The Three Count

T3C: And that’s the solution is it?

Will this weeks draft Lottery and trades really create
a new WWE? The Three Count isn’t so sure…

Another week goes by when I find it almost impossible not to write about the brand extension. Mark my words, that won’t be the topic next week, well not the main one anyway. The Draft Lottery is over and supposedly we have a new Raw, a new Smackdown and a new WWE, but is it any good, let’s just say I’m not impressed.

The changes made weren’t as extensive as I thought they might have been, but a few personality changes are already being made to add to the changes in the rosters. One thing was needed above all in this week of changes. Smackdown has to end up with some new heels that are potential main-eventers not mid-card or Velocity veterans in the making. I don’t think that has been achieved.

Smackdown have lost Shelton Benjamin, Rhyno, A-Train, Tajiri and Chuck Palumbo while gaining Booker T, Renee Dupree, Mark Jindrak and Theodore Long. Bradshaw has also turned heel and with Kurt Angle as GM, another top heel has left the active roster temporarily.

Does this cure the problem? No way. Dupree and Jindrak are the future of WWE not the solution in 2004. Dupree and his poodle (a dog in the lottery?) are already booked to be fodder for John Cena. Jindrak looks destined for a long run on Velocity. Booker T has potential of course but he’s injury prone so not a long term prospect. As for Bradshaw seemingly turning into Money Inc 2004, who the hell cares?

It would have been so much better if Triple H had stayed on Smackdown, Angle could have eventually been replaced by Stephanie who’d make his life hell and set up a heel turn for Steph in time to come as they get back together again. But no, he has to go back to Raw and have his 100th match with Shawn Michaels and eventually regain the world heavyweight title. So why all the fuss of sending him there in the first place? Well it gave us a match with Eddie, and then a trade that gave Smackdown more wrestlers than Raw.

So how does Raw look now in terms of heels? The arrival of Shelton Benjamin is a plus, that’s why we had that showcase for him last week. He has potential but he’s nowhere near being a main eventer though. Rhyno is also mid-card but will do well on Heat, same goes for A-Train but doesn’t he have heat with Edge? Look for them to feud soon before the train arrives at the heat platform. What will they do with Tajiri I wonder? No I can’t think of anything either, to Heat you must go!

Chuck Palumbo also makes it to Raw as the brand sees a massive influx of mid ranked heels. He needs a tag partner to be successful, Garrison Cade needs one doesn’t he Vince which brings me to the tag divisions.

Smackdown loses WGTT, part of FBI, Tajiri goes from the Japanese trio as well and APA are history. In return they get the Dudley Boyz which should liven things up a bit for them and us. It’s still not very impressive though is it? The Dudleys have already beaten the Bashams so they’re well down the pecking list. Booker T and RVD won’t be tagging again that’s for sure, perhaps Rikishi and Scotty should go heel.

Raw loses Booker T/RVD, Dupree has gone from La Resistance, Cade/Jindrak are history too so what do we have left? Batista and Flair as champs which is ok, Hurricane/Rosey (help!), La Resistance (no Dupree or Fifi), Test/Steiner and Venis/Storm. Take a look at the fourway from Wrestlemania and no one team survives the lottery. Forget tag wrestling on Raw if you want to be entertained or is it time for Jeff Hardy to come back to tag with Matt?

Nidia coming to the women’s division is good for both her, the division and people who want to look at her new breasts. Losing Miss Jackie is no loss. Smackdown isn’t really into women wrestling so Jackie will fit in well there.

Now to the faces. Smackdown gets RVD and Rico, that solves that problem then doesn’t it! RVD has one problem, both titles on Smackdown are in the hands of faces. A heel turn looks likely somewhere along the line. Who can he feud with? Booker T looks possible, Big Show perhaps? Not that many possibilities if RVD wants to be near the top of the card. Rico has arrived on Smackdown, no way, Velocity is the only home for this Adrian Street rip-off.

Raw does better with the arrival of Edge. The possibility of feuds with Triple H and Randy Orton should keep him happy for a while. Oh and there’s his evil brother Christian to deal with as well. Looking at the trades, everyone on their way to Raw seems to be a heel with the exception of Edge, strange that.

The Cruiserweight division is largely unaffected. Spike does nothing for me, he’s just there to get sympathy after being beaten up by the big guy. He’s already lost to Chavo so to Velocity you must go. I wonder what Paul London and Spanky think of all this.

Angle as GM is a good idea, he had a bit of a rehearsal when he was interfering in the Eddie v Chavo feud. He’s good on the mic, one of the best in fact and can make Eddie’s life misery.

Paul Heyman leaving Smackdown doesn’t totally make sense. The revolt was a good storyline as was Underbikertaker attacking him last week. Guess that’s history now, unless Paul suddenly started managing Kane! There’s talk of ECW coming back but that’s history now. Just like the return of WCW it doesn’t work, we can’t go back in time. ECW was a small hardcore promotion run into the ground by Heyman, it’s not a watered down Vince written project.

I don’t think this is the answer to WWE’s problems. It might be in the long-run but apart from a few tasty feuds on Raw involving Edge it’s not going work if you ask me.

The answer to last weeks question was Billy Gunn v Test. This weeks question, which current WWE star used to be in the New Blackjacks? See you next week.

Stephen Ashfield