The 2023 WWE Draft is now officially in the books, and many NXT stars received main roster call ups on both nights of the Draft.
Some of the biggest names set to depart for red or blue-er pastures are JD McDonagh, Indi Hartwell, Grayson Waller, Alba Fyre & Isla Dawn, Apollo Crews and Zoey Stark.
Most of the NXT stars had their final appearance on this week’s show, leaving a decent hole in the NXT roster.
WWE Hall of Famer Booker T, who provides commentary for the show, has spoken about the Draft on his Hall of Fame podcast, and how it’s ‘bittersweet’ for the NXT brand.
“NXT got hit hard, and some of my favorites left, and they’re moving on to bigger and better things, which, congratulations. I’m glad to see them move on to the next level because a guy like JD McDonagh, I didn’t know JD McDonagh had put that much time into the business. I really didn’t know. But just listening to him talk earlier today, and I said think he said 21 years that he’s put in this business, and he said around 16 [years], he didn’t think he was gonna get a shot, but he just kept pushing and kept pushing, and boom. Now, NXT has led him now to the main roster. I appreciate that.
“I love that dude, I love him. I was looking down and I was doing something. I might have been messing with my notes or something, but I was totally unaware of my surroundings. Next thing you know, somebody this close to me and they gave me the biggest kiss right here [holds the side of his face], on the jaw. I look up, it’s JD McDonagh. I was like, wow, that’s really, really cool because man love. He appreciated the way I treated him. [During] his time in NXT, I was always pushing for that guy, I was always trying to make sure that there was some spotlight on JD McDonagh because I always thought this dude’s next-level. He’s a star, he really is, give him a shot. For him to come to me and do that on his exit, it was awesome.
“Grayson Waller, he’s another guy that came to me and thanked me for the time in NXT. For me, it’s my job to pump those guys up and give them the rub. Pretty Deadly, Zoey [Stark], same thing.”
‘I’m so glad to see these guys put that work in and get a shot. I’m excited but then again it’s kind of bittersweet because I was so in-tune to having guys like Pretty Deadly, [and] JD McDonagh on the roster because they made me feel alive when they came out and did work. But you know what they say about the show, man. The show must go on, and [on Tuesday], the guys came out and they took it to another level. I see the next guys that’s gonna be coming up. It’s just a matter of who’s gonna step into that spotlight.”
This week’s episode of the show saw JD McDonagh take part in his final match as a member of the NXT roster, a victory over Dragon Lee in a thrilling clash.
transcription via Fightful
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