After the recent WWE Draft, one Superstar has stated SmackDown “got the number one pick” after comparing his selection with that of NFL Legend Tom Brady.
During the 2023 Draft, WWE ensured Roman Reigns remained on SmackDown, and announced a new World Heavyweight Championship would be brought in for the Raw roster.
Alongside allocating talent between Raw and Smackdown, the Draft saw several NXT Superstars called up to the main roster.
Indi Hartwell, NXT Women’s Champion at the time, Cameron Grimes, Pretty Deadly, and Zoey Stark, have all now swapped the developmental brand to join SmackDown or Raw, as have NXT Women’s Champions Isla Dawn and Alba Fire.
But after not being selected until Raw Talk on Night Two of the Draft, one of SmackDown’s newest members has claimed that the brand has gained the “number one pick, with the last pick.”
Waller was speaking with Fox Sports and compared his selection with that of NFL Quarterback Tom Brady, who in 2000 was not drafted until the sixth round.
“I’m not gonna lie, it was tough. You know, I sat there on the Friday night for you know, four or five hours or however long it was. I saw name after name and Grayson Waller’s name wasn’t picked. Not everyone was there. Not everyone was there. I got asked to be there. So I expected to be drafted. When I wasn’t, I was frustrated. And I had to sit that whole weekend and think about how low I felt.
Then I turn up that Monday and the same thing happens. I watched the entire episode of Raw and I’m hearing these names picked – and there’s some really talented people in NXT who got drafted, but I’m Grayson Waller. I’m the number one person here. My name should be drafted on television.
So I was frustrated, and I really thought that I was gonna sit there for two nights and not get picked – and I thought about Tom Brady, and I thought about that, if you watch the documentary, The Brady Six about the six quarterbacks that got picked before Tom – and I know every single person drafted before me. I know every NXT person that was drafted before me,”
Tom Brady went on to win the Super Bowl an incredible seven times and is widely regarded as one of the greatest quarterbacks in history.
Grayson Waller would go on to discuss how the 2023 Draft process took place and his frustration at not being announced sooner.
“When my name was called last, I wasn’t elated. I wasn’t happy. I wasn’t crying like everyone else. They’re all just happy to get drafted. That’s their goal achieved, they’re done now. This is just the beginning. I took umbrage with the fact that I was picked last. I took umbrage to the fact that it wasn’t on television.
I don’t think that’s the wrong thing, I think for me, that’s when I operate at my best – and I think when you saw when I talked afterwards, that was who I am, I was being real, I hold myself to a different standard.
I’m not like everyone else in NXT who’s just happy to be in the Performance Center, or happy to be on Raw now. I see myself as one of the best and I operate best with a chip on my shoulder, so I put a whole bag of chips on my shoulder that night,”
WWE SmackDown Ready To Experience The Grayson Waller Effect
Grayson Waller joined NXT in 2021 and has made a name for himself after feuding with Former WWE Champion AJ Styles, before battling Apollo Crews, and facing off for the NXT Championship against Bron Breakker.
Waller believes his call-up will be something that fans look back on and expects to succeed on Smackdown.
“I feel SmackDown got the number one pick with the last pick. This is going to go down five years from now – when you think about draft moments, there’s so many cool draft moments. I think Grayson Waller getting picked last will be a moment because I’ll be at this stage, and everyone’ll look back and go wow, how did he get picked so late?”
On May 19th, the Grayson Waller Effect debuted on SmackDown with special guest AJ Styles.
H/t to Fightful