NXT Women's Division Raises Expectations for Strong WWE Future

WWE NXT boasts a women's division with enough talent to power the next generation of professional wrestling.
Lola Vice.jpg
Lola Vice.jpg /

Wrestling, like every other industry, enjoys the passing of the proverbial torch. When distinguished veterans begin to wind down their careers or venture into part-time status, a new group slowly begins to supplant them. Granted, touring schedules aren't arduous journeys like previous eras. Yet, the need for emerging talent remains constant. As a result, the NXT women's roster teems with talent that should inhabit all areas of the card.

The Plan

When Jim Ross headed the WWE scouting department, he set a standard for the type of athlete the company needed to recruit. While he signed independent talent like Edge and the Hardys, JR felt that the college athletic world and professional wrestling fit hand in glove. Look no further than Brock Lesnar and Shelton Benjamin, both standout wrestlers at the University of Minnesota.

Now, Ross never applied the same approach to female athletes. Yet, the WWE scouts that took over, incorporated the game plan to include female athletes from all corners of the globe. Additionally, signing raw-as-spinach green athletic talent with a training center to sharpen the rough edges remains the smartest, least-discussed fact in wrestling. NXT evolved out of Florida Championship Wrestling. Before that Ohio Valley and Deep South Wrestling set the standard. Now, the female talent walking through the PC rightfully possesses the same opportunity as their male counterparts.

The Prodigy

The current NXT women's champion enjoys her second reign and first as a heel. Despite this, based on her stature and immediate connection to the crowd, Perez profiles as an achieving, face-in-peril type of wrestler. When fighting from underneath, the crowd rallies behind her.

Concomitantly, Perez, regardless of heel or face status, displays the ability to evoke strong crowd reactions with her facial expressions and selling. Meanwhile, she started to implement a crossface submission that would make people forget about the overly-assisted Pop Rox. On the mic, Perez started to slow down her cadence, allowing her words to register and fill the room. When she speaks in front of larger crowds that slight change will greatly benefit her. Many anticipate a main roster debut later this year. A true unicorn in NXT. Did not arrive from a college sports background. In fact, Perez won the ROH Women's Championship at the age of 19 in 2021. Furthermore, the company appears invested in Perez, as they chose her to dethrone Mandy Rose and ultimately win her title back. Moreover, she received backstage kudos for her Smackdown performances.

Lash Legend

Beneath the excellent promo work and presence, Legend's untapped athleticism will ultimately serve as her calling card. A former standout basketball player, Legend's explosion to and through moves lay the groundwork as a power-based wrestler. Fortunately, the scouts at the PC look in no hurry to rush her along in the process. In fact, the Meta Four faction allowed Legend to work on the comedy side of her heel persona while she worked out the in-ring kinks. One in particular is the gap in the step when running. Basically, a fixable hiccup that smooths out over time.

At the next level, Legend's height, mic work and physical gifts slot her into the upper midcard with the ceiling of a future world champion. Now, that callup looks a year or so away, which gives Legend ample time to polish her game. Lastly, the WWE needs to name her finisher " The Rebound" since she pulled down 1303 of them during her time at Texas A&M and Mississippi State.

Legitimacy Reign Supreme

Throughout Jim Ross' tenure, he emphasized legit toughness in his prospects. Prospects like Lola Vice fit right in. For Vice, her MMA background. After compiling a 4-1 record in Bellator including two knockouts, Vice embarked on her wrestling journey. After pairing with Elektra Lopez, the company placed her with Shayna Baszler for a stretch. In Baszler, Vice could use the same driven persona but with better mic skills and the ability to taunt opponents and thrill the crowd. All while earning master status in Taekwondo at age 19.

Vice sports entertains with her fluid way of speaking and dancing. Between the ropes, quick-paced punches and kicks give Vice a different ring sense than many of her colleagues. Working as a heel fits perfectly. Blessed with the ability to entertain while possessing the legitimate ability to flatten opponents definitely opens doors. We can only hope that no one places her in the LWO/ Legado Del Fantasma and gives her substantive storylines.

New Era Backlund?

When Thea Hail jobbed on two AEW Dark matches in 2021, those results went mostly unnoticed. Yet, the following year, she debuted in NXT. Hail's persona combines overwhelming energy with a driven tenacity. Imagine a modern-day Bob Backlund. Now, not WWF champ in the 1980s, but the crazed wrestler when he secured the crossface chicken wing in the 1990s.

For Hail, her kimura and the subsequent attention around it, draws parallels to the Hall of Famer. Hail's in-ring quickly progressed from choppy transitions to flowing between sequences. Similarly, the mic work surprises with comfort in front of the camera, regardless of the situation. Playing a pseudo-heel, tagging with Jacy Jayne allowed Hail to expand her character in order to broaden her range. At the next level, the hyper version of Thea Hail could find itself altered into a more serious role. Either way, her main roster future looks bright.

Heart and Sol

Initially, Sol Ruca's ascent looked slowed by an ACL. When she returned, she looked a little sharper. What stands out most, other than the Sol Snatcher, her finisher, is the selling ability. This match versus Tiffany Stratton shows a knack for making an opponent look like a million dollars. Plus, despite standing five-foot-nine, Ruca moves with the quickness and balance of a much smaller athlete. Her background of tumbling at the University of Oregon paid dividends.

On the other hand, Ruca needs serious mic work. Her promos feel stunted and hectic. While her person relies on a laid-back, surfer vibe, Ruca must clearly articulate the issues with her opponent and what she's about to do about it. As a tag team/ mid-card face, Ruca possesses the move set to steal the show in the middle of an event. Along with her time at UO, Ruca's father, Paul, played keyboards in the legendary punk band Fishbone. As a result, adjusting to the bright lights will not stand in her way.

The Charismatic Annoyance

Now, if you live by the axiom of " funny don't draw money", Arianna Grace never flashed across your Tuesday night screen. Now, her evaluation centers primarily on her promo acumen. In a word, annoying. From the shrillness of her inflection to her delusional effect, Grace hits every note perfectly with comedic timing and calm. She commands every scene she enters, leaving a reminder of what an outstanding comedic wrestler she could evolve into. Grace serves as the pebble in the NXT shoe, a talent so detached from reality that her heel persona actually endears her to the audience.

Nevertheless, the in-ring work must start to keep pace. Grace suffered a torn ACL and meniscus in her knee in October 2022. Severe knee injuries can take up to two years for the patient to feel normal. When Grace gets up to speed, look for her character to eventually hold the Women's North American Championship. The easy route in evaluation entails listing Grace's famous father. No need. The daughter carves out her own path.

Positive Reps and Experience

If you scan the NXT roster, few athletes boast the match load as Kelani Jordan. Despite competing in her first singles match on March 23, 2024, Jordan walked the aisle fifty-six time since then. Under those circumstances, the match frequency places her a bit further along than many of her Class of 2022 contemporaries. Jordan, a former All-American gymnast from Michigan State used an acrobatic style that relies on occasionally a bit too much obvious cooperation. However, her basics look sounds and throws one of the better dropkicks in NXT. Behind the mic, Jordan explains herself well enough, conveying anger at opponents and compassion towards allies. She needs to demonstrate more urgency in her promos.

Quick Thoughts

Fallon Henley: Trying a heel approach to mixed reviews. Good in ring, as are promos. Feeling like the next step is a midcard title run and a call up next year.

The perfect Main roster is ready before ACL injury. Perfect foil for Roxanne Perez. Performs better as a selfish heel. The Skateboard gimmick did not work. Uses a resonant tone of voice and rolling eyes mixed with condescension to sell matches.

Gigi Dolin: NXT dropped the ball with her. This vignette sets up a determined face. Excellent tag wrestler and conveys emotion during promos. The company needs to call her up. A ten-year veteran doesn't need to still linger at the PC.

Jacy Jayne: Another NXT misstep. She plays despicable better than anyone on the roster. Needs call up. Fluid in-ring and evokes strong dislike in promos. Imagine a no-nonsense Chelsea Green with venomous mic skills. Perfect to add quality tag team depth.

Jakara Jackson: Former fitness model, finding stride in Meta Four. Sound athlete. Needs time and match reps to elevate ring skills to mic abilities.

Nikkita Lyons: The injury bug surfaced again in February. Martial arts background assists with mic skills. Yet, in-ring, lacks continuity between moves and pacing. A return to basics is in order.

Tatum Paxley: Champion powerlifter. In-ring, quite nimble for strength palette. Feeds and sells for babyface and heels without appearing overdramatic. The best unhinged character promo work in WWE. Of all of the NXT talent, one of the more underrated.

Jaida Parker: Although OTM gives her TV time, Parker needs to branch out. Speaks great. Soccer background forms a strong lower body base. Must locate that second gear in ring work.

Karmen Petrovic: Third-degree Karate Black belt. Uses that for her base and offense. Sells well. Headkick from a standstill visually draws attention. Keep an eye on her in late 2025, early 2026.

Adriana Rizzo: Five-time All-American long jumper at the University of North Carolina. Part of the D'Angelo Family stable. A bit heavy-handed with the accent, but passable for someone from small-town Minnesota. Suffered Achiiles tear. Between the ropes, limited but presents with aerial flair. Ring time remains the last piece.

Jazmyn Nyx/Brinley Reece/Carlee Bright: Recent debuts. Still unknown as to ring proficiency. Nyx conveys heel hanger-on admirably. Reece's overly positive trainer persona needs refining. Bright doesn't quite register.


In the next few years, Becky Lynch, Charlotte Flair, Bailey, Asuka, and Bianca Belair could begin to transition to a part-time role. Although Lynch figures to be on that will train hard enough to find a way to compete more. Behind them, NXT from every possible female angle, looks stacked with talent to keep the WWE thriving. Yet, the only concern? Main event booking. Previous administrations turned promises into mangled careers. Now, Paul Levesque and the writers will start funneling talent up when Shawn Michaels believes in their readiness.