The WWE roster was split in the wake of the Draft. The company also brought several stars from NXT to both RAW and SmackDown. Tonight, three superstars from the white and gold brand made their in-ring debut on the promotion's flagship show.
The May 15, 2023, episode of WWE RAW featured a battle royal to determine the next challenger for Intercontinental Champion GUNTHER at Night of Champions 2023. The match featured Dolph Ziggler, Matt Riddle, Johnny Gargano, and eventual winner Mustafa Ali.
The battle royal also marked the main roster in-ring debut of JD McDonagh, Von Wagner, and Xyon Quinn. For those unaware, McDonagh was drafted to RAW as part of the WWE Draft 2023.
During the show, the Irish Ace was also scouted for potential recruitment into Judgment Day.
Wagner and Quinn, on the other hand, were declared free agents after the Draft. These superstars were waiting for a call from either SmackDown or RAW to show up. Having said that, let’s look at the career highlights of the new debutants.
#1. JD McDonagh
JD McDonagh is arguably the most famous name on this list. The former Jordan Devlin is a protégé of Finn Balor. The two famously had a match at NXT UK TakeOver: Blackpool in 2019. He is a veteran of the independent circuit, having toured around the world before signing with WWE in 2017.
As part of his stint in Triple H's NXT, McDonagh won the NXT Cruiserweight Championship. He dropped the title to Santos Escobar in a Cruiserweight Championship unification ladder match at NXT TakeOver: Stand & Deliver in 2021.
He returned to NXT UK soon after TakeOver. His last match on the brand transpired against longtime rival Ilja Dragunov. McDonagh was forced to leave NXT UK after he lost the match to The Czar.
After NXT UK folded, Triple H and Shawn Michaels brought him to NXT in Orlando, Florida. He took out Bron Breakker following his Undisputed NXT Championship win over Tyler Bate at Worlds Collide on September 4, 2022. His last NXT match was against Dragon Lee on May 2, 2023.
#2. Von Wagner
The towering Von Wagner might be a man of few words, but he rarely pulls his punches. The former three-sport star followed his father’s footsteps to become a pro wrestler. He signed with WWE in 2019 and made his NXT debut on September 14, 2021.
Wagner's NXT career highlight came with a win over former tag team partner Kyle O’Reilly in a steel cage match. The big man defeated the former Tag Team Champion on the December 7, 2021, episode of the developmental brand.
Wagner’s first main roster TV appearance transpired on the October 31, 2022, episode of WWE RAW. The former football player emerged from the back to stop a brawl between Brock Lesnar and Bobby Lashley.
#3. Xyon Quinn
Xyon Quinn made a name for himself in rugby before joining WWE on October 17, 2018. The real-life Daniel Vidot used to play wing in Australia's National Rugby League (NRL) for the Brisbane Broncos, Gold Coast Titans, Canberra Raiders, and St. George Illawarra Dragon.
After learning WWE’s sports entertainment style, Quinn made his NXT TV debut in a squash match by defeating Boa on August 24, 2021. He embarked on an undefeated streak for several weeks. He unsuccessfully pitched to become Shotzi's co-host for NXT Halloween Havoc 2022.
Outside the ring, the Australian is engaged to pop singer and AEW wrestler Harley Cameron.
Did you spot the new stars during the RAW battle royal? Let us know in the comments section below!