also do bigger and better things if the right opportunities present themselves.
Chavo Guerrero: From SmackDown to Raw
Chavo will follow his aunt Vickie and her boyfriend Dolph Ziggler over to Raw. There he could team with them or strike out on his own. Chavo is a veteran of the ring and could help some of the younger superstars. He would basically be an on-the-job teacher or a lacky to Ziggler. At least that’s more than he is doing on SmackDown at the moment. The change in scenery could help Chavo gain back some of his former glory as well.
Yoshi Tatsu: From Raw to SmackDown
Yoshi is another superstar that would fit into a cruiserweight division. He is a very exciting young superstar that just needs the right opportunity. By moving to the blue brand Yoshi could receive that. He would definitely get more TV time there. He could have some exciting singles matches with other cruiserweights or maybe tag up with someone and go for the tag titles.
Kelly Kelly: From SmackDown to Raw
Kelly going back to Raw would be good for both her and Raw. She would be back on the show where wrestling ability doesn’t matter as much. The move also evens out the divas on the rosters. It’s pretty much trading Kelly for Maryse. An even trade, in my opinion.
Zack Ryder: From Raw to SmackDown
Zack just doesn’t receive the TV time he deserves on Raw. Moving him to SmackDown will give him that. Zack will also join his tag partner Primo over on the blue brand. They could continue on their journey for the tag team titles. Zack could also encounter former associates Curt Hawkins and Edge and either join them or feud. Either way it’s a good and interesting move.