Monday, June 18, 2007

#142. Cloak of Shrouded Men Proof, 2007 Draft

Oh shiiiit! I just got the proofs back on my book! First, there will be some textual corrections. Second: Cooooooooooooooooooooooooooooool!

Sorry if that seems corny to you. But it's my book! My honest-to-god, I'm-going-to-be-published-even-if-I-had-to-do-it-myself book!

Okay! Now that that's behind us, the 2007 WWE draft. And there were some big moves, from last Monday to this past Sunday's lottery picks. Raw and Smackdown each got ten, while ECW drew five less. But really, I think everyone can celebrate:

  • King Booker - I really thought he was making this move two years ago, but here he's finally going. He's been played out on Smackdown, even had a lengthy championship run, and one major character change (which I hope disappears in the brand switch). He's proven that he's a valuable member of the WWE roster, no matter where he is. On Raw, maybe he won't be a top contender, but he won't be overlooked. Raw is like the big family filled with big personalities right now, where the company's attention is clearly focused. This isn't necessarily a bad thing, and you'll see why with Booker.
  • Bobby Lashley - There was so much talk that Umaga was basically a part of ECW's roster that everyone overlooked the obvious: that Lashley was being groomed for the big stage. He's proven that the company's faith in him isn't wasted, that he can take big spots and run with them, even if he isn't a top performer in any category. He's game, that's what really makes him worth every penny, game for whatever's thrown at him, because he'll sell it, and still come out strong in the end. The dude lost his title to Vince McMahon. And nobody thought he lost anything, regardless of the circumstances. That's a power you can easily overlook. Well, no more.
  • Snitsky - He's the kind of patented psycho monster the company loves so much, first and best embodied by Sid. He's better than when he was last on the brand. If he's used as is, he'll be another Umaga.
  • Mr. Kennedy - WWE wants another big star; by placing him on Raw, the company is finally going to have him. Bottom line, end of discussion. Misssssssterrrr Kennedy!
Kennedy! John Cena? Meet your match! The champ is here!
  • Paul London and Brian Kendrick - Despite the near-constant threats that if London does his flying off turnbuckles once more, his star only continues to rise. And here his team is, out of the reach of cruiserweights, which can only mean the company's confidence in them has grown. Brothers, they really are the future of the tag team.
  • The Sandman - Certainly introduces a unique element to the brand, and perhaps, among all these other names, will be the one to watch, to see how he's going to be used. We know at this point that he can actually wrestle. But is that what he's going to do? One way or another, the face of ECW has changed once more, and another of its favorite sons is given the chance to break the mold. That's what this guy does, right?
  • William Regal - He's besmirched! Oh, come on! You all know that's exactly what you've been waiting for!
  • Jillian Hall - Even Smackdown's Divas graduate to Raw. There goes another! Sing, baby, sing!
  • The Great Khali - Somebody for Mark Henry to feud with. And possibly Batista. There's still life left in this giant, and opportunities.
  • Torrie Wilson - Never seemed at home on Raw, anyway. Welcome home!
  • Chris Masters - And here, finally, we see Smackdown's achievement. Masters is clearly being shifted so he can have a chance to shine, outside the clutter. There was just no room for him on Raw, and it was only going to get worse. On Smackdown, with its more intimate setting, superstars are free to be as big as they can be, and be celebrated as much as for what they do as for who they are. Masters can do that here, but...
  • Ric Flair - ...can do it better! Who better than Naitch? Wooo! And, really, hasn't this been natural all along?
  • Kenny Dykstra - Same deal as Masters. Raw prepared him, but now he needs Smackdown to go the rest of the way. It's ironic, that Smackdown develops the next generation superstars in some respects, while nurturing others left suffering at the same time. It's the paradox of Friday nights.
  • Hardcore Holly - Imagine this guy in a feud with Finlay. Wooo!
  • The Major Brothers - Uh, new contenders for Deuce & Domino's tag titles!
  • Victoria - Really intrigued by this one, to see where she's going to go on this brand, where the Divas don't wrestle as much as they give attitude. Hey, wait, in some respects, that's Victoria! So, save your knees!
  • Eugene - A wrestling savant. He's like Smackdown personified!
  • The Boogeyman - Kevin Thorne, meet the thorn in you side. Worms intended.
  • Chris Benoit - Ever since Kurt Angle jumped ship (alas! only this title eluded you!), this brand's been looking for the kind of fully-functional star who can take the extreme in every degree, who will develop what's there and make every look good in the process. Now, just imagine the first Benoit-CM Punk match...
  • Viscera - The 2007 ECW Show!
  • The Miz - Be it Hardcore Holly or Rene Dupree, ECW's been quietly attempting to rehabilitate careers for superstars who've been unfairly kicked to the curb (carrying on a company tradition, in fact). Guess what, Mizfits? This guy's in that category, too.
  • Johnny Nitro - This is perhaps the most interesting draft choice of all. Why Nitro? Why ECW? He may be the missing piece of the puzzle on this brand, that's why, that's what.
And just like that, you understand that WWE is one company that knows how to make a few smart moves. When they aren't exploding people.

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