The 2023 WWE Draft kicked off with the first night of last week’s SmackDown, and fans in creative had a lot to cheer about. Champions changed brands, call-ups were made, Legends returned, and Shockers were killed. The company’s landscape had changed dramatically, leaving viewers wondering what Night Two would have to offer.
Monday’s phase of the draft should answer the questions raised by Night One, tie up loose ends and finalize the placement of the rest of the roster. Considering that this is also the go-home episode of Backlash 2023, it promises to be an action-packed show. What will happen in the draft store? Which NXT stars will follow Indi Hartwell, Alba Phair and Isla Dawn from the Performance Center?
Here are four predictions for the second night of the 2023 WWE Draft:
#4 Safe Prediction: NXT’s top male stars are eliminated
— Wrestling News (@WrestlingNewsCo) April 27, 2023
On the first night of the 2023 Draft, the team of NXT Women’s Champion Indy Hartwell and Alba Fair and Isla Dawn were called to Raw and SmackDown, respectively. The latter is also the third brand champion, most recently holding the Women’s Tag Team Titles.
While Apollo Crews and JD McDonagh were drafted along with Zoey Stark on SmackDown Lowdown, none of the male main eventers received a call-up. Stars like Braun Breaker, Grayson Waller and NXT Champion Carmelo Hayes are in line for the main roster, and it is doubtful they will all remain on the third brand. We predict that at least two of these stars are likely to be visible on Monday, including Breacher and Waller.
From the tag division, Pretty Deadly and the Creed Brothers are our picks for receiving the coveted call-up.
#3 Bold Prediction: The Usos being added to Raw
Ballers Club Guy
— Balor Club Guy (@TheBalorClubGuy) April 29, 2023
The Usos failed to reclaim the WWE Undisputed Tag Team Championship from Sami Zayn and Kevin Owens on SmackDown. Earlier that night, Roman Reigns, to whom he dedicated his “upcoming victory”, interestingly was only drawn with Paul Heyman and Solo Sequoia. Heyman spends the entire night reminding Jimmy and Jay that there will be dire consequences for failure.
The Usos were drafted on night two and due to Tribal Chief’s “fail” last Friday, we could surprisingly see them trade in the red brand. This will officially separate The Bloodline and significantly advance the story of Roman Reigns’ eventual downfall. It will be interesting to see how the company puts together their respective stories if this prediction holds true.
#2 No brainer prediction: Austin Theory takes the United States Championship to SmackDown and Rhea Ripley to WWE Raw
Except for one big twist, these two champions are headed in opposite directions on night two
The easiest prediction on this list, this entry needs little explanation. On Friday night, WWE Raw Women’s Champion Bianca Belair was drafted as the third overall pick for SmackDown. Minutes later, the Red Brand picked off Intercontinental Champion Gunther after a year of dominating Friday nights with their Imperium stable.
Given that the company has always maintained one female champion and one male mid-card titleholder per brand, it seems clear what Night Two has in store. Austin Theory and Rhea Ripley would head in opposite directions as their counterparts until the company decided to turn on “2011 John Cena” and bring Belair and Gunther back to their respective brands.
It will be interesting to see “A-Town Down” go down on Friday night, while “Mami” looks to extend her reign on the red brand.
#1 The Smart Prediction: Seth Rollins is the No. 1 pick for WWE Raw
Seth Rollins is the overwhelming favorite to win the new WWE World Heavyweight Championship at Night of Champions 2023. Despite not holding a world title in nearly four years, the visionary has been consistently “over” the fans and performing at the highest level. He is definitely the best in-ring performer in the business and the only one to beat Roman Reigns in his current legendary title run.
If Rollins is indeed set to become World Heavyweight Champion on May 27, then the company should do everything in their power to present him on the same level as The King. SmackDown secures The Tribal Chief as the #1 pick on Night One, and Raw should do the same with Rollins on N
Give it eight shows how much the company values the multi-time world champion and hypes up his potential reign before it even begins.
Bonus Prediction: The rumored 2023 Men’s Money in the Bank winner could be headed to Los Angeles on Monday Night Raw. Why? The tribal chief is unlikely to lose his title to cash-in. Yes!