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This Monday, on a special three-hour edition of Raw at 8/7 CT, every WWE Superstar, Diva, General Manager, commentator and ring announcer will be in attendance for the 2008 WWE Draft. The reason? Well, as Mr. McMahon bellowed just over three weeks ago, "It's time to shake things up around here!"
Needless to say, this monumental event has created an explosive situation where anything can happen, and no one is exempt. Truly, it is the ultimate displacement of sports-entertainment. The fate of those from Raw, SmackDown and ECW alike are fair game, and the only way to describe the overall mood is that of nerve-racking trepidation, particularly since no one -- not even those of us here at WWE.com -- knows how things will play out this Monday night.
The main questions on everybody's mind right now -- besides how to enter every day for a chance to win in the third consecutive week of McMahon's Million Dollar Mania (click here to enter) -- circulate primarily around how the Superstars will be drafted. Some wonder if the methods used this year will mirror those of past years' WWE Drafts. Could names simply be picked out of a random lottery, or, like last year, will match outcomes be the deciding factor in who goes where? Will General Managers get involved and, if so, will they be permitted to make trades after the initial Draft selections are made? Could we see a combination of any, or all, of these past approaches?
Those who know Mr. McMahon also understand that he hates doing anything the same way twice, so it's not unreasonable for one to expect something completely different. Perhaps Superstars themselves will be asked to vote their locker room colleagues off their respective brands. Maybe WWE.com or our fans will play a more pivotal role in the Draft process. Or perhaps the third installment of McMahon's Million Dollar Mania will somehow become intertwined with the Draft selection process.
It is also unclear what will happen to the current champions on Raw, SmackDown and ECW if they are drafted away from their respective brands. Will they lose their titles outright, like the way Mr. McMahon declared the ECW Championship vacant after Bobby Lashley was drafted to Raw in 2007? Or will they be allowed to carry the gold with them, much like John Cena and Batista did during 2005's WWE Draft? There's even the unfathomable to consider -- with the WWE Draft's utter unpredictability, could every major championship conceivably wind up on one WWE brand?
Even if the titles remain where they are at the Draft's conclusion, by no means should they be considered safe. With most of the matches for Night of Champions already made, what if the No. 1 contenders are drafted elsewhere? What if Batista is drafted back to Raw? Assuming The Animal were able to defeat Edge a week from this Sunday, would that mean he would carry the World Heavyweight Championship back to Raw with him? What if SmackDown loses Natalya to ECW? Since she's won the right to compete for the new Divas Championship, is it possible the title might not end up on SmackDown as General Manager Vickie Guerrero originally intended?
Some Superstars have shown displeasure at the thought of relocation in past WWE Drafts because they identify themselves so strongly with the show where they reside. For example, WWE Champion Triple H has become synonymous with his current brands. What happens if the King of Kings has to leave Raw for the Land of the Extreme?
Then again, other WWE ring warriors might welcome a change. MVP is one Superstar who has expressed some displeasure with his current SmackDown status. Would he be happier "ballin'" in the VIP Lounge on Monday nights? Or would ECW Diva Layla prefer to be dancing the SmackDown salsa after expressing a strong lack of appreciation by the Tuesday Night fans at this past week's event?
Whatever each individual Superstar's situation is, one thing is for certain: This latest WWE Draft threatens to rock the foundations of WWE to its very core like never before. Come this Monday night, it's almost a certainty that WWE will never be the same again.