The WWE Draft has come and gone with a few surprises and some new faces thrown in for good measure.
Many of the new faces, which included Olympic Gold Medalist Gabe Steveson, came from NXT. The much-changed brand has featured in all but one of the drafts since the event returned in 2016. In past years names such as Finn Balor, Nia Jax, and Drew McIntyre have come up to the main roster. This year we saw several exciting names added to both RAW and SmackDown in WWE Draft.
Let’s take a look at every NXT Superstar called up in the WWE Draft 2021.
Aliyah’s tenure in NXT will go down as one the longest in the brand’s history. Signed in 2016 her NXT career has seen many incarnations, several partners and unfortunately little else. Her most notable achievements on the brand were a boujee alliance with Vanessa Borne and her run in the Robert Stone Brand, which saw her briefly feud with Rhea Ripley.
In July she walked away from Stone and her partner Jessi Kamea and never seen on NXT since. Around the same time Mandy Rose returned to NXT and reports surfaced that the two had traded places with Aliyah going to RAW.
That obviously didn’t happen, although she was used in multiple RAW and SmackDown dark matches as well as appearing on Main Event in the lead up getting drafted to SmackDown.
Despite never being featured regularly or participating in a decent storylines in NXT, Aliyah possesses a lot of potential and could mold herself a Carmella-esque career on the main roster.
The big British bruiser Ridge Holland was drafted to SmackDown on Night Two of the WWE Draft and brings with him a tonne of promise. The former Rugby league player was set for a huge push in NXT last year but a nasty leg break put a stop to that.
Since his return he participated in SmackDown dark matches and obviously impressed those watching hence his involvement in the Draft.
The powerhouse has an impressive physique and intensity that will fit well on SmackDown. His gimmick as a rough and tough brawler complete with cap and cosh is one that is easily transferrable to the main roster.
Isiah “Swerve” Scott is the founder of the group is a well-respected and renowned wrestler. His run in Lucha Underground as Killshot is something any wrestling fan should check out. He is an incredibly talented performer with excellent microphone skills. His matches for the NXT Cruiserweight Championship were top-notch and his heel turn elevated his position in the brand to North American Champion and the creation of Hit Row. His charisma, attitude and mic skills could see him soar on SmackDown.
B-FAB is an eye-catching performer with superstar quality and huge main stream appeal. Still in the infancy of her wrestling career she is a very promising talent who could easily shine on the blue brand.
Ashante “Thee” Adonis is a strong up-and-coming star, who has appeared on RAW, SmackDown and 205 Live before turning up on NXT television. An energetic wrestler with a lot of confidence/cockiness but boasts all the skills to back it up.
Top Dolla is Hit Row’s towering enforcer who cuts a striking figure. The former professional American footballer was trained by the Dudley Boyz after retiring from the game and with only a handful of matches under his belt has already established himself as a feared powerhouse.
Xia Li getting drafted to SmackDown is a history-making moment as she is the first-ever Chinese female superstar on WWE main roster.
Li has impressed from her first appearance in the inaugural Mae Young Classic in 2017. Her many Wushu accomplishments make her an dangerous and exciting performer. However, her rather generic babyface run did little to make a mark on the stacked NXT women’s division at the time.
Li’s torturous transformation at the hands of Mei Ying gave her a killer instinct that saw her decimate all who dared stood before her. The undefeated streak led her to an albeit unsuccessful NXT Women’s title shot. The championship match was her last outing for NXT and she became a regular on SmackDown dark matches since August.
Her run in NXT as a member of Tian Sha was a main roster-esque gimmick which showed that she is more than capable of evolving her character and adapting to new creative.
Austin Theory is one hell of a prospect. At the age of just 23 he has the wrestling world at his feet. He has a great look, charisma and is excellent in a jerk heel role.
No stranger to the main roster Theory made his RAW debut last year with Andrade, Angle Garza and Zelina Vega. Alongside Garza he unsuccessfully challenged for the RAW Tag Team Championships at WrestleMania 36. Following a split from the group he became one of Seth Rollins’ disciples for a short time before being removed from television completely.
He resurfaced in NXT and became an integral member of the Gargano family faction The Way. His time in the family allowed him to explore more of a comedic style to his character. Plus having Johnny Gargano as his mentor is a perk any wrestler would wish for.
He made an instant impact on Monday Night RAW when attacked and took a selfie with an unconscious Jeff Hardy. Expect big things to happen to Theory on the main roster.