WWE officially confirmed on Sunday that a new WWE Draft would be taking place on the Oct. 11 episode of Friday Night SmackDown (it's second week on FOX) and the Oct. 14 episode of Monday Night Raw. But the press release didn't address the black and yellow elephant in the room — what about NXT?
Over the past few years the talent exchange between Raw/SmackDown and NXT has been a one-way street during SuperStar Shake-ups, as it often was used as the night for call-ups to the main roster. However with NXT moving to USA Network starting this week, many were wondering if the brand would have the opportunity to draft stars from the other shows or if another wave of call-ups was on the way. Triple H addressed those concerns during a media conference call on Monday, saying that the next Draft would focus primarily on re-establishing the brand split between Raw and SmackDown.
"I think as that Draft hits that's going to be more focused on Raw and SmackDown and where those brands lay out," he said. "But going forward, who knows? I think this is a work in progress and as NXT continues to do what it's done for the last five years and grow in leaps and bounds, my intent is to create, and I think it's there and we'll see as we move forward, where there are three very distinct brands — Raw, SmackDown and NXT."
But later in the call "The Game" advised everyone to "wait and see" when it came to the Draft. He firmly stated that NXT should no longer be considered the "developmental brand" among the three, but needs more time to reach the same level of Raw and SmackDown.
For the next two weeks NXT will split its two-hour live broadcast between USA Network and the WWE Network (thanks to Suits airing its final two episodes during the show's second hours on USA). Three matches have already been booked for Wednesday's episode — NXT North American Champion Velveteen Dream vs. Roderick Strong, Candice LaRae vs. Io Shirai vs. Bianca Belair vs. Mia Yim for a shot at Shayna Baszler's NXT Women's Championship and Matt Riddle vs. Killian Dain in a Street Fight.