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.

Raw
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.

SmackDown
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.

ECW
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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