WWE 2011 Draft Results: The 10 Biggest Stories to Come from the Annual Event
While the WWE has a few special pay-per-views every year like WrestleMania and SummerSlam, the organization holds a few particularly special Raw events. One of those is the WWE draft.
Though it is usually held later in the year, the WWE chose to hold this event just weeks after WrestleMania, with a lot of circulating that they rushed it due to the retirement of Edge.
For years, the draft has looked eerily similar to free agency in Major League Baseball where the Yankees and Red Sox pillage the rosters of the lower -tiered teams like the Pirates. Monday Night Raw would often bring in main event superstars while SmackDown would get mid-card talent.
Well, for all those that expected the same 'ole draft, you were in for quite a shock
However one hour later we saw Cena on his way back to Raw in a move many will call controversial if not pointless.
Those two stories are undoubtedly the two biggest stories to emanated from tonight's show, but they certainly aren't the only newsworthy events to transpire.
Let's take a look at the ten biggest stories and new potential feuds that came from tonight's Raw.
10) Draft Picks Come at a Premium
Remember the early days of the draft when you'd see upwards of 10 wrestlers change hands on a live broadcast? Gone are the days when McMahon and Flair would debate over who had a better draft well over a dozen wrestlers changing hands.
Perhaps this can be blamed on the fact they had to rush the event, but when the show came to a close, there were only eight draft picks. To make it worse, only six of them really had any meaning.
This is undoubtedly the fewest wrestlers ever to change hands on a live broadcast. The supplemental draft will surely see more people change hands, but fans watch the draft to see people change brands. When you put on 10 minutes of Michael Cole in a singlet instead of more draft pick drama, it typically doesn't make fans happy.
9) Kofi Kingston: Raw Killer
In what is perhaps a sign that he is bound to receive a push, Kofi Kingston was involved in winning two of the biggest matches of the night. First he, along with The Big Show (prior to his being drafted), helped the Smackdown team win a battle royal that concluded with John Cena being drafted to Smackdown.
About 45 minutes later, Kingston was involved again in singles competition against the U.S. Champion Sheamus. After several minutes of back and forth action, Kingston hit his signature moves to secure his second victory of the night. His second win ended up with Randy Orton coming to Raw.
With a roster that has now lost Edge and other stars on this night, Kingston could be one to benefit from it. Tonight, I don't think many Kingston fans will argue that this was his best night since his famous leap at Madison Square Garden in 2009.
8) Sin Cara on His Way to Smackdown
This was one of my top-10 potential shockers I wrote in a pre-draft article which can be seen here.
Sin Cara's debut was widely anticipated thanks to a series of memorable vignettes through WrestleMania season. However, he's looked quite nervous in the ring thus far (it's his first time wrestling in the U.S.) and his high flying entrance has nearly ended in disaster on more than one occasion.
It makes a lot of sense to send this guy to get some seasoning on a show that's not aired live. Should one of his high spots go incredibly wrong, the WWE team will have three days to edit it out.
The only disappointment to me and a lot of other WWE fans is we won't see Sin Cara and Rey Mysterio team up anytime soon.
7) Have We Seen the Return of a Mean Mark Herny?
The wrestler the WWE has never known what to do with. Mark Henry has run the gauntlet of failed gimmicks. From Nation Of Domination member, to Mae Young's boyfriend, to a Barry White wannabe, to being a thug to recently being a teddy bear, Henry has done it all.
Tonight though we saw the return of the "heel" Mark Henry, turning on his teammates John Cena and Christian. It will be interesting to see where they slot Mark Henry on the totem pole, as his character with Ezekiel Jackson is pretty repetitive.
A tag team with him and Brodus Clay would certainly look pretty humorous.
6) Wade Barrett Is a Jobber
What else can you call him?
Sure Barrett is holding a strap but seeing how little the secondary belts have meant lately, what difference does it make?
The Corre is being used as a group to put other talent over and they made Barrett look physically inferior to a 5'6", 170-pound cruiser weight tonight. The last time Raw fans saw Barrett, he was their top heel feuding for months with John Cena.
Personally, it greatly upsets me to see what the WWE has done with a man who was main eventing pay-per-views last fall. Hopefully, the departure of certain SmackDown stars will help elevate Barrett, but I have no faith in the WWE writers anymore.
An honorable mention here goes to Sheamus, who's seen the same downward slide since the fall.
5) the Biggest and Smallest Come to Raw
I found it quite funny that in two successive picks, you saw the 5'6" Mysterio and 7' giant Big Show being drafted to Raw.
For Mysterio, it's his second time being drafted to Raw. For Big Show, it seems he's drafted to another show every year so it's really no new news.
These were two of Smackdown's most reliable faces and there are some new interesting feuds to be had when you factor in some great heels in the Miz and CM Punk.
A battle of ShowMiz, the successful tag team of a year ago might be due to happen very very soon.
4) R-Truth Is WWE's New Big Heel
HEY Raleigh, North Carolina! SHUT UP!
Those six words helped cement R-Truth as WWE's newest heel, and while the WWE has done a lot of things wrong in recent months, this has been one of the best turns I have seen in a long time.
R-Truth has been in the WWE on two different occasions now, both times as a face seeking approval from the cheering crowd. While he's enjoyed much more success in his second stint, the fact was R-Truth was plateauing.
So the WWE went with a change, and thus far it looks like a really great move. R-Truth's heel promo tonight was one of the more refreshing I have seen in a long time. From his teasing his "What's up" catchphrase to his own unique way of getting ticked off with the crowd screaming "What," there is a ton of momentum for R-Truth right now and hopefully it isn't squandered.
The Truth will set you free!
3) the Viper Will Smackdown Fridays
We introduce to you SmackDown's newest star, and Edge's replacement.
What happened to Edge was a darn shame, yet it's good he got to leave the wrestling ring walking. There are those that have not been so fortunate. Still, it left the WWE in a very bad spot.
Randy Orton is a perfect fit to replace Edge because their characters mirrored each other's the past months. Both men were hated heels that somehow saw the fans cheering them on. Today, they are two of the five biggest faces in the organization.
In addition to this, Orton did as much as he could do on Raw. He's feuded with virtually everyone on the Raw roster and there are new feuds to be had now that he's SmackDown's leading face along with Christian.
2) Raw Offically Welcomes Alberto Del Riiiiiiiiiiiiiiiooo
This hardly seemed like a superstar changing brands as ADR has been on Raw as much as Smackdown for the past two months. Still, Raw welcomed its newest heel tonight but it raises questions who the WWE will look to as the company's top bad guy on their prized broadcast.
The odd man out on this could be The Miz oddly enough. Having held the best now for almost four months, he'll be due to drop his title to someone in the near future. Whenever that happens will he stay in the title picture? Or will CM Punk and Del Rio become the title contenders?
Whatever the case may be, one thing for sure is Raw fans will get to see some very expensive cars in the coming months!
1) John Cena Gets Drafted Twice
There are times where you feel Vince McMahon and the WWE writers try to say hello to its fans in a way you often see in road rage incidents.
Monday Night Raw opened up with John Cena being drafted to SmackDown which was met with a overwhelmingly positive response to the crowed and forum posters all over the Internet. However, less than two hours later, Cena was re-drafted to SmackDown, much to the dismay to those same fans.
To me, I felt that the moves were pointless. I understand Cena is the biggest attraction the WWE has right now, so there are obvious reasons to keep him on Raw. However, diminishing the meaning of the draft, one of the more special nights Raw has each year at the expense of a mini Cena angle just makes no sense.
With the double move of Cena, there was in essence, only six draft picks on a two hour broadcast, by far the fewest in history. On top of that, there were more fans leaving one of the bigger Raws of the year feeling ticked off rather than happy, which is never a good thing.
Moving forward, John Cena will undoubtedly enter a feud with Alberto Del Rio, perhaps as soon as next week. He also still hasn't finished a feud with CM Punk, and with R-Truth turning heel, that's another potential program.
Still, when Cena was drafted to SmackDown, one couldn't help get a bit excited to see what the future would have been on the SyFy show.
A Look at Upcoming Feuds
These are by no means definite, but here is a look at the feuds we may see heading into the WWE summer season.
John Cena vs. Alberto Del Rio
Big Show vs. The Miz
Rey Mysterio vs. CM Punk
John Morrison vs. R-Truth
Wrestlers with no one to feud with: Sheamus, Dolph Ziggler
Wrestler most in need of a change of scenery? Daniel Bryan
Christian vs. Cody Rhodes
Randy Orton vs. Wade Barrett
Kofi Kingston vs. Mark Henry
Sin Cara (teaming with another face) vs. The Corre's Heath Slater and Justin Gabriel
Wrestlers with no one to feud with: Drew McIntyre, Jack Swagger
Wrestler most in need of a change of scenery? Drew McIntyre'
What feuds would you all like to see? What wrestlers do you feel needed a move? Sound off!