The WWE Draft has concluded for 2023 and the rosters have been shaken up, relatively speaking. It seems like the middle of the card is relatively unchanged but the top of the lineups have been shuffled.
RAW Roster for 2023
- Cody Rhodes
- Becky Lynch
- Imperium (Gunther, Ludwig Kaiser & Giovanni Vinci)
- Matt Riddle
- Drew McIntyre
- The Miz
- Shinsuke Nakamura
- Indi Hartwell
- Apollo Crews
- Candice LeRae
- Sonya Deville
- Chelsea Green
- Dexter Lumis
- JD McDonagh
- Maximum Male Models (ma.çé, mån.sôör & Maxxine Dupri)
- The Viking Raiders (Erik, Ivar & Valhalla)
- Zoey Stark
- Rhea Ripley
- Seth Rollins
- Kevin Owens
- Sami Zayn
- The Judgment Day (Finn Balor, Damian Priest & Dominik Mysterio)
- Liv Morgan
- Raquel Rodriguez
- The New Day (Xavier Woods & Kofi Kingston)
- Trish Stratus
- Ronda Rousey
- Shayna Baszler
- Braun Strowman
- Bronson Reed
- Alpha Academy (Chad Gable & Otis)
- Katana Chance
- Kayden Carter
- Akira Tozawa
- Dana Brooke
- Indus Sher (Jinder Mahal, Veer & Sanga)
- Johnny Gargano
- Los Lotharios (Angel & Humberto)
- Nikki Cross
- Odyssey Jones
- Piper Niven
- Riddick Moss
- Tegan Nox
- Xia Li
SmackDown 2023 Roster
- The Bloodline (Roman Reigns, Solo Sikoa & Paul Heyman)
- Bianca Belair
- The Street Profits (Montez Ford & Angelo Dawkins)
- Bobby Lashley
- The O.C. (AJ Styles, Luke Gallows, Karl Anderson & Mia Yim)
- Damage CTRL (Bayley, Iyo Sky & Dakota Kai)
- Alba Fyre
- Isla Dawn
- Hit Row (Top Dolla, Ashante Thee Adonis & B-Fab)
- Lacey Evans
- Austin Theory
- Charlotte Flair
- The Usos (Jimmy & Jey)
- LWO (Rey Mysterio, Santos Escobar, Zelina Vega, Joaquin Wilde & Cruz Del Toro)
- The Brawling Brutes (Sheamus, Butch & Ridge Holland)
- Karrion Kross & Scarlett
- LA Knight
- Pretty Deadly (Elton Prince & Kit Wilson)
- Rick Boogs
- Cameron Grimes
- Grayson Waller
Brock Lesnar negotiated to be a free agent and to be able to go to whichever show he wants.
Meanwhile the following wrestlers are free agents available to be signed by either brand: Dolph Ziggler, Mustafa Ali, Von Wagner, Omos & MVP, Baron Corbin, Elias, Cedric Alexander, Shelton Benjamin, and NXT's Xyon Quinn. Each of these stars will eventually land exclusively on one of the shows.
The ring announcers for both shows are also switching. Samantha Irvin will now be the ring announcer for Raw, while Mike Rome is moving to SmackDown.
It looks like the top of the RAW card will be Cody Rhodes, Drew McIntyre, Seth Rollins and Gunther, along with Becky Lynch and Rhea Ripley as the top women. On the Smackdown side, Roman is on top, along with Lashley, and the Usos. Arguably Rey Mysterio and Edge are also main eventers. It will be interesting to see how the shows will be affected by the roster changes and who ends up getting opportunities and who just ends up lost at sea.
Some questions need to be answered. What happens to the tag team titles? Are they only defended on Raw? Or will Zayn and Owens be allowed to go to Smackdown to do defenses against their teams? What about the women's tag team titles? Also, will they do a weird belt swap again with Rhea and Bianca? I certainly hope not.
KNITRO Episode 2 is here!
The big main event on this week's episode of Nitro is Hulk Hogan defending the WCW World Title against Lex Luger. Tensions between Sting, Macho and Hulk rise as Fall Brawl: War Games is right around the corner.
Colin Young and Rob Pasbani are lifelong wrestling fans, and Jordan Olds is a newer fan who has never seen one episode of WCW Monday Nitro. Join the trio as we chronologically watch the entire series, week-by-week on our new show, Knotfest KNITRO. Listen to this episode here.
What's on TV this week?
WWE NXT is tonight at 8pm on USA and it's the last episode before the draft takes into effect next Monday.
- NXT North American title: Wes Lee defends against Drew Gulak
- NXT Women's Tag Team titles: Alba Fare & Isla Dawn defend against Katana Chance & Kayden Carter
- Gigi Dolin vs. Jacy Jayne
- Joe Gacy vs. Joe Coffey
- JD McDonagh vs. Dragon Lee
- Axiom vs. SCRYPTS
- Dani Palmer makes her NXT debut
AEW Dynamite has a big show on Wednesday at 8pm on TBS:
- Ricky Starks vs. Juice Robinson
- Saraya vs. Willow Nightingale
- MJF & Sammy Guevara vs. Darby Allin & Jack Perry with Double or Nothing AEW World title match stipulations on the line
- Roderick Strong, Adam Cole, Orange Cassidy & Bandido vs. Jericho Appreciation Society (Jake Hager, Daniel Garcia, Matt Menard & Angelo Parker)
- Tres de Mayo trios battle royal with the teams of The Butcher, The Blade, & Kip Sabian; Lucha Brothers & El Hijo del Vikingo; Varsity Athletes (Ari Daivari, Josh Woods & Tony Nese); Dark Order (John Silver, Evil Uno & Alex Reynolds); The Acclaimed & Billy Gunn; and QTV (QT Marshall, Powerhouse Hobbs & Aaron Solo)
- The Elite will speak
Impact Wrestling on Thursday at 8pm on AXS announced:
- Trinity debuts
- Steve Maclin, Champagne Singh & Shera vs. PCO and two partners of his choosing
- Jody Threat vs. Alisha Edwards
- Mike Bailey vs. Jonathan Gresham
- Moose & Brian Myers vs. Yuya Uemura & Bhupinder Gujjar
- Frankie Kazarian sit-down interview, part two
Smackdown is the final show before Backlash this Saturday, and has advertised:
- Bad Bunny appearance
- Shinsuke Nakamura vs. Karrion Kross
- The OC vs. The Viking Raiders
WWE Backlash on Saturday at 8pm on Peacock announced:
- Cody Rhodes vs. Brock Lesnar
- Bad Bunny vs. Damian Priest (San Juan Street Fight)
- The Usos & Solo Sikoa vs. Kevin Owens, Sami Zayn, and Matt Riddle
- WWE United States title: Austin Theory (c) defends against Bronson Reed and Bobby Lashley
- SmackDown Women's Championship: Rhea Ripley (c) defends against Zelina Vega
- Raw Women's Champion Bianca Belair vs. IYO SKY
- Seth Rollins vs. Omos
We'll have a full preview of Backlash on Squared Circle Pit later this week.
More Wrestling News
According to Dave Meltzer, tickets for AEW's massive Wembley Stadium show All In went on pre-sale today and already sold 35,000 tickets. That has to be considered a great start for a show with no lineup yet.
CM Punk made headlines by showing up at the Impact tapings this weekend.
Congrats are in order for Carmella and Corey Graves, who announced Carmella is expecting their first child together. Carmella went on record last year saying she suffered a miscarriage and was off TV for a while as a result, so this is a very happy miracle for the couple.
"The Librarian" Leva Bates revealed her four-year contract with AEW expired. Expect to see some other long-time names in AEW have their contracts expire as their four-year deals come up.
Chris Jericho is announced to star in the new UPtv original film Country Hearts, according to Variety.