|WWF Byte This! by E.C. Ostermeyer||
This is the WWF Byte This! report for Friday, 22 March 2002, and I'm E.C.
Prior to the
We get a replay of WWFE CEO Linda McMahon's televised major announcement of the so-called "brand extension," that will split the WWF roster into two promotions: "Raw," headed up by Ric Flair, and "Smackdown," headed up by Vince McMahon.
The WWF Women's Champion, (currently Jazz) and the WWF Unified Champion (currently HHH) will be available to both promotions.
It's Mock Draft Day for the WWF on Byte This!
Your hosts Kevin Kelly and Dr. Tom Prichard will take the roles of Raw's Ric Flair, and Smackdown's Vince McMahon, respectively.
You, the fans, will be the ones making the choices from the current WWF roster about which wrestler will be aligned with which promotion. Since Vince won the coin toss, Dr. Tom will pick first.
Howard Finkel is standing by in WWF Draft Central.
Incidentally, that whizzing noise you hear is WWF Byte This! producer Big Country's head spinning off his shoulders, what with all the 'Net and phone connections he has to make during the next ninety minutes.
Byte This! Phone Guy Matt Duda isn't in such good shape, either.
First up, we get a recap of Wrestlemania 18 from Kelly and Dr. Tom.
"One word," says Dr. Tom, "Unbelieveable."
Kelly and Dr. Tom both remark on the wild fan response for Hulk Hogan and the Rock.
Kelly fusses about having been stuck way back in the cheap seats for the Rock/Hogan match, and having to watch it on the big screen.
Kelly congratulates HHH on becoming the new Unified Champ.
On today's show, One Lucky Caller will win the new WWF "Forcible Entry" CD.
Fink says that it's the fans who will choose who aligns with which promotion, and how great a time it is to be a WWF fan.
Kelly says that they are picking from the current WWF superstar roster, and segues to Fink's attendance at the WWF Fan Axxess event in Toronto.
(Jeez, would you look at the size of Andre the Giant's handprints?! They look like Andre was wearing baseball gloves!)
We get right to the first pick in the draft, and Chris from Ottawa, Canada picks The Rock to lead off for the Smackdown roster.
Time for "Droz's Two Cents," Darren Drozdov's weekly take on all things WWF. Droz has had experience with a sports draft, being drafted by the NFL, though winding up as a free agent.
Droz was impressed with Wrestlemania, specifically Rock/Hogan, and especially the intensity of the crowd's reaction.
Dr, Tom says that the emotional level at Wrestlemania 18 wore everybody out that night.
"Another thing, It's been years since we've heard a "Rocky Sucks!" chant," says Droz.
Droz thinks the "Brand Extension Draft" this Monday will be interesting, and a lot of people are gonna be upset, especially if some of the Tag Teams get broken up.
Droz's first pick would be Steve Austin, because of fan base following more than everything.
Kelly questions the Undertaker begging to be drafted by Ric Flair, obviously so that he could continue to torture Flair and Flair's family.
"Then again," say Dr. Tom, "if Flair does draft him, he could very well tell 'Taker to sit down for a long while. In effect, the Undertaker could be out of the ring for as long as Ric Flair wants him out."
Droz says that the draft will be beneficial to Chris Jericho.
"Raw is Jericho," says Droz, "is almost a given. It'll be interesting to see what happens."
Dr. Tom thanks Howard Finkel for his role in selling and promo-ing at WM 18, and making the show one of the best ever.
Pick #2 for Raw is Hulk Hogan, big surprise.
Pick #3 for Smackdown is Steve Austin, another big surprise. Looks like the Main Eventers get chosen first.
Whoops, maybe not, because Pick #4 for Raw is, get this, Lance Storm. The fan doing the choosing makes a good case for Storm's being an up-and-coming superstar.
Pick #5 for Smackdown is by Ilya from Brooklyn, NY, who chooses D'Lo Brown for the Raw roster.
Lo and behold, here's our old pal Ronnie from Rogersville, TN, who wants to talk with Howard Finkel.
As Kelly takes numerous swipes at Ronnie's southern accent, Big Country and trainee Seth Mates accidentally bobble the phone hookup, so Fink has to relay questions and answers to and from Ronnie via the in-studio link-up.
Ronnie chooses Undertaker for the #6 Raw pick. Kelly tries to keep him on the line, but Big Country has Phone Guy Matt Duda hang up on him.
"We gotta show to do here," says BC.
Fink, who is interrupted in the middle of placing a call to his bookie, has the #7 pick for Smackdown; Mr. Perfect, and the #8 pick for Raw, Kurt Angle.
The #9 pick for Smackdown gets Dr. Tom all excited; it's man monster Brock Lesnar.
#10 for Raw is Christian.
Kelly wonders that so many of the top-carders have yet to be chosen.
He's not the only one.
Howard's got the next two over at WWF Draft Central:
Pick #11 for Smackdown is... Mark Henry!
Dr. Tom is ecstatic. His roster just got The Strongest Man in the World.
Pick #12 for Raw is Maven.
Kelly seems pleased.
The WWF ChatRoom picks #13 for Smackdown:
Big Country's Mom!
Kelly wonders if Mom will be on Smackdown every week to, umm, " tuck everybody in?"
BC can be heard breathing hard and muttering just out of camera range.
The ChatRoom then changes its mind and chooses the entire NWO unit, Kevin Nash, Scott Hall, and the just returned X-Pac, whoopee, as a package of draftees for Smackdown. Let's call them #13A, shall we?
Kelly whines that his Raw squad is looking really thin, but feels better when Pick #14, Rob Van Dam, joins the team.
Pick #15 sees the first female to be drafted. Trish Stratus joins the Smackdown roster.
Pick #16 sends Chris Benoit to Raw. Kelly just about poops all over himself, he's so pleased with the choice.
Pick #17, Chris Jericho, puts on a Smackdown jersey.
Pick #18 for Raw has Kelly fussing at the fans once more: it's Steven Richards.
Pick #19, Rhyno, goes to Smackdown, even though he's on Injured Reserve, recovering from neck surgery.
Tazz gets picked 20th, and we get an abbreviated "Tales from the Hook" from the ol' sourball himself.
Tazz, in full-bore kayfabe mode, "has issues" with the ungrateful fans who waited to choose him twentieth. Additionally, Big Country is a slimy mutt for trying to get a photo and an autograph from Bubba Ray Dudley at WWF Axxess, in spite of WWFE forbidding employees from doing precisely that during the festivities. Tazz gets grumpier and grumpier about being picked 20th, but winds up saying that it wouldn't surprise him to find himself back on Byte This! next week apologizing to the fans for what he said about them this week.
Tazz leaves, and we go back to Howard Finkel, who's trying to order some Chinese takeout.
Pick #21 for Smackdown is Booker T, and Dr. Tom is just tickled with that choice for his team.
Pick #22 closes out the Main Eventers, as Kane joins Raw.
Pick #23, Derek from West VA sends Spike Dudley to Smackdown.
Pick #24 puts the Hardy Boys tag team in jeopardy, as the Raw roster welcomes Jeff Hardy.
We get a brief flurry of interest in the Dudley Boyz, as pick #25 sends Bubba Ray Dudley to Smackdown, while pick #26 gets Kelly's drawers in a sweat, as the Raw roster gets Stacy Keibler!
Edge joins Smackdown as the 27th pick, and Raw sees The Big Show become their 28th pick.
Pick #29 has Bradshaw joining Smackdown, endangering the APA, while pick #30 sends The Big Valbowski to Raw.
The Hardy Boys tag team is no more, as #31, Matt Hardy joins Smackdown.
Pick #32, Hugh Morrus, joins Raw.
Dr. Tom says Morrus is a real asset to the Raw team.
Back to Fink over at WWF Draft Central, and Tajiri is the 33rd pick, joining the Smackdown roster.
William Regal is pick #34, joining Raw.
WWF Tag Champs Billy, Chuck, and their new valet/stylist Rico (Constantino) get picked #35 as a unit for Smackdown.
Hardcore Bob Holly joins the Raw squad at #36. Dr. Tom says that yes, fans, Bob Holly IS that intense all the time. Kelly thinks Holly's due to blow a gasket.
Pick #37, Diamond Dallas Page is picked for Smackdown.
Dr. Tom waxes poetic for the Fabulous Firebirds (uh, I think it's "Freebirds," Dr. Tom) and their very positive attitude, just like DDP's.
Pick #38 is Hurricane, who joins the Raw roster.
Pick #39 for Smackdown is Perry Saturn.
The chyron shows Saturn in from WCW, where he wore a dress. Kelly asks if Big Country could please find a more recent photo.
Pick #40 is Goldust.
Pick #41 for Smackdown is Rikishi.
Pick #42 for Raw is Godfather.
Pick #43 sends Lita to Smackdown. Dr. Tom does a little jig.
Pick #44 has D'Vonn Dudley joining Raw, splitting the Dudley Boyz up.
One of Kelly's buds from high school calls in for Kelly's sentimental pick at the end of the show, but gets dumped off the phone by Phone Guy Matt Duda. Kelly's livid. Duda thinks the guy was just kidding around.
Over at Draft Central, Pick #45 sends Farrooq to Smackdown, saving the APA unit.
The chyron shows a pic of Farrooq during his "Nation of Domination" era.
"You're killing me with these old pictures, Country," says Fink.
Pick #46 has Dr. Tom's sentimental favorite Brooklyn Brawler joining Raw.
Dr. Tom says that Raw's catering should improve with the Brawler being there. Kelly reminds Dr. Tom that the Brawler is also a wrestler, since he has that victory over HHH to his credit.
Seth from New York picks Tommy Dreamer as #47 for Smackdown.
Albert checks in as Pick #48 for Raw, courtesy of Joe from DesMoines, IA.
Ryan picks #49, Al Snow for Smackdown.
Pick #50 from Draft Central is from Christopher from Cathedral City,
CA,who has Torrie joining the Raw roster.
Pick #51 has Raven joining Smackdown, (and possibly teaming with Tommy Dreamer! Hoo-hah!)
Mighty Molly is Pick #52 for Raw.
Pick #53 for Smackdown is Test. Doesn't bode well for his push does it?
Ian from Utah has Billy Kidman joining Raw as Pick #54.
Kelly remarks that, even though the roster is being split, neither show is stronger than the other.
He then wonders what would happen if Unified Champ HHH loses on Monday's Raw. Would HHH then join the roster of the promotion from which the new Unified Champ came from?
Pick #55 for Smackdown sees Jacqueline joining the roster
Dr.Tom says he'd pay money to see Jacqueline square off against Big Country's Mom. "Maybe as much as five bucks!"
Pick #56 has Chavo Guerrero, Jr joining Raw.
Pikc #57, Scotty Too Hotty goes to Smackdown.
Pick #58 Ivory joins Raw.
Pick #59 is Justin Credible for Smackdown, but due to time constraints, Kelly ends the draft at this point, so Raw comes up short a WWF superstar.
Fink shills for OzzFest, and Kelly picks a winner for the Forcible Entry CD. That winner is Chris from New York, who goes nuts once he's heard that he won the CD.
Fink shills for the WWF Upcoming Events:
3/25 State College, PA (Raw)
3/26 Philadelphia, PA (Smackdown taping)
3/27 Wilkes-Barre, PA
3/27 Gainesville, FL
3/28 E. Rutherford, NJ (1st NY appearance of Hulk Hogan in quite some time.)
3/28 Jacksonville, FL
1. Dr. Tom picks Sean Stasiak because the locker room always needs a good laugh.
2. Kevin Kelly picks Bull Buchanan, a real hard worker who deserves a shot.
3. Fink likes Sho Funaki, and Randy Orton.
"Keep your eye on Randy Orton," says Fink, "when he gets his opportunity, he will be a bonafide blue-chipper!"
The complete Byte This! Model Draft roster will be published later this weekover at wwf.com.
We close the show with a video of the Ric Flair/Vince McMahon confrontation on Raw in Montreal last Monday night.
See you next week.
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