Next Monday Night, April 26, WWE’s flagship show, RAW, will be 3 hours long and include the yearly DRAFT, whereby the “rosters” of Smackdown and RAW will be shaken up.  While the competitors will remain employees of WWE, their lives might be in a bit of upheaval.  Being drafted to the other “brand” means that they will likely no longer be around the fellow employees with whom they’ve spent a majority of the past year or two, now touring with a different portion of the WWE roster.

For seven individuals, they won’t have to worry about the WWE Draft because they were released from their contracts yesterday (April 22nd).

Amongst the competitors were former champions Shelton Benjamin and Mickie James, both of whom are likely to draw considerable interest from TNA Wrestling, WWE’s competitor on Monday Night with their Impact program.

If Shelton Benjamin joins TNA Wrestling, the company could also likely pick up Charlie Haas (released by WWE on 2/28/2010) to reform “The World’s Greatest Tag Team” which the two comprised a couple years ago in WWE.

The others released include Kung Fu Naki (formerly Sho Funaki), Jimmy Wang Yang, Slam Master J (formerly Jesse of “Jesse & Festus / Meat & Potatoes” tag team, a member of the Gordy family), Mike Knox and Katie Lea Burchill.

Don’t be surprised to see Gregory Helms and Maria Kanellis show up in TNA soon.  They were both released by WWE in late February.  Helms is sitting out his no compete clause without working anywhere else, though he was seen sitting behind his friend (TNA Wrestling employee) Jeff Hardy at a UFC event.  Helms is currenty dating TNA Knockouts Tag Team Champion Velvet Sky and is friends with various friends on the TNA roster.  Kanellis is working as a special commentator for a MMA company, and as WWE Diva of The Year for 2009, it’s likely TNA would want to sign her to be involved with their programing.

It’s also reported that Matt Hardy is looking to be released from his WWE contract.  No word on whether he would look to work in TNA or if he would attempt to move into the world of Mixed Martial Arts.