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So apparently the 2009 Draft was not the only occasion where wrestlers were being swapped between brands willy-nilly.  Donald Trump decided to, as Mr. McMahon loves to say, “Shake things up a bit,” so before his tenure as Raw owner ended, he instituted a 15 person trade across all three brands.  At least, that’s how the storyline goes.  Now, 15 people have new homes, and I thought I might as well give you my take on what’s transpired.  Don’t be surprised if my sentiments echo that of Mike Siciliano, who wrote an article about this very topic that’s posted on, and he’s got some great insight into the picks.  I don’t necessarily agree with all of his opinions, but I do see where he’s coming from on a lot of his points.

Raw’s Acquisitions:

Gail Kim – I’d hoped she would have been moved back in the Draft, to have a feud with Melina.  Well, Kim’s on Raw now, but Melina’s on Smackdown, so we’re deprived of what could have been one of the greatest feuds between women of all time.  I’d suppose that Raw has more competent competition for Gail, so she’ll have more opportunities to be on TV, instead of just being buried on Smackdown.  She’s got tons of talent, and should have some great matches with the likes of Beth Phoenix and Mickie James, who I pray wins the Diva’s Title off Maryse come Night of Champions.

Alicia Fox – so Michelle McCool wins the Women’s Title at The Bash, and suddenly her accomplice is moved to Raw?  If anything, why not back to ECW where she could rekindle her role as a manager/valet for DJ Gabriel, who in all likelihood will be gone from the company soon, which is a shame since I saw some major upside in Gabriel.  Fox will likely be the new Jillian Hall.  Not to say she’s going to be a bad singer.  I mean she’ll likely be the new female jobber on Raw.  Which is too bad.  You hate to see that to people who just recently entered the ring as competitors.

Jack Swagger – He should have been traded back to FCW.  This guy is nowhere near ready for the big show, let alone television at all.  He’s yet to show me any promise of being a good in-ring competitor, and the lisp is going to destroy any credibility he has on the mic.  Unless he really gets his act together soon and starts improving in the ring, I’d expect him to turn into a Matt Hardy-like “jobber to the stars.”  You remember back when Matt Hardy was the “jobber to the stars” back in 2006, right?  I wouldn’t be the least bit surprised to see Swagger fill this role, albeit badly at best.  He needs to learn to stop engaging in what I like to call “Swagger Tactics,” where he (as the heel) doesn’t allow the face any glimmers of hope until his alloted time is up.  The great heels allow very small windows of opportunity to the faces several times in a match, in order to get the crowd hot and, if done very well, desperate for the face to finally build some momentum and make that last ditch effort.  Swagger never allows any tension to build, so whenever the face does start coming back, it’s just an awkward transition where he just seemingly stops being an unstoppable force.  Someone really needs to tell him that if he hopes to make it any higher in this business.

Evan Bourne – Color me surprised when I heard his music as Randy Orton’s first opponent on Raw.  I was hoping he’d get more accomplished in ECW before being moved, but let’s hope his meteoric rise to the top continues.  His match with Orton was strange, but also entertaining, as, to my recollection, Orton has never really faced a great high-flyer like Bourne.  They just look so out-of-place together, but it worked, because Bourne is a stellar worker and a great talent who, if he plays his cards right, could end up being the next Rey Mysterio or even the next Jeff Hardy.  He needs some mic time so we can make sure he can put two sentences together, and once he shows us he can, we’ve got a main eventer in the making.

Mark Henry – ECW got trashed in this trade, huh?  Three of the five upper mid-carders/main eventers get moved to Raw.  And the way Henry acted on Raw, it seems as though they’re going to push him as a babyface for the first time in seemingly forever.  Which should prove to be interesting how they try to make him look like a face when facing opponents who are 150 pounds lighter than he.  It’s been done with Khali and Big Show, and it never looks convincing.  Will it be the same with Henry?  Who knows?

Smackdown Acquisitions:

Matt Hardy – I suppose his failure of a heel turn is over.  And if it isn’t, why is he back on Smackdown?  If Jeff is still staying with WWE, what are they going to do?  Rehash their silly feud from earlier in the year, or turn Matt face again and have an awesome feud between the Hardys and the new Unified Tag Team champs, Edge and Jericho?  So many questions, and no answers to speak of.  I guess we’ll have to wait until Friday night to find out what Creative is planning to do with Matt.

Finlay – Yet another upper card talent gone from ECW.  Talk about getting stripped of its talent…at least Finlay’ll get more exposure on Smackdown, and if he turns full heel, he can have a wicked awesome feud with Rey Mysterio over the IC Title.  Unless Matt Hardy beats him to the punch.  I would have expected Finlay to have an ECW Title reign, even if it was only for a couple of months.  His career’s got to be winding down, and it’s only natural to give a guy who’s been so dedicated to the company these past few years one run of glory before he retires.  Will he win a World Championship?  Doubtful, but it’d be great to see the Irishman hold gold at least one more time before he hangs it up for good.

The Hart Dynasty – If The Hardy’s don’t unite for the 43rd time, expect these three to win gold soon.  Smith and Kidd will be tag champs before the end of the year, and you can bet Natalya will win gold soon to make up for the huge flub Creative made when they didn’t make her the first Diva’s Champion.  There is almost limitless potential for these three, and if their cards are played correctly, they could be just as good, if not better, than the Hart Foundation.  With Kidd as the leader, Smith as the enforcer, and Natalya as the schemer, you’ve got one hell of a stable.  If Smith and Kidd get to take on Edge and Jericho, expect a barn-burner.  I look forward to that.  Or, hell, I’d absolutely love to see Smith and Kidd face the Hardys for the tag straps.  I’m looking forward to seeing what these three will get in the near future.

ECW Acquisitions:

Goldust – Looking back at my column about the 2009 Draft, I noted that I thought Goldust would move to Smackdown.  Well, he did move, but it was to ECW.  How will he fare there?  ECW was decimated by this trade, and is in desperate need of heels, so perhaps it’s time for Mr. Dustin Runnels to turn once again.  He isn’t Hornswoggle’s protector anymore (in fact, nobody is), so he’s free to be as bad as he wants to be.  I would not be surprised to see all three male ECW acquisitions become ECW Champion one day.

William Regal – I actually called this pick back in my 2009 Draft column.  I figured he’d move in the Supplemental Draft.  Well, my dreams have come true, albeit a few months late.  Regal is the perfect guy to tear ECW apart and make it his bitch.  I haven’t seen Regal wrestle more than five minutes for what feels like years.  I think if anyone in the company deserves a world title reign, it’s Regal.  Regal and Kane.  Talk about paying your dues.  I was hoping to maybe see Regal or Finlay become the mentor to the Hart Dynasty, like Flair was for Evolution.  But it looks like that won’t happen.  Still, I’d expect Regal to immediately become a contender for the ECW Championship, and he and Dreamer can have an all-out bowling-shoe-ugly brawl.  And it will be awesome.

Shelton Benjamin – Well, his decline continues.  And I’d bet that Charlie Haas’ days are numbered as well.  It’s kind of sad to see a career run its course so quickly.  Benjamin’s been in the business for what, six, seven years?  Is he already on his way out?  He never really did become as great as his potential showed.  His best feud was with Rob Van Dam back in 2006, to my knowledge, and he’s been on a slow burn to obscurity since.  I don’t know if there’s much left for Shelton to do, and unfortunately, if he doesn’t get the job done in ECW, he may be future endeavored sooner rather than later.

The Bella Twins – I think this is probably the shortest amount of time it’s taken anyone to be on all three brands.  They’ve only been on TV for about 10 months, and have run through Smackdown, Raw (for about two months), and now are on ECW.  I don’t know what this says about them, but there’s nothing for them to do in the land of Extreme.  Unless they start on-screen dating a tag team, I don’t expect them to have anything to do there at all.  Especially since ECW has no other women on the show.

Well, those’re my opinions, and I’m sticking to them.  At least until I’m proven wrong.  I hope that some of these people get their fair share, and I hope ECW doesn’t become the crap it was back in 2007.  Perhaps it’s time for a new crop of young guns to emerge on the scene, and space is merely being cleared for their entrances.  I guess we’ll have to watch to find out.


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