The 2021 WWE Draft begins with this week's Friday Night SmackDown and one of the biggest questions for this year's event is how involved the NXT brand will be in terms of roster call-ups. The Black & Gold Brand was virtually absent from the past two Drafts with only one call-up per year. But now that the roster has been rebranded as NXT 2.0 and firmly re-established as WWE's developmental brand, the process of getting wrestlers up to Raw and SmackDown seems to be the company's focus.
Dave Meltzer reported on the latest Wrestling Observer Radio that "many" wrestlers are expected to get called up to both Raw and SmackDown in order to freshen up the rosters. That report was then echoed by the Mat Men Podcast's Andrew Zarian. Ad Free Show's Jon Alba then reported the four members of Hit Row have all been discussed as potential call-ups.
Hit Row is one of the names being discussed for a main roster call-up from #WWENXT for the #WWE Draft, I'm told. Whether it ultimately gets the call will remain to be seen, obviously, but @AndrewZarian reports NXT will be involved in the draft.— Jon Alba (@JonAlba) September 28, 2021
They seem a natural fit for Raw.
NXT 2.0 rebrand has seen a boatload of new stars debut over the past two weeks, including Bron Breakker, Andre Chase, The Creed Brothers, Joe Gacy, Tony D'Angelo, Trick Williams and Von Wagner. Stars that have been on the brand for a while like Dakota Kai and Pete Dunne obviously have a better chance of getting called up. Who do you think makes the jump to either Raw or SmackDown? Let us know in the comments below!
WWE president Nick Khan discussed WWE's plans for NXT 2.0 during SummerSlam weekend while speaking with Ariel Helwani.
"We are doing a complete revamp on NXT, led by Triple H, who is really one of the architects of the original NXT. What we found — it's part of why we did the tryout yesterday — what we want to make sure is easy for folks who want to be WWE Superstars, is figuring out how to become WWE Superstars," Khan said.
"In terms of an NXT re-brand, look for it in the next couple of weeks. It's going to have a whole new look, it's going to have a whole new feel — and we believe — because of a lot of the indie wrestlers, if you will, have come through our system and are in our system with SmackDown and Raw now. We don't want to just keep doing that same thing, we want to look elsewhere for great, young talent," he continued.