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By: Aubrey Sitterson

THE WWE DRAFT'S BIGGEST MOMENTS

In the words of Mr. McMahon, "It's time to shake things up again," and what better way to do it than with the 2009 WWE Draft, this Monday night on Raw! Though this will mark the sixth consecutive year that WWE has held a draft, it is only the third time that all three brands – Raw, Smackdown and ECW – will be affected.

This Monday night is sure to bring with it drastic line-up shifts and shake-ups to the entire roster. But big change is nothing new for the WWE Draft, and to illustrate that, we've assembled some of the biggest moments from the Draft's history. Once you've finished reading, make sure you find out about this year's Draft by tuning into the USA Network at the special time of 8/7 CT this Monday night for a three-hour presentation of Raw.

Triple H Drafted to SmackDown (2004)

On March 22, 2004, the second WWE Draft was held at the Joe Louis Arena in Detroit. Raw General Manager Eric Bischoff and SmackDown General Manager Paul Heyman stood at opposite ends of the stage, and took turns receiving their random draft picks. About half-way through the evening, Heyman lucked out as Triple H was drafted to SmackDown. Bischoff did an immediate double-take as the The Game left his show, but luckily for Raw fans, the change wasn't meant to be. Before The King of Kings could even make his first appearance on SmackDown, he was traded back to Raw, where he is the current WWE Champion and astonshing 12-time World Champion.

Learn more about WWE Draft History

The King of Kings' Superstar page

Paul Heyman drafted to Raw (2004)

WWE Drafts affect all Superstars, Divas, announcers and even General Managers, as seen in the 2004 Draft. As Paul Heyman celebrated his good fortune in selecting Triple H to come to SmackDown, his rival GM, Eric Bischoff was visibly upset about losing such a powerful Superstar to another brand. Raw's last pick of the night brought a smile to Bischoff's face though, as the lottery machine selected none other than Paul Heyman himself to join Raw. Heyman was outraged and pitched an immediate tantrum. In fact, rather than work for his sworn enemy, Heyman quit his job on the spot, leaving the way open for 2004 SmackDown Draft and current ECW General Manager Theodore Long to step up and become SmackDown's long-running General Manager.

Read more about the 2004 Draft results

John Cena drafted to Raw (2005)

In 2005, the WWE Draft was done a little differently. While in the past, Draft picks had all occurred on one big night with a Supplemental Draft to follow, WWE chose to stretch the 2005 Draft out over four weeks of big nights. One of the most exciting moments came early as the very first random selection had WWE Champion John Cena moving to Raw. The response for the Chain Gang Commander was huge, as it meant that Raw gained not only a tremendous talent, but also his title (along with the World Heavweight Title for a brief period). Though he has his critics, it's hard to argue that getting Cena on Raw was a great stroke of luck, as the three-time WWE Champion has gone on to be one of Raw's, and WWE's, most dominant competitors.

Batista drafted to SmackDown (2005)

With John Cena and the WWE Championship drafted to Raw, SmackDown was left with no top title. At the end of the Draft period, a little more than three weeks later, General Manager Theodore Long announced that a Six-Man Elimination Match would determine the victor of the brand-new SmackDown Championship. JBL came out as the winner of the match, until Long stated that the new title was unnecessary, as then-World Heavyweight Champion Batista had just been drafted over from Raw. The Animal has become one of SmackDown's premier Superstars, and a frequent World Heavyweight Title holder -- fitting, since he is the man who brought that gold to Friday nights.

The Animal's Superstar page

The Great Khali drafted to Smackdown (2007)

For the first time ever, in 2007, the WWE Draft included ECW, making it a bigger event than ever before. Also, while picks were still randomized, who got the pick was determined by the winner of an inter-brand match. The night's first contest saw SmackDown's Edge defeat Raw's John Cena to win the pick for SmackDown. Edge's delight at having beaten his old rival quickly evaporated when The Great Khali stalked out as SmackDown's newest competitor. For months, Khali had battered Cena in an effort to win the WWE Title. Upon joining SmackDown, the Punjabi Giant began terrorizing that roster, and has been a huge thorn in the side of every World Heavyweight Champion since.

Read the full 2007 Draft results

Ric Flair drafted to SmackDown (2007)

Way back in 2002, at the very first Draft, WWE Hall of Famer Ric Flair made changes on behalf of the Raw brand, while Mr. McMahon chose for SmackDown. Each man was given 10 alternating selections, and the rest of their rosters were filled out through random selections, beginning a WWE tradition. Five years later, the "Nature Boy" was still at the top of his game, competing on Raw. Near the end of the 2007 Draft, Batista defeated Jeff Hardy and Elijah Burke in a Triple Threat Match to win the pick for SmackDown. When the computer ran, it selected The Animal's Evolution mentor, who'd continue to amaze our Friday night fans in the final year before his retirement at WrestleMania XXIV.


See photos from the 2007 Draft

Order Nature Boy Ric Flair: Definitive Collection

Rey Mysterio drafted to Raw (2008)

The night of June 23, 2008 was a massive event, not only because of the annual Draft, but also because of the culmination of McMahon's Million Dollar Mania, and an accident that went on to put Mr. McMahon out of commission for months. Even prior to the Raw set collapsing on the WWE Chairman, the WWE Universe was already primed for some big changes coming their way, as they watched CM Punk, Jeff Hardy and even Jim Ross switch brands. One of the biggest surprises came early, however, as Rey Mysterio was drafted to Raw away from SmackDown, where The Master of the 619 had spent his entire WWE career.

Read the full results for the 2008 WWE Draft