WWF splits in two, The
Rock is No. 1 pick in draft
The 2002 Wrestling Draft Report
Ed De La Garza
With the World Wrestling Federation's first-ever
draft now in the books, one thing's certain: Smackdown has overtaken Raw
as the WWF's
The much-rumored split finally happened,
with Vince McMahon taking The Rock with the No. 1 pick. Ric Flair followed
that by taking the
Undertaker with his first pick, but it's
clear that McMahon's group is stocked with the most name recognition.
Photos courtesy of the World
Vince McMahon, left, and
Ric Flair will now battle for ratings as each World Wrestling Federation
co-owner takes control of two different WWF
"brands." McMahon will lead wrestlers
on Smackdown while Flair will control Raw.
Of McMahon's 20 televised selections,
he picked Kurt Angle, Chris Benoit, Hulk Hogan, Chris Jericho and Torrie
Wilson. The remaining 30,
released at WWF.com, included Stacy Keibler,
Tazz and Test.
Of Flair's 30 total picks, the Nature Boy
also selected Rob Van Dam, Scott Hall, Kevin Nash, Jeff and Matt Hardy,
Booker T, Brock Lesnar and
Mr. Perfect. They're all talented, but
they lack the impact of the Rock and Angle.
There is at least one wild card. Steve
Austin wasn't picked by either splinter organization. But it wasn't because
he has a "non-draftable"
clause in his contract. Austin is unhappy
with the direction of the WWF and the attention being placed on the New
One has to assume that when he does clear
the air with McMahon, he'll probably aligne with Flair's group. The ending
for his match against
Hall at Wrestlemania had to be altered
because Austin refused to lose.
In any case, the new lineups go into effect
beginning with Monday's Raw.
Dear Wrestling Doctor
Ed's note: The following is pure fiction.
This writer was amazed to find the mailbag
had been graced by a contribution from a wrestling superstar, asking for
advice no less. I'll
withhold the superstar's name to protect
his good name.
I'm a limousine-ridin', jet-flyin', three-piece
suit-wearin', wife-stealin' son-of-a-gun. But lately, I've begun to lose
my "Whoo!" I'm a 16-time
world champion, by God! I've taken the
queen of England to the top of Space Mountain and styled and profiled down
that aisle from London,
England, to Paris, France. There is no
doubt in my mind or in the minds of all those girls sitting in the front
row whom the man is.
But there's a certain someone who's been
claiming to be "The Great One." He got to pin Hulk Hogan cleanly. People
say he has the best mic
work, when they know, by God, that when
it comes to thrilling the crowd, there is none better and there never will
be. Am I wrong in feeling
jealous? And how do keep from slipping
down the chain?
Well, Mysterious Superstar, I'd say the
fact that Hogan jobbed to this other wrestler more than proves you're being
held down. You're
obviously a young lion with a real future.
Keep working, little trooper.