Raw General Manager Vickie Guerrero Interrupted WWE Champion Triple H, Batista and Shane McMahon
Batista was fresh off his return the week prior and desperately wanted to get his hands on Randy Orton, along with Shane and HHH. Thus, this segment was successful in setting up the main event where whoever won from the babyface side would earn themselves a one-on-one match with Orton the following week. This wasn't a waste of time, but you would think that they would have opened the evening with a draft pick considering, you know, that was the main draw for this show.
Intercontinental Champion Rey Mysterio def. Evan Bourne (Non-title; Raw vs. ECW Draft Pick Match)
This was the perfect match to kick off the draft with as their similar styles in the ring meshed very well and they produced a really fun match. It wasn't long at all, mind you, but they made the most of the time they were given. Mysterio and Bourne also had an established alliance by this point, so it was a meaningful match. MVP bringing the United States Championship to Raw provided him with a nice change in scenery, but he was never given the proper push on Monday nights.
Kane def. The Brian KEndrick (Raw vs. SmackDown Draft Pick Match)
During his original stint with WWE, the most Kendrick was ever pushed was in the fall of 2008, and then he was an undercard act from that point forward. That said, while Kane making short work of him here wasn't surprising, it was a shame because he looked like a total loser. Big Show moving to Raw was somewhat fresh for him considering he had been on SmackDown since returning to the company, and at least his romance storyline with Vickie didn't continue even though they were on the same show.
Michelle McCool, Divas Champion Maryse and Natalya def. Women's Champion Melina, Mickie James and Kelly Kelly (SmackDown vs. Raw Draft Pick Match)
If you're wondering why there was six women in a match that lasted a mere minute, just remember that was par for the course in 2009. In other words, the matchup was beyond forgettable, but Women's Champion Melina being drafted to SmackDown immediately afterward was a nice tie-in (in storyline, what are the odds?). Additionally, I liked how they subtly planted the seeds for Melina's eventual feud with McCool when the two started screaming at each other.
World Heavyweight Champion John Cena def. ECW Champion Jack Swagger (Non-title; Raw vs. ECW Double Draft Pick Match)
Unless I'm mistaken, this marked Swagger's premiere appearance on Raw, and he had a hell of an opportunity to make a name for himself in a high profile, champion vs. champion match with Cena. Ultimately, he shined and scored a ton of offense over Cena, looking credible in defeat. It's a shame WWE botched his push big time because he was perhaps at the peak of his popularity at this time. As for the draft picks, Matt Hardy on Raw could have been cool if he didn't get hurt, and Triple H heading back to the flagship show wasn't shocking in the slightest since he was already on the show every week anyway for his feud with Orton.
The Great Khali def. Santino Marella (SmackDown vs. Raw Draft Pick Match)
Santina Marella was an absolute travesty of a character, but it did serve as the catalyst to turn Santino face eventually. Technically, he was the babyface by default in his program with Beth Phoenix, who said if he lost to Khali, then Santina would have to kiss The Punjabi Playboy. Well, in predictable fashion, Santino was squashed by for the former world champion, allowing CM Punk to be drafted to SmackDown. That was the best thing that could have happened to him.
Kofi Kingston def. The Miz by Disqualification (Raw vs. ECW Draft Pick Match)
Despite the non-finish (which made sense given what it would lead to), this match received more time than I thought it would, but I'm not complaining. Kingston and Miz would have a strong series of matches over the United States Championship later that year and this match was just an example of how well they worked against each other. With Miz and John Morrison having accomplished everything as a tandem, it was time for them to go their separate ways, and Miz turning on Morrison got his Raw run off to a good start.
Team SmackDown def. Team Raw and Team ECW in a Tri-Branded Battle Royal (Double Draft Pick Match)
The tri-branded Battle Royal in 2008 involved quite a bit of star power. This installment? Not so much. For a match featuring 15 men, the fact it was cut short by several minutes was a joke. All of the eliminations happened way too fast and there was no drama at the end as a result. Obviously, with Raw dominating the draft up to this point, this was a must-win situation for SmackDown (poor ECW). Although the Battle Royal was throwaway, Edge eliminating his old rival Big Show was a nice touch. Kane coming to SmackDown wasn't a major game-changer, but Chris Jericho fared pretty well on Friday nights.
Christian def. Shelton Benjamin (ECW vs. SmackDown Draft Pick Match)
This felt like a midcard match straight out of 2004, but I don't mean that in a bad way because these guys were still at the top of their game in 2009. They had strong chemistry together and delivered what might have been my second favorite match of the night next to Cena vs. Swagger. It wasn't an in-ring classic by any means, but it was extremely entertaining in the time they were allotted. Vladimir Kozlov was a logical pick for ECW, though he was never positioned as a main event player on the brand and instead played second fiddle to William Regal.
Matt Hardy def. CM Punk by Disqualification (Raw vs. SmackDown Draft Pick Match)
Both guys are notable names, so I was surprised the crowd was as dead as they were for the match. Then again, there was only so much they could do in four minutes. I wasn't thrilled with yet another disqualification finish on this show, but it was a clever way to further the feud between Matt and Jeff Hardy without Punk being pinned. Maryse bringing the Divas Championship to Raw could be seen coming from a mile away once Melina went to SmackDown with the Women's title.
Chris Jericho def. Tommy Dreamer (SmackDown vs. ECW Draft Pick Match)
I realize these two debuted in wrestling around the same time, but did anyone honestly view Dreamer as a legitimate threat to Jericho? The match was fine, but the crowd was obviously drained by this point in the night and were waiting for the main event. Rey Mysterio being sent packing to SmackDown was the last pick for the televised portion of the draft and it was a big one. Again, it was only inevitable once MVP went to Raw, but the tease of a Jericho vs. Mysterio feud (which would come to fruition a few weeks later) was well done.
WWE Champion Triple H, Batista and Shane McMahon def. The Legacy in a 3-on-2 Handicap Match
The babyfaces teaming up on the heels in a handicap situation was weird, and Cody Rhodes and Ted DiBiase hardly came across like equals to HHH, Batista and Shane because they were easily disposed of. The focus of this match was on the babyfaces attempting to coexist so one of them could get the deciding fall, and while I appreciate the WrestleMania rematch between HHH and Orton being announced a week out, it didn't have the big fight feel to it that it should have.
On the bright side, there was a ton of wrestling on this show and the filler was kept to a minimum. However, very few of those matches were actually anything of note, and the real appeal of this edition of Raw was the draft and several Superstars switching shows. The main event felt out of place with it being a draft show, but it did set up a marquee match for the following week on Raw.
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