WWE Draft 2011: 10 Potential Shockers for Monday Night Raw
So here we are once again for the annual WWE Draft. The 2011 event was rushed due to the sad and surprising announcement that Edge, a.k.a Adam Copeland, had to retire from active competition due to a debilitating spinal condition. As a fan of Edge since his arrival to the WWE in the late 90's, I was very sad to see him go, but glad he had the intelligence to walk away.
Edge's retirement is just the latest in a string of Superstars that have left the WWE in the past year. Shawn Michaels retired, Batista left the organization to act, fight or do just about anything other than wrestle. Chris Jericho is dancing with other B-list stars. Triple H has fought in one match in a year and Undertaker isn't far behind him.
Combine that with some shoddy booking of some of their younger stars, and the WWE finds themselves in a desperate need of something new and refreshing. A heel turn by R-Truth was an example of this.
With a need to push new stars, this draft could end up being one of the more interesting in recent memory. While the whole concept of the draft has lost some luster due to "trades" that happen during the year now.
But with a lot of uncertainty occurring, let's take a look at ten potential shockers this coming Monday.
10) Sin Cara Moves to Smackdown
This makes sense on a lot of fronts.
The guy is new and is likely not going to have a lot of upward mobility on Raw on the face side. More importantly though, the guy has looked uncomfortable so far and has nearly botched a lot of his high spots, which isn't good for live TV.
While it's very early in his career, a move to Smackdown can be good for Sin Cara's character development, while WWE can then rest easy about any botches thanks to the fact that it's a taped show.
9) Booker T Announces Return to Wrestling
One of the few bright spots during the dying days of WCW was the evolution of Booker T from mid-card tag team specialist, to outright main-eventer. He took that momentum and won multiple championships in the WWE before making an ill-fated move to TNA wrestling.
Booker T is back as a coach on the new Tough Enough and is being groomed into an announcers position. But desperate times call for desperate measures.
With the Smackdown brand needing some star power, now is the time for Booker T to make one last run before his career is truly over. Having a Smackdown star such as Cody Rhodes or a member of the Corre start something with Booker T at the draft would help attract some wrestling fans to the SyFy show.
8) Daniel Bryan Gets a Personality
This one will probably insult a lot of the independent wrestling fans, but it's time you guys get a reality check with Daniel Bryan. Let me first say I believe the guy has a ton of talent, and that the WWE has not properly used him, but let's face facts.
1) He's not over.
2) His gimmick is not working.
3) The WWE has no plans for him right now.
For whatever reason, the WWE hasn't even had Bryan feud with anyone since he came back to the WWE, despite a four month reign as U.S. Champion. They even scrapped his WrestleMania 27 match with Sheamus and killed the feud the next night.
Bryan desperately needs a change of scenery, and a character change, similar to what we just saw with R-Truth. The draft would be a great place for this to start. Having Bryan snap on some Smackdown star to create a feud and a makeover for him would do everyone a lot of good.
7) Michael Cole Gets Drafted to Smackdown
For the sake of the storyline that's going nowhere and frankly, for the sake of the fans, something has to give in this feud between Michael Cole, Jerry Lawler, Jim Ross and Jack Swagger.
While they will all square off in a match at Extreme Rules, it would be welcome news if Cole gets drafted to Smackdown. It would be a natural fit to have he, Josh Matthews and potentially Booker T take over Smackdown while Jim Ross takes his rightful place with Jerry Lawler on Raw.
Storyline wise, it would hurt Cole's infatuation with The Miz. Except....
6) The Miz Gets Drafted to Smackdown
This would certainly rock the boat a bit. Technically, the WWE only has one champion right now and there has been no Superstar that has skyrocketed in the organization than Mike "The Miz" Mizanin. He's come a long way from Road Rules challenges and being a relative jobber just two years ago.
Today, he's one of the more marketable wrestlers on their roster, and now might be a perfect time to make him a main draw on a show that needs it. Having he and Cole go to Smackdown as essentially a package would also allow for the creation of a team between The Miz, Cole and Jack Swagger.
5) Wade Barrett Is Drafted to Raw
There's no one wrestler that upsets me more than Wade Barrett. It's not the star himself, but rather what the WWE has done with him. One could argue that in the second half of 2010, there was no better heel in the industry than Wade Barrett, who led his Nexus group on a rampage, culminating in the "firing" of John Cena at Survivor Series.
Whether it was the writers' near-sightedness of future events, writers block, or some call from Vince McMahon, the WWE scrapped a storyline that had been built over a five month period in just about three weeks. Cena was brought back into the fold, destroyed Barrett and Wade was kicked off Raw just weeks later by CM Punk.
Barrett and the Corre has come nowhere close to the hatred from fans (i.e. success) the original Nexus had. They've been booked to lose most of their matches and despite little to no success, the group's teasing a break-up.
The same though can be said for Punk's New Nexus, who despite going with Punk for a new direction, has looked every bit as meek. The fact is, the WWE has screwed up both groups. Nothing can be done about the past, but now it's time to look forward.
Personally, I feel the Corre is a lost cause. So what better way to freshen up this storyline a bit than bringing Barrett back as a Raw star. Perhaps they turn him into a face against CM Punk who all of a sudden has no one to feud with on Raw. Maybe they turn Barrett back into a credible heel and somehow turn Punk back into a face.
Whatever the case, there is juice left in this Nexus group if WWE plays it's cards right.
4) Triple H Gets Drafted to Smackdown
It's happened before so why not do it again? If Triple H really is the heir apparent to the company, then he'd be wise to go to the Smackdown show and help give the rub to numerous unproven wrestlers.
Alberto Del Rio, Kofi Kingston, Drew McIntyre, Cody Rhodes, Jack Swagger and even Christian would benefit to ever feud with Triple H or team up with him in some form or fashion. Triple H is hardly on television anymore so it's not like Raw would be losing a viable star here.
It would make sense for numerous reasons to put Triple H on this show until next year's WrestleMania and his likely rematch with Undertaker.
3) Y2J Gets Drafted to Raw
It's physically impossible for Y2J to be at Raw this Monday since he's still on Dancing With The Stars. However, it doesn't mean he can't be added to the list of potential draftees.
Obviously, the crowd would go crazy if this were live and in person, but a video of Y2J on the TitanTron talking about how he's going to come back and "save" the WWE once again would be welcome news for many wrestling fans.
2) The Raw GM Is Revealed
AND I QUOTE....
To the surprise of a ton of people, the GM will be revealed on Monday night. We could make an entire column on the guessing game of who it might be, but just a few possibilities could be Shawn Michaels, Vince McMahon (ala the higher power gimmick of the 1990's), Bret Hart, Stephanie McMahon or now perhaps even Edge.
It would be a great way to end the Anonymous GM gimmick and a way to perhaps start some new feuds right off the bat after the conclusion of the draft.
1) John Cena Gets Drafted to Smackdown
When Triple H was originally moved over to the Smackdown brand several years ago, it was a shock to many. They could shock even more people by moving Raw's money making machine John Cena to Smackdown.
If you don't factor in the potential ratings drop Raw would receive by Cena leaving, it actually makes a lot of sense.
Cena has feuded with almost everyone on the Raw roster at this point. He also is the biggest star in the WWE right now. Moving him to Smackdown, a brand which is starving for stars, would be a great way to create new feuds for him (Del Rio, Christian (continuing their feud that started five years ago) and Rhodes) while giving a boost to the SyFy network.
This could also give the WWE some flexibility of what to do with his character. Like it or not, the WWE has to realize most people above the age of 14 hate the Cena character right now. It has not evolved in several years and while they might run the risk of upsetting a few kids, having Cena get a bit of a reboot would make a lot of people happy.
Are there other potential surprises that could happen on Monday? Sure. But these ten would be the most likely to turn some heads and help the WWE immediately moving forward.
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