The women’s divisions on both Raw and SmackDown Live got much-needed shots in the arm this week. On Monday night, Paige returned to the fray and was flanked by now-former NXT Superstars Mandy Rose and Sonya Deville. It was a big shock, and all three ladies made a big impact running rough shot through pretty much the whole division. That angle was pretty much repeated 24 hours later. On SmackDown Live Ruby Riot showed up and introduced herself, Sarah Logan and Liv Morgan to Naomi before beating down her and Becky Lynch. Then they did the same to Natalya and Charlotte Flair. Seeing all of these NXT women on the main roster is great, but some of the call-up choices are puzzling. Here are five women currently in NXT that may have been better choices for the roles filled this week.
5. Lacey Evans
Casual viewers of NXT might not be all too familiar with the work of Lacey Evans as her appearances on the televised shows have been few and far between. That shouldn’t disqualify her from this conversation though as she has appeared more frequently on NXT television than Mandy Rose and Sarah Logan who are now on the main roster. She was also prominently featured during this summer’s Mae Young Classic. You would have to think that Vince McMahon would be a big fan of having Lacey under his tutelage also. Not only is Evans an asset when it comes to pro wrestling, but she is also a former US Marine. That’s pretty impressive and a profession Mr. McMahon has a lot of respect for.
4. Ember Moon
Ember Moon is being treated like an extremely big deal in NXT right now. In fact, this past Saturday at NXT Takeover: WarGames she was crowned the new NXT Women’s Champion, the first new champion crowned in over a year and a half. Just because Moon is an NXT Title holder doesn’t mean that she can’t also be a part of Raw or SmackDown Live though. Kevin Owens arrived on the main roster while he was still NXT Champion and picked up a marquee win over John Cena. What’s probably keeping Moon from being called up is the fact that she is the one NXT is using to try and replace Asuka and they need her to lead the female charge at Full Sail.
3. Shayna Baszler
Shayna Baszler made quite an impact during this past summer’s Mae Young Classic. The MMA star made it all the way to the final, eventually losing out to Kairi Sane. Baszler has barely dipped her toe into the wrestling business in the grand scheme of things, yet her work as a heel during the aforementioned tournament was incredible. She wanted everyone to hate her, and by the time that tournament was over they did, she was a tremendous heel. At the time of the Mae Young Classic Baszler wasn’t even signed by WWE. She is now, however, and is currently honing her craft at the Performance Center. She hasn’t appeared in NXT yet and is probably nowhere near ready for the main roster truth be told, but seeing her take out Superstars on Raw and SmackDown Live this week would have been a sight to behold.
2. Nikki Cross
The attacks on the women of Raw and SmackDown Live by the females from NXT have seemed pretty unwarranted and even a little crazy, especially the ones on Tuesday night. With that in mind, it seems like a giant swing and a miss on WWE’s part that their most unhinged female Superstar wasn’t involved in them. Nikki Cross is currently doing a pretty stellar job of coming across as somebody with a screw loose on NXT television. Tearing her away from SAnitY wouldn’t have been a problem either, the faction had no qualms about kicking out Sawyer Fulton. Rest assured, if Cross arrived on the main roster this week, those attacks would have been a fair bit scarier.
1. The Iconic Duo
WWE books the main roster as if fans haven’t watched NXT, and to be fair to them they are right to do so. The company’s third brand has nowhere near as big a following as Raw and SmackDown Live does. That being said, the actions of a couple of the called up females this week are a little confusing to those of us who do watch NXT. Ruby Riot and Liv Morgan are babyfaces with good moral compasses, yet they relentlessly beat down four women on Tuesday night. It really feels like the roles would have been more suited to Peyton Royce and Billie Kay, NXT’s Iconic Duo. The Aussie pairing are heels through and through, terrific wrestlers, even better workers, and are focused on getting the recognition they feel like they deserve. Opportunity well and truly missed in our opinion WWE.
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