Last night was a big night for the WWE, but it could be argued that tonight was even bigger. While Extreme Rules featured heated feuds sorted out in the ring, the annual WWE draft decides where each talent will be performing for the next year. However, with Extreme Rules fallout, Unified Tag Title match, Draft Matches, and regular Raw Shenanigans, Raw was packed like Big Show in an airplane bathroom. It was an exciting night, and as someone who watches Raw live, I'm certainly excited about the future of the Raw brand (though Smackdown is exciting in its own way too). Let's take a look back at the 2010 draft edition of Monday Night Raw.
The night began with a bang, as the Unified Tag Belts were on the line right away. Of course, before it began, Miz came out and ran his mouth like usual, declaring the Harts to be losers. Out came Bret, who actually held to his word and declared ShoMiz to be the greatest tag team of all time. He also declared the Mountie to be the greatest IC champ of all time and David Arquette to be the best world champ of all time. I got a chuckle out of that. Bret then said all those words mean nothing and that results are what matter, which led the Hart Dynasty (who Miz said shouldn't be called a Dynasty because they've never won anything) to come out for their Tag Title shot. Solid match, though Tyson Kidd had an obvious botch. For some reason, he just didn't look fluid in this match. I'll give him the benefit of the doubt and chalk it up to nerves, but he'll need to step up his game, because after Miz tried to cheat and put his feet on the ropes for the pin, Bret knocked them off which engaged Miz. He stared down Bret while the Dynasty regrouped, and when he finally refocused, his partner was already taken out and he was hit with the Hart Attack followed by Kidd locking in the Sharpshooter which made Miz tap. The Hart Dynasty are the new Unified Tag Team Champions!!! Congratulations to them and specifically a congrats to DH Smith who looked fantastic in this match. Great way to start the show and I'm looking forward to their reign as champs.
During the break, Big Show punched out Miz, so that's the end of ShoMiz. My prediction of Big Show to Smackdown seems very logical at this point. (I was going to do a predictions show but I had no voice, so I apologize!) I know this seems quick to happen, and it was, but Miz NEEDS to be pushed as a singles star and this can only benefit him.
After the break, Swagger is shown being interviewed by Josh Matthews. They are apparently playing up his 4.0 GPA in finance now ans Swagger says that the country would be prospering if he was on Wall Street. Yes, and I'd be in the NBA if I wasn't 5'7". I must admit that it is an interesting character trait to add to Swagger though as it makes him confident in more things about himself, but in this interview, he was interrupted by Edge who tells him that he better hope he gets drafted to Raw because Edge is next in line for a title shot. Decent stuff, but they completely ignored the fact that Edge could be drafted. Foreshadowing perhaps?
After a half an hour, we finally get our first draft pick match. Dull your excitement as it was a Divas contest between Team Laycool from Smackdown and Eve and Maryse from Raw. Hmmmm, 2 Divas who get along against 2 Divas who have been feuding and hate each other, I wonder who will win? I figured this would lead to Raw losing and Eve getting drafted to Smackdown, and I was half right. Raw did lose as Maryse got pinned after stupidly trying to float her ego, but Eve stayed safe. It was Kelly Kelly who was drafted to Smackdown, and while I was surprised, I really didn't care. I don't find Kelly as attractive as most do, and she is enhancement talent who got passed on the depth chart by Eve anyway. Good luck to Kelly, but she is now behind Beth and maybe Tiffany as a face on Smackdown, so it remains to be seen how she will be utilized. My guess is she'll wrestle almost weekly so peopel can continue to spread the rumor that she's hot. Just so we're clear, she has a great body but weird, squinty eyes which I'm not a fan of. Anyway, moving on.
Next was another draft match between Raw's Evan Bourne and Smackdown's CM Punk. It seemed pretty obvious that Punk would win, but Punk put Bourne over pretty well as a competitor and it took interference by the hooded man again to get the job done. I'm hoping they reveal his identity on Smackdown (cough Mercury cough), but for now it is definitely an intriguing angle. As expected, Smackdown's next pick was Big Show, so ShoMiz is officially no more.
After Show plays to the crowd a little, he encounters Teddy Long in the back who is trying to express joy about having Show on his brand. A long staredown ennsues and finally Show breaks it by grabbing Teddy in a headlock, but then smiling and saying "no worries". It looks like Show is possibly turning face, though I'd prefer he works a tweener role where he can be funny at times and brutal at times.
With hour one producing new champs and breathing life into Smackdown, we moved into hour 2 fully focused on Raw. The hour began with Sheamus deciding that "ending Triple He's career" makes him #1 contender to Cena's title. Randy Orton comes out and disagrees. I thought it was interesting that Orton played off hating Triple H and taking out his family, but that when it counted, he handled his business in the ring like a man, and not behind the scenes with a pipe. Good work there. Cena comes out to introduce the guest host..............but there is none. He gets a "phone call" and pretends that the host was supposed to be Mel Kiper but he was at the "other draft". I would LOVE for Kiper or McShay or Mike Mayock to host the Raw special just to sit in on commentary for 3 hours and wax poetically about the draft picks like they do in football. It would certainly be funny to hear. Anyway, Cena makes some jokes about Sheamus and declares they will face each other later for #1 contendership. Not a bad segment, and Cena was actualy funny in it which was a definite plus. I wondered where Batista was in all of this though......
After a purely Raw segment, Raw got a chance to redeem itself in a 5 on 5 battle royale for THREE draft picks. Never before have 3 picks been on the line in one match, and ever again should they be as it makes things too predictable and takes away the excitement of having more matches to determine picks. Obviously Raw won, because if they didn't, Smackdown would be up 5-0 in picks and there would be absolutely no intrigue for the rest of the show. To make a long story short, Ted Dibiase last eliminated Rey Mysterio for the win, while Santino recovered in the ring and also survived for the Raw team. Before the pick, Santino celebrated but got Dreamstreet from the unamused Dibiase. As a result of the match, Raw received John Morrison, R-Truth, and Edge. Wow, what a haul! I've been predicting Edge to Raw for a while now, and I'm intrigued at the possibility of Edge/Sheamus and Edge/Miz. Morrison now gets a chance to feud with his former partner as well, though I expect after a couple of feuds for Morrison to turn heel on his friend R-Truth. Of the 3, I'm least excited about R-Truth, though a segment later would change my mind a little bit.
Chris Jericho comes to the ring next in trunks and complains that his loss to a nobody (Heath Slater) cost him his mindset and his match against Edge. He calls out Slater to apologize to him for winning last Tuesday. Slater comes out and does so and I quickly realize that his voice is way too deep for his own good. I dont' know why I never noticed that before, but it sounded awful. He needs to tweak his delivery to not sound so baritone. Anyway, he says that he's sorry both he and Edge beat Jericho and that Christian will beat him as well. This leads to Christian vs. Jericho for the next draft pick. Solid match that lasted about 10 minutes. These 2 guys can seriously wrestle and I really had no idea who would win. Jericho finally did after a SICK spot where Jericho hit the codebreaker on Christian who was flying off the top rope. Very well executed, and it leads to Smackdown getting another draft pick. This time they get Kofi Kingston, who will have a great opportunity to move between the midcard and top of the card and maybe, just maybe headline a Pay Per View. The kid can wrestle, and we all hope he takes the opportunity on Smackdown to grow his character and seize the opportunity he is being given.
One great match is followed by another as Raw's newest superstar, John Morrison, took on Jack Swagger in the rubber match of their 3 match series (those who have followed Smackdown should know they split the last 2 matches they had on the show). Great TV match, though perhaps not as good as the first match they had on Smackdown, with Swagger getting the win after about 15 minutes. Morrison is quickly becoming a reliable performer. It's a shame he can't cut a promo to save his life. Swagger's victory gave Smackdown a draft pick and this time, it's Christian! He comes out and signals at Swagger, his old ECW rival, that he is gunning for Swagger's title. Count me as one writer who would love for Captain Charisma to finally hold one of the major WWE titles.
Wayne Brady is announced as next week's Raw guest host. Will things go smoothly or will Wayne Brady have to choke a b*tch to get things done? Oh, come on, someone was going to use that line! Might as well be me first!
Really funny segment next where apparently Ted Dibiase made an offer to Carlito that was insulting. Dibiase next encounters R-Truth who he offers a role as a confidant to watch his back, shine his shoes, etc. R-Truth says that Dibiase is looking for a Virgil which Ted denies. I'm actually liking how Ted hates his father and wants to be nothing like him, yet is doing a lot like him. It's kind of a cool character trait that's very unique to him. If only he wasn't bland. The segment ended with R-Truth slapping Dibiase, insinuating that he won't be Virgil 2, and hinting at a possible feud now that both are on Raw. If I can find this segment, I will post it as it was pretty funny.
The next and last draft pick match saw Dolph Ziggler come out first. We knew he'd lose to even the picks out, but who would he lose to? The answer was.........Hornswoggle? Yeah, everyone was pretty shocked at this. 'Swoggle won via countout by making Ziggler chase him around. Ziggler was not amused and used his sleeper hold to knock Hornswoggle out. This did not help Smackdown though, as Raw already got the pick and it was Chris Jericho! Jericho came out in a suit and looked ready to return to the red brand!
Before the main event, Batista comes out pissed that he lost again and gets into an argument with Sheamus and Orton about it. Cena comes out and makes it a triple threat for #1 contendership. Glad to see Batista, as even though we know his time is running low, he couldn't leave with his last image being tied up by tape. Pretty decent triple threat, and certainly star studded to say the least. The finish came after about 15 minutes where it looked like Orton was going to win after an RKO on Sheamus, but Edge came out and speared Orton. This led to Batista draping his arm over Orton for the pin and #1 contendership for the title again. Obviously of note is Edge's spear which many will take as a heel turn, but I'm not so sure. I think it was more Edge making a statement on his new brand that he is a contender as well. With his feud with Jericho able to continue on Raw, it's conceivable that Edge will be in the title mix after Over the Limit. Oddly enough, the next show is Fatal Four Way, so Edge being involved in that group of 4 is extremely likely, but I'm not sure he'll be a heel. It's entirely possible he will be, but I don't think one spear answered that question. The only question it did answer was "will Rated RKO reunite?" which is obviously a no.
Overall, an enjoyable show and draft that obviously favored Raw. While Smackdown picked up potential champions in Kofi and Chistian, neither have actually held the gold yet, while Edge and Jericho are bonafide main eventers. It's clear WWE wants Raw to be loaded with talent as it fends off TNA, and Smackdown becomes the breeding ground for future stars. As far as the show is concerend, there was solid wrestling, specifically with Morrison/Swagger and Christian/Jericho, and the main event. Couple that with a few funny segments and add in a huge title change and you have a successful show in my opinion. A lot changed in 24 hours, and I am certainly excited to see how the future will unfold. Stay tuned as after the supplemental draft completes (it begins at noon tomorrow) I will analyze each draft pick and their potential impact on their new brand. For now, enjoy the video I alluded to earlier of Ted Dibiase and R-Truth. Go to the 3:40 mark and enjoy! Of course, you can see Christian get drafted if you watch the first part of the video as well!