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My apologies again for the lengthy delay between columns.  It isn’t as though there hasn’t been anything to discuss.  I just haven’t been writing much at all, and I need to start doing so again.  So hopefully I’ll be writing more in the coming weeks.  Time will tell.

First thing’s first: congratulations to Rob Van Dam for becoming the NEW TNA World Heavyweight Champion!  You managed to leapfrog over all the other, more deserving talent on the TNA roster and take the title away from AJ Styles, who, despite this ridiculous Ric Flair rip0ff gimmick, is probably the most deserving champion in recent memory.  So good on you, sir.  It’s only a matter of time before TNA goes bankrupt.  You probably won’t be the last TNA World Champion, but I’m betting you’re one of the last five or so.

Now that that ugly business is out of the way, let’s look at the 2010 Draft.  And if you think I’m talking about the NFL or NBA Draft, you’ve obviously never read this column before.  I’m talking about the 2010 WWE Draft, which is now seemingly a yearly tradition to occur the night after the PPV after Wrestlemania.  Eh.  I honestly think that, for the most part, the rosters are actually quite good for both brands.  Mike Siciliano (I know I refer to his writings a lot, but damnit, he has some good insight) wrote a column a couple of weeks ago about how he believes that the era of the brand extension is soon to be extinct.  And I can see why he thinks that.  At Extreme Rules, we’ve got the WWE Champion (from Raw) facing a Smackdown opponent (though for all intents and purposes, Batista is basically a Raw talent now), and the World Heavyweight Champion (a Smackdown belt) facing an opponent from Raw.  That is an ugly situation.  And unless there’s a major shake-up coming during the draft, I doubt anything will change hands come Extreme Rules.  But I’ll save my picks column for later in the week, once the card is finalized.  So let’s take a completely obligatory look at the current WWE roster and try to figure out who, if anyone, might end up changing shows.

Since there are now only two brands, I figure it will probably be easier to split this column up into two sections: Raw guys who might move to Smackdown, and Smackdown guys who might move to Raw.  Let’s start with Raw first, since it is the flagship show and all.

Raw talent who might move to Smackdown

Cody Rhodes – A fresh start on a new brand will only help Rhodes out after his unceremonious disappearance from Raw following a Randy Orton punt at Wrestlemania 26.  Rhodes has got all the tools necessary to succeed in this business (and that’s saying something seeing as how I rarely say that).  Getting far away from Orton and Dibiase will let him shine on a show that is made for guys like him.  He might go in the Supplemental Draft seeing as how he hasn’t been on TV in a month and likely nobody really thinks of him as a major player yet.

Evan Bourne – Bourne’s move from ECW to Raw was a huge mistake, in my humble opinion.  Bourne was climbing the ranks on ECW and was likely poised to take on Christian at some point for the ECW Championship.  But he was shipped off to Raw late last year and, despite keeping his head above water, has not moved up the ladder one rung.  Bourne is stuck in lower mid-card hell right now, and if he doesn’t leave for Smackdown soon, he’ll turn into the next Kung Fu Naki.  I honestly believe that Bourne can become the next Rey Mysterio, but if Creative keeps him in six-man tag matches and matches on Superstars, he’ll never achieve his full potential.

Kofi Kingston – Ever since Kingston went rogue and turned awesome, his push has been completely squandered.  Actually, come to think of it, the last three black guys have had major pushes squandered in the past year alone (Kofi, Mark Henry, and MVP).  I’m not saying that Creative is racist, but when you’ve got three guys who get major crowd reactions and have the talent to earn a main event push, but end up with nothing, it seems more than a coincidence.  Anyway, Kofi would have a chance to truly shine on Smackdown, while the editors can erase his botches, since he does tend to screw up a lot.  I think that he could have a great upper mid-card run as the Intercontinental Champion, and maybe work his way up to the main event soon.  I’d like to see what he’s got as a heel, too.  I’d love to see a Kofi/Taker feud or a Kofi/Edge feud.  But if he stays a face, he still has plenty of options.  Bottom line, Kofi needs to move, because he’s getting lost in the shuffle right now.

Mark Henry and MVP – Remember that paragraph I just wrote about Kofi?  Replace his name with these two guys’ names.

Primo – I like Primo.  He’s got a ton of talent in the ring, and it’s being squandered on Raw.  He doesn’t need to be an “image enhancement talent” (read: jobber) to anyone.  He’s got limitless energy inside the squared circle, and it gets the crowd excited.  I’d like to see him work in the tag team division again, maybe with Bourne or Yoshi Tatsu.  Hell, have those three team up and go in the tag division, Freebird-style.

Zack Ryder – See everybody else I’ve already listed.

As for the Raw Divas, I doubt anyone would benefit from a move to Smackdown seeing as how Michelle McCool is holding the Women’s Title hostage.

Oh, and can we draft Michael Cole off Raw AND NXT?  He’s really been annoying the past few weeks, even more so than usual.  Bring JR back to Raw, bring Byron Saxton back and put him on NXT with Josh Matthews again.  Hell, bring JBL back and have Striker do play-by-play on Smackdown.  Announcing has been woefully pathetic for a while, and I’m really getting sick and tired of the same old crap every single week.  You know what I’d like to see as far as announce teams go?  Here, I’ll give them to you right now.

Raw: Jim Ross and Jerry Lawler

NXT: Josh Matthews and Byron Saxton

Smackdown: Michael Cole and JBL (because JBL was the only guy to openly insult Cole on a nightly basis and get away with it and still have it be entertaining as hell)

Okay, I’m done with my announcers rant.  Let’s move to Smackdown, shall we?

Smackdown talent who might move to Raw

The Hart Dynasty – Look, we know that these guys are next in line for the Unified Tag Team Championship.  They might as well gain as much exposure as possible before they win the titles.  And Raw is the perfect place for them to gain as much notoriety as possible.  Tyson Kidd is easily one of the top ten wrestlers in WWE today, and David Hart Smith is rapidly improving.  And with Bret Hart firmly supporting them, they’re a sure-fire success.

John Morrison – I actually yelled at the TV last year when Miz was drafted to Raw and Morrison went to Smackdown.  Well, why not jump back on the Miz vs. Morrison train again?  These two can have the feud of the year if only they faced each other more than once a year.  And if Morrison moves to Raw, he and Miz can have an epic feud for the US Title.  That is, until Daniel Bryan Danielson comes along and takes it away from Miz in a few months.  Morrison is, admittedly, a much stronger heel than he is a face (same goes for Edge and MVP, among others), and I believe that once he turns heel again, he can and will become a world champion.  People have been making comparisons between Morrison and Shawn Michaels for the better part of a year now.  What better way to capitalize on that then by moving Morrison to the A-show?  Morrison is due for a world title run.  Let’s hope he gets one soon.

The Straight Edge Society – Though I feel as though Luke Gallows’ time in WWE is short, it would only benefit Raw to have another top-flight heel once Batista hangs up his boots for good (which I pray is soon).  Punk, while somewhat grating and annoying, is a strong character, and a move back to Raw will keep Raw interesting for the forseeable future.  Smackdown has plenty of top tier heels, and moving one to Raw won’t hurt them much.  Once this hair match with Mysterio is over, Punk would benefit greatly with a move to Raw.  And it would only help Gallows and Serena.  I’d really like to see Serena lace up a pair of boots and get in the ring and actually wrestle one of these days.  I’m sure I’m not the only person who’d like to see this.

That actually seems about all.  I don’t think many other people would end up benefiting from a brand move.  You could make arguments for people who very well could end up moving anyway, for one reason or another.  Moves like Kozlov going back to Smackdown, Christian moving to Smackdown or possibly Edge moving to Raw, Shad or JTG moving to Raw, Randy Orton moving to Smackdown (it could happen), Ezekiel Jackson moving to Raw (to everyone’s great dismay)…those types of moves.  If any of those happen, I’m claiming it as a victory.  Still, I think that the main event scene is actually pretty stable right now.  And while some fresh faces on each brand would indeed be a nice change of pace, I’d almost prefer that most of the changes be to the mid-card.  There could probably be one or two big names changing brands (Edge or Orton, for example), but I don’t think that it’s necessary to make a huge shift this year.  I’m still looking forward to it.

So that’s all I’ve got for now.  I’m hoping to do another write-up on NXT soon, as well as Extreme Rules picks.  I don’t really have anything else I can think of for the short-term, but I’m sure that something will rear its ugly head soon enough (can you say “…and the NEW TNA World Heavyweight Champion…HULK HOGAN!”).  So until that happens, stay awesome everyone.

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