What’s Next for Beth Phoenix Following NXT Departure?

Beth Phoenix WWE NXT

December 5’s NXT WarGames marks NXT’s first pay-per-view event since being rebranded in late summer 2021, into NXT 2.0. It also marks the last appearance of WWE Hall of Famer Beth Phoenix at the NXT commentary desk. On December 2, via Twitter, Phoenix announced that she would be departing the NXT team to spend more time with her family. Her statement was warm and affectionate, stating that she was proud of the brand and grateful to colleagues such as Shawn Michaels, Triple H, and fellow color commentators Vic Joseph and Wade Barrett. Phoenix also noted that she was leaving NXT, but not WWE.

Beth Phoenix Following NXT

Potential Involvement on Monday Nights

This caveat, and husband Edge’s return to Monday Night Raw on November 29, have led to speculation that Phoenix will be returning to Raw, as well. On November 29’s Raw, Edge, The Miz and Maryse engaged in a war of words. If Phoenix were to return to the ring, a feud between the couples,  and an eventual intergender tag team face off would be sure to be in their future. Miz and Maryse’s last foray into a mixed tag feud, however, resulted in a loss to John Cena and Nikki Bella at WrestleMania 33. Maryse and Phoenix are no strangers to each other, having faced off in singles and tag competition during their respective time in the Divas division. They were engaging foils to each other, Phoenix’s technical ability, athleticism, and considerable strength pitted against Maryse’s comparatively less polished abilities, her vixenish image belying a scrappy, brawling in-ring style.

There’s no confirmation of such speculation, but if so it would be the fruition of a journey back to the ring that Phoenix has been traveling for the last year and a half. The former college wrestler’s time in the WWE began in 2001 after undergoing training at then-developmental territory Ohio Valley Wrestling. During her six years in WWE, she attained the WWE Women’s Championship 3 times and the WWE Divas Championship once. She was the second woman in WWE history, after Chyna, to enter the men’s event at the Royal Rumble. Phoenix retired from full-time active competition in 2012, due to frustrations with the creative direction of WWE’s Divas division.

Beth Phoenix’s Efforts Following Full-Time Retirement

Throughout the following decade, Beth Phoenix assumed commentator duties, but since 2019 has made forays back into the squared circle: reforming the Divas of Doom with former tag partner Natalya at WrestleMania 35, and competing in the women’s Royal Rumble event in 2020. In July 2021, she revealed that she had been medically cleared by WWE. A return to the ring by a groundbreaking and beloved performer like Phoenix would be a breath of fresh air on Raw. Uncannily, she may very well find herself facing off against talents she nurtured on NXT, like Rhea Ripley, Nikki A.S.H, and Bianca Belair.

NXT has seen no shortage of changes this autumn, and Phoenix’s departure means the loss of the warm and relatable presence she brought to her commentator role. She and Wade Barrett’s characters were polar opposites who often clashed, with Barrett cheerleading ruthless aggression from NXT’s heels while Phoenix championed fair play, optimism, and matters of the heart, most notably in the “InDex” romantic angle, which ended with Phoenix officiating Indi Hartwell’s and Dexter Lumis’s nuptials on the September premiere of NXT 2.0.

While she’ll be missed as the voice of reason on NXT, the return of “The Glamazon” Beth Phoenix to the squared circle is too tantalizing a prospect not to hope for.

Stay tuned to the Last Word on Pro Wrestling for more on this and other stories from around the world of wrestling, as they develop. You can always count on LWOPW to be on top of the major news in the wrestling world, as well as to provide you with analysis, previews, videos, interviews, and editorials on the wrestling world. You can check out an almost unlimited array of WWE content on the WWE Network and Peacock.


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