WWE Draft 2011: Flashback to Draft 2004

Jacob WaringAnalyst IIIApril 23, 2011

With the 2011 draft fast approaching, it makes one wonder how much of an impact this years draft really will have.

In the 2010 draft you had Edge drafted to RAW but then months later he gets fired, which made him a Smackdown wrestler.

The brand separation is non-existent nowadays, as we routinely see Smackdown wrestlers on Raw and vice versa.

The WWE is only strict with the brand separation till Summerslam, then we slowly see wrestlers on opposing brands. By Wrestlemania season, the brand separation is totally non-existent. 

All that I've stated above shows how the importance of the draft has been eroded over the years. As there was once a time that both brands had their own PPV and that it was basically a sin to be on the other brand as that was enemy land.

The general managers had a rivalry as they both wanted their respective brand to be better than the other.

Let's reminiscent to a forgone era of the WWE draft where it was set up like every trade really mattered. It's the year 2004 and you have Paul Heyman as the General Manager of Smackdown on the Raw stage with Eric Bischoff the Raw GM on the other end of the stage.

Each GM has a lottery machine to select wrestlers from the opposing brand. With each major draft pick one would brag of the achievement while the other is disgusted.

When Triple H was drafted to Smackdown Bischoff was pissed as he lost his to star while Heyman was all giddy with joy as that is a major acquisition for his brand.

A wrestler like Spike Dudley who was drafted to Smackdown was really no big deal, but it does mean one less spot to nab a top star.

The Draft was filled with surprises such as Triple H being drafted which could have meant the end of Evolution but luckily for Triple H the post draft trade made it possible for him to stay on Raw.

The Biggest surprise was Heyman being traded to RAW which left his brand without a GM. The post-draft trades added a element of suspense as who would return or be traded for another wrestler was uncertain in many aspects.

After looking back on the 2004 WWE Draft it makes me wish how we could go back to that intimate atmosphere as the GM nowadays don't seem to care and the picks of who drafted is done via the titantron screen.

The flexibility of the brand separation makes it feels like the draft is pointless while back in 2004, it was a big deal as it could increase the PPV buy-rates which the draftee is on. 

Hopefully the 2011 WWE draft will be as epic as the one in 2004. There is hope as with Edge retired and The Undertaker only appearing once in a blue moon it may mean Smackdown gets a huge star or two to fill in that gap.

Michael Cole being permanently drafted to RAW could mean Edge may become a commentator for Smackdown.

This year's draft has potential to be the best in years, but there a chance that it could be a disappointment!