WWE draft

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The last WWE draft logo, used from 2007 to 2011

The WWE draft, (formerly known as the WWE draft lottery) was a process used by professional wrestling promotion WWE (formerly WWF) to provide new brand competition and to refresh its rosters. The draft was first used during the brand extension of 2002, though it was officially incepted and used in 2004. Since the inception of the process, it has been referred to as the "draft lottery" (2004–05) and later simplified to the "draft" (2007–2011). Starting in 2005, the draft took place during the month of June; it was held in April between 2009 and 2011. The latter year saw the final draft occur as a part of the brand extension, as WWE announced the termination of the brand split and promotion of interbrand competition from 2011 onwards.[1]


Year Brands Notes
2002 Raw
After acquiring World Championship Wrestling (WCW) and Extreme Championship Wrestling (ECW), the WWF split its roster into two distinctive wrestling brands, Raw and SmackDown!. WWF CEO Linda McMahon announced that WWF co-owners Ric Flair and Vince McMahon would draft superstars to Raw and SmackDown! respectively. The Rock was acquired by SmackDown! as the first overall pick, and The Undertaker was acquired by Raw as its first pick in the draft. Stone Cold Steve Austin was allowed to choose which show he wanted to be on.
2004 Raw
To remain active with the WrestleMania XX tagline of "Where it all begins again", WWE Chairman Vince McMahon announced a draft lottery, as he stated it was time for a "new WWE" and "it's time to shake things up again". Each general manager received six picks.
2005 Raw
Unlike previous draft lotteries which occurred on one night, this draft lottery took place over the month of June. Each general manager received five random picks. During the draft, SmackDown! was left without a world champion after Raw drafted John Cena, who at the time held the WWE Championship. SmackDown! announced plans to create their own world championship, but abandoned them when they acquired Batista from Raw, who at the time held the World Heavyweight Championship.
2006 ECW As part of the launch of the ECW brand,[2] WWE allowed ECW representative Paul Heyman to draft one superstar from each of the Raw and SmackDown! brands.
2007 Raw
Was the first ever tri-branded draft lottery, where all three of WWE's brands took part in the draft. Unlike previous drafts where the general managers were able to randomly select their draftee, matches took place between representatives of each brand and the winner received a draft pick. The draft was announced by Shane McMahon on May 28, and took place on June 11 on a special three-hour episode of Raw.
2008 Raw
Was the second consecutive draft where draft picks were determined by matches. During the draft, three championships switched brands due to the champions switching brands. The draft was announced by Vince McMahon on May 26, and took place on June 23 on a special three-hour episode of Raw.
2009 Raw
On February 11, 2009, WWE announced via their website that the 2009 draft would take place on the April 13, 2009 edition of WWE Raw.[3] The draft consisted of tri-branded matches with the winner of the match's brand earning a pick. A total of 12 wrestlers were drafted on television. A supplemental draft was announced for April 15, in which a total of 24 wrestlers were drafted.[4]
2010 Raw
The Richmond Coliseum confirmed that it would serve as the venue for the 2010 WWE draft, which was held live during an episode of Raw on April 26, 2010.[5] The draft consisted of interpromotional matches with the winner of the match's brand earning a pick. A total of 8 wrestlers were drafted on television. A supplemental draft was announced for April 27, in which a total of 13 wrestlers were drafted.[6] It was also the first draft without ECW after its cancellation.[7]
2011 Raw
On April 18, WWE, USA Network, and the RBC Center confirmed the 2011 draft to take place on April 25 from Raleigh, North Carolina.[8] The draft consisted of interpromotional matches with the winner of the match's brand earning a pick. A total of 8 superstars were drafted on television. 22 more drafts happened the following day, as WWE.com updated the site with every pick. This was the final draft occurring under the brand extension of 2002.[1]

Impact on championships[edit]

Whether a champion keeps their championship after being drafted is unpredictable:

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "Ad Age's 40 Under 40 in Marketing, Agencies, and Media: Stephanie McMahon". Advertising Age. Crain Communications. Retrieved 2013-03-19. 
  2. ^ "WWE Launches ECW As Third Brand". 
  3. ^ "WWE announces 2009 WWE draft". Retrieved 2009-02-11. 
  4. ^ "WWE Supplemental Draft". World Wrestling Entertainment. 2009-04-15. Retrieved 2009-04-15. 
  5. ^ "WWE presents Monday Night RAW". Richmond Coliseum. Retrieved 2010-03-02. Monday April 26 will mark the date of the 2010 roster draft featuring all WWE superstars from Raw and SmackDown! 
  6. ^ "Final Draft, 2010". World Wrestling Entertainment. 2009-04-29. Retrieved 2009-04-29. 
  7. ^ Caldwell, James (2010-02-05). "WWE Officially Announces NXT's Debut Date Replacing ECW, Only Two Episodes Remaining". Pro Wrestling Torch. Retrieved 2010-02-05. 
  8. ^ "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. 

External links[edit]