2007 WWE draft
The 2007 World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) draft lottery took place at the Wachovia Arena in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania on June 11, 2007. The first half of the draft was televised live for three hours on World Wrestling Entertainment's flagship program, Raw on USA Network. The second half of the draft, or the "supplemental draft", was conducted over WWE's website, WWE.com, for four hours on June 17, 2007 as draft picks were announced at twenty-minute intervals. There were twenty-three draft picks, with twenty-seven wrestlers drafted overall, between the promotion's three brands: Raw, SmackDown!, and ECW. For the televised half of the draft, each brand's draft pick was determined by nine matches, one being a battle royal for two draft picks, where wrestlers from their respective brands wrestled to earn a draft pick. The supplemental draft, however, was conducted randomly, with each brand receiving random draft selections. Raw and SmackDown! received five random draft picks, while ECW received three random draft picks. The televised draft picks were randomly selected by a computer that was shown on the Raw titantron. Every WWE wrestler from Raw, SmackDown!, and ECW was eligible to be drafted.
The draft was announced by Shane McMahon on the May 28, 2007 episode of Raw from the Air Canada Centre in Toronto, Ontario, and was promoted as the "first ever tri-branded draft". Besides the promoted draft, the show was billed as "Mr. McMahon Appreciation Night", a tribute of appreciation to the WWE Chairman, Vince McMahon.
The draft lottery is a concept used by WWE to improve its weekly television ratings of Raw, SmackDown! and ECW'. The WWE yet again used the concept in 2007, to improve its television ratings. The 2007 WWE draft was the first official draft lottery to take place in WWE since the 2005 WWE draft lottery.
During the program, representatives from the Raw, ECW, and SmackDown brands were involved in matches that determined which brand received a draft pick. Overall, there were 9 matches, Both SmackDown! and Raw got four while ECW got two.
|1||Raw: John Cena vs. SmackDown!: Edge||Singles match for 1 draft pick||SmackDown!: Edge|
|2||ECW: CM Punk vs. Raw: Carlito||Singles match for 1 draft pick||ECW: CM Punk|
|3||Raw: Umaga vs. ECW: Balls Mahoney||Singles match for 1 draft pick||Raw: Umaga|
|4||ECW: Bobby Lashley vs. SmackDown!: Chris Benoit||Singles match for 1 draft pick||ECW: Bobby Lashley|
|5||SmackDown!: MVP vs. Raw: Santino Marella||Singles match for 1 draft pick||SmackDown!: MVP|
|6||ECW: Gene Snitsky vs. SmackDown!: Mike Mizanin||Singles match for 1 draft pick||SmackDown!: Mike Mizanin1|
|7||SmackDown!: Kristal Marshall vs. Raw: Candice Michelle||Singles match for 1 draft pick||Raw: Candice Michelle|
|8||SmackDown!: Batista vs. ECW: Elijah Burke vs. Raw: Jeff Hardy||Triple Threat match for 1 draft pick||SmackDown!: Batista|
|9||Raw: Randy Orton, John Morrison, Eugene, Kenny Dykstra, and Viscera vs. SmackDown: Chris Masters, Mark Henry, Chavo Guerrero, Matt Hardy, and William Regal vs. ECW: Tommy Dreamer, The Sandman, Marcus Cor Von, Kevin Thorn, and Matt Stryker||Tri-branded 15-man Battle royal for 2 draft picks||Raw: Randy Orton|
|Pick #||Brand (to)||Employee
|1||SmackDown!||The Great Khali and Ranjin Singh2
(Dalip Singh and Dave Kapoor)
|3||Raw||Booker T and Sharmell Huffman2
(Booker Huffman and Sharmell Sullivan-Huffman)
|Male wrestler and Diva||SmackDown!|
|4||ECW||Chris Benoit||Male wrestler||SmackDown!|
|Pick #||Brand (to)||Employee
|11||Raw||Paul London & Brian Kendrick4||Tag Team||SmackDown!|
(Nelson Frazier, Jr.)
|18||SmackDown!||Bret Major and Brian Major4
(Matthew Cardona and Brian Myers)
|Male tag team||ECW|
(Lisa Marie Varon)
- 1 – The referee reversed his decision to give Mike Mizanin the win due to Gene Snitsky ignoring the referee whilst attacking Mike Mizanin.
- 2 – This person was drafted alongside the drafted wrestler.
- 3 – Bobby Lashley was stripped of the ECW title after being drafted to Raw, rendering the title vacant.
- 4 – Both members of the tag team were drafted in unison.
- 5 – Viscera would debut on the July 10 episode of ECW repackaged as Big Daddy V.
- 6 – Hardcore Holly made his re-debut on Raw rather than SmackDown!.
- 7 – Weeks after his ECW debut, Johnny Nitro would repackage himself as John Morrison.
The 2007 draft lottery provided WWE's three brands with new wrestlers, allowing for new storylines and rivalries. Television ratings for WWE increased, as Raw, SmackDown!, and ECW became the most watched programs on their respective television networks in the summer of 2007. Four months after the draft, on October 16, 2007, it was announced that ECW and SmackDown! would have a talent exchange that would allow wrestlers from their respective brands to compete on either brand. At the end of the show Vince McMahon's limousine blew up which appeared to be the demise of the evil WWE owner. Two weeks later Vince McMahon appeared on WWE Monday Night Raw breaking kayfabe and explained that his demise was all a part of a storyline. The reason for this was that Chris Benoit was found dead in his home along with his wife and son. At the time, details of his death were not certain so WWE dedicated the show to Chris Benoit and his family.
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