The WWE Draft has concluded, and there were several surprises, including the number of NXT Call-Ups. With 18 superstars being called up, who are the called-up NXT women with the potential to make it on the main roster? While it is impossible to be sure, a lot can happen in WWE; some drafted talents have a better shot than others. Although most of the call-ups were men, as discussed in Part 1, WWE brought six women to Raw or Smackdown and changed NXT in the process.
Female NXT Call-Ups With the Potential to Make It Big
- Indi Hartwell
- Zoey Stark
- Katana Chance & Kayden Carter
- Alba Fyre & Isla Dawn
Unlike the men, there was less consensus around who would be called up and what the NXT women’s division would look like. The biggest shock is that both of NXT’s women’s champions and the number one contenders for the tag belts were all called up, leaving a gap on the roster and throwing all of that show’s plans into question. Still, some talented performers are getting a shot on the main roster, while others may struggle to find their footing.
— Zoey Stark (@ZoeyStarkWWE) April 29, 2023
When looking at all of the women on NXT who could have been drafted compared to the performers that were, Zoey Stark is one of the top prospects. Zoey Stark had a phenomenal showing at Stand and Deliver and has improved consistently since her NXT Debut. Her role on Tuesdays is usually to make the champion or their challenger look good. Her ring work is a big part of why she has been given that task. Even on her way out, all of the NXT’s prominent women have had a match with Stark on television.
Raw post-draft will have a dominant heel champion in Rhea Ripley. While Zoey Stark could instantly challenge for that belt, she would likely find little success. So instead, she will likely find herself in a similar role. She is fighting the good fight against the stars on their way to Ripley to build a profile and reputation similar to the one she has now. However, come Royal Rumble time, Zoey Stark will probably get her chance to shine. In 2023 she lasted over 25 minutes in the match, so an Ironman performance and star-making run are probable for Raw’s new rookie in 2024.
As the current NXT Women’s Champion and the first singles woman competitor from NXT drafted, Hartwell has some potential for main roster success. Additionally, she is joining Johnny Gargano, Candice LeRae, and Dexter Lumis, which means she has a built-in reunion story. Indi has been with WWE for four years, but only recently has she developed into a serious competitor. Still, Hartwell is still not necessarily ready for a run as Women’s champion on the main roster, and frankly, she may never be. Cora Jade made that point with her return promo to NXT recently, and like all the best heels, she may have a point.
Her recent run as Women’s Champion was getting interesting, with each woman essentially claiming her win was a fluke. Indi proving her haters wrong and getting progressively better by gutting out was working, and the match at Spring Breakin was proof that the concept could work as a main event match. Returning to The Way or even a tag team with Lerae is a downgrade. Perhaps the story of Indi not being good enough resonates well because WWE believes it too. Regardless, it is possible but unlikely that The Way gets super over and gives her a shot at main-roster stardom.
Alba Fyre & Isla Dawn
Like Indi Hartwell, both Alba Fyre and Isla Dawn are currently champions on NXT. The duo won the tag titles at Stand and Deliver. Unlike Hartwell, both joined NXT a little later, coming from the now-defunct NXT UK. The duo was thrown together but have already developed well as a team. However, because they are both a new team and a new champion, it is strange to see them as the first NXT women with the potential to make it on the main roster. They were picked earlier than any other NXT talents.
WWE Women’s tag team division. Ronda Rousey and Shayna Baszler were kept together. So were Damage CTRL. Also, the NXT women’s champion is joining her former partner on Raw, adding yet another potential team for that division. In that respect, the team has a decent shot at finding an opportunity to get over with fans. Also, Isla has already been appearing on Main Event ahead of the draft this year. While Isla Dawn is probably not ready from a character perspective to be a singles competitor on Raw, Alba Fyre might be. She has done almost everything you can do in NXT, including memorable performances in War Games and even a main event feud with Mandy Rose. Her career outside of WWE could also help prepare her for life after her partnership with Dawn.
Sink or Swim Stars
Katana Chance & Kayden Carter
When Alba Fyre and Isla Dawn get called up to Raw, their match with Katan Chance & Kayden Carter made sense. Carter and Chance have both been in NXT for a while and are talented workers as a team over the past three years. In that time, they did even have one reign as the champions, which lasted a while, filling in after the title was vacated. The role of transitional champion and perpetual tag team challenger has been firmly established for the duo. It looked like the duo would beat Fyre and Dawn and become transitional champions again.
Instead, they have also joined the ballooning tag team division in a failed effort against the champs. This move leaves NXT’s division needing some serious help and provides minimal upside for the duo personally. Neither woman was ever given a shot on NXT, even as a duo; they were usually afterthought. This is despite rising to the occasion when nobody was left. When this push for an established women’s tag team division dissipates, neither woman will be in a great position. Now they might get an opportunity while WWE is still interested, but they must stand out in the ring and as characters together to turn that into lasting success. To date, nobody from the Women’s tag team division has done that, and it feels like this move was meant to set some long-time NXT performers up for failure and removal.
Roxanne Perez is one of the best NXT women on the roster to date. She is one of the most compelling since the original Bayley character. Her connection with fans is undeniable, and she gets better with each match. Given her age and how good she already is, that is a scary thought. Her battles with Cora Jade, Rhea Ripley, and a title defense against Meiko Satomura stand out as matches to rewatch. Why she would be passed over for current NXT Women’s champion Indi Hartwell is frankly strange.
Meiko Satomura is a well-respected Japanese wrestler with decades of experience worldwide. She was not discussed much as a potential call-up. Given who did get selected for a run on Raw or Smackdown, she feels like a missed opportunity. Consistently an excellent competitor in-ring, her character has been that of a decorated ring veteran, which is easy to portray on any brand.
For that reason, she is an excellent NXT woman with the potential to make it on the main roster. At 43 years old, though, there may not be any interest in joining the main roster. However, she will be 44 years old come the next draft. This year may have been the last one to give her a main roster moment, and she would have made a much bigger impact on the women’s division than some of the other options.
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