All I can say about the Draft is one simple word – Wow. Yes, the WWE took a look at it’s product, falling ratings, and lack of buzz from it’s fan base, and in one night, took the company and turned it upside down. Putting champions on different shows at a rather alarming pace, making changes in the announcer booths, and even a fitting ending to a money giveaway that was putting people to sleep each week, the WWE took some major chances last night, but in the end, they are all for the better.
Let’s face it, since WrestleMania, and some will say even before, the product the company was putting out on TV three times per week was not exactly making people do jumping jacks. It was poorly scripted TV, with matches we had seen time after time, and no real commitment to pushing or making new stars. I don’t know for sure that just because a bunch of talent switched brands last night that all will change, but the attitude right off the bad seems to be that it will.
You could also tell two people in the company that at least on the show seemed none to happy to be moving from Monday to Friday nights. The first was announcer Jim Ross, who was a staple on Monday nights for years, and now will take over the SmackDown play-by-play with Mick Foley on Fridays. With the onus on the talent not knowing they would be moved, Ross seemed almost shell-shocked, as did pal and color man Jerry Lawler, when the move was made.
The move to put Michael Cole on Monday’s is fine with me. He’s done it before, and I don’t think that the show will lose anything because of it. Ross on Friday night will add a different dynamic, and I for one will be interested in seeing the switch and how it plays out. Ross is a Hall of Famer and true professional, and I think in the end he’ll make the move and do what he’s paid to do, which is tell a story to the fans at home through words.
As for the other major switch, Triple H will leave the comfort zone of RAW and also will move to Friday nights. Now there is no way with the power that HHH has within the company that he didn’t know about this move up front. As a matter a fact, he was probably the one that pushed for it, realizing that moving brands would make him by far the top notch player on Friday nights, and not having to compete with John Cena on RAW for that title.
What the draft will do in the end is open up spots for talent to take their stuff to the next level. Wrestlers like Matt Hardy (now on ECW), Ken Kennedy (SmackDown), Umaga (SmackDown), Rey Mysterio (RAW), and others will have a shot to take their careers up a serious notch. As for dumping the “McMahon’s Millions,” – let’s just say that it dumped two weeks too late.