Draft Analysis: Diva Draftees 2009

As WWE.com announced the move of Brie Bella to Monday Night Raw, so came the end of today’s four hour Supplemental Draft and along with it the end of the WWE Draft for 2009. History has been made, a record total of eight Divas moved brands in this year’s Draft. Two Divas moved in the main Draft on Monday night followed by six in today’s Supplemental Draft.

First of all, let’s look at the Diva Draft. With all the results now in, I am proud to announce that this year, I successfully predicted four of the six Draft picks that I projected. Yay! That’s not bad, at all. I was off the ball with my Mickie James and Natalya predictions, which I still wish had taken place, but it was not to be!

The moves have shaken up the Divas roster in it’s entirety. I can honestly say, that the landscape of both Raw and SmackDown have changed completely Diva-wise. I think we can safely say that for the first time in history, the SmackDown Divas roster looks set to take superiority of it’s Monday night counterpart – but don’t count Raw out either!

Yesterday, I talked about how I felt Melina and Maryse would fare on their new brands – taking into account today’s Supplemental Draft moves, I’m going to aim to give my thoughts on all three brands seperately.

This week, Raw lost three Divas and gained three Divas in a move that saw the Divas Champion, Maryse and the Bella Twins join Monday nights. In yesterday’s Analyis, I mentioned that I felt Maryse would slot into the top heel role on Raw, overtaking Beth Phoenix. The Draft moves that took place in the Supplemental Draft don’t really change my opinions. I expect Maryse will be pushed as the new top heel – at least for a time – while the Glamazon continues her storyline with Santino/Santina. I do think Beth will eventually come back and take her top heel spot back, it will be a nice change to see a heel other than Beth strive for a while. Once Beth comes back to the division, she’ll be much welcomed and we can interchange her and Maryse as and when needed. Jillian and Rosa, I expect, will continue to serve the roles they currently have.

The real winner though is Mickie James, who finally regains the top spot on Monday nights. No more second fiddle to a returning Candice or a returning Melina. I always say, Mickie does get a decent sized push every year but for some reason, her big push usually begins after WrestleMania and here we go! I’m assuming Mickie and Maryse will clash almost instantly and spend the next couple of months feuding, with Mickie possibly taking the Divas Championship from Maryse.

Another title contender that I think could really make it now, is Kelly Kelly. Kelly was pushed for an initial period after Raw lost both Melina and Candice to injury last summer, but upon their return took a backseat to both of them and Mickie. With just Mickie now to contend with for the top babyface spot, I expect Kelly will take a much larger role on Raw. WWE loves this girl and I think we could see her wrestling more and more often, as she takes the spot Mickie James held to Melina. Meanwhile, the incoming Bella Twins are fine in serving a lesser role to Mickie and Kelly, making up the numbers in tag team matches and such. I don’t expect their move to Raw will make all that much of a difference.

Overall, the ones to watch on Raw will be Mickie, Kelly and Maryse, I think.

Here’s where things get complicated. SmackDown got the biggest changes in the Draft. It lost it’s Divas Champion but gained a Women’s Champion. In the Supplemental Draft, it lost three Divas but also gained three Divas. The SmackDown women’s division definitely got the upper hand over Raw this year. It looks as though SmackDown is becoming the prime destination for Divas action in the WWE and rightfully so. I’ve enjoyed SmackDown more than Raw for the past year, so it’s nice to see WWE give SmackDown that extra strengthening. That said, SmackDown has the most work to do… it took a big hit in losing two of it’s top heels in the Draft, Maryse and Natalya.

However I think SmackDown can do it – I think they can make the post-Draft changes they need to make in a way that’s entertaining to the fans. The problem is that the brand now has six face Divas and two heel Divas. It’s almost inevitable that we’ll be seeing one of the Divas turn heel, but the question is who? I’ll talk more about that later.

SmackDown picked up some great acquisitions: Alicia Fox, Candice Michelle and Layla. I think all three of these Divas can become top Divas and add to the grandeur of SmackDown. I may not like her but Candice is considered a top Diva and could add some star power to SmackDown. However her main problem is staying healthy. I’m not confident in Candice to be honest, I don’t think she’ll stay healthy long enough and I think as a result, she won’t last in the WWE thus this pick, for me, was kinda ‘eh’. I don’t think it will stick. If it does, I expect Candice to take one of the top roles on SmackDown, however behind Gail Kim and Melina.

Meanwhile, you have Alicia Fox who is in my humble opinion, a Diva on the rise. She has the looks, she has the ability and I think she could be a future champion for the WWE. She’s an incredibly fresh, young Hollywood-esque talent that I could see going far in the WWE. I would continue to have her as a face and have her work behind Gail Kim and Melina; learn the ropes from the veterans, make up the numbers in tag matches for a while and then really launch her as a breakout star.

As for Layla, here’s another Diva with so much untapped potential that I think is just waiting to explode. And I think that the time is here for that potential to explode. SmackDown took huge hits in losing Maryse and Natalya, leaving Michelle McCool as the only heel on the brand. Enter Layla! This is it. This is her time. The loss of those two Divas works so well in Layla’s favour because she can now become the #2 heel on SmackDown. I’m so excited, because she has the heel routine down pat, she’s good in the ring and I think she could work really well with this group of Divas (Michelle, Gail and Melina). It’s time to propel Layla and make her the star she deserves to be. If done right, I think like Maryse last year, Layla will be a top Diva and title contender by year’s end.

Now as for that heel turn. One of these Divas will have to turn heel to give SmackDown some balance. We have the Women’s Champion Melina coming in as the top babyface, after her we have Gail Kim, then Maria and Candice on an even standing for the #3 spot. Then there’s Alicia who I think deserves that #3 spot more than Maria and Candice, but likely won’t get it. Finally, Eve Torres who I expect will be doing what she’s currently doing and won’t factor into the division that much. Of the lot, I would completely swerve the audience and turn the Women’s Champion heel. And I think it could work…

People love Melina as a heel and the Internet has been quick to point out that Melina’s face turn has lost it’s luster. Now, I would have kept her as a face (as I did in my original Analysis post) but since we’ve lost Natalya, I think a change needs to be made. The Draft is a time where you can have people move show and debut new characters, debut new sides to their personas and the audience will accept it because it’s a new brand. As Erin suggested, in her debut, it would work to have her straightaway come in as a heel complaining about having to join SmackDown because she’s the A-List Diva and deserves the A-List show. Completing her heel turn could be a reunion, down the line, with former MNM partner John Morrison.

I think WWE has done a good job in building up Gail Kim as the top babyface of SmackDown and for another Diva to come in now and take that spot, would be unfair. So it works in Gail’s favour too as well as balances SmackDown. WWE had done a good job of balancing Maryse and Michelle McCool as the two top heels and I think they could do that again with Melina. Maybe have them not like each other, Melina looking down her nose at Michelle because she’s a SmackDown original. So then we have the dynamic of Gail Kim working as the top babyface, with Alicia Fox, Candice and Maria trailing her while Melina, Michelle and Layla are heels. I think that works.

With the top Divas right now, Melina, Gail and Michelle, you could go the route of singles matches and triple threat matches. Something I thought about earlier was if we have Melina back with John Morrison, you could have Melina compete for/defend the Women’s Championship while Morrison feuded with Rey for the Intercontinental Championship. You could get a dream tag team there of Gail Kim and Rey Mysterio taking on Melina and Morrison. Perhaps even having a second annual ‘Winner Takes All’ match for both belts.

SmackDown is looking very strong and I think by turning Melina heel, it’ll be even stronger.

I was extremely (no pun intended) sad to lose my favourite Diva, Natalya, to the ECW brand. It shows that WWE has no interest in pushing Natalya as a wrestler right now. But in terms of what I think WWE has planned for her, in the words of T.I., “Big things popping!” I expect the move of DH Smith and Natalya to ECW were no accident and we will see the formation of the long-awaited New Hart Foundation. If you’re not going to have Natalya compete for a championship, then that is the next best thing in my eyes. No doubt this will be a stable that gets a lot of eyeballs on ‘em and will be a high profile gig for Natalya, so I’m not too worried about her disappearing off our screens with this move.

As for Katie Lea, I would have moved her to SmackDown to strengthen up the heel side. I don’t think WWE has any plans for Katie and this is the one true letdown, in my estimation, in this whole Diva roster shake-up. It’s like Katie’s the one and only Diva that has been left completely out of the loop. I don’t know what that tells you, but to me it could suggest that Katie is not long for the WWE roster, which is truly a shame.

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  • .MCH

    I heard that Beth is gonna turn face and feud with Maryse….

  • http://www.diva-dirt.com Melanie

    I hope you all enjoy the 1800 word epic post, I am wiped out after that =P

  • rhea26

    I think that with the new superstars show those extra smackdown divas will get to shine on that show but i would really love for Alicia to take that third diva role and have Candice turn heel i think that would be awesome Alicia Gail and Melina vs Michelle Layla and Candice and have maria and eve both return as announcers or fire maria

  • trishrocks

    i mentioned before in the supplemental blog post that i would love to see paul and katie turn face and team up with dj gabriel and face the new hart foundation, it would really be an epic fued with 2 of the best females, and 4 amazing male talents that should propel all of them into great success that by this time next year all of them will be moving on to raw/smackdown and being major players

  • Andre

    Great wrap up Melanie….as far as SD goes..if WWE wanted to they could do a heel turn with Maria and further develop Eve as a viable in ring performer to shore up things there.

    trishrocks….i love the idea of a Bristish stable/NHF fued….Katie Lea and Nattie are two of my new favs and they deserve a chance to shine in a high profile angle.

  • Andre

    i know this isn’t Diva related but i wonder when and how WWE is going to address the fact that SD is the one brand without a major world title.

  • Lita-Sault-666

    Nice overall judgement/conclusion on the Live & Supplemental drafts :D
    Good Job Melanie :D

    I like “trishrocks”‘ idea of forming a British stable of DJ Gabriel, Katie & Paul Burchill. Loveee it. Partially because i was going to mention this lol but didnt think of the English connection :$

    Draft picks; EXCELLENT – wise choice via WWE … surprisingly lol

  • Evan

    I don’t think Katie’s “out of the loop”..
    She’s on the same show as Natalya.. If WWE plays their cards right then I think it could be a really good feud :D

  • Luis-Angel

    dang the Smackdown roster got amped up no doubt wow.
    i think Melina turnin heel is the best thing for her and Smackdown.

  • http://www.stratusfacts.com C-Ray

    Smackdown beat Raw. End of story.

  • Tanzie

    Yay This is Aweosme! I think Candice will be a Heel on smackdown I don’ think Melina will be a heel again because she already turn face. and also great for Layla and Alicia Fox but I feel Sorry for Maria & Eve Torres whom probably be left behind and now their chances probably go down here unless Eve Torres or Maria turn heel or Gail Kim but I love the choices :)

  • Rob

    Hopefuly the new show the WWE is starting will factor into this as well. The WWE has said that there wil be diva’s matches broadcast on it. It would make for some intersting matches if Natalia is part of a new hart foundation. As for melina, she really doesn’t need to be a heel to fued with Michelle. Michelle isn’t so much as a heel a simply someone who’s arrogant and thinks she’s better and more deserving than anyone else. going around the roster picking fights with everyone would fit into her character.

    I am worried though that Maryse will get lost on Raw. yes she was one of the top heel’s on smackdown but there are bigger heels (Beth) and bigger faces (mickie) than her. I can’t see her remaining the # 1 heel for very long.

  • Bryan

    I am just so glad Candice moved to Smackdown. YAY!!! now her career will be sparred.

  • TaylorJade

    I am overall pretty happy with the draft. Smackdown does seem to be the stronger show now.

    Since the Bella Twins are on RAW there is a chance that they could be Maryse’s backup as suggested before. I think a fued between Maryse and Mickie James could be really good. It would get Maryse more heat for going up against the most popular Diva in the company, also.

    I like the idea of the Melina heel turn. She seems to work much better as a heel and match ups between her and Gail Kim could be great. Also, those would be some awesome mixed tag matches you suggested, Melanie. :)

    And, trishrocks, I love, love, the idea of Katie Lea, Paul Burchill, and DJ Gabriel vs the New Hart Foundation. Those would be some main event ECW matches! Good thinking!

  • trishrocks

    oh and another little idea/hope of mine
    im hoping that the bellas will turn heel, and align with maryse. just picture this.
    this week on raw you have the bellas vs jillian and maryse. as usual jillian gets pinned. afterwards maryse starts attacking jillian and then the bellas join in! but boom then comes down mickie and kelly surprisingly to help out jillian, it could make sense seeing as though we’ve seen the smackdown vs raw thing lately with the divas so they could just be like maryse and the bellas think they’re too good for the raw divas. then FINALLY jilllian could get a push and hopefully, possibly become the next divas champion in which after booom again mickie turns pyscho heel and attacks jillian!!!!

  • keyanna22

    Whatever the case is I am so happy Layla was drafted that way she will be able to show people what she can do That was the highest point in the supplemental draft for me, The smackdown divas do seem to be a stronger brand as far as divas are concerned.

  • sheLooksGud2me

    Mickie the top face!! Yeepee!

  • Slapshot

    RAW House Show results, Dublin, Ireland…………April 15, 2009

    WWE Women’s Champion Melina and Kelly Kelly def. Beth Phoenix and Layla after Kelly Kelly scored the pinfall.

    Kelly to get the # 1Face push on RAW ?? Maryse vs Kelly……….Battle of the Blondes ??

    Melanie……..thank you for the “epic”, apologies from the other side of the pond for Ted’s attack on you.
    Never ceases to amaze me how brave people get behind a keyboard.

  • Slapshot

    Upcoming Raw Divas Feud, More Negative Reaction To 25-Diva Battle Royal

    Posted by PWPIX on 04/15/2009

    source: Wrestling Observer Newsletter

    — WWE officials are said to be very high on Divas Champion Maryse due to her personality, hence her move to Raw during the live draft on Monday night. Fellow Raw Diva Beth Phoenix is expected to turn babyface soon, leading into a key singles program between the two.

    — As reported earlier, many of the participants in the 25-Diva Battle Royal at WrestleMania were none to pleased with how the bout ultimately turned out. There was a sense of disappointment afterwards for many of the participants in the match as they felt like they were never even there. While it’s highly unlikely that anyone will come out and say it publicly (at least by anyone under contract or looking to come back), there were those at the hotel after the show talking about it.

  • Hassan

    melanie! this PICTURE is soooo good!!! oh your post is ok too i guess ;) wink wink. just kidding m’dear! this was a really good read! i still feel that Raw is about to hit a major speed bump! the bellas are stale, beth is turning face… this is not looking good. we’re going to start having jillian and maryse vs. kelly kelly and mickie about 10000 times until we are all sick and tired of it. and obviously jillian is always on the losing end of things so im not feeling too good about maryse. i am definitely still her big fan but im not liking what is happening on raw. smackdown is clearly going to dominate and it definitely stinks that natalya and maryse left this show!! jillian and katie lea got robbed! i am all for british invasion vs. hart foundation, but how many times can you do that before it gets old? i think we’ll have some male tag team matches with katie and natalya feuding outside the ring, eventually leading to some one on one between the Divas, and finishing up with a few 6 person tag team matches, but… then what??

    argh! i am torn! i love the way smackdown is turning out but not raw or ecw! i guess we’re going to have to wait and see what WWE deals us. they have to have something in mind to do all these changes (i hope). im praying maryse’s move to raw wasn’t JUST because vince likes her and wants to look at her more in person but rather they have some big plans, though i dont know how much you can plan if her other top heel ally is jobbing jillian!!

  • TrishStratus102

    I love the idea Trishrocks has for katie and natayla.

    I cant wait to see Beth turn face and fued with mayrse. I also cat wait to see Mickie fued with her.
    The Bellas and Mayrse could run Raw. I hope jillia turs face two. I could see it now
    This six diva tag team match is for one fall. Introducing first the Team of Mickie James,Beth phoenix and Jillian Hall.
    Im getting so excited

  • TrishStratus102

    I cant wait until Beth turns Face.
    I could see Rosa and Mayrse just running monday night Raw as the top Heels
    Once Rosa or santino turns on Beth.
    She and Mickie can team up tha also means Beth vs Jillian matches Lamo

  • Andre

    If they allow Beth to showcase more of her comedic side then i’m all for a face turn.

  • Melina09

    I agree, Melina should turn back to a heel, seems fans loved her more that way and I know I certainly did

  • xmelissaa

    On Raw I can see Mickie being pushed as the first ‘double champ’, but by the end of year, I think both Beth & possibly Kelly Kelly will have had title reigns too.
    On Smackdown, I can see divas like Maria & Eve, maybe Layla, put into the background or to fill out tag matches, and Gail Kim, Michelle McCool & Melina as the main divas on the brand, and if Melina becomes heel, Alicia Fox too.
    ECW’s diva division is going downhill. I thought maybe the draft would put some of the underused talent to fill out the roster, like a Bella twin, Jillian, or maybe Eve. The WWE clearly had no faith in Natalya & Katie-Lea, and I can see Katie-Lea being released soon, and Natalya taking up a permenant manager position.