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Mauling It Over - April 29, 2023: A Treasure Trove of NXT Talent Shined in the WWE Draft

This year's WWE Draft has illuminated how the organization truly benefits from having a brand that produces promising prospects at a prolific pace


By Mark Mahler - 04.29.2023

The WWE draft had a lot of surprises last night. Among some of the shocking moments besides how many factions stayed intact and switched brands, the WWE drafted all three of the NXT Women's title holders in Indi Hartwell (NXT Women's Champ), along with NXT Women's Tag Team titleholders Isla Dawn and Alba Fyre.

Shawn Michaels looked gutted making the announcement, leading to Road Dogg asking if he can lose his smile twice.

Indi had been rumored to be called up for months now. Alba Fyre has made a couple of trips on the road with the main roster on the house show circuit. Isla Dawn came into NXT and has been intriguing, as solid as it comes in the ring. Also her extensive overseas experiences made her a great choice to move up. Plus. it might give the women's tag team division a big kick: Current Champs Dawn and Fyre, and Indi being a past champ with Candice LeRae.

Cora Jade

Let me get something clear here: The NXT Women's division is deep. It has been for years.

When it seems to empty a little more women step up to the plate and start making names for themselves. I mean they lose the top three, and still have the likes of Roxanne Perez, Zoey Stark, Cora Jade, Blair Davenport, Katana, Kayden, Elektra Lopez, Lyra Valkeria, Fallon Henley, Kiana James, and Ivy Nile, to name a few. At least for now...

Side Note: The NXT Women's division has unfortunately had a string of ACL injuries including: Sol Ruca, Nikkita Lyons, Amari Miller, Stevie Turner, Arianna Grace, Brooklyn Bawlow, and Yulisa Leon. The NXT parking lot must have a lot of potholes.

It wouldn't shock me to see Stark or Jade called up right away. When healthy these two women have great heel characteristics that can't go ignored for much longer. Both are incredibly athletic and could help the WWE get more attention.

Nikkita Lyons

Right now it's not a big secret fans feel like the WWE has fumbled the women for the past year outside of Bianca, Rhea, Becky, Charlotte, and possibly Liv.

The best way to bring some life to the women again is to take these NXT talents and give them a chance on the main roster. The Game has called up and used dozens and dozens of NXT talents on Main Event to get them in front of live crowds. That is how you can gauge interest with the fans and the new talent.

NXT Level Up has been showcasing new talent against growing talent in NXT. It's another show that gives this newer and younger talent a chance to get in front of a live televised crowd and show their stuff while honing in on their in-ring skills. Also, the fans get to see people they haven't seen and the WWE brass gets to see who might have a grip on the fans' attention span.

Grayson Waller

Now here's the scary part. The women aren't the only ones to watch here. The Men's division has a bunch of up-and-comers just hitting TV, which means they also have talent that's ready for the jump to Raw and Smackdown.

Grayson Waller could be one of the most over heels should the WWE decide to pull the trigger on bringing him up the main roster. He could be a complete package and I believe fans are going to love to hate him.

He was just hitting his stride in NXT. However, after failing to dethrone Breakker or Hayes, it might be time to let him see what he can do on Raw or Smackdown.

I've been keeping tabs on Ilya Dragunov. For anyone that has watched NXT UK and WALTER vs Dragunov before you know the anticipation for Gunther vs Dragunov on the main roster, Premium Events is waiting to make fans scream for more. Out of 3 matches they've had, these men kill each other in the ring. If people thought Sheamus and Gunther were physical, wait until you see Gunther with Ilya.

Bron Breakker

Former NXT Champ Bron Breakker is just waiting in the wings. With two years in NXT, an impressive run as a champ, and a recent heel turn, Breakker is 'main-roster ready' right now.

I don't know if Triple H is going to pull the trigger on Breakker, but there is a lot of room for him to grow with the main roster, and create some lasting feuds. If the WWE is serious about changing the playing field, then it's time to bring up Breakker.

Tyler Bate... the big, strong boy. Again, another NXT UK wrestler that has won gold before is just laying in the wait to be called up the main roster. If the WWE keeps the Brawling Brutes together, adding a 4 to challenge other bigger factions could be a good thing. He's teamed with Butch aka Pete Dunne before and even wrestled him on occasion.

Bate will surprise a lot of fans as he is similar to Chad Gable as far as size, but pound-for-pound is outstanding in the ring.

Carmelo Hayes

I don't want to pass on Carmelo Hayes because I know this man is ready for the next step. But I would love to see him with the NXT Belt for a little while, let him defend it, lead the show and see what type of ratings he can generate for the USA Network.

That's not to say seeing him in the ring with the likes of Ricochet, Montez Ford, Cedric Alexander, Mustafa Ali, and others wouldn't be a big treat, I think giving him a solid run with the belt is a priority, but the WWE definitely can get him to Raw or Smackdown and he will have an impact.

Monday will be interesting, to say the least.

We still don't know the fate of Theory, Kevin Owens, Sami Zayn, The Bloodline, Seth Rollins, The Judgement Day, Liv and Raquel, Shotzi, Asuka, and a host of others.

Time will tell what Triple H plans on doing, but all signs point to NXT being purged a lot more, which might not make Shawn Michaels smile, but shows he is definitely doing his job at the highest level for the NXT roster and its fans.

Maul It Over.



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