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Drafted to WWE SmackDown: What to Expect from New Blue Brand Talent

A photo of new WWE SmackDown superstar Carmelo Hayes against Undisputed WWE Champion Cody Rhodes on SmackDown.

Fresh off an eventful week featuring the second half of the WWE Draft alongside SmackDown and Backlash in France, WWE’s blue brand is witnessing a significant influx of talent. Notable signings from NXT and strategic transfers from WWE Raw have reshaped the roster, promising new storylines and matchups for fans to anticipate. 

Here’s a comprehensive look at the latest additions to WWE SmackDown in the draft and the potential impact they could bring to the table.

Nia Jax

Nia Jax’s return to WWE in 2023 may have initially raised eyebrows, but her recent performances have silenced doubters. Her fresh villainous persona has garnered praise, leading to memorable matches on WWE Raw with Becky Lynch and Rhea Ripley. She and Ripley even competed in the first women’s match to main event a PLE since 2021.

But now, with a brewing feud against Bayley after she attacked her on SmackDown two weeks ago, Jax promises to add depth to the SmackDown women’s title scene.

Carmelo Hayes

Carmelo Hayes arrives on SmackDown off the back of a heated rivalry with Trick Williams in NXT. His official debut as a full-time main roster star came against none other than Cody Rhodes, which no doubt hints at a promising future, though his trajectory on SmackDown remains to be seen.

Speculation suggests a potential showdown with United States Champion Logan Paul could be on the cards in the immediate future, amongst a variety of other names. Many have also touted him for high-profile matches against the likes of LA Knight or Bobby Lashley, the latter teased on last week’s edition of SmackDown.


Andrade’s comeback at the Royal Rumble in January marked a significant return. Since then, he found himself in a variety of matchups eventually embroiling himself in the LWO rivalry with Legado del Fantasma concluding in a WrestleMania matchup where he would team with Rey Mysterio to take down Santos Escobar and Dominik Mysterio.

As the future unfolds on SmackDown away from Legado del Fantasma, it’s unclear whether he will continue linking himself to Rey’s LWO. Many have pitched the idea he continues on as a singles star instead and there is ca strong argument for this with the potential for dream matches against the likes of Shinsuke Nakamura or Logan Paul that could be in store.

DIY (Johnny Gargano & Tommaso Ciampa)

DIY’s reunion on SmackDown sparked NXT “Black & Gold” nostalgia for many fans, but their recent presentation on Raw has been mixed. While they narrowly missed out on capturing the World Tag Team Titles just last week, their positioning on SmackDown remains uncertain.

But there is plenty of potential for them to steal the show on the blue brand with matchups against Legado del Fantasma or current champions A-Town Down Under.

Shinsuke Nakamura

Shinsuke Nakamura’s tenure on SmackDown, likely similar to his role on Raw, looks set to be defined by his status as a seasoned veteran. While he may not be in the title picture consistently, Nakamura’s ability to deliver top-notch matches remains unparalleled.

Whether he faces off against Cody Rhodes again or finds himself in a program against LA Knight, Nakamura’s presence no doubt elevates the prestige of SmackDown’s mid-card scene.

Chelsea Green & Piper Niven

Chelsea Green and Piper Niven bring tag team prowess to SmackDown’s women’s division. With past successes on WWE Raw, including a brief tag team title reign, they could pose a formidable challenge to champions Jade Cargill and Bianca Belair. Their addition injects fresh energy into the tag team scene, promising thrilling matchups in the near future.

Baron Corbin

Baron Corbin’s return to NXT breathed new life into his career, culminating in a tag team title reign with Bron Breakker last month.

Now on SmackDown, Corbin’s role may be more subdued, but his track record of solid matches and committed character work makes him a valuable addition to the roster.

Candice LeRae & Indi Hartwell

Candice LeRae and Indi Hartwell’s recent heel turn over on Raw adds an intriguing dynamic to their arrival in SmackDown’s women’s tag division. Their newfound aggression could make them formidable opponents for Cargill and Belair as well as potential matchups against Chelsea Green and Piper Niven. LeRae and Hartwell bring a new edge to this tag team scene.

Giovanni Vinci

Vinci makes for another interesting addition to the Smackdown roster, he has been drafted away from his former Imperium stablemates in Gunther and Ludwig Kaiser who remain on Raw.

He was kicked out of the group after a loss last week, Kaiser taking him out in a brutal beatdown. However, we saw him briefly as a singles star in NXT being presented as a wealthy Italian snob back in 2022 so there’s a chance we could see that character return now on SmackDown.

Either way, it is likely he will need time to establish himself and matches with anyone from Andrade to Carmelo Hayes could work to rebuild his character.

Blair Davenport

Blair Davenport’s transition to the main roster presents an opportunity for her to shine. With her charisma and in-ring ability, Davenport has the potential to make a splash on SmackDown and leaves the door open for potential matchups against Tiffany Stratton, Naomi, or even Bayley down the line, Davenport’s presence adds a deep level of depth to the women’s division.

Apollo Crews & Tegan Nox: Resuming Their WWE Journey

Although not appearing on TV as of yet, Apollo Crews and Tegan Nox’s have reportedly recovered from injury and may appear once again. Returns from injury offer them another chance to resume their WWE careers, now on SmackDown, when they come back.

While their immediate roles on the roster are uncertain, their presence adds depth, even if that’s purely as enhancement talent. Nox may even have the opportunity to reunite with tag partner Natalya on her return and take a key role in the tag division but it remains unclear if that’s the direction they have planned.

More From LWOS Pro Wrestling

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