Hypotheticals abound with next week's WWE Draft
There have been three official drafts in WWE history. Each has shaken up the roster of WWE Superstars, moving them to new brands, new shows and new opponents.
This year will be no different. As the three WWE brands make their selections at the Wachovia Arena in Wilkes-Barre, Pa., the fans, GMs and Superstars will hold their breath with anticipation.
But along with the hoping and praying comes speculation. Many of the Superstars in the locker room have vocally expressed concerns about where they might end up at draft's end.
It also gives us at WWE.com the chance to ponder the possibilities. Since "mock drafts" are popular in other professional sports' media coverage, WWE.com came up with some of the possible scenarios that could arise next week in the Keystone State.
Here's a look at some of the war room analysis we came up with:
What if the WWE Champion gets drafted from Raw to SmackDown?
It's happened before. In 2005, John Cena was plucked from SmackDown as a Raw draft pick. This created an uncomfortable locker room situation, as then-World Champion Batista, a Raw Superstar, was also on the brand. The problem was solved three weeks later, as Batista was picked by SmackDown, and became that brand's top titleholder.
But having the two top titleholders in the same locker room can be dicey to say the least. The World Champion and the WWE Champion are looked at as being the de facto "leader" of their brand's locker room. Having two leaders could cause a civil war of sorts, dividing loyalties and creating undue tension.
SmackDown General Manager Theodore Long and Assistant GM Vickie Guerrero would have their hands full trying to keep order and to keep both champions happy. But then again, SmackDown Superstars would have double the opportunities to compete for the top titles.
And Long's phone would likely be ringing off the hook from Superstars wanting to be traded or signed to SmackDown to get a crack at The Champ's or the Rated-R Superstar's gold.
What if SmackDown GM Theodore Long gets drafted?
No seriously ... Kristal would holler. Loudly!
If SmackDown GM Theodore Long was selected by Raw, it would create an uncomfortable power struggle between Long and Executive Assistant Jonathan Coachman.
It was also leave Assistant GM Guerrero in a quandary. As Long's assistant, would she be required to go with him to Raw, or would she be instantly promoted to the top management post of SmackDown in his absence? Would WWE Diva and Long's romantic interest Kristal try to pull some strings with Guerrero to get herself traded to follow her man?
As for Long, would Coachman be interested in a power-sharing agreement in the Raw GM office? Or would Coach consider putting Long back in his former role as one of WWE's top in-ring officials? It wouldn't be all bad, Theodore. You might draw the assignment to officiate Pudding Match II
Teddy could also be drafted by ECW, which has a vacant GM office at the moment. Long could make his mark shaping the future of the extreme brand. And then, with Kristal and his appointee Guerrero at SmackDown, Long could have sizable influence on two-thirds of WWE's GM offices.
What if Lance Cade gets drafted and not Trevor Murdoch? What happens to the World Tag Team Champions?
A week ago, this scenario wouldn't have been so dire. Many a tag team have been split by past drafts. Lance Cade and Trevor Murdoch have both done well in singles action, so a split of the two by the draft would have given them the chance to pursue the various WWE singles titles once again.
But now the pair are the WWE World Tag Team Champions. And tag team champions have never been split in a draft before.
Many questions would have to be decided by Jonathan Coachman. Would the titles be vacated and put up for grabs in a tournament? Or would Coachman allow the drafted partner to return to the Raw brand on an occasional basis to defend the title?
There is precedent for this latter scenario, as the former World Tag Team Champions, The Hardys, are currently Superstars on separate brands (Matt on SmackDown, Jeff on Raw).
What if Batista gets drafted?
While Edge has been the thorn in Batista's paw (or leg), it would give The Animal a fresh start and a clean slate to be drafted to Raw or ECW. After months of battling with Undertaker and Edge for the World Heavyweight Championship, new opponents and new titles could give Batista a chance to clear his frustration.
For example, if Batista was picked by ECW, it would be easy to see The Animal setting his sights on Bobby Lashley and his newly-won ECW World Title. A matchup with the Dominator would certainly be explosive.
If the two-time World Heavyweight Champion went to Raw, John Cena would have serious cause for concern, as well as Intercontinental Champion Santino Marella, who has not faced anyone with the intensity of The Animal since his first night in WWE, when Marella defeated Umaga for Intercontinental gold.
Cena, after beating the 7-foot-3 Great Khali, would probably be glad to face a "normal" sized opponent again. At least, as normal as the 6-foot-6, 290-pound muscular frame of The Animal can be. A matchup between Batista and the Chain Gang commander would be anything but normal.
But even if Batista heads for another brand, he'll still be nagged by Edge holding the World Heavyweight Championship. The SmackDown GM's office would likely hear from him down the road, requesting another crack at the Rated-R Superstar at a future pay-per-view event. And it would be likely that the GM would be happy to oblige to Edge's chagrin.
What if Queen Sharmell or King Booker gets drafted? Will their kingdom be dissolved?
Queen Sharmell hasn't been seen around her SmackDown kingdom since King Booker's injury. But all Superstars are eligible for the draft, including recovering ones. So there's a threat to the King and Queen's reign if either one is drafted away to Raw or ECW.
Will a new king or queen need to be crowned to replace the departing monarch? Or will their kingdom be carried along to their new brand? Since this reporter is unfamiliar with the rules of royalty and titular transfer, this is better left to the royals to decide.
As the locker room will find, it's hard to overthrow your heads of state.
What if John Bradshaw Layfield gets drafted to ECW? Will it be a three-man commentator booth?
One of the most colorful commentators in WWE today, Layfield has commented negatively in the past about ECW's extreme brand of action. He was one of the original anti-ECW "crusaders" that ventured to ECW One Night Stand in 2005 to try and suppress the surging movement that eventually became WWE's third brand.
So he might not be the most welcomed personality at the ECW announcer table with Joey Styles and Tazz. But with JBL's money, he could afford to have his own announce table built -- perhaps in an arena skybox with bar service, catering, and stock market ticker built-in?
Or JBL might feel the hankering to influence in-ring action again, and choose to put his money behind some of ECW's young talent. Imagine if the New Breed had JBL's financial backing and support? That buys a lot of bling, and could buy the Breed an ECW World Title as well with the millionaire standing tall in their corner.
As we've seen with CM Punk's short-lived New Breed stint, Elijah Burke doesn't like challengers to his leadership. But everyone has their price.