Backstage Report On The 2024 WWE Draft

The dust around WWE WrestleMania 40 has finally settled, and the company is now set to turn its attention to freshening up the roster with the annual WWE Draft. Beginning on April 26 on "WWE Smackdown" and concluding on April 29 on "WWE Raw," it seems as if all three of WWE's brands will be getting some shake-up in this year's draft, with a reported renewed focus on "WWE NXT" in particular.


Sources close to "NXT's" creative process told Fightful Select that there is a push to make it more of a third main roster brand, similar to how things were before the COVID-19 pandemic when "NXT" was also included in the brand warfare storyline at Survivor Series 2019. This means that there is a strong chance that main roster talent can be drafted to "NXT" in the upcoming draft, with Fightful reporting that appearances from Ivar and The Final Testament are examples of how stars from "Raw" and "Smackdown" are likely to make Tuesday nights their new home.

"NXT" names that have been thrown around as those who will be leaving the brand include Ilja Dragunov and Carmelo Hayes, who are reportedly seen as locks for a main roster call-up. Roxanne Perez, Baron Corbin, and Tony D'Angleo's Family have also been discussed as potential draftees. However, Shawn Michaels has apparently told several talents he doesn't know who will be called up. "NXT" will reportedly have a draft-heavy focus on the upcoming "Spring Breakin'" episodes of the show on April 23 and 30, with the roster being more or less finalized by Battleground, which takes place on June 9.


WWE Is Looking To Capture Some Of That NFL Draft Fever

This year's draft will take place on April 26 and 29, as WWE is looking to capitalize on the 2024 NFL Draft, which will take place between April 25 and 27. Fightful Select confirmed this, and the outlet also noted that this year's draft could potentially have input from WWE's upcoming media partners, Netflix and The CW.


"Smackdown" will move from FOX to the USA Network, and "NXT" will move from USA to The CW in October 2024, while "Raw" will begin its new era on Netflix at the beginning of 2025. While USA will also be able to have some input on who appears on "Smackdown," the CW and Netflix have the chance to try and secure some big stars for their launch dates if they choose to. However, Fightful was told by one WWE source that "Raw's" debut on Netflix is closer to the 2025 draft than the 2024 one, meaning that they won't be worrying about what the rosters look like for a little while. 

"Smackdown" and "NXT" will both be moving to Netflix in 2025 for fans in the United Kingdom, Latin America, Canada, and various other markets at the same time as "Raw's" move. Still, there has been no word on whether that will impact any of the movement in this year's draft or whether the rules may become relaxed at the turn of the new year.