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It’s Feeling “Draft”-y In Here


By Josh Bennett

It’s that time of the year again. Wrestlemania is all said and done, and we are kicking off a “new year” for WWE wrest… err sports entertainment. As we have just begun the long road to the Meadowlands for Wrestlemania 29, many superstars who did not get the opportunity to showcase their talents on the big stage, and/or fell just short, will be looking for redemption for their careers to make it to, and win, at Wrestlemania. For every grand conclusion, there is a beginning and this is it. For most of us who have played “Universe Mode” in WWE ‘12 have seen that a week or two after Wrestlemania, the game will hold the annual WWE draft. While in real life the draft has yet to happen, and I am not sure if it will even happen this year, WWE ‘12 inspired me to brainstorm and think about which guys could really use the change of scenery in the upcoming year. Now I won’t be listing out twenty rounds of superstars and divas, ranging from main eventers, and jobbers, in this article, nor will I try to predict who goes where on television if it were to happen. Instead, I will list out certain superstars and championships who need to change addresses badly.

1. Kofi Kingston to Smackdown

Yes, it is the annual Kofi Kingston brand change. However this one has very good reasoning behind it. I feel that Kofi Kingston has the most stale character in the WWE today. If you are wondering what his current gimmick is, its that of an African American man pretending to be a Jamaican. Seriously? Kingston should have dropped the Jamaican thing when he dropped the accent feuding with Randy Orton a couple of years ago. Couple that with the large amount of in-ring talent that Kingston holds. With Evan Bourne shelved indefinitely with his ankle injury and wellness issues, now is the perfect time to set off Kingston on his own and finally give him a good enough push to send him in the Main Event scene. However, to do that, Raw is not the place, as it is crowded at the moment. For Kingston to have even an opportunity to try to escape Midcard Hell and try to break the proverbial glass ceiling, he will need to go to the Blue Brand once again. I feel that if Kofi were to jump brands yet again, there needs to be something behind it. Kofi desperately needs to turn heel, and with Sheamus expected to be a lengthy holder of the World Heavyweight Champion, Kofi can take a couple of months to turn heel, shift characters, and feud with the Big Fella for the title. These two even have a history to play off of. Remember back when Sheamus won his first WWE Championship in 2009? He was required to win a battle royal set up by Jesse “The Body” Ventura for superstars who had yet to hold a World Title in the WWE. Your final two participants in the match was the favorite Kofi Kingston and relative unknown, at the time, Sheamus. Have Kofi claim that Sheamus stole his spot and that all his success should have been his, and what not and you got yourselves a decent feud between two great workers. Smackdown has recently been the land of opportunity for testing out World Champions and giving guys their due, when they could not achieve the same success on a crowded, and guest filled Monday Night Raw, and Kofi can easily be the next in line if he’s given the chance to.

2. Daniel Bryan to Raw

Plain and simple, Daniel Bryan has outgrown Smackdown. While the Blue Brand is generally used for superstars to test the waters, and develop their characters, Bryan has done beyond that, in a few months at that, in developing an over the top, obnoxious, but entertaining heel character that took Miami by storm during Wrestlemania week. In what might be the new “What?!”, “Yes!” is quickly gaining crowd among smarks and casual fans alike, and it is growing out of its shell that is called Smackdown. The Daniel Bryan needs to be on the main brand and needs to be on live TV each week. Sure he already is due to the “supershow”, but Bryan has lost the World Heavyweight Championship, is giving up the absolutely stunning AJ, and really has no other reason to be on Smackdown, especially if he were to lose his rematch to Sheamus. Daniel Bryan is destined for bigger and better things, and that is the WWE Championship. Currently WWE Champion CM Punk and Chris Jericho are battling each other over the title, but I feel that the “trilogy” of Punk/Bryan matches we saw over the past few months was not for nothing. Both guys are easily capable of putting together a five star match on any given night. Couple that with an intriguing program, and these two can tear the roof down in a fantastic feud.

3. The Miz to Smackdown

As I mentioned earlier, Raw is just too big right now, and there are many guys getting lost in the shuffle. One of those guys is The Miz. He went on a very unnecessary losing streak to kick off his 2012 year, after a mediocre, yet lengthy, run as the WWE Champion, as well as being a part of one of the most entertaining duos in the past year, in the short lived Awesome Truth with R-Truth. Right now The Miz is picking up steam, and is actually winning matches now, but he’s not going to face CM Punk for the title anytime soon. Quick, name the top three heels on Smackdown right now. The answer is Daniel Bryan, Mark Henry, and Cody Rhodes. With Bryan going to Raw, Henry seemingly being quietly already on Raw, and Rhodes still feuding with Big Show over the Intercontinental Championship, Smackdown is severely lacking heels right now. Wade Barrett, and Christian are still injured, and it looks like Alberto Del Rio is making his way over to Smackdown too, but there are a number of talented heels on Raw doing nothing, and Miz is one of them. In WWE ‘12, during the awful HHH story, Miz was swapped over to Smackdown, without any reasoning behind it, meaning that those writers also feel that he should head over there, and so do I. A Sheamus/Miz feud has not been seen yet, and I think that it would work out very well. Also, once the injured heels come back, Miz can also make his long anticipated face turn, and create some exposure for himself, something he would only be able to do on Smackdown.

4. Dolph Ziggler to Smackdown

Another thing that is no secret is that the Smackdown roster is pretty thin right now. A little over a year ago, Ziggler was the top heel on Smackdown, feuding with Edge over the World Heavyweight Championship. Then during last year’s draft, he is inexplicably sent to Raw, and is forced to start over, holding the United States Championship for a long time, helping his friend Zack Ryder get over, and he went full circle, doing the same exact thing he did last year, in facing off for a World Championship in a losing effort, this time to CM Punk. Now, he’s once again forced to team up with Jack Swagger again, and recently jobbed to Brodus fucking Clay. There is no reason why a man as talented, and underutilized as Ziggler should be jobbing to Brodus Clay when Jack Swagger and Santino Marella is also involved in the match. Ziggler is now over enough as a heel to be able to lose Vickie Guerrero, and the draft is the best way to do it, without forcing a face turn on him. Have Vickie focus on Swagger and another superstar in need of some heat, and let Ziggler finally flourish. Ziggler was one of the top guys his last time on Smackdown, and he can easily do the same if he were to be sent back over there. The Smackdown staff seems to have more confidence in him than the Raw staff does, and with him improving his skills over the past year, he can easily run with the World Heavyweight Championship now. Like I said before, Smackdown is currently lacking heels, and sending Miz and Ziggler over there and beefen up the heels, and the roster as a whole, and help both men gain more exposure on their own.

5. United States Championship to Smackdown and Intercontinental Championship to Raw

Santino Marella is practically a member of Smackdown now, or at least he was when Teddy Long was still around. Big Show did a great job of being the resident big man on Smackdown, as well as one of the top faces when the times called for it. However, there is no reason why the two WWE titles and the two NWA/WCW titles should be separated from each other. I’ve always had this feeling that the WWE and Intercontinental Championships should be together, and the World Heavyweight and the United States Championships should be together as well. Put the “flagship” titles on the “flagship” brand is my reasoning. Plus, it was fun when during the draft, a champion would shift brands, leaving doubt among the fans. Sure usually the accompanying title would end up getting shifted too, but there were those moments when you weren’t sure, such as when World Heavyweight Champion Batista was the final draft pick of the 2007 draft, cancelling Teddy Long’s plans of a Smackdown World Championship. It’s always fun to see the titles shift brands, meaning different guys can hold the different titles. I feel that it would be very cool to see Zack Ryder win the white strapped IC title, or to see Tyson Kidd hold the United States Championship in the future. But for this to happen, it looks like we would need to see Santino Marella head over to Smackdown, and The Big Show to Raw. However, it would be very cool to see a first in the WWE draft, and rather than seeing superstars or commentators swap brands, the titles themselves were swapped, vacating them in the process.

That’s how I would handle the main picks of this year’s draft. On top of these picks, I would make other things official, like Mark Henry to Raw and Alberto Del Rio to Smackdown, as well as various low card guys swapping brands as well. But those four superstars and two championships are who and what I feel need a fresh start and a change of address heading into the Road to Wrestlemania 29. The real question is if any of these wishes would come to fruition. Last week’s article about Brock Lesnar showed that one of my worst nightmares came true last week, with Lesnar cutting a sub-par promo and seemingly aligning himself to be a heel. I hope that at least one of my predictions in this article comes true, because every superstar listed needs this change to jumpstart their careers and to not falter or fizzle out and lose momentum, as well as the championships. Only time will tell, and once the real WWE Draft begins, we will see who gets the opportunity to hit the reset button.

This is the third article written for Liam Hindmarsh’s blog “Tea Time With Liam“. Do you have your own draft predictions? Do you agree or disagree with mine? Post them in the comment box below and share your opinion with the world! You can also email me at


From → Pro Wrestling

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