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WWE 2009 Draft Preview

I can’t think of a better time in the last decade that the WWE needed a draft. When your biggest show of the year is headlined by two retread-feuds, you have big problems. The WWE is once again full of repetitive matches, rehashed storylines, and a small rotation of main-event wrestlers. Tonight, the WWE will shake things up with the seventh draft in WWE history.

It is always hard to predict the format of these drafts in advance. The format and structure seems to change year by year. Last year’s draft consisted of matches with competitors from different brands. The winner received a draft pick for their particular brand. The pick was then made “randomly” through a computerized system. Everyone was available, including the announcers who were drafted to different brands.

In my opinion, this year’s draft has a lot lest zest than last year’s draft. The idea of three brands is nice, yet it seems pointless when SmackDown’s champion and top guy has been on RAW every week. It would be a lot more exciting tonight if Triple H was drafted to RAW if he hasn’t been on every RAW for the last several weeks. I think the talent needed to be separated for a few weeks before the draft for it to have any kind of impact.

Like last year, SmackDown is the big behind-the-scenes story. Last year, the WWE wanted to load up SmackDown with new stars in anticipation of the move to MyNetworkTV. The WWE had big expectations of SmackDown on a new network. One year later, the network is in big trouble and thus so is SmackDown. The imminent danger to the network will likely see SmackDown depleted tonight of a lot of its top stars. Expect RAW to get a big “official” boost of talent tonight, while SmackDown is raided.

At a time when Edge vs. John Cena and Randy Orton vs. Triple H are the top feuds, I can’t see what can be done tonight to shake things up. I expect Triple H officially back on RAW as a result of tonight’s draft. I would guess that Edge will likely remain a “SmackDown” wrestler, yet appear on RAW weekly considering his feud and connection to the General Manager. So really what is the point of the draft tonight?

Tonight’s draft is more about elevating guys to another level. I think someone like CM Punk could benefit greatly from moving to SmackDown. I think someone like MVP or Shelton Benjamin could benefit greatly from moving to RAW. Jack Swagger and some of the guys in ECW could see some new life by moving up to either brand. I’d be very surprised if Christian remained on ECW’s roster following tonight’s draft.

On paper, there really isn’t a lot to get excited about with tonight’s draft. But hey, it is the WWE and they could prove me and their other critics wrong. Something like John Cena or Randy Orton back to SmackDown would shock me and have everyone talking tomorrow morning. Unfortunately with SmackDown in limbo, I just don’t see anything like this happening. How different the WWE looks tomorrow will be in the eye of the beholder. In this beholder’s eye, I can’t see it looking much different at all.

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Headlocks & Eye Gouges – I will be re-launching my Pro Wrestling Radio show live online Wednesday night April 15, at 7 PM/EST. Call in with a question or comment at 1-877-800-8834. Listen to the show live online at http://www.tvbydemand.com/radio_prowrestling_radioshow.asp. Check out http://www.prowrestlingradio.com for more details on archived shows.

Former WWE announcer and ECW champion, Tazz has opened up a Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/pages/Human-Suplex-Machine-Taz. Tazz is now going back to his old ECW Taz moniker and is expected to release a statement on his page. Taz is also accepting bookings at [email protected].

One of my favorite shows E:60 will have a big story on the WWE this Tuesday night.

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It is believed that the Matt vs. Jeff Hardy feud is over following SmackDown’s Stretcher Match. I think these guys have at least one more match in then.

In addition to Ric Flair, Dusty Rhodes turned down the offer to become SmackDown’s new General Manager.

Eric G.

Eric is the owner and editor-in-chief of the Camel Clutch Blog. Eric has worked in the pro wrestling industry since 1995 as a ring announcer in ECW and a commentator/host on television, PPV, and home video. Eric also hosted Pro Wrestling Radio on terrestrial radio from 1998-2009. Check out some of Eric's work on his IMDB bio and Wikipedia. Eric has an MBA from Temple University's Fox School of Business.

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