WWE Draft 2011: Power Ranking the Top 20 Shocking WWE Draft Moments of All Time
The now yearly WWE Draft takes place this coming Monday, April 24, and not a moment too soon. With Edge having to retire, and the Undertaker nowhere to be found for the near future, the Smackdown roster has become thin to say the least.
But this article isn't about what will be happening this Monday, but what has already taken place over seven previous WWE Drafts (not including the mini-ECW one in 2006). Here's a list of the Top 20 Shocking WWE Draft Moments of All Time.
Agree/Disagree? Let yourself be known. Feel I missed some moment? Please point it out, if enough of you agree, I'll add it to the list.
20. Chuck Palumbo: Drafted to Raw (2008)
By 2008, Chuck Palumbo had been able to create a new persona for himself, gone was one half of Billy & Chuck, in was a badass driving a motorcycle to the ring.
And after a surprisingly memorable feud with Jamie Noble on Smackdown, Palumbo was ready for bigger things.
With this it came as no shock when it was revealed that Palumbo had been part of the supplemental draft, going to Raw.
What then did come as a shock in that Palumbo never appeared on Raw, not once, and was eventually released, leaving everyone scratching their heads.
19. Mr. Kennedy (2007-09)
Mr. Kennedy was supposed to be the next big superstar in WWE; that, of course, never happened.
Over a three year period beginning in 2007, Kennedy was drafted to Raw from Smackdown, Smackdown from Raw, and finally back to Raw from Smackdown.
All these moves were geared to build Kennedy to the next level; all of them failed.
18. The Rock: Drafted to Smackdown (2002)
Not much of a shocker that the Rock was Vince McMahon's choice to join Smackdown at the inaugural WWE Draft in 2002, but how can we do this list without acknowledging the original No. 1 pick in WWE Draft history.
When WWE decided to make Raw and Smackdown separate brands, and the entire roster being put up on the draft board, becoming exclusive to the brand they were drafted too.
Ric Flair was giving control of Raw, while McMahon got Smackdown. Following a coin toss, McMahon was awarded the No. 1 pick, and who else could go No. 1, but the "Great One."
17. n.W.o (2002)
Another shocker that came from the first Draft was Ric Flair being allowed to draft the n.W.o as a whole unit.
Whereas teams like the Dudley Boyz and the A.P.A would be split up on the night, Vince McMahon allowed Flair to take all three members of the n.W.o (Kevin Nash, Scott Hall, X-Pac) with his No. 3 pick.
The n.W.o wouldn't be long for the WWE, though. Nash suffered multiple injuries, Hall would leave the company, and even with new members added in Big Show, Booker T, and Shawn Michaels, the group faded into the sunset.
16. Chris Benoit (2007)
In a match that saw ECW's Bobby Lashley defeat Chris Benoit to gain ECW a pick at the 2007 WWE Draft, the TitanTron would flash up, in the end revealing that Benoit had been drafted to ECW, giving the brand an established veteran they'd been lacking.
You know what would happen, let's just leave it at that, and move along.
15. Chris Jericho (2010)
At the 2009 WWE Draft, Chris Jericho was drafted to Smackdown from Raw. Last year, at the 2010 WWE Draft, Jericho was selected back to Raw with the last pick of the night.
Why it came as a surprise was Jericho had been at the top of Smackdown only month earlier, at WrestleMania 26, Jericho successfully defended his World Heavyweight Championship against Edge.
After Jack Swagger cashed in his Money in the Bank to take Jericho's title, Jericho and Edge continued their feud at One Night Stand.
The next night Jericho was on Raw, and someone had joined him earlier in the show.
14. Edge (2010)
The night before the 2010 WWE Draft, Edge had defeated Chris Jericho in a cage match in what looked to be the end of their feud. The assumption was Edge was now going to turn his attention to the new champion on Smackdown, Jack Swagger.
Instead, the "Rated R Superstar" was drafted to Raw the next night. Edge would quickly turn heel again, costing Randy Orton a chance at the WWE Championship.
His stay on Raw was relatively short, as he'd be traded back to Smackdown, now a face again, where he'd finish off his career as World Heavyweight Champion.
13. Chris Jericho: Drafted to Smackdown (2002)
At the Draft in 2002, Chris Jericho wasn't drafted until the 25th pick by Smackdown, a pick that wasn't even made on the televised portion of the draft.
Now there was a reason for this: that night, Jericho challenged Undisputed Champion Triple H and Stephanie McMahon (?) in a triple threat match for the title.
If Jericho had won, he’d have been Undisputed Champion again, and free to travel on both shows.
But still, drafting Chris Jericho 25th is great value for your pick.
12. Kane: Drafted to Raw (2008)
At the 2008 WWE Draft, ECW lost their champion for the second straight year.
This year it was Kane, who was enjoying some newfound success on ECW, but this wouldn't be the worse of it for ECW, let us now hit next.
11. Pillaging of ECW (2008)
Big Daddy V
That's your top star, your champion, one of your top heels, one of your best all-around workers, and your top up-and-comer, all gone from your show in one night.
ECW also lost Matt Striker and Layla at the 2008 WWE Draft. And, while they were able to add Matt Hardy and Finlay, ECW didn't make up for the amount of talent lost.
10. Triple H: Drafted to Raw (2009)
If it wasn't for the fact this was the third time Triple H was drafted, or the second straight year he had been drafted as the WWE Champion, this probably would have ranked a lot higher, but with those factors HHH can only just crack the top 10.
After being drafted to Smackdown at the 2008 WWE Draft, the Game was drafted back to Raw at the 2009 WWE Draft.
9. Bobby Lashley: Drafted to Raw (2007)
Bobby Lashley had become the face of ECW. He was coming off a feud with the McMahons that included his Profesional Wrestling highlight, defeating Umaga at WrestleMania 23(Thanks to Alberto Buckley, again), in a match that saw Donald Trump and Vince McMahon put up their hair.
Just eight days prior to the draft, Lashley had defeated Vince McMahon to regain his ECW Title.
But, at the 2007 WWE Draft, even after earlier in the show defeating Chris Benoit that led Benoit to being drafted to ECW, Lashley himself was drafted to Raw, in the process having to forfeit his ECW Title.
What one would've assumed was to be a building block for Lashley quickly crumbled. Less than two months after becoming a member of Raw, Lashley was gone due to injury, and never appeared again in the WWE.
8. Rey Mysterio: Drafted to Raw (2008)
Rey Mysterio debuted in the WWE in 2002; his choice of show was Smackdown. Mysterio would spend the next six years becoming one of the lead faces on Smackdown.
In the process winning every imaginable title he could, from the Cruiserweight to Heavyweight Championships, and everything in between.
Heading into the 2008 WWE Draft, Mysterio had been out of action for nearly four months with a knee injury.
Add in someone making his first return in a third of a year with him changing brands for the first time in his WWE tenure, and you get a pretty shocking moment when Raw opens with Rey Mysterio being the first draft pick going to Raw.
7. Paul Heyman: Drafted to Raw (2004)
Heyman on the left, duh
The first example that truly showed us that anyone could be drafted. At the second draft, and first-ever draft lottery Raw GM Eric Bischoff and Smackdown GM Paul Heyman stood on opposite ends of the Raw entranceway, announcing each of their brands selections.
With the 12th and final pick belonging to Raw, it was revealed by Bischoff that Raw's newest acquisition was none other than Paul Heyman. Rather than accept the results, Heyman quit on the spot.
6. Triple H: Drafted to Smackdown (2008)
Unlike his first time being drafted to Smackdown, Triple H's second stint actually saw him appear on the show. What made his being drafting in the 2008 WWE Draft all the more shocking was at the time the Game was the WWE Champion.
As you already saw, HHH would spend the period between the '08 Draft and '09 Draft on Friday nights, in the process losing his title and winning it back before being drafted back to Raw at the '09 Draft.
5. Edge: Drafted to Raw (2004)
When last we saw Edge he had been laid out by an unknown attacker in the month leading up to WrestleMania 19.
In reality, Edge had to undergo legitimate neck surgery (the same neck injury that has now led to him having to retire) that kept him out of Mania 19, and even WrestleMania 20 in 2004.
With the announcement of the first-ever draft lottery after Mania 20, Edge was finally able to make his return. Edge would be the 10th random selection, moving to Raw from Smackdown.
4. Announcers Swap Shows (2008)
The 2008 WWE Draft had many memorable moments, none more so than number four on my list, and it didn't include any Superstars.
Among the likes of Mysterio, Hardy, Punk, Batista, and even WWE Champion Triple H being drafted, the most shocking moment occurred when Jim Ross and Michael Cole swapped spots, Ross going to Smackdown and Cole coming to Raw.
Watch the video: good ol' JR seems legit stunned at the news and seems lost for words.
Flash forward three years and the two are currently locked in a feud, and will be in opposite corners in tag match at Extreme Rules.
3. Batista: Drafted to Smackdown (2005)
Smackdown was without a Champion. For the first and only time, the 2005 Draft took place over multiple weeks, and in week one, WWE Champion John Cena had been drafted to Raw.
To counteract this problem, Smackdown General Manager Teddy Long set up a six-man elimination match to crown a new Smackdown Champion.
On the June 30th Smackdown, the match took place with JBL coming out victorious, and presumably the new Champion.
But, instead of crowning a new Champion, Long came out and announced that the 10th and final pick in the draft had been World Heavyweight Champion Batista to Smackdown.
2. Triple H: Drafted to Smackdown (2004)
When the inaugural WWF Draft took place. splitting the two brands, Triple H was the undisputed Champion, and wasn't drafted to either brand. After losing his title, HHH became exclusive to Raw, and in the process come to dominate the show.
He was named the first-ever World Heavyweight Champion in 2002, when Brock Lesnar would only defend the WWE Championship on Smackdown. In 2003, the Game formed Evolution, and was never far from the heavyweight championship.
These factors lead to it being a shock when Triple H was drafted to Smackdown in the 2004 Draft, though it wouldn't last long. After being drafted, HHH fought Smackdown champion Eddie Guerrero on Raw, what became his only match for Smackdown.
Before he could make his first appearance on Smackdown, HHH was traded back to Raw for Booker T and the Dudley Boyz.
1. John Cena: Drafted to Raw (2005)
The 2005 WWE Draft opened with an all-time bang. For the first time a current Heavyweight Champion was drafted to another brand. That man was WWE Champion John Cena.
Up until that point Cena had spent his entire career on Smackdown, rising from an unknown rookie, to U.S. Champion, and finally winning his first Heavyweight title at WrestleMania 21, defeating JBL.
The rest is history, Cena has been the face of Raw since being drafted, winning multiple Heavyweight Championships among other accolades.