WWE news: Alberto Del Rio 'traded' to Smackdown; will there still be a Draft?

It was long rumored the annual WWE Draft would take place this Monday (April 23) on a three hour edition of Raw, six days before Extreme Rules (April 29). But roughly 72 hours away before WWE goes live from Detroit, MI there is hardly a peep about the Draft, something which, in the past, has been announced and plugged for weeks leading up to it.

This bit of information combined with the fact Alberto Del Rio -- and personal ring announcer, Ricardo Rodriguez -- has been "traded" to Smackdown as of tonight's episode seems to be enough proof WWE may be through with the Draft altogether.

Since Vince McMahon and company began touting their flagship program as "Raw Supershow," hardly a week has gone by when Randy Orton, The Big Show, Daniel Bryan and any number of Smackdown's top stars haven't been seen on Monday night. On the flipside, you hardly ever see any of Raw's stars busting their humps on Tuesday pretty much proving the Blue Crew is considered second fiddle.

The brand extension, for all intents and purposes, is over or at the very most, has a tenous grasp at life. The single show pay-per-view (PPV) model ends years ago and Del Rio's move to Smackdown might signal how WWE will handle freshening up certain Superstars on the roster.

Rather than go all out and swap talent at one time, WWE might look to make strategic moves here and there when needed. With John Laurinaitis now General Manager of both shows, a move could easily be explained as him feeling the Superstar would be better suited on a different show.

The Draft could still make a comeback as WWE has another three hour RAW planned for June 11, 2012. It could be a matter of the company not wanting to overshadow Brock Lesnar's re-debut with something that could easily be put off for a couple of months.

By pushing the Draft back to June, WWE is free to focus on the big money angle between Lesnar and John Cena in addition to any WrestleMania storylines that have continued after the show such as the rivalry between CM Punk and Chris Jericho and Orton's feud with Kane.

Of course, this is all conjecture as WWE hasn't made an announcement either way.

Draft or no Draft? What's your vote, Cagesiders?

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