The 2009 World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) Draft was the seventh Draft produced by the American professional wrestling promotion WWE. The Draft took place over two days: the first day was televised live for three hours on April 13; the second part, the "Supplemental Draft", was held on April 15. The first day was broadcast on WWE's program Raw on the USA Network in the United States,[A1] and the Supplemental Draft was available on the Internet, at WWE's official website. The televised portion was held in Atlanta, Georgia at Philips Arena. The 2009 WWE Draft marked the third time that the Raw, SmackDown, and ECW brands were featured in the Draft; wrestlers, general managers and commentators were all eligible to be drafted from the company's roster. For the televised half, matches determined which brand received a random draft selection. During the Supplemental Draft, brand and employee selections were made at random. Due to Draft regulations, drafted champions took their titles to their new brands, and tag teams were not exempt from being selected. As a result, the Draft impacted championships and split tag teams.
Overall, 36 draft selections were made, the most since the original draft in 2002 (which featured 57 selections). Twelve selections were made on television; six were made by Raw, five by SmackDown, and one by ECW. All of the draftees were wrestlers: 28 males (10 drafted on television) and 8 females (2 drafted on television). Raw obtained the first overall pick in the Draft by winning the first match, which resulted in the acquisition of United States Champion Montel Vontavious Porter from SmackDown. Women's Champion Melina from Raw was SmackDown's first selection. ECW's sole televised draft pick was Vladimir Kozlov from SmackDown. Additionally, SmackDown's WWE Champion Triple H was drafted by Raw, resulting in SmackDown's loss of its prime championship. At the end of the televised portion, the final draft choices were Intercontinental Champion Rey Mysterio of Raw by SmackDown, replacing the loss of the U.S. Champion, and SmackDown's Divas Champion Maryse by Raw, replacing the loss of the Women's Champion.
In the Supplemental Draft, Mr. Kennedy, who was sidelined with a non-scripted shoulder injury, was drafted from SmackDown to Raw as the first (13th overall) supplemental pick. SmackDown obtained Shad Gaspard from Raw as their first (14th overall) supplemental selection. Ezekiel Jackson was ECW's first supplemental pick. Unified WWE Tag Team Champions The Colóns (Carlito and Primo) were drafted from SmackDown to Raw; this left SmackDown without a tag team championship (although the tag team champions can appear on all 3 brands). Brie Bella (from SmackDown to Raw), Charlie Haas (from Raw to SmackDown), and Hurricane Helms (from SmackDown to ECW) were the final supplemental picks.
In March 2002, the Brand Extension storyline was initiated. WWE's Raw and SmackDown! television programs were made into brands that employees were assigned to work; the ECW brand was later added in 2006. With the exception of 2003, WWE has held the Draft annually since its inception.
Via its website on February 11, WWE announced that the 2009 Draft was to take place on April 13 at Philips Arena in Atlanta, Georgia. All wrestlers, general managers, and commentators were eligible to be drafted. A Supplemental Draft was announced for April 15. It was announced on the day of the televised draft that for the third consecutive year, matches would determine which brand received a draft pick, and that 12 superstars were to switch brands. As in previous drafts, the purpose of the 2009 WWE Draft was to increase television ratings of WWE programming and to refresh the roster with new storylines for each brand.
During Raw, 10 matches were held among representatives of the three brands to determine which would receive a draft pick; two of the matches were for two selections. Each match featured a wrestler representing their brand; if a wrestler was drafted earlier in the program, they would represent their new brand. After the matches, a computerized system, which appeared on the Raw stage TitanTron], randomly[B1] selected a member from the two opposing brands' roster for the winning brand.
|1||ECW: Evan Bourne vs. Raw: Rey Mysterio||Singles match for 1 draft pick||Raw: Rey Mysterio|
|2||SmackDown: The Brian Kendrick vs. Raw: Kane||Singles match for 1 draft pick||Raw: Kane|
|3||SmackDown: Maryse, Michelle McCool, and Natalya vs. Raw: Kelly Kelly, Melina, and Mickie James||6-Diva tag team match for 1 draft pick||SmackDown: Maryse, Michelle McCool, and Natalya|
|4||Raw: John Cena vs. ECW: Jack Swagger||Singles match for 2 draft picks||Raw: John Cena|
|5||SmackDown: The Great Khali vs. Raw: Santino Marella||Singles match for 1 draft pick||SmackDown: The Great Khali|
|6||Raw: Kofi Kingston vs. ECW: The Miz||Singles match for 1 draft pick||Raw: Kofi Kingston|
|7||Raw: Big Show, Cryme Tyme, MVP, and Mike Knox vs. SmackDown: Carlito, Chavo Guerrero, Primo, R- Truth, and Edge) vs. ECW: Finlay, Mark Henry, Tyson Kidd, Paul Burchill, and Ricky Ortiz||Tri-branded 15-man Battle royal for 2 draft picks||SmackDown: Edge|
|8||ECW: Christian vs. SmackDown: Shelton Benjamin||Singles match for 1 draft pick||ECW: Christian|
|9||SmackDown: CM Punk[C1] vs. Raw: Matt Hardy[D1]||Singles match for 1 draft pick||Raw: Matt Hardy|
|10||ECW: Tommy Dreamer vs. SmackDown: Chris Jericho[C2]||Singles match for 1 draft pick||SmackDown: Chris Jericho|
|Pick #||Brand (to)|| Employee|
|1||Raw||Montel Vontavious Porter|
(Alvin Burke, Jr.)
|2||Raw||The Big Show|
|4||Raw||Matt Hardy||Male wrestler||SmackDown|
|Pick #||Brand (to)|| Employee |
|14||SmackDown||Shad Gaspard||Male wrestler||Raw|
(Candice Michelle Beckman-Ehrlich)
(Salvador Guerrero IV)
|33||Raw||The Brian Kendrick||Male wrestler||SmackDown|
|34||SmackDown||Charlie Haas||Male wrestler||Raw|
After the televised draft, Joey Styles, the Director of Digital Media Content for WWE's official website, interviewed the draftees on their reactions. The drafted wrestlers generally expressed approval of the draft and described what they hoped their experiences would be with their new brand. Seven of the wrestlers were champions with their original brand, and as outlined in the draft regulations, they carried their titles over to their new brand; this affected seven of nine WWE championships. Champion draft selections included: Unified Tag Team Champions The Colóns (Carlito and Primo), United States Champion Montel Vontavious Porter, WWE Champion Triple H, and Divas Champion Maryse from SmackDown to Raw; Women's Champion Melina and Intercontinental Champion Rey Mysterio from Raw to SmackDown. Since Triple H was drafted to Raw, it left SmackDown without a top contested title, as Raw now featured two of the three top contested championships in WWE: the WWE and World Heavyweight Championships. When Mysterio and Porter switched brands, the two secondary championships switched brands for the first time in WWE's history. This also occurred when Melina and Maryse switched brands, as the two female contested titles also switched brands for the first time. The final changes in championships came during the Supplemental Draft, when The Colóns were drafted from SmackDown, resulting in Raw hosting both Tag Team Championships.
Numerous tag teams were affected by the Draft overall. During the televised portion of the Draft, ECW tag team John Morrison and The Miz was split up. The Miz was drafted to Raw and Morrison to SmackDown (during the Supplemental Draft). The Bella Twins (Brie and Nikki), Cryme Tyme (Shad and JTG), and The Colóns were split up during the Supplemental Draft, although the duos went to the same brands afterward. SmackDown tag teams Jesse and Festus and Curt Hawkins and Zack Ryder were also split up, with Festus drafted to Raw and Ryder to ECW.
The Draft had little effect on the television ratings for WWE's programming. Generally, the ratings of the three shows during the week of the draft were consistent with the ratings of each from the previous week. The ratings for WWE programming the week before the Draft were the following: the April 6 episode of Raw was watched by 5.7 million viewers in its first hour and by 6.1 million viewers in its second hour for an average 3.9 rating, the April 7 episode of ECW on Sci Fi earned a 1.3 television rating, and Friday Night SmackDown earned a 2.0 television rating.[E1] The Draft episode of Raw was watched by 4.7 million viewers in its first hour, 5.7 in its second hour, and 6.1 in the final hour for an average 3.7 television rating. Later that week, ECW on Sci Fi earned a 1.2 television rating, while Friday Night SmackDown earned a 2.0.
- A:A1 – In addition to the United States, Raw is held in various countries which have different channels.
- B:B1 – Although WWE claimed the Draft was conducted randomly, the results were predetermined since the Draft is a storyline.
- C:C1 C2 – CM Punk & Chris Jericho, originally members of the Raw brand, were drafted to SmackDown before this match took place.
- D:D1 – Matt Hardy, originally a member of the SmackDown brand, was drafted to Raw before this match took place.
- E:E1 – Viewership details are not available for ECW on Sci Fi and Friday Night SmackDown because they are not top-rated programs; as a result, Nielsen Media Research does not publish that information.
- Sitterson, Aubrey (2009-04-13). "Rough Draft (Televised draft results)". World Wrestling Entertainment. http://www.wwe.com/shows/raw/archive/04132009/. Retrieved 2009-04-14.
- "WWE Supplemental Draft (Supplemental Draft results)". World Wrestling Entertainment. 2009-04-15. http://www.wwe.com/shows/raw/2009draft/2009supplementaldraftresults/?cid=2009EP-00. Retrieved 2009-04-15.
- ↑ "WWE Entertainment To Make RAW and SmackDown Distinct Television Brands". World Wrestling Entertainment Corporate. 2002-03-27. http://corporate.wwe.com/news/2002/2002_03_27.jsp. Retrieved 2009-02-12.
- ↑ "WWE Launches ECW As Third Brand". WWE Corporate. World Wrestling Entertainment. 2006-05-26. http://corporate.wwe.com/news/2006/2006_05_25_02.jsp. Retrieved 2009-02-12.
- ↑ Dee, Louie (2007-06-07). "Picks of the past". World Wrestling Entertainment. http://www.wwe.com/shows/raw/archive/06112007/articles/drafthistory. Retrieved 2009-02-12.
- ↑ McAvennie, Mike. "2009 WWE Draft announced for Raw April 13". World Wrestling Entertainment. http://www.wwe.com/shows/raw/archive/02092009/articles/92755341. Retrieved 2009-02-11.
- ↑ Sitterson, Aubrey. "WWE Draft Biggest Moments". World Wrestling Entertainment. http://www.wwe.com/shows/raw/2009draft/draftmoments/. Retrieved 2009-04-19. "WWE Drafts affect all Superstars, Divas, announcers and even General Managers"
- ↑ 6.0 6.1 6.2 Sitterson, Aubrey (2009-04-13). "Rough Draft". World Wrestling Entertainment. http://www.wwe.com/shows/raw/archive/04132009/. Retrieved 2009-04-19.
- ↑ "2009 WWE Draft". World Wrestling Entertainment. http://www.wwe.com/shows/raw/2009draft/?cid=2009EP-00. Retrieved 2009-04-14.
- ↑ Martin, Adam (2009-04-13). "2009 WWE Draft tonight during Raw". WrestleView.com. http://www.wrestleview.com/news2009/1239613945.php. Retrieved 2009-04-14.
- ↑ 9.0 9.1 "WWE's Monday Night RAW Scores Huge Ratings Jump". WWE Corporate. World Wrestling Entertainment. 2005-06-25. http://corporate.wwe.com/news/2005/2005_06_29.jsp. Retrieved 2009-04-19. "'RAW is building ratings momentum,' said Kurt Schneider, Executive Vice President, Marketing. Our fans are now connecting in a big way with some of our newer Superstars, and we continue to feature classic storylines, unpredictable plot twists, such as through our WWE Draft Lottery"
- ↑ "Post Draft Videos". World Wrestling Entertainment. http://www.wwe.com/shows/raw/2009draft/postdraftvideos/. Retrieved 2009-04-19.
- ↑ 11.0 11.1 "Supplemental Draft". World Wrestling Entertainment. http://www.wwe.com/shows/raw/2009draft/2009supplementaldraftresults/. Retrieved 2009-04-30.
- ↑ "List of top 15 cable shows in Nielsen ratings". Associated Press. Google. 2009-04-10. http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/article/ALeqM5jdU5mzTBQCChplJgwZkHzo9xcVYwD97J4JJO1. Retrieved 2009-04-19.
- ↑ 13.0 13.1 "2009 Nielsen Television Ratings". Gerweck.net. http://www.gerweck.net/ratings.htm. Retrieved 2009-04-21.
- ↑ "Nielsens ratings for April 13–19". USA Today. Nielsen Media Research. 2009-04-22. http://www.usatoday.com/life/television/news/nielsens-charts.htm. Retrieved 2009-04-23.
- ↑ Ross, Jim (2009-04-24). "Post U.K. Smackdown Random Thoughts, Backlash Predictions, BBQ is Life....". WWE Universe. World Wrestling Entertainment. http://fans.wwe.com/jimross/blog/2009/04/24/post_uk_smackdown_random_thoughts_backlash_predictions_bbq_is_life. Retrieved 2009-04-25.
- ↑ "WWE Television". World Wrestling Entertainment. http://www.wwe.com/schedules/television/?cid=2009NEWTOPNAV-00. Retrieved 2009-04-25. Note: Reader must click drop down menu to see the different countries.
- ↑ "Top TV Ratings". Nielsen Company. http://www.nielsenmedia.com/nc/portal/site/Public/menuitem.43afce2fac27e890311ba0a347a062a0/?vgnextoid=9e4df9669fa14010VgnVCM100000880a260aRCRD. Retrieved 2009-04-21. "Everyone wants to know what programs American audiences are watching. The ratings below, with the exception of syndication, are updated every Wednesday, and they reflect data collected from the previous week (Monday through Sunday). Please note: Syndication data requires an additional week of processing."