The WWE Draft got underway on SmackDown on Friday night and now a new report has indicated which female stars could be shifting brands.
The women of WWE were factored heavily into the first night of picks for Raw and SmackDown in the WWE Draft. Charlotte Flair was the first overall female pick and the third overall as the Raw Women’s Champion is now heading to SmackDown. Bianca Belair was the next pick, going in the opposite direction as she heads to the red brand.
The WWE Women’s Tag Team Champions were part of the third round of picks as Nikki A.S.H and Rhea Ripley were drafted by Raw. It was in this round of picks that NXT was factored into things as Hit Row – including B-FAB – were drafted by SmackDown. Naomi was the last woman drafted on Friday night as she was picked by SmackDown.
Dave Meltzer in his Wrestling Observer Newsletter stated that NXT was set to be a big part of the draft and he named Dakota Kai, Aliyah, and Xia Li as the “leading candidates among the women” to move to the main roster. The report says that Xia Li’s move is “because WWE wants a legitimate Chinese star in the market after the success UFC had in that market when Zhang Weili became a champion.”
It was also noted that Dakota Kai, Aliyah, and Xia Li have all recently been brought to Raw or SmackDown for dark matches as was Austin Theory. Theory was the last name drafted on the first night of the WWE Draft as he will be leaving The Way on NXT 2.0 and head to Raw.