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WWE Draft: 10 Guys Who Would Benefit from the Move…

by on April 25, 2011

Tonight’s the big WWE Draft episode of Raw (and I’m sure the supplemental draft will follow). As easy as it is to be like, “Oh, they cross-pollinate the rosters all the time”, they do keep Raw guys with Raw guys and Smackdown guys with Smackdown guys the majority of the time.

Though we cover mostly independent wrestling, we do watch most of the WWE stuff happening here at M&T. Personally, the draft excites me because, while there will be a lot of neutral moves, there are some guys who could REALLY benefit from switching shows. Under the cut, we have ten examples of such!

SMACKDOWN to RAW:

Kofi Kingston. I think there’s this myth that Kofi Kingston is this great wrestler. He’s good, but he can be really sloppy and often doesn’t seem to have the material necessary to fill long matches. On Raw, he can focus more on the gimmick side of things and getting that logo over for the kiddies while having the short matches where he can do his few things that look good and living off of the myth of being better than he might be.

Tyler Reks. Big, scary-looking dude who has improved a TON in the past six months. Raw doesn’t necessarily need a new monster heel, but I guarantee you they’ll need someone when Mason Ryan turns on CM Punk and if you give Reks a bunch of wins, he looks freaky enough that you can probably put Punk with him as a roadblock before you do the big Punk/Ryan blowoff.

Beth Phoenix. Has she even been on TV since the beginning of the year? On Raw, they at least try to shoehorn in a female feud onto TV every month. Smackdown has turned into the Laycool show (in terms of the Divas) and whenever they use a babyface girl against them, it seems to be Kelly. If Awesome Kong goes to Raw, you can start her with Gail Kim, get her over, then throw her in with Beth Phoenix and have that Divas division the hottest it’s been since all the girls did underwear matches.

Cody Rhodes. He easily has the most upward mobility to gain from the switch. On Raw, he’d get the time to expand the character (since Raw’s far more of a gimmick show), he’d get to work with the guys who most fans see as the “real” top guys (they’ll need a new heel to hang out underneath Miz since Punk’ll be busy after the Mason Ryan turn they’ve teased). Unfortunately, he’ll probably never be “the” guy, but he could absolutely be the headline guy on B-months when they need to cool Miz down.

JTG. If he doesn’t get cut, he absolutely needs to be on Raw. I don’t think anyone in WWE has an idea how to write for the gimmick, but he’d have a better chance on Raw of getting someone who can write the goofy, wacky stuff he’d need to stand out. On Smackdown, they could’ve tried some sort of serious twist and change with the gimmick, but they’ve pretty much relegated him to random matches on Superstars. The guy’s probably on the chopping block, but if he keeps his spot, he’d have a better 2011 on Raw.

RAW to SMACKDOWN:

Santino Marella. Santino’s done all he can do on Raw. He’s done all of the vignettes, he’s cut all of the promos, he’s done all the things he can do in that environment. On Smackdown, he’s in a slightly new place with new people, he probably has a few different vignettes he can do, but most importantly, he could capitalize on improving his in-ring and (considering who’s writing the show), he could absolutely become the Jimmy Valiant of WWE (being this wacky dude who feuds with a random group of undercard heels forever).

Evan Bourne.  This one has been obvious since last year. He needs to be pulled off of Raw ASAP. On Smackdown, you can reunite the Rey Mysterio team or even just do vignettes about how awesome he is for weeks before re-debuting him and using him as one of the top five faces on that show (which they’d get more use out of him since they really do longer matches on Smackdown). Heck, I bet if anything, someone would put two and two together and do the Justin Gabriel feud, which would at least give Bourne something to do.

Daniel Bryan. Another no-brainer. Smackdown is the wrestling show and Bryan is a wrestler. He’s shown slight signs of having this different type of charisma and it seems like guys get to experiment with different sides of their personality on Smackdown. He could, at the least, just be that guy who has the fifteen-minute top-of-the-hour match every week and he’d make it work. Daniel Bryan could be a far more versatile player than he’s given credit for and Smackdown could be the place he shows it.

Zack Ryder. I love him, you love him, we all love him. Fact of the matter is though, you can’t use him high on the card unless he adds that third dimension to his character where you know he can flip the switch and kick someone in the throat. He’d probably at least get on television more often on Smackdown, but I think they’d be more willing to give him a shot at switching things a bit so he could work with higher-end guys.

Yoshi Tatsu. If he ever has the chance to move up the card, Smackdown’s it. Sure, Rey Mysterio can speak English and talks, but for his level on the card, he doesn’t cut NEARLY as many promos as you’d think. On Smackdown, they’d probably be more willing to go back to the one-shot head-kick gimmick that they tried with him in ECW that was getting over. Plus, Yoshi has a shocking amount of heat for a guy who’s never gotten a real shot on Raw or Smackdown.  I really hope WWE realizes that, looks at how big he could be in the Japanese market and makes a go of it with him.

*******

So, there we have it. My ten hopes for tonight’s draft (and the supplemental draft to come). If you disagree or just want to comment, hit me up on Twitter (@tomisnotgreat) with the hashtag #supportprowres or comment on the blog. Thanks for reading…

-TOM. 

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