The 2021 WWE Draft has concluded, somewhat. WWE teased there will be some sort of continuation on tonight’s episode of NXT 2.0, but we’re not privy to what that means.
In any fashion, we do know there are still some lingering Superstars left without brands who remain free agents for one reason or another. Some are inactive due to injuries or other justifications. Others are complete conundrums.
Here on this post, we’ll address each of the free agents, their current status and which brand might be the best fit for them when the time comes.
Asuka hasn’t wrestled since Money in the Bank. We’ve seen pictures of her in a sling, indicating she’s likely been inactive almost purely because of whatever this injury is. Since WWE doesn’t have to make a decision on her placement right now, it makes sense to keep her on the sidelines. That way, when she’s ready to go, a judgment call can be made for where she’s needed most.
She’s needed more on SmackDown, I think, as Raw has enough women. However, I don’t want to see Asuka relegated to facing Charlotte Flair 100 more times. I was more interested in the idea she’d have a proper feud with Becky Lynch. Now that the rosters have shaped up the way they are, she’s either lost in the shuffle on Raw or she’s in repeats on SmackDown. I guess she’s going to SmackDown.
Bayley’s another who is inactive from an injury. She isn’t likely to return to action until around or even after WrestleMania in 2022, sadly.
When she does come back, I hope she’s not stuck in the same conundrum as Asuka, where both brands offer problems. She needs to stay away from Sasha Banks for a while, I think, but if she goes to Raw, she’s got some of the same opponents, still. Overall, I’d lean more toward Raw as the better fit for her, even if SmackDown could probably use another name.
Brock Lesnar / Goldberg
Brock Lesnar clarified specifically that he’s a free agent because of Paul Heyman. Goldberg was just ignored entirely.
These are self-explanatory. Both are part-time wrestlers who are legend names that WWE will put on whatever brand they want for whatever reason.
The best case scenario is to keep them exactly how they are. There’s no need to designate them to one show and then have to find a way around explaining why they popped up on the opposite brand.
Davey Boy Smith Jr.
For about a year or even longer, Harry Smith has had this confusing contractual situation. There are always reports that he’s rejoined WWE, but the only evidence of this that we’ve seen was some appearances leading up to the Hall of Fame and one dark match before SmackDown.
Is he signed or not? In what capacity? That’s why he’s not listed in the draft this time around, because it seems WWE doesn’t even fully want to commit.
I say put him on SmackDown. The more, the merrier. Originally, I thought NXT UK, but I thought he’d be a good fit to beat WALTER. Now that he’s no longer champion, I don’t see the point in saddling him with a brand that not many people watch (sorry, but it’s true). He doesn’t need to go back to NXT, either, so let’s just put him in the midcard on SmackDown for now. Natalya is there, so that’s a connection point to start from.
Elias is dead. Long live Elias. That’s the last we heard from him and the vignettes stopped airing. Is that because the creative direction has changed and they’ve dropped this, or because the intention was to wait until they actually figure out a better game plan and they just haven’t?
Which brand he ends up depends on his new character. Most likely, he’ll ditch the guitar, so it’s not as though he needs more time on Raw’s extra hour to do his usual shtick. Assuming he’s not doing something that would be better suited to NXT 2.0, I’m leaning more toward SmackDown. Whether a heel or babyface, there are roles for him to play in both divisions.
Curiously, Nia Jax was taken out by Shayna Baszler, but she was drafted to stay on Raw. Eva Marie wasn’t mentioned at all, despite suffering the same fate from The Queen of Spades.
Is this because WWE realized Eva Marie still wasn’t ready in the ring and wants to transition her out of a competition role and more into a manager capacity? If so, that makes sense why she’s not been picked, since they don’t bother to do that with managers and valets.
She’s extremely attractive, but her character’s not doing much for me and I don’t think anyone’s going to really complain to not see her wrestling on either program. I’m drawing a blank for anybody she’d be a good manager for, even. This leaves me puzzled for where to put her, as I don’t think she can properly fit in anywhere.
I guess if WWE is trying to get more risque with NXT 2.0, maybe she’d fit in there. Perhaps that could lend itself to more hours at the Performance Center where she can improve her ring and mic skills, too.
Gran Metalik / Lince Dorado
Gran Metalik requested his release. WWE hasn’t announced that it’s been granted, but it most likely will be, if it hasn’t already.
Lince Dorado is likely on the back burner because of this. What do you do with a tag team that’s no longer a tag team? Hell, for all we know, maybe Dorado requested his release, too, and that information just hasn’t been released yet.
If not, I’m thinking Dorado will go to Raw. They’ll probably use him as just one of those guys who chases Reggie around, rather than pushing him, sadly. If I had my pick, though, I’d send him to SmackDown to keep him away from Rey Mysterio. One luchador per brand.
Evans is still away on pregnancy leave. She’s not coming back for many months, so don’t count on her being part of any plans for anything or on anyone’s minds for WWE Creative.
When push comes to shove, it’s probably going to be so far down the line that her placement on the roster will be a coin flip. Many women will have already feuded with each other and will need someone fresh, no matter whether it’s Raw or SmackDown. She can fill in that void in the future, but we just don’t know what void that will be.