At one time, WWE women's wrestling was the home of bra and panties matches and pillow fights. Even when amazing wrestlers like Beth Phoenix, Trish Stratus and Lita were wrestling, WWE rarely took the women seriously, choosing to make the women eye candy and not legitimate superstars. However, the WWE's Women's Evolution changed that.
What most fans should understand is that, without the NXT women, there would be no WWE Women's Evolution. While Paige was already called up to the main roster, the minute that Charlotte Flair, Becky Lynch, and Sasha Banks showed up, everything changed for the women in the main roster. Here is a look at the 10 best female wrestlers in the history of NXT -- the women who started a revolution.
One of the best female wrestlers in NXT history is also one of the most disappointing stories when it comes to making her mark on the main roster. Emma went to the main roster long before the Evolution started and that meant she was stuck with a silly gimmick and put into comedy sketches with Santino Marella.
However, when Emma returned to NXT, she got her Mean Girls gimmick that showed how great she was. She polished that persona and just delivered great performances through the end of her NXT career. When WWE tried to call her back up, it was with another gimmick, and she ended up leaving and finding success outside of WWE, most recently in Ring of Honor.
9 BECKY LYNCH
If this were a ranking of how great the NXT women did after leaving that brand, Becky Lynch would be at the top of this list. On the main roster, Lynch finally found herself and became the most popular wrestler -- male or female -- on the entire roster. She did so great that she ended up being the woman who finally beat Ronda Rousey.
In NXT, Becky Lynch was good -- and she was good enough to be one of the women to start the Women's Evolution -- but she didn't see the same level of success as her fellow Four Horsewomen of NXT. Lynch was a good wrestler, and once she arrived on the main roster, she eventually became a great performer.
8 EMBER MOON
Ember Moon is still trying to find her place on the WWE main roster. She has gotten some matches here and there to show how good she can be and she works hard and never seems to complain. With that said, she hasn't reached the main event level yet and hasn't given anyone a chance to see how special she was in NXT.
In NXT, she was hot on the heels of Asuka, trying to win the NXT women's title from her, but never pulled off the upset win. However, after Asuka left NXT for the main roster and gave up the title, Ember Moon was able to win it in a match against Nikki Cross, Kairi Sane, and Peyton Royce and held the title for five months before losing it to Shayna Baszler and moving on to the main roster.
7 KAIRI SANE
If you want to know how impressive Kairi Sane is as a competitor, look at the 2018 NXT awards. Sane won the NXT Woman of the Year even though Shayna Baszler was the champion. Sane then won NXT Competitor of the Year, beating out everyone from Johnny Gargano and Tomasso Ciampa to Shayna Baszler. Kairi Sane was one of the best in-ring performers in NXT -- man or woman.
Shayna Baszler is the only two-time NXT Women's Champion, and that is because Kairi Sane beat her for the title at NXT TakeOver: Brooklyn IV. She only held it for two months, but it was an impressive feat, and now Sane is on the main roster as Asuka's tag team partner.
6 SASHA BANKS
Sasha Banks has had a remarkable WWE career. She is a four-time WWE Raw Women's Champion but only held the title for a combined 82 days, beating Charlotte Flair three times, only to lose it to her within a month each time. Her last reign came when she defeated Alexa Bliss, and then she lost it back to her eight days later.
Banks was also the first-ever WWE Women's Tag Team Champion with Bayley but lost it a short time later as well. With that said, in NXT, Sasha Banks was The Boss. She was a natural heel and won the NXT Women's title by beating Charlotte. In NXT, she held it for 192 days before losing it to Bayley, and she remains one of the best NXT female wrestlers of all-time.
Bayley was the last of the Four Horsewomen to make her move to the main roster. While WWE seemed content to move up Charlotte Flair, Becky Lynch, and Sasha Banks, they left Bayley in NXT for a reason soon discovered. Bayley was never the top of the food chain for the Horsewomen, but when her friends went to the main roster, she found her time to shine.
Bayley beat Charlotte Flair in August 2015 and then beat Becky Lynch to become the new No. 1 contender. Then, later that month, she defeated Sasha Banks for the NXT Women's Championship, taking down all three Horsewomen in the same month. Bayley held the title for 223 days beating anyone put in front of her before she finally fell to Asuka.
4 CHARLOTTE FLAIR
A lot of people consider Charlotte Flair the best female wrestler in WWE today and for a good reason. She is a nine-time women's champion and was the woman who took the Divas title away from Nikki Bella and rebranded it a Women's Championship. On both Raw and SmackDown, she dominated and put on some of the best, groundbreaking matches in women's history.
It all started in NXT, and she was great there as well. She only held the NXT title one time but kept it for 258 days. She was the second ever NXT Women's Champion, winning a tournament by beating Emma, Alexa Bliss, and Natalya to win the title before finally losing it to Sasha Banks at NXT TakeOver: Rival.
3 SHAYNA BASZLER
The current NXT Women's Champion is also the only person to win the title twice. Shayna Baszler was, at one time, just considered a friend of Ronda Rousey, but through her career, she has become one of the best women's wrestlers in WWE and eclipsed anything Rousey could do in the ring as a hated heel.
Baszler won her first title at NXT TakeOver: New Orleans by making Ember Moon tap out. She lost it four months later to Kairi Sane at NXT TakeOver: Brooklyn IV but then won it back at WWE Evolution -- a main roster PPV event, and has held it ever since. Baszler has been NXT women's champion longer than anyone but one person.
Paige was the woman who started it all. When NXT became its own brand and was more than just a developmental territory, Paige was the woman that WWE trusted to put in control of the women's division. Paige won the inaugural NXT Women's Championship by beating Tamina Snuka, Alicia Fox, and Emma in a tournament.
Paige then beat all challengers and held the title for 308 days before finally giving up the title when she moved up to the main roster. The fact that no one beat her for the title and she left as the best in NXT at that time was noteworthy. Even more important was the fact that she left NXT and immediately won the Divas Championship on the main roster.
The best female wrestler in NXT history is easily Asuka. On April 1, 2016, Asuka beat Bayley at NXT TakeOver: Dallas for the NXT Women's Championship. She then held the title for 510 days, and no one ever beat her. Not one woman in NXT beat Asuka the entire time she wrestled there.
When Asuke moved to the main roster, she had the longest winning streak in professional wrestling history, breaking the record formerly held by Bill Goldberg in WCW. She wrestled for 914 days after signing with WWE before she lost her first match at WrestleMania against Charlotte Flair. Asuka has not been quite as a successful on the main roster, but no one in NXT could touch her -- man or woman.