The Women’s Division in NXT is arguably the best in all of Pro-Wrestling. They are well and truly the crown jewel in NXT’s crown. Sitting on top of this stacked division is “The Joshi Judas,” Io Shirai. Holding the NXT Women’s title for 186 days and counting, “The Genius of the Sky” is the ace of NXT. Shirai has defeated the best of the best such as Sasha Banks, Dakota Kai, Tegan Nox, Candice LeRae, and Rhea Ripley. Her level of dominance is undeniable. Io’s title run could very well rival that of Asuka. With a fantastic wrestling style in addition to incredible charisma, Shirai is the top Joshi star in America without question. The next woman to hold the gold will have a ton of pressure to live up to. Here are the top contenders to best Io Shirai to become the next NXT Women’s Champion:
“The War Goddess,” Ember Moon
After making her return to the black and gold brand at NXT Takeover: 31. Ember Moon made it clear that she is back to reclaim the NXT Women’s Title. The Shenom is a former NXT’s Women’s Champion, having held the gold for 139 days before losing it to Shayna Bayzler. After a stagnant main roster run, Ember is ready to make up for lost time. Ember possesses a fantastic finisher as well as an awesome Mortal Kombat inspired entrance. Ember Moon’s road to recovery is a similar story that made fans care about Tegan Nox. Her underrated feud with Asuka proved she is a big-time player. Considering Finn Balor also returned to become a 2-time NXT champ. Who’s to say The War Goddess can’t as well?
“The Turncoat,” Toni Storm
It’s taken awhile, but Toni Storm is finally finding her groove in WWE. Toni’s heel turn against Ember to join Candice LeRae’s War Games team is going to provide her a bigger platform to grow into. Toni has had a decent, if not unremarkable run so far. A former NXT UK Women’s Champion as well as being the second Mae Young Classic winner. Storm pinned Shirai in the finals and still remains one of the few women in WWE to have beaten the Joshi Superstar definitively. Not to mention, both of these women are Stardom alumni. Both Toni and Io are former World of Stardom champions in addition to SWA World Champions. Clearly, Triple H sees potential in the New-Zealand superstar. Beating Io would keep Toni’s momentum in check and shake up the landscape of the brand for the future.
“The Ballsy Badass,” Shotzi Blackheart
The War Machine herself is always ready for battle. Though her team lost at NXT Takeover: War Games, Shotzi is a star on the rise. Her incredible hosting of NXT Takeover: Halloween Havoc in addition to a energetic personality have won her over with the fans. Shotzi is an underdog that can get her hands dirty when the situation calls for it. Her and Io have a friendly rivalry that could easily justify a chase to win the gold. Most of the time in WWE, a babyface will lose a title to a heel and vice versa. How about shaking up the formula by having the babyface put over another babyface? Shotzi embodies the spirit of NXT. A young wrestler on the rise with a love for leather jackets and tanks. She’s practically everything Triple H wants in a wrestler.
“The Latina Sensation,” Mercedes Martinez
Mercedes Martinez is one of the greatest women’s wrestlers of all time. Unfortunately, she is also a former member of RETRIBUTION. Luckily, The Latina Sensation managed to get out of the faction and will make her return to NXT soon enough. Her time in NXT was short-lived, though it did end with a great Steel Cage match against Rhea Ripley. Mercedes Martinez is made to be NXT Women’s Champion. She is a certifiable badass who is pound for pound one of the best workers inside the squared circles. She worked her ass off for nineteen years just to get to WWE. Mercedes dominating the NXT Women’s division as well as definitively ending Io’s title run is money. Two of the best independent women’s wrestlers battling it out is what put NXT on the map.
“The Queen,” Charlotte Flair
Yes, Charlotte’s title reign together with her run in NXT was pointless. Yes, Rhea and the entire NXT Women’s Division completely suffered as a result and haven’t really recovered. And yes, this would absolutely be the wrong call. However, is that really going to stop WWE? Like it or not, Charlotte Flair will be a sixteen-time women’s champion before her career ends. The Queen will remain the most decorated athlete out of the Four Horsewomen. “The Nature Girl” is one of WWE’s top stars regardless of gender. She will always have gold around her waist no matter what. Considering there are long term plans in place for her return. In addition to not being pinned to lose the title at NXT Takeover: In Your House. The carpet is already rolled out for The Queen to take back the crown.