With less than a week to go till the Brand Extension and WWE Draft on SmackDown Live on July 19th, it’s time to look at the the last time Raw and SmackDown were separate entries.
The last time the brands were separate, it started off well but eventually did not work out because anyone who picked up steam on SmackDown eventually got drafted to Raw and with the eventual intermingling of the rosters through the Raw and SmackDown super shows, the whole point of the brand split was eventually lost.
With the 2016 brand split and WWE draft, WWE has to make sure that they stick to their guns and are in it for the long run.
Even though the first brand split eventually fizzled out, the WWE draft has provided us with some truly shocking moments over the years and at the beginning was a great concept. In this article, I look at the 5 most shocking moments in WWE draft history.
#5 Batista surprises JBL
On the 2005 edition of the WWE Draft, which saw SmackDown left without a champion, a six-way elimination match played out which was won by JBL. However, after the match, in a cruel shock to JBL, it was announced that he was only the number one contender to the World Heavyweight Chamionship as Batista had just been drafted to SmackDown.
Batista then made his way down to the ring to confront his new challenger and held the championship belt above his head. Batista and JBL ended up having several matches over the championship in the following months, with Batista leaving the ring with the gold each and every time.
#4 The Cerebral Assassin gets drafted to SmackDown
It was clear to anyone watching the 2004 edition of the WWE Draft that the two general managers, Eric Bischoff and Paul Heyman weren’t and would not be getting along. They spent the whole night trying to one-up each other.
Then, John Cena came out and made a draft pick for an unhappy Paul Heyman who tried to get Cena’s pick to not count, but Bischoff would have none of it. However, to Bischoff’s horror and indignation, Cena’s pick turned out to be Triple H, the biggest star in WWE at the time.
As soon as the announcement was made, Triple H was shown backstage shocked and horrified.
Sadly, Triple H never made his way to SmackDown as he was traded back to Raw on the same night for The Dudley Boyz and Booker T.
#3 Raw welcomes back an Olympic hero
The 2005 edition of the WWE Draft will be remembered for being one of the most memorable Draft’s of all time. Of of the most memorable moments of the evening was when WWE’s resident Olympic Hero Kurt Angle made his return to Monday Night Raw to confront Triple H and Ric Flair who were cutting a promo in the middle of the ring.
Angle came down to the ring and berated Triple H and had a “woo off’ with Ric Flair in one of the most memorable segments in Raw history.
However, Triple H and Angle would not face off in a match as Shawn Michaels interrupted the segment and challenged Angle to a match at Vengeance 2005, the rematch of which took place at Wrestlemania 21.
#2 John Cena gets drafted to Raw
Chris Jericho announced on the Highlight Reel during the 2005 edition of the WWE Draft that the first Raw draft pick of the night would join him soon. The crowd exploded as Raw’s first draft pick turned out to be WWE Champion, John Cena.
Even Chris Jericho realized what a huge moment it was and his mouth was wide open in shock and clapped as Cena made his way down to the ring.
One of the most memorable editions of The Highlight Reel was interrupted by Christian and his bodyguard at the time, Tyson Tomko. A brawl ensued after a verbal duel with Cena and Jericho standing tall.
#1 Taker gets drafted to Raw
Vince McMahon had promised The Undertaker that he would be his first draft become in the days leading up to the first ever WWE Draft in 2005. With The Undertaking defeating Ric Flair at Wrestlemania 18, no one expected Flair to pick The Undertaker for Raw.
However, Flair shocked everyone by making Taker his first draft pick after Vince used his first pick to sign The Rock. The Undertaker was livid, shocked and stormed off after learning that he was going to Raw.
Even though The Undertaker went to Vince McMahon and demanded that he take back his pick, Vince was powerless.