WWE love to bang on about their Women’s Revolution, and how Stephanie McMahon was the genius behind it all and not, y’know, the guy who hired these women. And to be fair they’ve got good reason to, WWE’s women’s division today is better than it’s ever been. We’ve come along way from the days of Sable and Debra and The Kat, women who’s only purpose was to look good and they could barely do that quite frankly.
Today we have Becky Lynch, Sasha Banks, Bayley, and yes, even Charlotte, who may be pretty bad, but she’s doing moves and spots Debra could only dream of. But while this influx of great female talent is good for WWE and their women’s division, it’s come at a price. Most of the women in WWE today have either come directly from NXT, or have gone through NXT. On RAW you’ve got Bayley, Charlotte, Nia Jax, Paige, Sasha Banks and Summer Rae, with Emma returning to that brand soon, while on Smackdown Live you’ve got Alexa Bliss, Becky Lynch, Carmella and Eva Marie. That’s twelve women who have at one point been part of NXT’s women’s division.
While it’s good to see such great female talent being showcased on the biggest wrestling shows on TV, it does leave NXT with very few options. During the brand split I was certain Nia Jax, Carmella and Alexa Bliss would stay in NXT – none of them had held the NXT Women’s Championship, and all of them were established stars in NXT, they’d have been perfect. But instead they were drafted and we were left with either unknown women or worse, jobbers.
This means they need to build up new female stars, which is a bit tricky since NXT is only an hour long compared to RAW which is three hours and Smackdown Live which is two but they’ve also got Talking Smack to get stuff over. NXT don’t have time for squash matches, last week they didn’t even have time for their main event feud between Samoa Joe and Shinsuke Nakamura, the latter of which, who by the way is the NXT Champion, wasn’t even on the show.
Right now the only established woman in NXT is the champion, Asuka. Then you’ve got Ember Moon who is already super talented, she just needs to get over as a potential NXT Women’s Champion. But you can see NXT trying to build up future female stars. Recently Liv Morgan began a feud with Billie Kay and Peyton Royce, with Aliyah getting involved on Liv’s side. Hopefully this will build up to a tag team match at TakeOver: Toronto and we can start making new stars.
Now that’s all well and good, but who is going to fight Asuka now? After all those I mentioned, all we have left is Mandy Rose and Nikki Cross, neither of whom are ready for a shot at Asuka’s title. So that essentially leaves no one who is worthy of a Women’s title shot against Asuka, and Asuka herself admitted this in a promo saying that no one was ready for her. So what have they done? They’ve brought Mickie James back for, presumably, one last match against Asuka for the NXT Women’s Championship at TakeOver: Toronto on the 19th of November, one day before Survivor Series.
Is that a good thing, though? Should they bring back such an established female wrestler to fight Asuka for the title? Well, if you ask me, yes. It’s either this or no Women’s title match at Toronto, which means the Asuka would have no reason to be on TV, which would mean the Women’s title will be off TV too, which would potentially devalue it. With no one ready for a title shot the only thing to do is to bring someone in who is, and it can’t be an indy wrestler, it has to be someone already established, and it has to be someone who the fans recognise, so Mickie is perfect.
But it didn’t have to be this way. If NXT had kept Nia, Alexa and Carmella, one of them could have gone for the title while they built up new stars like Liv, Aliyah, Billie and Peyton, and of course Ember Moon. Just to be clear, I’m not saying Alexa Bliss or Nia Jax or Carmella weren’t ready for the main roster, but I do feel like they’re being wasted there. Nia Jax is just doing squash matches and last I saw she beat Alicia Fox which is fine, but it was a pre-show match, so who cares? They’re not on the main PPV. Bliss had a Women’s Title match against Becky Lynch but when Lynch had to pull out due to injury Bliss lost to Naomi of all people. Meanwhile, Carmella has been losing to Nikki Bella, in this supposed new era Carmella has lost to the star of the last era. Way to go, Smackdown.
But as for NXT, I’m not worried about their women’s division. Yeah, there’s no number one contender for the NXT Women’s Championship, but hopefully there will be one in time for the next TakeOver special. Who that’ll be, however, remains to be seen.