COLUMN: Offbeat Shenanigans #27 – This Draft Is Your Draft

Kevin McElvaney


Offbeat Shenanigans #27

Welcome, Shenanifans. A quick disclaimer here: I wrote this article on Monday – after Iâ<80><99>d read the Raw spoilers, but BEFORE Iâ<80><99>d read Eric Steinâ<80><99>s latest article. Therefore, any similarities between his and mine (and there are many!), are purely coincidental. Before we get to this weekâ<80><99>s topic, hereâ<80><99>s some feedback from last weekâ<80><99>s article, â<80><9c>Backlash is Whacklash.â<80>

â<80><9c>Man, I agree completely with you about Backlash. It just seems to just be a fallout of Wrestlemania. I Know its supposed to be, but how bout some new storylines!â<80>

– Steven

â<80><9c>Its time to start making stars instead of 4 ways, crappy PPVs and PPv cards of the same faces week in week out.â<80>

– Riddle

â<80><9c>After reading your latest column, I could not help but disagree with whoever made the comment â<80>~backlash is wacklashâ<80><99> . Backlash 2007 featured several matches that were nothing short of spectacular. The Hardy’s vs. Cade & Murdoch, MVP vs. the late Chris Benoit, Undertaker vs. Batista and Cena vs. HBK vs. Edge vs. Orton were all noteworthy and for my money it was WWE’s best PPV of 2007. So tell whoever made that comment to come correct or don’t come at all.â<80>

– Bryan Cullers

That was me, so…guilty as charged, Bryan!

â<80><9c>As for your latest column, I must disagree with you. While we always see rematches and continued storylines from WM at Backlash every year, the WWE usually does a good job with the late April PPV. The 2006 edition was a good overall show and I felt Backlash 2007 was the best pay per view of all last year. I think its a matter of people not expecting it to be able to match WrestleMania. However I felt from a wrestling perspective, Backlash last year was way better than WrestleMania 23.â<80>

– Skittlez

â<80><9c>I just read Backlash is Whacklash and i have to disagree with you. Last years Backlash was really good. ‘Taker and Batista was Ok but the fatal-four-way was one of my favourite matches ever! Otherwise, everything else you wrote is totally true!â<80>

– Sam S

â<80><9c>I have to agree with you somewhat about Backlash, but the Grudge match should be Cena vs Triple H and the Raw ME should be Orton vs JBL, if only so we don’t have to see the same Main Event we’ve been seeing for the most part since No Mercy, where it’s been Orton vs a Technical Brawler (see…..Triple H, Shawn Michaels, Y2J and John Cena, with Jeff Hardy being one to an extent if it wasn’t for the high flying stuff).â<80>

– John Johnston

So there you have it. Plenty of people rightly pointed out that last yearâ<80><99>s Backlash was pretty damn good. I still stand by my sweeping generalization that the show usually bites, though

â<80><9c>This Draft is Your Draft…â<80>

…This draft is my draft. Loyal WrestleZone reader, Ryan â<80><9c>The Whole Fâ<80><99>n Showâ<80> Berger, specifically requested, this week, to hear my take on the rumored upcoming WWE Draft. While it was expected that next weekâ<80><99>s three hour Raw would be this yearâ<80><99>s WWE Draft special, it appears that this will not be the case. Instead, we get the return of KING OF THE RING next week Iâ<80><99>m personally pumped, but a little confused as to where the draft fits in. For the sake of Mr. Berger, Iâ<80><99>m going to proceed as if there will, in fact, still be an upcoming draft special. Hereâ<80><99>s who Iâ<80><99>d liked to see drafted and to which brands.

1) Shawn Michaels to Smackdown

â<80><9c>OMGWTFBBQSAUCE!!!1!one!â<80> you say. â<80><9c>Kev, heâ<80><99>s like THE Raw guy.â<80> Hypothetical Reader, I see your point and raise you one: Shawn Michaelsâ<80><99> prominent status on Raw is exactly why I want to see him swap over to the Blue Brand. Smackdown has a few bonafide main eventers, draws, whatever you want to call them. They could certainly use one or two more Shawn Michaels would be a true reason for many Raw diehards to tune in on Friday nights – or at least set their TiVoâ<80><99>s. I, personally, tend to watch it live whenever itâ<80><99>s not pre-empted for local sports. I also canâ<80><99>t afford a TiVo!

Shawn Michaels on Raw has done so much, and Smackdown affords him a whole roster of new and interesting opponents. Why not keep him on the brand after the feud with Batista, and allow him to give some much needed credibility and veteran talent to Friday nights? HBK vs. MVP would be a feud Iâ<80><99>d particularly be interested in, along with a much anticipated Michaels vs. Undertaker battle. Further down the line, he could tangle with Elijah Burke and Shelton Benjamin. Who WOULDNâ<80><99>T want to see those matches? My only real concern is the lack of main event heels on the brand for the Showstopper to lock up with right away. Which leads to #2…

2) Umaga to Smackdown

Yes, I’ve read the rumors, too. And I think this one makes sense. Umaga has a full roster of talented faces to feud with on Smackdown and, lest we forget, ECW. Umaga vs. Michaels (after the draft), Undertaker, Rey Mysterio, Kane, Finlay…the list goes on. Umaga may not seem like the true stand-by that he really is, but think about it: how many bad Umaga matches have you seen? And, Iâ<80><99>ll tell you…one of my favorite matches in recent months was the cage match between Umaga and Jeff Hardy. Iâ<80><99>d like to see Umaga take on Matt on Smackdown. Really, there are plenty of interesting bouts and feuds that WWE probably hadnâ<80><99>t even thought of before which a trade to Smackdown would make possible. Are you convinced, Hypothetical Reader?

3) CM Punk to Raw

Admittedly, this is another safe pick. CM Punk didnâ<80><99>t win the Money in the Bank match to vie for the ECW title. The ECW belt is getting a boost, currently, due to Kaneâ<80><99>s high profile, decisive â<80>~Mania win and the simple fact that the long-established Big Red Machine is wearing the gold. Still, thatâ<80><99>s not whatâ<80><99>s going on here. CM Punk is going to challenge for either the Raw or Smackdown title. Smackdownâ<80><99>s out, in my opinion, because Punk has already spent a great deal of time there. Heâ<80><99>s been on Raw, too, but has competed as a â<80><9c>regularâ<80> competitor on Smackdown since the semi-merger of those two brands.

Raw makes the bigger impact. Raw it shall be. Or, at least, it should be. I welcome it, if it does happen. Punk on Raw definitely nears the top of my draft-time wishlist. We could see Punk pull a surprising heel turn, or, should the fans stay on his side, he can battle the many, many prominent heels of WWEâ<80><99>s highest rated brand. Punk vs. Kennedy, Jericho, Carlito (OMG LEGIT HEAT!!!!) and countless others. A few months later, heâ<80><99>d tangle with Triple H, Cena, and Orton. See what I mean, Hypothetical Reader?

4) Mickie James to Smackdown

Iâ<80><99>d like to see this if, and only if, Mickie is still wearing the womenâ<80><99>s title. Iâ<80><99>d like to see Raw Divas follow her to Smackdown, even temporarily, to challenge for the title. The womenâ<80><99>s division on Smackdown is big on feuds and short on prizes. The Womenâ<80><99>s Championship would, of course, add the missing half to that picture. The Divas on Raw – the edgier cable product – can be the occasionally-wrestling eye candy – while the relatively â<80><9c>family friendlyâ<80> Smackdown can stick with a more competition-based format. And while weâ<80><99>re at it…for the love of God…no more Edge and Vickie whipped cream make-out sessions.

5) The Great Khali to Raw

Purely because he has to change brands once every two months or he changes into a 7 foot, 400 pound pumpkin.

Those are my picks. Iâ<80><99>d be curious to see hear some of yours. Ryan Berger, I expect an email from you shortly!

Kevin McElvaney is also a contributing writer for Pro Wrestling Illustrated and The Wrestler / Inside Wrestling. Send questions or comments to kjmcelvaney@yahoo.com.

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