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T3C: Looking at the lottery



21 March 2004

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Well, Wrestlemania is over for another year but a whole new WWE is about to be born on Raw this coming Monday. In my last regular column before I started spending all evening writing 6,000 word epics about Wrestlemania, I looked at the brand extension, after last weeks Raw, what else can I write about but the upcoming changes this week. What should happen? What will probably happen? Letís firstly look briefly at why this is happening.

WWE may just have had a successful Wrestlemania and attendances seem to be increasing but their roster is not in good shape. The Rock, Goldberg and Lesnar are all gone either temporarily or permanently. Triple H is also going to be taking time off, Big Show will sooner or later and the career of Kurt Angle looks to be in jeopardy again. Smackdown needs new heels thatís for sure, and Raw could do with some new faces, so what can Vince do?

If itís to be a whole new WWE then this has to be a major shake-up and it has to be one that surprises us. Big names have to be involved this time around, so letís start with the heels in the singles division shall we?

The way Vince was talking Evolution looks as if itís going to be seriously affected by this draft lottery. Remember last time when this all started, he said that the NWO would be treated as one entity, but he hasnít said that about Evolution. Now what if Triple H ended up being drafted to Smackdown? That would change a lot of things and probably for the better. How many more times can we have him drop the title then get it back again for ages, then drop itÖ. If he were to be dragged kicking and screaming to Smackdown itíd really help that brand. Triple H v Eddie Guerrero would be pretty good, as would a match with John Cena. As for Evolution, well Orton can become even more prominent than he is now.

Kane is another major possibility so he can continue his feud with The UnderBikertaker. I believe they will be on the same brand come Monday evening but Iím not sure if Undi might end up on Raw. All that pyro and paranormal stuff seems better used on that show, so yeah forget that, Iíll swap Undi and Paul Bearer over to Raw.

Scott Steiner is going nowhere on Raw so he can go to Smackdown and so can Test. They donít just have the ability to be decent heels in the mid-card but can help the tag division as well.

La Resistance has three members, four if you include the poodle, they actually need two, so bye Rene Dupree, youíre going to Smackdown. He has a lot of potential and could do well.

How about taking Rodney Mack and Mark Henry and giving them to Smackdown? With Theodore Long thatís another new faction on the brand who could even work with the FBI.

So who goes in the other direction from the limited heels on Smackdown. I wouldnít hesitate on sending A-Train and Matt Morgan, perhaps even Johnny Stamboli to split the FBI a bit. Raw isnít in desperate need for heels, I donít see Shawn Michaels staying a face forever if heís to feud with Benoit.

What about faces? From Smackdown to Raw, it looks as if Iíve already told Undi to get in his hearse and head for Monday night haunting of Kane. Who else can go? If HHH stays on Raw, then Edge will be heading for that brand. After the arguments between Cena and Heyman itíd be tempting to see him move but if he does what happens to the US Title?

Hardcore Holly can go; heís gone from main eventer at the Rumble to nothing at Wrestlemania. Billy Gunn could be a possibility but the more I look at the Smackdown roster I realise how weak it is. This has to be a draft that keeps as much main event talent on Smackdown while releasing mid-card wrestlers.

So who from Raw can come to the rescue? Iíd have Booker T and RVD lose their tag titles this week on Raw then get drafted to Smackdown. It helps the singles division and the tag division and one can turn heel on the other in time.

The same can be said for Lance Storm and Val Venis, both going nowhere on Raw but who do have potential.

The tag divisions continue to disappoint but it looks as if some teams could suffer splits this week. APA has gone (donít be surprised if Bradshaw either turns heel on Smackdown or heads for Raw) and Evolution will be split in some way. I canít see the Bashams being split up but the WGTT look to be in danger. Why did we have the Shelton Benjamin showcase this week on Smackdown. I think he has a lot of potential as a singles wrestler so either heíll be sent to Raw or Charlie Haas will, I see Benjamin in the singles division come Monday.

I think itís inevitable that the Dudleys will be staying together and going to Smackdown, theyíve become a bit stale on Raw, new surroundings and feuds will help. Hurricane and Rosy should be split up, send Hurricane to Smackdown to help the cruiserweight division. The Smackdown tag division can be helped by the arrivals of Booker T/RVD, Storm/Venis and/or Test/Steiner. In the opposite direction Iíd consider sending the FBI.

What will happen to the Cruiserweights? Will they all stay on Smackdown? If itís a lottery then I canít see it happening. A few cruiserweights on Raw would liven things up. Send them Ultimo Dragon, Nunzio, Shannon Moore and Tajiri and his friends. Over on Smackdown, the changes can help Paul London get more exposure and they can receive Hurricane and Spike Dudley from Raw.

Women? Could Vince be thinking of two divisions? From Raw to Smackdown Iíd send Ivory and Jacqueline, probably even Gail Kim. I wouldnít be surprised if Lita went as well, she really does nothing on Raw at the moment apart from being a tag partner and deserves a bit more. Oh and Jazz can go as part of the removal of the Theodore Long group. Who comes to Raw? Nidia and Shaniqua can both wrestle a bit and would liven things up. Weíd still have Victoria, Molly, Trish, Stacy, Jackie, Nidia and Shaniqua and one of Gail Kim/Lita. Smackdown would have Dawn Marie, Sable, Torrie, Ivory, Jacqueline, Jazz and one of Kim or Lita. Two decent divisions.

GMís. I have a feeling Bischoff and Heyman could swap places that would really shake things up. Bischoff is getting stale on Raw and a face turn wouldnít work. Will Steph and Shane be involved? I canít see Shane coming back so soon after his wife has had a baby but Steph? Why not keep her on Smackdown and get her back together with Triple H, or send her to Raw, keep him there and then re-unite them with Steph as a heel.

Commentators? Not sure, both teams work well together, particularly Tazz and Cole. Iíd keep it as it is, Coach could follow Bischoff to Smackdown though, they need a decent interviewer backstage.

What will happen? Itís all a guessing game isnít it, Vince will make his decisions and it promises to be the most fascinating Raw in years. Iíll be back next week to discuss the changes. In the meantime, hereís a trivia question for you about wrestlerís real names, if Monty Sopp met Andrew Martin, which two WWE Superstars would be in the ring, the email address is below, comments always welcome.

Stephen Ashfield

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