During Clash of Champions, WWE confirmed previous reports that there will be a new onscreen WWE Draft starting on the October 11 episode of Smackdown and continuing on the October 14 episode of Raw. WWE’s official announcements have also confirmed that the Brand Split will be much more important at that point, with the so-called Wild Card Rule officially ended. What’s been less clear is what part NXT, which debuts tomorrow on the USA Network, will play in the exchange of talent.
On a media call about the NXT Premiere (transcribed by Fightful), Triple H says that while nothing is set in stone, it doesn’t look like NXT will be a factor in the draft:
Everybody is gonna have to wait and see. I don’t foresee [NXT being part of the draft]. Right now, the main focus of the draft itself is Raw and SmackDown,” Triple H said on the NXT media call. “As October 4 comes along and moves forward, with Fox broadcast taking SmackDown and us staying with USA and NBCU, those become two competitive landscapes. I’m of the opinion that the NXT brand would continue to grow. Down the line, you will see — NXT has grown to where it shouldn’t be referred to as a developmental brand, even though we tend to debut newer stars, especially over the years. I think people lose perspective of the amount of stars that are homegrown that have never stepped into the ring before, that stepped into the Performance Center, made their mark in NXT, and moved up the line and are now on Raw and SmackDown. I think [NXT] needs more time to be considered in the same breath (as Raw and SmackDown), hopefully over the next few months we’re going to get there. The draft is much more about creating the brand split, having two distinct rosters between Raw and SmackDown. That’s what this draft is about.
It sounds like Triple H is offering his preferred version of how things will shake out, and how the NXT brand will develop, and hopefully he’s allowed to keep making those decisions as the NXT format changes and rating become a factor.