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Daydream Believer: My 2004 Top Ten Draft Picks

Sep 17, 2004 - 6:55:00 PM
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Mike Roe, Lounge Religion Guru

Don't worry, I guarantee that this week's column will be far less homoerotic than this week's Smackdown. At least 27% less homoerotic, I swear. On the Lounge jukebox this week, we've got "In The Navy" by the Village People, "Take Your Mama Out" by the Scissor Sisters, and "Your Disco Needs You" by Kylie Minogue.

***

Ladies and gentlemen, following in the footsteps of my Lounge compatriot, Mr. Dusty Giebink, as well as all the great Torch readers out there, I present to you my top ten 2004 draft picks!

I wanted to base this promotion around three key values: Youth, entertainment, and wrestling. For the most part, you won't find a promotion filled with surgically repaired necks or injury prone individuals. You also won't find wrestlers who are going to be causing problems in the locker room and causing other backstage problems. It's less sports entertainment than WWE, but more sports entertainment than ROH. Let's get to it!

1. Chris Jericho: As proven by the new Torch Instant Polls, Chris Jericho is a very popular guy. He's someone who's managed to bounce back, no matter how much WWE has tried to hold him back. He's taken almost all of his roles and made them something special. I talked last week about how WWE doesn't rock anymore. Well, Chris Jericho is a guy who could help make a promotion that does rock. He's been a world champion, bringing a new promotion an instant credibility. Also, with a promotion that wants to focus on entertainment, he's a key guy to deliver on that promise. He not only delivers on the mic and with merchandising, he can also put on a great match each and every week.

2. Kane: Wade Keller goes out of his way to praise Kane week after week, and with good reason. He's another wrestler who has been through some pretty insane storylines, but always manages to come out of them unscathed. He delivers solid matches and is a far better technician than 99% of the big men out there. Combine that with his personality, his body language, and so much more, and you have someone definitely worth building around. His size makes him a bit too much of a novelty to be the top guy, but he's got what it takes to be right up there.

3. Randy Orton: Randall Kenneth Orton is a third generation superstar, ready to really break out. He's gotten very, very good in the ring in a relatively short time. At the age of only 24, he is someone who's ready to carry the ball. He still needs to define who he is a little more, but he's well on his way. He's also got that mainstream appeal that fellow third generation superstar the Rock shares. He can reach out to both male and female fans. He would look perfect on Jay Leno's couch next to the biggest movie stars in Hollywood.

4. John Cena: Yes, Cena has been caught in a downward spiral for month after month after month. We all know that he has something special, though, which we saw during his heel run. Stephanie McMahon saw that something special when she heard him freestyling and helped to make it into a gimmick, and it's time to bring that something special back. Hip-hop is here to stay as a part of our culture, and Cena can bring that rebellious spirit to a new promotion. He might not be able to deliver in the ring yet, but with as much personality as Cena has, the fans won't care. Word life!

5. Matt Hardy: Matt Hardy's knee injury knocks him down a notch, but he's still so talented that I would be remiss not to include him in my new promotion. "Version 1" has been a real revelation for his career, but you can tell that Matt Hardy is so much more than that. Back when he was with the Hardy Boyz, Matt was the one planning out the matches and helping to create those highspot classics. I would highly recommend the Hardy Boyz' autobiography for more on the amazing personality of this young man, and if that book is any indication, he's still got a lot more to give. Stick him with the cruiserweights, in a tag team, or with the heavyweights, and he'll deliver each time out.

6. CM Punk: CM Punk was the first wrestler in Ring of Honor that made me say "Wow, this promotion isn't just workrate." He's got so much personality it's a wonder he doesn't explode. He also was pure gold on commentary for Ring of Honor, and using him at least occasionally on commentary in this new promotion would be a must. He also provides a heel that isn't going to shock or offend, but is still a rebel at heart. He's a real voice for a younger generation. His ability to flip-flop from serious to comedic roles is also a huge plus.

7. Christopher Daniels: He's been sadly misused by TNA, but his work in Ring of Honor showed that he's got so much untapped potential. His matches are so much fun to watch, and he also can cut a promo that sends chills down your spine. He's another utility player, ready to shine in any division. He's the first indy guy I remember hearing about constantly, and after seeing one of his matches and a promo, I understood why.

8. Trish Stratus: As much as I love my girl Molly Holly, I know that Trish Stratus is the woman to build around. She's great on the mic, one of the best women in the ring, and she can deliver that T & A appeal to the largely male fanbase. She's also a strong enough woman to serve as a role model for female fans. She's also shown her strength as both a face and a heel, an ability which several of the other members of this roster have yet to fully grasp.

9. Christian: Who's the breakout star now, Edge? Christian isn't a second fiddle anymore, and if he could get away from his brother by starring in a new promotion, he would really have the chance to do his thing. He's yet another guy who can do it all, from division to division, and I think he would be a huge help in aiding young tag teams. Plus, he's funny, but he also has an edge to him that could take his character to the next level. He might be cutting jokes a lot of the time, but he's also the guy that popularize the one-man conchairto. I would be excited to have Christian as a part of a new promotion.

10. Shelton Benjamin: As Kurt Angle and Brock Lesnar have proven, amateur wrestling can be a huge head start when it comes to professional wrestling. He's managed to hold his own in the ring against Triple H, and didn't look like he didn't belong in there. As a minority, he also provides an appeal to a whole different audience base. As good as he is as a singles wrestler, I think that he's someone I would stick in a tag team at first to give that division some real credibility. Still, there's no way you could stop Shelton from one day becoming a singles star. Ain't no stoppin' me, noooowww!

Runner-ups: Charlie Haas, the Big Show, Steven Richards, Molly Holly, and the Hurricane.

Left out: Kurt Angle and Chris Benoit got passed over due to their surgically repaired necks. Eddie Guerrero doesn't have his head head together, and he seems like too much of a liability in a new promotion. Rey Mysterio's knees are supposed to be absolutely atrocious, so he's not a guy to build around in my book. Triple H, besides being married to Stephanie McMahon, is also a guy well known for his political games, and while he's been fairly consistent this past year, his inconsistency before that (since his quad injury) is a bit too worrisome to invest in someone at his age.

***

Thanks for chilling with yours truly this week. I'll be back tomorrow night to review the 11 PM Velocity. Oh, joy! Until next time, do good works and remember to smile!

Mike Roe is currently reading Job Hunting For Dummies, listening to the O.C. Mix 1, playing Burnout 3, and watching "Sky Captain and the World Of Tomorrow" in theaters everywhere! Mike can be contacted at roemd03@stolafalum.com or on the VIP Forum. Be sure to check out his blog at http://tapout.blogspot.com/. You can also read his unique take on Velocity every Saturday night.


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