2011 WWE draft

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
  (Redirected from 2011 WWE Draft)
Jump to: navigation, search
John Cena became the second person in draft history to be exchanged back to their original brand in the same event.

The 2011 WWE draft was the eighth annual (ninth overall) and final draft held by WWE, which took place on April 25. With a core business of professional wrestling, the corporation held a draft to exchange personnel assigned to one of its two television programs (Raw and SmackDown) that are (in terms of storyline) independent brands that represent WWE. The draft aired live on the USA Network on Raw in the United States[A1] for two hours in Raleigh, North Carolina from the RBC Center. As a standard for previous drafts, most on-air personnel were eligible to be drafted.[1] A continuation of the draft took place on WWE's official website at 12:00pm Eastern time on the following afternoon.[2]

Matches determined the recipient of draft picks for the television portion of the draft while the continuation of the draft via the Internet was conducted at random. The draft's 30 selections featured 29 Superstars and Divas being exchanged between WWE's two brands. SmackDown received 16 additional members to its roster while Raw received 13. For the first time in draft history, two of the draft picks consisted of the same wrestler—John Cena—being selected to SmackDown with the first pick and back to Raw with the last televised pick.

Background[edit]

The Brand Extension storyline was initiated in March 2002, in which WWE's Raw and SmackDown! television programs were made into brands (similar to conferences within a league) to which employees were assigned to;[3] the ECW brand was additionally involved between 2006 and 2009.[4] Annual drafts have followed since this occurrence, except for in 2003.[5] As with past drafts, the purpose of the 2011 WWE draft was to increase television ratings of WWE programming and refresh the rosters for each brand.[6] The 2011 event was confirmed by the RBC Center in April 2011,[7] with WWE officially announcing it on the April 18th edition of Raw.[8][9] A USA Network executive had also confirmed the event to occur via a press release on the same day of the WWE announcement.[10]

The 2011 WWE draft would mark the sixth time that only the Raw and SmackDown brands were involved; Superstars (male wrestlers) and Divas (female wrestlers) along with other WWE personalities from these brands were eligible to be drafted.[11] Unlike sports draft lotteries where players are signed to a team, WWE drafts feature on-air personnel being exchanged between brands. Like all other WWE programs, the draft was run by the WWE management backstage.[12] Championships could be exchanged between brands if the champion was drafted, like with previous drafts;[5] however, the WWE Divas Championship and WWE Tag Team Championship were accessible to both brands and thus had no role in the draft because of their inter-brand availability.[13][14]

Roster selections[edit]

Overall, 29 superstars were drafted in 30 selections. Eight selections were made on television (four from each brand) with seven draftees; the online draft featured 22 selections (13 by Raw and nine by SmackDown). Of the 29 drafted personalities, only five were females (all drafted after the televised event). All but one of the draftees were in-ring competitors: Alberto Del Rio's personal ring announcer, Ricardo Rodriguez, came to Raw in the televised draft with Del Rio in one draft pick. SmackDown obtained the first draft pick by winning the first match, which resulted in the acquisition of John Cena. Raw obtained their first pick after winning the second match and were able to acquire Rey Mysterio. Cena became the second person to have been drafted twice during the same draft event (Triple H being the other in 2004),[15] with Raw reacquiring Cena with the eighth draft pick to conclude the televised portion. The draft also featured various superstars being selected to a new brand for the first time in their WWE careers, such as Sheamus and Daniel Bryan.[16]

WWE uses specific terms to refer to its employees. The term "Superstar" is used to refer to male in-ring performers while female wrestlers are labeled as "Divas;"[12] this is reflected in the following list.

Televised draft[edit]

During Raw, matches were held among representatives of the two brands to determine which would receive one or two draft picks. Each match featured one or more wrestlers representing their brand; if a wrestler was drafted earlier in the program, they would represent their new brand. After the matches, a computerized system, which appeared on the Raw stage TitanTron, randomly[B1] selected a member from the opposing brand's roster for the winning brand. Unlike the regular Raw production, the lighting in the RBC Center featured red and blue lighting on the audience, like in WWE Superstars, and both programs' logos represented on the TitanTron.[2][17]

Matches[edit]

# Match Stipulation Winner(s)
1 Raw: Evan Bourne, Daniel Bryan, Ted DiBiase, Mark Henry, The Great Khali, Vladimir Kozlov, Santino Marella, Mason Ryan, Sheamus, and Yoshi Tatsu vs. SmackDown: Brodus Clay, Kane, Chris Masters, Drew McIntyre, Kofi Kingston, Cody Rhodes, Big Show and The Corre (Bad News Barrett, Ezekiel Jackson, and Heath Slater) 20-man Raw vs. Smackdown tag team battle royal for one draft pick SmackDown: Big Show and Kingston
2 Raw: Eve vs. SmackDown: Layla Singles match for one draft pick Raw: Eve
3 Raw: Sheamus vs. SmackDown: Kofi Kingston Singles match for one draft pick SmackDown: Kingston
4 Raw: Dolph Ziggler vs. SmackDown: Randy Orton[C1] Singles match for two draft picks SmackDown: Orton
5 Raw: Rey Mysterio[D1] vs. SmackDown: Wade Barrett Singles match for two draft picks Raw: Mysterio
6 Raw: The Miz, CM Punk, Alberto Del Rio[D2] vs. SmackDown: John Cena,[E1] Christian, and Mark Henry[C2] 6-man tag team match for one draft pick Raw: Miz, Punk, and Del Rio

Selections[edit]

Pick # Brand (to) Employee
(Real name)
Role Brand (from)
1 SmackDown Cena, JohnJohn Cena Superstar Raw
2 Raw Mysterio, ReyRey Mysterio
(Oscar Gutierrez)
Superstar Smackdown
3 SmackDown Orton, RandyRandy Orton Superstar Raw
4 SmackDown Henry, MarkMark Henry Superstar Raw
5 SmackDown Sin Cara
(Luis Urive)
Superstar Raw
6 Raw Big Show
(Paul Wight, Jr.)
Superstar SmackDown
7 Raw Del Rio, AlbertoAlberto Del Rio
(Alberto Rodríguez)
Superstar SmackDown
8 Raw John Cena Superstar SmackDown

Online draft[edit]

WWE announced that the draft would continue to take place over WWE.com on Tuesday, April 26, 2011 beginning at 12:00pm Eastern time.

Selections[edit]

Sheamus was the final overall selection in the 2011 WWE draft.
Pick # Brand (to) Employee
(Real name)
Role Brand (from)
9 SmackDown Bryan, DanielDaniel Bryan
(Bryan Danielson)
Superstar Raw
10 Raw Swagger, JackJack Swagger
(Jacob Hager)
Superstar SmackDown
11 SmackDown The Great Khali
(Dalip Singh Rana)
Superstar Raw
12 SmackDown Uso, JimmyJimmy Uso
(Jonathan Fatu)
Superstar Raw
13 Raw Kelly, KellyKelly Kelly
(Barbara Blank)
Diva SmackDown
14 Raw JTG
(Jayson Anthony Paul)
Superstar SmackDown
15 SmackDown Fox, AliciaAlicia Fox
(Victoria Crawford)
Diva Raw
16 SmackDown Regal, WilliamWilliam Regal
(Darren Kenneth Matthews)
Superstar Raw
17 SmackDown Tatsu, YoshiYoshi Tatsu
(Naofumi Yamamoto)
Superstar Raw
18 Raw McIntyre, DrewDrew McIntyre
(Andrew Galloway)
Superstar SmackDown
19 SmackDown Natalya
(Natalie Neidhart)
Diva Raw
20 Raw Hawkins, CurtCurt Hawkins
(Brian Myers)
Superstar SmackDown
21 Smackdown Masters, ChrisChris Masters
(Christopher Mordetzky)
Superstar Raw
22 SmackDown Uso, JeyJey Uso
(Joshua Fatu)
Superstar Raw
23 Raw Kingston, KofiKofi Kingston
(Kofi Sarkodie-Mensah)
Superstar SmackDown
24 SmackDown DiBiase, TedTed DiBiase
(Theodore DiBiase, Jr.)
Superstar Raw
25 SmackDown Kidd, TysonTyson Kidd
(T.J. Wilson)
Superstar Raw
26 SmackDown Tamina
(Sarona Reiher)
Diva Raw
27 Raw Reks, TylerTyler Reks
(Gabriel Tuft)
Superstar SmackDown
28 SmackDown Riley, AlexAlex Riley
(Kevin Kiley, Jr.)[F1]
Superstar Raw
29 Raw Phoenix, BethBeth Phoenix
(Elizabeth Carolan)
Diva SmackDown
30 SmackDown Sheamus
(Stephen Farrelly)
Superstar Raw

Response and aftermath[edit]

Various WWE Superstars and Divas posted updates on their Twitter accounts (as mentioned during the televised portion of the Draft) regarding their reactions to draft selections. Most of these regarded Raw losing top-tier talent to SmackDown, such as Cena and Orton switching brands.[2][18][19] Mark Henry stated that with his recent weight loss, he was more determined to seek a championship reign on SmackDown.[20] Rey Mysterio also was hopeful about his new home and explained that he would represent Raw just as proud as he has for the majority of his WWE career with SmackDown.[21] The first and final pick in the televised event, John Cena, stated how he wanted to make history for 2011 and that it only begun by being the first person to ever be drafted officially first and last.[22] Finally, Big Show was stunned by his selection but looked forward to the transition from broadcast delay to live television.[23]

As a result of Sheamus holding the United States Championship, the title would be designated back to SmackDown (though the title would quickly go back to Raw due to Kofi Kingston's victory at Extreme Rules five nights later).[24] Big Show being one half of the WWE Tag Team Champions allows him to appear on both shows (as does his partner Kane), despite their brand designations.[23] During the time that the Draft was produced, WWE was promoting their annual Extreme Rules pay-per-view event. At the time of production, the matches scheduled were between members of their respective rosters before the draft. These matches (including championships bouts) were scheduled to still take place while being official members to their new brands.[25] As a result of the extra promotion, the April 25 episode of Raw increased viewership from the previous week in terms of adults from 1.6 and 1.7 to 2.0 and 1.9 for the first and second hours, respectively.[26]

See also[edit]

Footnotes[edit]

  • A:A1 – In addition to the United States, Raw is broadcast in various countries.[12]
  • B:B1 – Although WWE claimed the Draft was conducted randomly, the results were predetermined since the Draft is a storyline.[6]
  • C:C1 C2 – This Superstar was originally a Raw member but represented SmackDown after being drafted earlier in the evening.
  • D:D1 D2 – This Superstar was originally a SmackDown member but represented Raw after being drafted earlier in the evening.
  • E:E1 – John Cena began in the Draft as a Raw member and was drafted with the first pick to SmackDown (resulting his representation of the brand in one of the matches during the televised portion); however, he was ultimately drafted back to Raw with the final pick.
  • F:F1 – The draft pick was nullified due to Riley being under a personal service contract to The Miz, and not an official WWE contract. Riley officially signed with Raw on May 30, 2011.

References[edit]

General
Specific
  1. ^ "The WWE Draft's biggest moment's". WWE. 2011-04-18. Retrieved 2011-04-19. 
  2. ^ a b c Bishop, Matt (2011-04-26). "Live coverage: 2011 WWE Draft". SLAM! Wrestling. Retrieved 2011-05-19. 
  3. ^ "WWE Entertainment To Make Raw and SmackDown Distinct Television Brands". WWE Corporate. WWE. 2002-03-27. Archived from the original on 17 April 2010. Retrieved 2010-04-06. 
  4. ^ "ECW back on TV". Canadian Online Explorer. 2006. Retrieved 2011-05-23. 
  5. ^ a b Dee, Louie (2007-06-07). "Picks of the past". WWE. Archived from the original on 15 April 2010. Retrieved 2010-04-06. 
  6. ^ a b "WWE's Monday Night RawScores Huge Ratings Jump". WWE Corporate. WWE. 2005-06-25. Archived from the original on 12 April 2010. Retrieved 2010-04-27. 'RAW is building ratings momentum,' said Kurt Schneider, Executive Vice President, Marketing. Our fans are now connecting in a big way with some of our newer Superstars, and we continue to feature classic storylines, unpredictable plot twists, such as through our WWE draft lottery. 
  7. ^ "WWE presents WWE Monday Night Raw". RBC Center. Retrieved 2011-04-18. 
  8. ^ "Capital Punishment for Punk". Sky Sports. 2011-04-19. Retrieved 2011-06-07. 
  9. ^ "The 2011 WWE Draft takes over Monday Night Raw". USA Network. TV by the Numbers. 2011-04-18. Retrieved 2011-05-23. 
  10. ^ Caldwell, James (2011-04-18). "WWE News: Big News – WWE Draft scheduled for next Monday on Raw according to USA Network executive". Pro Wrestling Torch. Retrieved 2011-04-18. 
  11. ^ "The 2010 WWE Draft approaches". WWE. 2010-04-05. Retrieved 2011-04-25. Since its infancy in 2002, the WWE draft has become synonymous with both shock and unpredictability, sending champions and their titles to different planes of competition, while dividing tag team partnerships and more. In this one night, every superstar, diva and WWE personality is subject to a randomized shift in brand. No one is safe, none are excluded. 
  12. ^ a b c "Live and Televised Entertainment". WWE Corporate. WWE. Retrieved 2010-05-18. 
  13. ^ "WWE Women's Championship". WWE. Archived from the original on 25 May 2011. Retrieved 2011-04-25. 
  14. ^ "World Tag Team Championship history". WWE. Archived from the original on 1 May 2011. Retrieved 2011-04-25. 
  15. ^ "The more things change". Wrestleview.com. 2004-05-24. Retrieved 2011-05-29. 
  16. ^ "Complete 2011 WWE Drafts". WWE. 2011-04-26. Retrieved 2011-05-29. 
  17. ^ Caldwell, James (2011-04-25). "Caldwell's WWE Raw Results: 4/25: Ongoing "virtual time" coverage of live Raw – 2011 WWE Draft, Extreme Rules PPV hype". Pro Wrestling Torch. Retrieved 2011-04-25. 
  18. ^ Neidhart, Natalya (2011-04-25). "Natalya Neidhart official Twitter account Tweet regarding WWE Draft". Twitter. Retrieved 2011-04-25. 
  19. ^ Torres, Eve (2011-04-25). "Eve Torres official Twitter account Tweet regarding WWE Draft". Twitter. Retrieved 2011-04-25. 
  20. ^ Mark Henry (2011-04-25). Mark Henry reacts to being drafted to SmackDown. Raleigh, North Carolina: WWE. Retrieved 2011-04-27. 
  21. ^ Rey Mysterio (2011-04-25). Rey Mysterio reacts to being drafted to Raw. Raleigh, North Carolina: WWE. Retrieved 2011-04-27. 
  22. ^ John Cena (2011-04-25). John Cena reacts to being drafted back to Raw. Raleigh, North Carolina: WWE. Retrieved 2011-04-27. 
  23. ^ a b Big Show (2011-04-25). Big Show reacts to being drafted to Raw. Raleigh, North Carolina: WWE. Event occurs at All. Retrieved 2011-04-27. 
  24. ^ Carter, Jr., Wayne (2011-04-27). "Chair shots: Analyzing the post-WWE Draft Raw roster". Carroll County Times. Retrieved 2011-05-23. 
  25. ^ "Randy Orton vs. CM Punk (Last Man Standing Match)". WWE. 2011-04-25. Archived from the original on 27 April 2011. Retrieved 2011-04-27. With Orton and Punk separated by The Viper’s move to SmackDown in the 2011 WWE Draft, this could be their last chance to brutalize one another for quite some time. 
  26. ^ "Monday cable ratings: 'Pawn Stars' Leads Night; Plus NBA, 'WWE RAW,' 'Sanctuary' 'Bethenny,' 'American Chopper' & More". TV by the Numbers. 2011-04-26. Retrieved 2011-05-22. 

External links[edit]