For about two hours the John Cena era of WWE RAW came to an end. John Cena was drafted to SmackDown with the number one pick in the 2011 WWE Draft. Unfortunately he was drafted back to RAW with the last pick in what was a fairly entertaining draft.
The following is an ongoing live blog of results and happenings during the 2011 WWE Draft.
The 2011 WWE Draft show kicked off with a 20 man RAW vs. SmackDown Battle Royal. The winner receives the first draft pick of the night. Kane was the first one eliminated in a small upset. It came down to The Big Show and Kofi Kingston from SmackDown vs. Evan Bourne and Mason Ryan from RAW. Bourne and Kofi tore it up during the final minutes. Kofi and Show eliminated Mason Ryan for two picks. Kofi stole the show in this one, great stuff out of him at the end. Why he isn’t a star is beyond me.
I won’t repeat what I wrote earlier in the article but once again, this is a great move for the brand, a great move for RAW, a great move for the wrestlers, and a great move for Cena. Cena has been stale and a bit comfortable on RAW for the last few years. Cena will have a chance to challenge himself on SmackDown and elevate his game. Cena could also help his legacy in a big way if he can take SmackDown from the “B” show to the “A” show. Unfortunately this rant would all be for nothing by the end of RAW.
I should point out that the draft as usual is more like a lottery with “random” picks being made by a computer generated machine. Although considering the firs three picks were Cena, Rey, and Orton this year’s machine is hardly random.
Eve Torres vs. Layla up next for a draft pick. Eve is wrestling for a RAW draft pick while Layla is competing for a SmackDown pick. Michelle McCool is watching the match at ringside. Michael Cole interrupts the match and starts talking on the live mic after what looked like a botched move. Eve rolls up Layla for the pin as Cole continued talking on the house mic. RAW gets a draft pick thanks to Eve’s win.
Rey Mysterio goes to RAW with the second pick in the draft. Wow, the WWE isn’t screwing around tonight. I am real excited about this move. Rey struggled a bit and was hampered by injuries during his last run on RAW. I love the move and I see a Sin Cara team or feud in Rey’s future.
This draft is already more exciting after two picks than last year’s draft. It appears that the WWE is truly committed to shaking everything up and completely changing the face of both brands. At this rate this draft is turning into the biggest since 2005.
Kofi Kingston representing SmackDown vs. Sheamus from RAW for a pick. This one has the potential to be really good. Both guys were in the Battle Royal earlier yet I have no problem seeing either twice in one show. Kofi more or less squashes Sheamus with a pair of Trouble in Paradise kicks for the win and a pick for SmackDown.
Randy Orton goes to SmackDown with the number three pick in what would turn out to be the biggest move of the night. This is ridiculous! Orton and Cena both going to SmackDown? Wow, RAW has a ton of potential to elevate new talent like never before. SmackDown has immediately turned into the “A” show on paper. Something tells me that by the end of he show either Orton or Cena wind up back on RAW somehow.
And ladies and gentleman this draft has officially surpassed the 2005 draft in terms of big news and we are only three picks in. I think you can definitely make an argument that Cena and Orton both going to SmackDown has a lot more impact than Cena and Batista swapping spots in 2005. At this rate I would certainly expect The Undertaker to wind up RAW before the end of the night.
Randy Orton representing SmackDown takes on Dolph Ziggler from RAW. For some reason two draft picks are on the line in this match. Ziggler hits an awesome standing dropkick on the floor. Orton has a ton of fire in this match. Orton missed a near fall with the “Angle Slam.” Orton hits an RKO out of nowhere and wins two more picks for SmackDown. Wow, SmackDown is cleaning up!
CM Punk interrupts the draft pick to come out and cut a promo on Orton. Both guys exchange the usual pre-WWE threats in regards to their Last Man Standing Match at Extreme Rules. Could you imagine if Rex Ryan and Bill Belichick pulled this during the NFL draft?
Mark Henry and Sin Cara go with the next two draft picks to SmackDown. Mark Henry is a push but I don’t expect big things from Cara on SmackDown and that’s unfortunate.
Wade Barrett from SmackDown vs. Rey Mysterio from RAW for two draft picks. SmackDown is kicking RAW’s butt tonight. I can’t imagine Rey losing his RAW debut but stranger things have happened. Rey gets the win and two picks for the RAW brand who desperately need them.
Alberto Del Rio goes to RAW with the seventh pick in the draft. That is a huge get for RAW and without Orton and Cena, Del Rio should easily be a top guy on he brand. The only disappointment here is that I was looking forward to a Cena vs. Del Rio feud. But hey, it could still happen with the way things change by the minute in the WWE.
CM Punk, Alberto Del Rio, & The Miz from RAW vs. Mark Henry, John Cena, and Christian from SmackDown for the final draft pick. The Miz gets in the ring for the first time about 10 minutes into the match and nobody cares. I hate to say it because I know he has a big following online, but he is the least over guy in the match. Mark Henry clotheslines John Cena out of nowhere and throws Christian into the outside steel steps. Meet your new top heel on SmackDown. The Miz pins Cena to win the match. That would probably guarantee a Cena win at Extreme Rules and a feud with Henry vs. Cena on SmackDown.
John Cena is drafted back to RAW with the final pick of the draft and goes nuts on everyone. Yeah, I don’t get this one.
To me that was a waste of time and fairly gutless by the WWE. I didn’t expect RAW to go with John Morrison and Rey Mysterio was the two top babyfaces, but this was pretty cheesy. I can’t ever remember a past draft where someone was drafted twice. This was a pretty disappointing ending to what has been a really exciting WWE draft up to that point.
In looking back at the draft, there were some fairly monumental moves made tonight. Randy Orton will now become the top babyface on SmackDown, while Alberto Del Rio will probably wind up as the top heel on RAW in the near future. Rey Mysterio returns to RAW in Orton’s spot while it looks like Mark Henry will wind up taking Del Rio’s spot on SmackDown.
The funny thing is and you can look back at my ongoing notes to reference, I never once believed that Cena and Orton were both moving to SmackDown. Quite frankly I thought Orton would be the one coming back, but in the WWE you always go with the obvious. I just expected something a little more creative like the Triple H six for one deal as opposed to Cena being the only guy drafted twice in WWE history.
The WWE had the chance to really shake things up tonight and for about two hours, they did. However by the end of the night RAW ended the same it has for the last six years and that is with John Cena in the ring and nothing will be changing anytime soon.
Full 2011 WWE Draft results from RAW…
Draft pick #1 – John Cena to SmackDown
Draft pick #2 – Rey Mysterio to RAW
Draft pick #3 – Randy Orton to SmackDown
Draft pick #4 – Mark Henry to SmackDown
Draft pick #5 – Sin Cara to SmackDown
Draft pick #6 – The Big Show to RAW
Draft pick #7 – Alberto Del Rio to RAW
Draft pick #8 – John Cena to RAW
The 2011 WWE supplemental draft takes place Tuesday afternoon at 12 PM on WWE.com.
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