NXT has created many new stars for the WWE’s main roster. The women’s division thrived in the NXT environment enough to create change in a major way. Triple H and Stephanie McMahon showed the NXT success off to Vince McMahon and the company finally committed to putting together credible female divisions on Raw and SmackDown Live. Charlotte Flair, Sasha Banks, Becky Lynch and Bayley were known as The Four Horsewomen for being the top four women that fans wanted to see as much, if not more, than the men on the same roster.
All of the top women’s wrestlers from that era were called up with Raw and SmackDown Live both having credible divisions. NXT has a new core of women attempting to create an impact similar to their predecessors. Asuka is currently the face of the division as a dominant champion. Nikki Cross, Ember Moon, Peyton Royce, Billie Kay and Liv Morgan are fixtures of NXT TV hoping to take the next step forward. The potential of Mandy Rose, Daria Berenato and Aliyah have them on the radar as well, with them hoping to become part of the storylines. We’ll look at the lives of the NXT women’s roster and deliver fifteen facts you may not know about them.
15. Nikki Cross Was On TNA British Boot Camp
TNA came up with their own reality series, British Boot Camp, as their own way to find the next big star from the United Kingdom. Nikki Cross found her way on to the second season as a highly accomplished independent wrestler. Many viewed her as the favorite to win the contest and she looked impressive, advancing to the second stage of the competition.
The decision makers cut Cross from the contest as they selected the final six. Mark Andrews went on to win the season and landed a contract with TNA. Cross continued wrestling on the independent circuit and WWE discovered her when looking for more NXT talent. Andrews was wasted by TNA and recently left to enter the WWE United Kingdom tournament as well. This is proof that things will work out for talented wrestlers that have been screwed over by TNA through the years.
14. Asuka Was Best Women’s Wrestler in the World Before WWE
The average fan has no idea about Asuka’s past before WWE, but she was always a tremendous talent. Asuka dominated the Japanese women’s wrestling scene. The few fans that sought out the promotions she worked for have raved about the incredible matches she delivered on a consistent basis under the name of Kana.
Asuka made her first WWE appearance at TakeOver: Brooklyn 2015, sitting next to Ric Flair and Sgt. Slaughter. WWE clearly knew about her reputation in Japan and made sure to spotlight it by having her seated with two legends. Asuka held championships in DDT, Joshi Puroresu, Kuzu Pro, Osaka Joshi Pro, Pro Wrestling Wave and Smash Wrestling. Anyone that watched enough of her work knew she was the best female wrestler in the world and Triple H’s scouting team believed it when signing her to become the new face of the division.
13. WWE Supported Aliyah Through Social Media Controversy
Social media has become an important part of the wrestling business. The tool can be used to further create a relationship with fans or it can be a negative. Aliyah found out the latter when old tweets surfaced using offensive language and racist comments years before she signed. Considering her young age, most assumed she made the regrettable tweets out of immaturity.
WWE claimed they did an investigation and found that her account was used without her knowledge when she was 17 years old. Aliyah was not punished like many others would have been for similar issues. It was a rare case of WWE standing by the wrestler and believing them. Aliyah likely does not have another strike and will have to maximize her opportunities to show she deserves a spot in WWE.
12. Daria Has A Legit MMA Background
NXT utilizes Daria Berenato as a credible fighter with a background in various forms of MMA. This is not just a character but the real life background of Daria. WWE found her in the Tough Enough competition based off her athletic background. While she did not win the contest, WWE still offered a contract to train at the Performance Center.
Daria is one of a few wrestlers to get signed from that Tough Enough class to actually make it to NXT television. Her MMA background started when she was 17. Daria trained and competed in fights, practicing judo among other fighting styles. It helps her stand out on NXT as the one women trying to turn the wrestling matches into an actual MMA fight.
11. Booker T Helped Train Ember Moon
Ember Moon has the best chance of competing with Asuka for the top spot in the women’s division on NXT. The athletically gifted Ember was a big star on the independent wrestling scene, creating buzz with impressive matches. Moon started training in 2007 with Skandor Akbar before changing schools. The legendary Booker T opened his Pro Wrestling Alliance School and Ember decided to train there.
Under the training of Booker T, Moon began to gain the tools and confidence to take her career to the next level. The rest is history with her body of work being good enough to land a WWE contract at a young age. Ember may very well be the biggest success story of students to learn the craft of wrestling at Booker T’s school.
10. Lance Storm Helped Train Peyton Royce
Ember Moon isn’t the only NXT woman that sought out training from a respected veteran. Peyton Royce made the drastic decision to move from Australia to Canada specifically to train with Lance Storm. The Storm Wrestling Academy is arguably the most credible wrestling school in the industry and Royce wanted to learn from the best. Much like fellow WWE stars Emma and Tyler Breeze, Storm taught her all the tools to get a spot on the NXT roster.
Storm speaks glowingly about Royce’s work ethic and knew she genuinely had the passion to thrive in the business. Unlike many other trainers, Storm cares more about helping his students’ progress rather than just taking their money. Royce learned from one of the best and it has helped her get a relevant spot in NXT.
9. Billie Kay Was A Very Talented Basketball Player
— Billie Kay (@BillieKayWWE) January 5, 2015
Billie Kay is one of the taller women in NXT and it worked to her advantage when she played basketball in her younger years. Naturally, her athletic talent translated to the hardwood. Kay was a member of the Bankstown Bruins in New South Wale’s Waratah League. The team won four consecutive championships thanks to the play of Billie.
Kay was given the nickname of “Go Go Gadget” due to her long legs and arms benefiting her play on the court. Her passion, however, was always wrestling and she started her new career in-between playing competitive basketball. Billie eventually decided to put all of her effort into her wrestling career, leaving the basketball in the past. If WWE ever puts together a women’s basketball team for a charity game, you know who will be selected first.
8. Asuka Is A Huge Gamer
One of Asuka’s passions outside of the wrestling ring is her love for video games. Asuka has revealed that she likes to spend her rare off time playing games. Many of her social media posts are about various video games she has a fondness for or new games she’s trying out. Asuka actually has written articles published in Xbox Magazine that showcased her opinions on the gaming world.
Another fascinating part of her backstory was working as a freelance graphic designer and contributing to 3DS games. Asuka clearly knows a lot about video games and how to use her passion in other fields. The WWE 2K aspect of being a Superstar is likely one of her favorite perks. Asuka is one of many hardcore gamers on the WWE roster.
7. Aliyah’s Circus Training
Everyone has a different background before coming to WWE. Most wrestled on the independent level or worked in other sports. Aliyah had an odd path before joining the company. Her teenage years were spent circus training. She claims that working on trapezes helped improve her flexibility and body movement. You have to believe the years of learning how to be an entertainer added to her wrestling career as well.
WWE signed her due to her athleticism and potential to be a special talent in a few years. The process has been slow for Aliyah, but at least the company isn’t using her circus training for her gimmick. In prior years, someone would have pitched her playing a clown character based off her circus past.
6. Mandy Rose a Huge Fitness Star
The look, athletic background and star potential of Mandy Rose made her a must-sign for WWE after she finished second in the Tough Enough competition back in 2015. Rose has a background in the fitness world and there have been comparisons to Trish Stratus based off both having similar looks and similar backgrounds as fitness models before joining WWE.
Mandy achieved a lot of success competing, as the 2014 World Beauty Fitness & Fashion Bikini Champion. On top of that, Fit & Firm Magazine, Fitness Gurls Magazine and FitFemme Magazine have each featured her in their publications. Rose recently was on the cover of Fit RX Magazine. Rose’s potential is sky high, but she always has her very successful fitness career as a great fallback option if wrestling doesn’t work.
5. Liv Morgan Is Dating Enzo Amore
There are many couples in WWE right now, as there are more wrestlers choosing to date each other than any other prior period. It used to be something the talent was encouraged to stay away from, but WWE doesn’t want to police adults from living their own lives. One of the more surprising couples is NXT’s Liv Morgan dating Raw star Enzo Amore.
Social media posts and stories of the two being together following shows revealed the scoop in 2016. The two met in the Performance Center when Morgan began training and Enzo was still a member of the NXT roster. They never worked together like Enzo’s partner Big Cass and his girlfriend Carmella. If Cass and Enzo eventually split, the on-air pairing of Enzo and Liv would make sense given their characters have many similarities.
4. Daria Came Out
Darren Young coming out as gay a few years ago made huge news, as one of the first instances of a wrestler revealing this publicly. Homophobia and the fear of it impacting their job forced many past gay wrestlers to hide it from coming out. Times have thankfully changed and WWE is very adamant about creating an environment without any bigotry in the locker room.
Daria Berenato revealed that she was a lesbian when signing with the company and they showed support. This is the first instance of a WWE women’s wrestler publicly revealing she was gay and most aren’t even aware of it. That is a good thing because someone’s sexual orientation definitely shouldn’t impact their career. Daria is receiving the same opportunity and chance to succeed as everyone else in the Performance Center.
3. Peyton Royce & Billie Kay Went To The Same High School
A shocking and cool fact about the current team is the fact that Peyton Royce and Billie Kay legitimately have known each other for many years, dating back to high school. Both Aussies went to the same high school, but they were not friends. Billie was three years ahead of Peyton in school, so they didn’t have the same classes and friends.
The one thing that bonded them was their shared passion for professional wrestling. Billie stated that they would see each other at every WWE show or meet and greet that took place in Australia. It’s many years later and they’re now representing Australia as a tag team in WWE.
2. Ember Moon Got Engaged In Wrestling Ring
Everyone reading this likely loves professional wrestling, but very few can match Ember Moon’s love for the industry. The landmark of getting engaged is a special moment in anyone’s life. It was fitting that Moon was proposed to live in a wrestling ring during a show. Ember’s significant other, Matthew Palmer, was a fellow independent wrestler at the time and decided to pop the question at an Anarchy Championship Wrestling show.
Moon said yes to the proposal and officially got engaged in front of the fans that watched them both grow as wrestlers and humans. ACW was one of the home promotions for Ember, making it even more special. The footage will live on forever no matter how famous Moon gets in WWE, reminding the couple just how humble the beginning of their life together in wrestling was.
1. Asuka Close To Making WWE History
Asuka’s dominance is obvious, but it’s understated just how impressive her record is. As of this writing, Asuka is 155-0 in WWE matches, never having been pinned or submitted. Bill Goldberg’s undefeated streak in WCW is recognized as the most dominant in wrestling history, when he started his career at 173-0 before losing to Kevin Nash.
Asuka is approaching Goldberg’s record, with only a few more months of dominance needed to make history in the WWE Universe. Her upcoming title defense against Ember Moon at TakeOver: Orlando will be a tough test, but it’ll likely be smooth sailing to history if she gets that win. Asuka truly has captured magic in NXT as a special performer that is credible enough to dominate the entire roster.
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