The first episode of The Grayson Waller Effect on SmackDown airs this week.
As a part of the 2023 WWE Draft, NXT’s Grayson Waller was brought to the SmackDown brand. His first on-screen appearance was when he approached Adam Pearce to secure the guest for his Grayson Waller Effect talk show on May 19th.
Before Waller went to SmackDown, at points over the last several months, he had multiple back and forth arguments with Shawn Michaels which led to Michaels bringing in Johnny Gargano to face Waller at Stand & Deliver. Waller was interviewed by FOX Sports and stated that he wanted a singles match against Michaels.
No one in recent years can say that they were in the ring with Shawn Michaels. Even though it wasn’t in a wrestling capacity, like I wanted, that’s one of the greatest of all time and I was in there. And that doesn’t happen. So that was very big for me.
The first guest on the SmackDown edition of Grayson Waller Effect is AJ Styles, who is representing SmackDown in the World Heavyweight Championship tournament final.
Grayson and Styles wrestled on NXT in January 2022. Waller stressed how much he wants a rematch.
When I was a teenager, AJ Styles was my favorite wrestler. I got the opportunity to see him on a tour in Sydney when I was probably like 14-15. So I was always a big AJ fan. So he was always number one, and the fact that (I) got to do it in NXT (feud with him) was wild. But that night was so important to me – because I feel like I didn’t just hang in there with him. It wasn’t a situation where like, oh, wow, he hung with him. I think I went in there, and I competed against him. And I kind of showed who I was. But I lost. So at the end of the day, I can’t take anything positive from it, because I lost – and that’s something that I’ve thought about a lot. And now he’s gonna be on my talk show this week, you know, Saturday morning on Binge on SmackDown. And I think that’s the biggest name you could possibly get. And I need that rematch, lad. I need that so bad. I hate losing. I hate losing so much. And I hate the fact that he can say he beat me. So I need to change that.
Waller being drafted to SmackDown was announced on an episode of Raw Talk. He stated that he took umbrage with being picked late and his draft announcement not being on television.
I’m not gonna lie, it was tough. You know, I sat there on the Friday night for, you know, four or five hours or however long it was. I saw name after name and Grayson Waller’s name wasn’t picked. And you know, not everyone was there. Not everyone was there. I got asked to be there. So I expected to be drafted. And when I wasn’t, I was frustrated. And I had to sit that whole weekend and think about how low I felt. And then I turn up that Monday and the same thing happens. I watched the entire episode of Raw and I’m hearing these names picked – and there’s some really talented people in NXT who got drafted, but I’m Grayson Waller. I’m the number one person here. My name should be drafted on television. And when my name was called last, I wasn’t elated. I wasn’t happy. I wasn’t crying like everyone else. They’re all just happy to get drafted. That’s their goal achieved, they’re done now. This is just the beginning. I took umbrage with the fact that I was picked last. I took umbrage to the fact that it wasn’t on television. And I don’t think that’s the wrong thing. I think for me, that’s when I operate at my best – and I think when you saw when I talked afterwards, that was who I am, I was being real, I hold myself to a different standard. I’m not like everyone else in NXT who’s just happy to be in the Performance Center, or happy to be on Raw now. I see myself as one of the best and I operate best with a chip on my shoulder, so I put a whole bag of chips on my shoulder that night. I feel Smackdown got the number one pick with the last pick. This is going to go down five years from now – when you think about draft moments, there’s so many cool draft moments. I think Grayson Waller getting picked last will be a moment because I’ll be at this stage, and everyone will look back and go wow, how did he get picked so late?