WWE Draft 2011: John Cena and the Five Most Shocking Draft Picks (w/video)
The WWE Draft, while hurt by WWE's failure to keep Superstars exclusive to their brand, has provided for some shocking and memorable moments throughout its history.
Every year, at least one draft pick seems to send proverbial shockwaves throughout the WWE universe, while changing the landscape of televised WWE programming for the foreseeable future.
The WWE Draft, by its very nature, is a surprise as most WWE Superstars do not find out about being drafted the until moment it is announced.
A handful of surprise WWE draft picks come to mind as it pertains to the more shocking draft picks in WWE history, with one particular draftee outraged with his draft announcement.
5. 2005 WWE Draft: John Cena Drafted to RAW
Drafted No. 1 overall in the 2005 WWE Draft, John Cena came to RAW after previously reigning as the top guy on Smackdown.
Batista had just won the World Championship from Triple H at WrestleMania 21, and figured to be the top man on RAW, but this newsworthy flip flop of champions would set the tone at the top in WWE for years to come.
This was just before John Cena begun to receive pockets of boos from his audible detractors as the RAW crowd was ecstatic upon his arrival.
John Cena remains a member of the RAW roster to this day as one of the longest tenured draft picks in WWE history.
4. 2004 WWE Draft: Triple H Gets Drafted to Smackdown
The infamous drafting of Triple H to Smackdown in 2004 could have been deemed much more shocking had Triple H actually went to Smackdown, but the move never materialized.
Real life rivals Paul Heyman and Eric Bischoff went back and forth all night, exchanging quips while announcing their respective draft picks from the draft lottery.
With Cena crashing the GM war of words, a well done segment built nicely towards the ultimate announcing of Smackdown's third random draft pick, which turned out to be the Game Triple H.
Triple H had long since been the top guy on RAW, and a move to Smackdown for Triple H, who has been pegged as a notorious backstage politic, seemed too good to be true.
Just one week later, it was announced that Triple H had been traded back to RAW as the flagship show preserved its cornerstone for the ensuing few years.
3. 2007 WWE Draft: Mr. Kennedy Drafted to RAW
Back when Ken Anderson was still relevant WWE's Mr. Kennedy, the injury-plagued Superstar received a landmark opportunity when he was announced as the final draft pick of the night.
The Wachovia Arena crowd gave a generous pop to the returning Kennedy, who was coming off of a shoulder injury and at the time was a WWE Superstar on the rise.
Kennedy's career would only continue to stumble from that point on and Kennedy was eventually released from his WWE contract following a five-on-five tag team match that featured an all star lineup.
Ironically, Kennedy had returned from injury on that given night as well. Kennedy now works with TNA under his birth name of Ken Anderson.
2. 2009 WWE Draft: Triple H Drafted to Smackdown
With less than one week before Triple H was set to defend his WWE Championship against John Cena at WWE Night of Champions, Triple H was unexpectedly drafted to Smackdown.
This would mark the first time since 2004 that Triple H was drafted, except this time he would actually honor his draft obligations by competing exclusively on Smackdown for several months.
1. 2008 WWE Draft: Jim Ross Drafted to Smackdown
The drafting of Jim Ross to Smackdown came as a surprise to everyone, including Jim Ross himself.
And this wasn't exactly a pleasant surprise.
Ross' dumbfounded reaction to being unceremoniously yanked from his red headset after over a decade alongside fellow Jerry "The King" Lawler (with whom he was inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame) was as real as it looked.
Ross contemplated immediate retirement, and expressed frustration and anguish with WWE switching up the broadcast announce teams during a live draft in unprecedented fashion.
After cooler heads prevailed, Ross would embark on a new chapter in his career on the Smackdown brand alongside a revolving door of color commentators from Tazz, to Coach, to Mick Foley, to Todd Grisham.