A Draft disaster
SAN ANTONIO - Just days before Night of Champions, seismic shifts took place across the landscape of sports-entertainment, with WWE Champion Triple H being drafted to SmackDown, giving that brand two World Championships, while Raw gained the ECW Champion Kane. Raw, SmackDown and ECW earned the right to receive a random draft pick by competing in inter-brand matches that led to 10 Superstars changing their home brands. Even more shocking was the spontaneous destruction of the Raw stage, which collapsed on top of the Chairman of WWE, Mr. McMahon, in the final moments of the show. (Watch Draft Highlights)
More Raw Talent
With five Superstars drafted to the brand throughout the night, Raw came away from the draft with a lot of new talent in their roster. In the very first match of the night, WWE Champion Triple H (prior to being drafted himself) defeated Mark Henry, earning Raw the first draft pick, which saw the incomparable Rey Mysterio join Monday nights. After the match, The Game welcomed the Master of the 619, but was interrupted by Triple H's Night of Champions opponent, John Cena. (Get Mysterio's Shield shirt)
Cena also tasted victory, as he defeated his long-time rival, World Heavyweight Champion Edge by count-out. After the match was won, Edge was attacked by Batista, who has his own problems with the World Champion, and will face him this Sunday at Night of Champions. With Cena winning the match, Raw earned another draft pick, which brought Batista back to Monday nights, along with his opportunity to win the World Heavyweight Title this Sunday night. (WATCH)
JBL showed San Antonio why he refers to himself as a "wrestling-god" as he defeated ECW's Kofi Kingston to earn Raw another draft pick. When the random lottery machine ran, it was ECW Champion Kane who joined Raw along with his coveted title, though he will still defend it against Big Show at Night of Champions. (Get Kane's Collage shirt)
In the second of four tag team matches, World Tag Team Champions Hardcore Holly & Cody Rhodes defeated Chavo Guerrero & Bam Neely, which served as good practice for the champions' match at Night of Champions against Ted DiBiase and a mystery partner. After winning the match, it was CM Punk's music that played as Mr. Money in the Bank himself joined Raw. (Get CM Punk's Ribs shirt)
WWE Women's Champion Mickie James & Melina and the team of SmackDown's Victoria and Natalya also had a tag team match. The draft following this contest was open only to ring announcers, commentators and backstage interviewers, but when Melina suffered a severe ankle sprain and the match ended in a double-disqualification, both Raw and SmackDown received draft picks. These picks saw Jim Ross move to SmackDown, and Michael Cole move to the Raw announce table.
Building Up SmackDown
On Friday night, SmackDown will find itself with five new Superstars, two of which were selected after Edge won a Tri-Branded 15-Man Battle Royal. The Ultimate Opportunist threw both Triple H and John Cena over the ropes, winning SmackDown the final two draft lottery picks of the night: Raw's Mr. Kennedy, and WWE Champion Triple H, who will bring his title with him to Friday nights. (WATCH)
On Sunday, the father-son team of Finlay & Hornswoggle will challenge WWE Tag Team Champions John Morrison & The Miz, but on Monday night they warmed up by defeating the team of Santino Marella & Carlito. The two fighting Irishmen's win resulted in Jeff Hardy being drafted to Friday nights. (Get Jeff Hardy's armbands)
SmackDown also benefited from MVP's match with Tommy Dreamer, when the Ballin' Superstar defeated Dreamer in spite of Colin Delaney being in the ECW Original's corner. With that win, SmackDown said "Hello" to Umaga, who was drafted to the brand, and immediately entered the ring, devastating both Tommy Dreamer and Colin Delaney. (Get the official Umaga shirt)
ECW only found itself gaining one new Superstar to the brand, due to WWE Tag Team Champions John Morrison & The Miz defeating United States Champion Matt Hardy and his brother and new SmackDown brand-mate, Jeff Hardy. With the champions' win, ECW was able to draft Matt Hardy, who brings with him his United States Championship, which he will defend against Chavo Guerrero at Night of Champions. (Get the Hardys' Purple Pendant)
In addition to the above Draft shake-ups, Intercontinental Champion Chris Jericho entered the arena to address the crowd in the wake of his rivalry with San Antonio's own Shawn Michaels. Y2J spoke to Lance Cade over the TitanTron, and the two criticized HBK for lying and betraying people over the years. Jericho went on to say that he would love to defend his title against Michaels at Night of Champions, but that HBK was unable to compete due to Y2J smashing his head into the Jeri-Tron 6000. (WATCH)
This brought the San Antonio native himself to the ring, resulting in a violent altercation between Michaels and the Intercontinental Champion, in which Jericho did further damage to HBK's wounded eye.
For the third week in a row, Mr. McMahon gave away $1 million of his own money live on Raw. The WWE Chairman gave $100,000 to five lucky winners and $500,000 to one extremely lucky member of the WWE Universe. Read more.
After giving away that huge final prize of the night, explosions rocked the Raw stage, which fell apart, collapsing on top of Mr. McMahon. WWE Superstars and medical personnel alike rushed to the scene, struggling to free the injured Chairman. Read more. (WATCH)