Analyzing WWE’s use of the free agent tag post 2023 WWE Draft


WWE named multiple wrestlers free agents after the 2023 WWE Draft and some are seeing the benefits more than others. 

The WWE Draft has come and gone, with a lot of developments since. One such is the use of the “free agent” tag for several performers that were not selected by an actual brand. Many were initially skeptical at the idea, almost chalking it up to the laziness that’s prone in WWE’s booking. Looking back, the designation has worked well for some, while the verdict is still out for others.

Mustafa Ali and Baron Corbin immediately come to mind. Both individuals continue to stand out and are currently being leveraged on WWE NXT and the two main roster shows. Ali is headed toward what many expect to be a WWE NXT North American title shot against Wes Lee. Corbin is heading toward his own title shot against Carmelo Hayes.

Ali and Corbin working with two of the younger stars on the brand is an excellent opportunity to build their resumes and get them in strong matches. Ali and Corbin are great in the ring and can help build both men as they continue their NXT campaigns. Some have tagged Hayes as a future star for the promotion and are ready to face some of the bigger names on the main roster. Lee’s run with the North American title has been a pleasant surprise, and there are still questions about his overall ceiling if he did make that leap to the main roster. These matches against Corbin and Ali are a great way to give them a “heat check” of sorts.

Others who were hit with the free agent tag haven’t seen the same utilization. Dolph Ziggler, Cedric Alexander, and Shelton Benjamin are getting the “enhancement talent” gimmick as of late. They’ve been used to build JD McDonagh and Indus Sher. Fans would love to see more from all three men, but unfortunately, that does not seem to be in the cards. Omos had some moments, but he and MVP have disappeared from television since the match against Seth Rollins.

Xyon Quinn, Von Wagner, and Elias haven’t seen the most action since the tag. In fact, Von Wagner is the only individual who has had a match since the May 15 Intercontinental Title Contendership Battle Royal that was won by Ali. It will be interesting to see their long-term place in the company, especially since none of these men were particularly popular or riding a wave of momentum heading into the draft.

The fallout from the 2023 edition of the WWE Draft continues to unfold and there’s a lot to analyze. There have been some good things to come out of those labeled as free agents. While all haven’t seen the same success, when played right – the usage has worked.

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