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The 2009 World Wrestling Entertainment 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, 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; five were made by Raw, four 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. WWE and World Tag Team Champions The Colons (Carlito and Primo) were drafted from SmackDown to Raw; this left SmackDown without a tag team championship. Brie Bella (from SmackDown to Raw), Charlie Haas (from Raw to SmackDown), and Hurricane Helms (from SmackDown to ECW) were the final supplemental picks.
|1||RAW||Montel Vontavious Porter||Smackdown|
|2||RAW||The Big Show||Smackdown|
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 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: 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, Mickie James (Raw)||6-Diva tag team match for 1 draft pick||SmackDown: McCool, Natalya, and Maryse|
|4||Raw: John Cena vs. ECW: Jack Swagger||Singles match for 2 draft picks||Raw: Cena|
|5||SmackDown: The Great Khali vs. Raw: Santino Marella||Singles match for 1 draft pick||SmackDown: Khali|
|6||Raw: Kofi Kingston vs. ECW: The Miz||Singles match for 1 draft pick||Raw: Kingston|
|7||Raw: 5 wrestlers vs. SmackDown: 5 wrestlers vs. ECW: 5 wrestlers||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 vs. Raw: Matt Hardy||Singles match for 1 draft pick||Raw: Hardy|
|10||ECW: Tommy Dreamer vs. SmackDown: Chris Jericho||Singles match for 1 draft pick||SmackDown: Jericho|
|1||Raw||Montel Vontavious Porter|
(Alvin Burke, Jr.)
|2||Raw||The Big Show|
|4||Raw||Matt Hardy||Male wrestler||SmackDown|
|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: WWE and World 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 in 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. 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.