Tuesday, April 26, 2011

WWE Draft and Brand Loyalty

I dislike the WWE Draft tremendously. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy the concept of a wrestling draft but I cannot stand the execution by the WWE.

The reason is simple. There is no brand loyalty in the WWE. The cross over of wrestlers on each show happens so frequently that it doesn’t really matter if a person is on Raw or Smackdown. Yet last night I see wreslers wearing red and blue shirts and cheering with great ferocity at the workers coming to their brand. On the same show I watched John Cena be the first person drafted to Smackdown and proudly wear the blue, only to toss it on the ground as an afterthought when we was redrafted to Raw at the end of the show.

The WWE wants to pretend it’s a simulation of a sports draft. It’s not. The WWE Draft is a cheap way for writers to move wrestlers to different brands. End of story. It doesn’t need to happen every year. But it does and whatever I say won’t make the WWE change its mind.

If given the opportunity how would I change the draft? The whole process starts with brand loyalty. Keep wrestlers on Raw or Smackdown and don’t let them come on the other show unless there is a good reason. The exceptions are the Tag & Divas Champions who can compete on both shows (not Michael Cole) and building up to Wrestlemania and Night of Champions PPV.

If the writers need to switch a character have GM’s trade talent (which means scrap the silly anonymous GM story) or have a worker’s contract run out. This way when a worker changes from one show to another it means something. Its more than a worker wearing a red or blue shirt and switching it during a show.

And the stories to be had from setting things up this way are numerous. Plug in several sports related stories and turn them into wrestling angles. Bidding wars for a free agent wrestler. Contract disputes when a wrestlers rising through the ranks. There’s a lot of real life sport issues the writers could take a jab at and make witty commentary about.

So now we come to the Draft. You have a huge crop of talent in the developmental system. Maybe every year it’s a rookie draft. Put it on Superstars. Make up vignettes for some of the workers. Make a can’t miss rookie or the top diva or the guy with great ring skills or the talented prospect with personal demons. Again, instant storylines that practically write themselves. Ones that sports fans see all the time. Have each show draft 4-5 wrestlers each year. We’ve seen a lot of new faces on NXT, here’s a second chance and easy opportunity to reintroduce these workers.

Such a simple solution to a meaningless wrestling draft for two shows which have little distinction and too much cross over.


I'd like to thank Jim and Tom for allowing me to contribute on the Two Spot Monkeys Blog from time to time. It may actually get me to write some more of my wrestling thoughts down. But for now, it's great to be a part of the team and feel free to leave feedback.

(My one time website plug)

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