Ho, ho, ho – Merry Christmas, wrestling fans! The mince pies are out on the table and as always, WWE is preparing for a holiday season in which some of their superstars will likely have to perform on Christmas day as opposed to being at home with their families. Wait, what?
Let’s put that thought to the back of our minds for now, because we’re here to talk about the real hot topic in our industry: a fictional list that details which women have been nice and which have been naughty this year. No, we aren’t thinking about it in a dirty way like many of you.
The criteria for which category they fall into is pretty much whether or not their careers have gone up or down this year, with a few very specific turning points that we’ll discuss in detail as we make our way through each entry.
But for now, all you need to do is sit back, crack open a bottle of mulled wine and enjoy our rundown of how good or bad the female superstars of WWE have been this year.
16 Asuka – NICE
When you’re considered to be one of the most dominant females in all of WWE, it’s hard not to land yourself on the nice list. The Japanese sensation Asuka lit NXT on fire with her outrageously good reign as Women’s Champion down in developmental, and even as a heel, she still managed to dispose of challenger after challenger when many doubted her ability to do so.
The jury is still out regarding whether or not she’s going to wind up being a success on Monday Night Raw, but with the recently announced women’s Royal Rumble match being right around the corner, you’ve got to think that she’s going to be the favourite.
A crowning moment in New Orleans sounds like the perfect way to cap off this incredible run.
15 Alicia Fox – NAUGHTY
Alicia Fox is the definition of a tenured veteran in this business and while she may not always have hit the mark with her in-ring work, you can’t fault her work ethic. After all, she could easily have taken her ball and gone home to become a model on several different occasions, but instead, she’s stuck this career out – and that’s admirable.
Unfortunately, that hasn’t necessarily translated into a successful 2017, and despite her being featured much more than we’re used to, that doesn’t mean we’ve enjoyed 100% of her work. The hard truth of the matter is that she should’ve been built up as a star long before now because at the moment, she’s been outshone by so many other girls at the top of the division.
14 Alexa Bliss – NICE
If you aren’t invested in Alexa Bliss one way or another then you should probably check your pulse, because she’s been an absolute revelation on both Raw and SmackDown Live this year. With championship reigns on both the red brand and the blue, she’s been arguably the most dominant female superstar in all of professional wrestling.
Sure there have been a few bumps in the road but when you look at where she was twelve months ago, it’s staggering to see how much she’s improved. While everyone else is focusing on The Four Horsewomen and how tremendous they may be, we’re busy revelling in the glory of Bliss’ fine work at the top of both women’s divisions.
Bliss vs Asuka at Mania 34 please, Vinnie Mac.
13 Bayley – NAUGHTY
Oh, Bayley. Poor, sweet, innocent Bayley. What on earth did you do to deserve this kind of treatment? Honestly, it’s saying something when you retain the Raw Women’s Championship on the grandest stage of them all and still end up on the naughty list. We were once so happy about the prospect of The Hugger coming up to the big leagues and now, we kind of want her to head back down to NXT for a while.
That may seem a little harsh, but all you need to do is examine the evidence because this character really isn’t working for her anymore. Unfortunately, the lack of depth on Team Red’s side didn’t help matters, as it forced WWE into making some really lacklustre booking decisions during her ascent to the title.
12 Charlotte Flair – NICE
Charlotte Flair has been through a lot this year, from personal leaks to her father's health issues – and yet, she’s still managed to come out of the other side as the triumphant SD Live Women’s Champion. That’s a sign of just how good this woman is, and when all is said and done, she’ll likely be considered as one of the best to ever lace up a pair of boots.
There was a great deal of scepticism when Charlotte made the jump to SmackDown Live and became a babyface, but so far, it’s worked out just fine. Obviously, Flair hasn’t really come close to replicating her fantastic 2016, but let’s be honest with ourselves, there’s a good chance that no woman will ever be able to top those twelve months.
11 Mickie James – NAUGHTY
When Mickie James was revealed to be the woman who assisted Alexa Bliss in retaining her title against Becky Lynch back in January, all was right with the world. We had a former legend who was able to come back and look like she hadn’t missed a step, and thankfully, she returned as the cocky heel that we all knew and loved her to be.
Alas, that didn’t last all too long, and eventually, she reverted back to being the smiley babyface and that didn’t do anyone any favours. Sure, she was good in the role, but that’s not the Mickie we want to see – especially when her most extensive storyline involved Bliss ridiculing her for her age.
Honestly, Mickie’s decline just makes us sad.
10 Becky Lynch – NICE
When you’re as talented, dedicated & beautiful as Becky Lynch, it’s hard to put a foot wrong. Towards the back end of 2016, Becky was able to carry the SmackDown Live women’s division on her back, and in 2017, she’s been able to transform into a Superstar who the company continually features in prominent positions both in and outside of the ring.
From filming a movie to being present for the majority of their press events, it’s clear that Lynch is being positioned as one of the flagship stars in all of WWE. It’s great to see given how hard she’s worked to get herself into this position, and now, the Irish Lasskicker appears set to go from strength to strength in 2018. Straight fire, indeed.
9 Nia Jax – NAUGHTY
Poor old Nia Jax should probably still be unbeaten, even at this stage of her main roster career. When she came into the fold it soon became obvious that WWE had a potential blockbuster heel on their hands, and for a minute, just try and imagine how great a streak vs title match would have been between Jax and Asuka. Scintillating stuff.
Unfortunately, WWE has managed to drop the ball in more ways than one with Nia, and for some utterly bizarre reason, she now finds herself in some kind of romance angle with Enzo Amore, of all people. This is one of the most painful falls from grace we’ve ever encountered, and to be honest, it makes us a little sad.
Make Nia Great Again.
8 Naomi – NICE
From Funkadactyl to winning the title at WrestleMania in just a few years. It’s been some journey for Naomi and while she’s certainly cooled off in recent months, nobody can deny that she’s been one of the break out stars of 2017. Who would’ve thought that we’d say that about anyone from Total Divas when the show first began?
When Naomi’s entrance hits you know that you’re going to have a good time, and that’s exactly what this business is all about. Thankfully she can also back it up in the ring with a phenomenal skill set that is surely only going to get better, with the most important thing about her being that she’s a unique entity. Trust us – you’re going to see much more of her at the top of the card in 2018.
7 Paige – NAUGHTY
Look, everyone knows what’s been going down with Paige over the last twelve months, and when it comes to the specifics of the matter we aren’t going to delve too far into it. After all, it’s her life, and as we’ve heard in her recent interviews, things really weren’t looking too good a few months back and it’s a testament to how far she’s come and how well she’s been able to bounce back.
Of course, when you add it all up she probably hasn’t done enough to have this be considered a "good" year, but given her current trajectory, we’re almost certain that’ll change in 2018. Paige is young and is still learning on the job, which makes us incredibly excited to see what she’s got in store as her career continues to evolve.
6 Carmella – NICE
F-A-B-U-L-O-U-S. She says it, and the reason for that is because that’s exactly what she is. Look, we’re really trying not to turn this whole thing into an utter "fanboy" moment, but it’s pretty difficult when you look at just how far The Princess of Staten Island has come in her transformation from being a valet into becoming a fully fledged professional wrestler.
Obviously, there are some girls who will claim to be better in the ring, but from a character standpoint, you really can’t argue all too much with the evidence in play. After all, she managed to take someone like James Ellsworth and use him to her advantage, which, in itself, is a fairly impressive feat.
Are we looking at the next SD Live Women’s Champion? Probably.
5 Sasha Banks – NAUGHTY
Sasha Banks is The Boss and she is a multi-time Women’s Champion, but that isn’t enough to warrant a position on the nice list. Sure, she managed to start the year off fairly well, but given that we’ve been talking about her turning heel for the better part of eight months, the fact that she hasn’t yet makes 2017 a colossal failure for her.
That’s obviously just our opinion and she has still been able to put on world class matches both on WWE TV and on pay per view, but we just aren’t able to connect with her as a performer right now. She needs to find that edge to her persona that she had back down in NXT because right now, all we’re seeing is an impressive entrance, great in-ring skills, but no reason to care.
4 Ember Moon – NICE
Some may call winning the NXT Women’s Championship after already being defeated numerous times by Asuka a bit embarrassing, but in reality, it’s a perfect example of why developmental is so good for someone’s progression in this business. Ember Moon, at her core, really has been on a tremendous journey thus far.
She went from being a ruthless, cold-hearted character into someone who really does care about the fans and gives 100% on a weekly basis, which is what has finally led to her capturing the title after all these months of trying. That’s a great story to tell, and when she eventually comes up to the main roster, she’ll certainly be ready to have another crack at the Empress of Tomorrow.
3 Natalya – NAUGHTY
This is yet another example of someone who has won a world title falling under the "naughty" umbrella, and we aren’t going to apologise for that. Natalya is an extremely talented performer in the ring, but unfortunately, we just haven’t been able to adapt to this whole "heel" persona.
We don’t think that’s an unfair statement to make either when you consider that the most defining feature of her gimmick is that she likes cats. Seriously? That’s the best they could come up with? It’s a little bit embarrassing and we need more in order to invest in her as a character because she certainly doesn’t have the same quality in the ring that she once did.
This may seem like a harsh entry, but it’s a realistic one.
2 Peyton Royce – NICE
You can keep your Billie Kay because we prefer her Iconic counterpart – Peyton Royce. It’s always been clear to see that WWE wanted to have Billie be the star of this NXT stable, and yet, over the course of the last few months Peyton has been able to push through and become one of the most credible female competitors in all of developmental.
That doesn’t mean that Kay is bad by any means, but what it does mean is that Royce has come on leaps and bounds since being handed the ball to run with. She may not necessarily succeed on the main roster, but it’ll definitely be interesting to see the next few steps in her journey, especially seeing as she’s still so incredibly young.
1 Stephanie McMahon – NAUGHTY
Stephanie McMahon is an exceptionally important figure behind the scenes at World Wrestling Entertainment. She assists in the day-to-day running of the company alongside both her father and her husband, and for the most part, she’s considered to be the heir to the WWE throne.
What she is not, however, is someone who needs to be featured on WWE television 24/7. We don’t care if she gets her comeuppance once a year at WrestleMania because quite frankly, we’d rather see her disappear off of TV completely if that means we don’t have to sit through any more of her nauseating self-obsessed promos.
She buries every single competitor that she steps foot in the ring with and we really are getting sick of it. Stephanie is NOT the focal point of Monday Night Raw, and this whole charade needs to stop.