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The World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) Draft Lottery, also known as the World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) Draft, is a device used to provide new brand competition and to refreshen the promotion's rosters. The Draft was first used during the brand extension of 2002 and the brand extension of 2006, but was officially created and used in 2004, 2005, 2007, and 2008.
History[change | change source]
On June 10, 2002, McMahon became the kayfabe sole owner of World Wrestling Entertainment when he beat Ric Flair in a No-Holds-Barred match. The following month, he named general managers (Eric Bischoff and Stephanie McMahon) to lead each brand. Since then, there have been five further drafts:
- In March 2004, with the theme/tagline of WrestleMania XX being "Where it all begins again," Mr. McMahon announced a draft lottery, stating "it's time to shake things up again." Each general manager received six picks.
- In June 2005, Mr. McMahon announced a second draft lottery which would take place throughout the entire month of June. Both general managers received five random picks.
- In May 2006, WWE added a third brand; the revived version of Extreme Championship Wrestling. "ECW Representative" Paul Heyman was allowed one pick from RAW and one pick from SmackDown!.
- On May 28, 2007, Shane McMahon announced a new draft which featured all three brands. The Draft took place on June 11, 2007, on a special three-hour episode of RAW.
- On May 26, 2008, Vince McMahon announced a new draft, which would feature all three WWE brands. The draft took place on June 23, 2008.
- On February 11, 2009, WWE announced via WrestleMania" which was April 13, 2009, on Raw. that the 2009 WWE Draft would take place "8 Days after
- The draft was confirmed for April 26, 2010, by the website for the place where the event will be held, the Richmond Coliseum.
Draft lotteries[change | change source]
|After World Wrestling Federation (WWF) acquired World Championship Wrestling (WCW) and Extreme Championship Wrestling (ECW), the WWF split its roster into two distinctive wrestling brands, where wrestlers were drafted to each brand; Raw and SmackDown.|
|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."|
|Unlike previous draft lotteries, where they occurred on one night, this draft lottery took place over the month of June. During the draft, the SmackDown brand was left without a World Heavyweight Championship after the Raw brand drafted its World champion, though it acquired a World Heavyweight Championship via drafting the Raw World Champion.|
|2006||ECW||In 2006, WWE launched the Extreme Championship Wrestling brand, where the Representative of ECW, Paul Heyman, was allowed to draft one superstar from the Raw and SmackDown brands.|
|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, where the winner received a draft pick.|
|This draft was done the same as 2007.|
|This draft was announced for April 13, 2008.|
|The draft was confirmed for April 26, 2010, by the website for the place where the event will be held, the Richmond Coliseum.|
|Taking place on Raw on April 25, 2011.|
|Taking place on SmackDown on July 19, 2016.|
Impact on championships[change | change source]
Whether a champion keeps their championship after being drafted is unpredictable. During the 2005 Draft, John Cena, the WWE Champion, was drafted from SmackDown! to RAW and kept his championship. General Manager Theodore Long announced that a new SmackDown! World Championship was to be created but the idea was abandoned when Batista, the World Heavyweight Champion, was drafted to SmackDown! from RAW, bringing the title with him. During the 2007 Draft, however, the ECW World Champion Bobby Lashley was stripped of the title after being drafted to RAW.
In the 2008 draft, ECW Champion Kane was drafted to RAW. WWE Champion Triple H was drafted to SmackDown. WWE United States Champion Matt Hardy was drafted to ECW. This caused SmackDown to have two championships and RAW had the ECW Championship. ECW had no top championship but did gain the United States Championship. The World Heavyweight Championship was moved back to RAW on June 30, 2008, when CM Punk defeated Edge. ECW wrestler Mark Henry won the ECW championship on June 29, 2008, at the Night of Champions pay-per-view to return that championship to ECW. This caused each brand to have its own top championship once again.
In 2009, WWE Champion Triple H was drafted back to Raw with the championship. Also Intercontinental Champion, Rey Mysterio was drafted to SmackDown and United States Champion, MVP was drafted to Raw. Divas Champion, Maryse was drafted to Raw and Women's Champion, Melina was drafted to SmackDown. At Backlash, Edge beat John Cena in a Last Man Standing match (with help from Big Show) to bring the World Heavyweight Championship back to SmackDown and to have the championships evenly divided.
In 2011, United States Champion, Sheamus was drafted to SmackDown. At Extreme Rules, Kofi Kingston defeated him in a tables match to bring the title back to Raw.