The WWE's women's evolution really exploded in 2018, with the women putting on some of the best matches of the year and the all women's Evolution pay-per-view itself ranking as one of the best shows of the entire year. With names like Becky Lynch, Charlotte Flair, Ronda Rousey and Asuka leading the way, there are raised expectations for the women heading into 2019.
That opens the door for a number of female superstars to reach up and grab that mythical brass ring and prove that they are deserving of the main event spot alongside the women who have already reached that pinnacle. Here is a look at 10 WWE female superstars who could break out in 2019.
10 LACEY EVANS
Lacey Evans looks to be the next big star that the WWE will try to build after a stint in NXT. However, that doesn't mean that Evans' call-up to the main roster will result in a major push right off the bat. Remember, Asuka was undefeated in NXT and lost in her first WrestleMania appearance and took over a year to win her first title on the main roster.
However, Evans has a great gimmick and strong work ethic. In real-life, Evans was a member of the U.S. Marines but instead of coming in as a tough-as-nails fighter, she uses the gimmick of an All-American calendar girl who looks down on other wrestlers.
9 MANDY ROSE
While she may not have the overall in-ring talent of other WWE female superstars, the word broke at the end of 2018 that Vince McMahon was very high on Mandy Rose based solely on her looks and persona. It makes sense, as she fit the role of past WWE superstars like Kelly Kelly, Trish Stratus, and Stacy Keibler.
Mandy Rose has spent most of her main roster time in a tag team with Sonya DeVille, who is a better wrestler, but it seems like McMahon wants to move Rose up the rankings, especially with her glamorous character gimmick. 2019 might be when this female WWE superstar breaks out.
8 THE IICONICS
There are many fans that are high on the IIconics. The team of Billie Kay and Peyton Royce has one really big thing going for them. They talk all the time -- on the way to the ring, during their matches, in backstage promos -- and the fans absolutely hate them for it.
With the WWE creating a women's tag team title to compete for, a team like the IIconics is in the perfect place to immediately rise to the top and break out in 2019. While Sasha Banks & Bayley and the Riott Squad are top contenders, never count out an established tag team that specializes in annoying the crowd and working them into a frenzy.
7 SHAYNA BASZLER
Shayna Baszler was a breakout star in NXT in 2018 but she might be ready to become a breakout star on the main roster in 2019. Baszler is already a two-time NXT women's champion and has improved dramatically since she arrived in the WWE.
While the undefeated Asuka took over a year to win her first main roster title and Ember Moon is still drifting along, Baszler has an advantage over both of them. She is a monster heel and has a close friend in Ronda Rousey. When Baszler arrives on the main roster, expect huge things for the former MMA star.
6 RHEA RIPLEY
Much like Shayna Baszler, Rhea Ripley is already a champion in the WWE. However, her only major appearances have been in the WWE NXT UK division and the majority of the WWE Universe knows little about her. With the first NXT UK TakeOver event happening in January, expect fans to get to know a lot more about Rhea Ripley.
As one of the top candidates to become a breakout female star in the WWE in 2019, Ripley has six years of professional wrestling experience and had success in both the 2017 and 2018 Mae Young Classic. The sky is the limit for the current NXT UK champion.
5 TONI STORM
Toni Storm already had one chance to wow the WWE Universe when she competed at the WWE Evolution pay-per-view and won the finals of the 2018 Mae Young Classic tournament. She looked like a major star and will get a second chance at the WWE NXT UK TakeOver Blackpool event in January 2019.
Storm will battle Rhea Ripley for the WWE NXT UK women's title and she could end up being the UK brand's version of Pete Dunn, the second man to hold the men's title in Europe. While only 23, Storm started training as a professional wrestler when she was 13 and looks to be the next big thing in the WWE in 2019.
4 DEONNA PURRAZZO
Deonna Purrazzo was definitely one of the biggest female wrestling stars in 2018 that many people seemed to overlook. She had made a few appearances here and there for WWE NXT -- losing to the biggest stars in NXT most of the time. She moved on over to work in Ring of Honor before finally getting a real deal with the WWE in May 2018.
Purrazzo made it to the quarterfinals of the 2018 Mae Young Classic and her willingness to remain patient and learn seems to have served her well. She even got a shot at the WWE NXT UK women's title in December and it looks like she might finally be a breakout star for the WWE women in 2019.
3 BIANCA BELAIR
Bianca Belair has yet to hold the WWE NXT Championship but she looks like she is the most capable of carrying the division once Shayna Baszler leaves for the main roster. Belair might be the best athlete in the entire NXT women's division and might be the best athletically out of everyone -- men or women -- in NXT.
Belair is an incredible worker in the ring as well. All she needs is to find a spark to kickstart her "story" in WWE NXT and that should lead her straight to the top of that brand. When that happens, she will easily fit into the role of a leader and the true breakout star of NXT in 2019.
2 EMBER MOON
Ember Moon is a curious case, but when looking at how the WWE treated Asuka when they called her up, it is not a surprise. When Asuka arrived on the main roster, she drifted along after winning the Royal Rumble and losing to Charlotte Flair at WrestleMania. By December, she was finally a champion again.
Ember Moon was the women's champion after Asuka and looked poised to make a huge mark on the main roster, but her career has been even slower to take off than Asuka's. Moon has competed mostly in tag team matches but she is too talented to remain in that position. Once the tag team division is up and running, expect Moon to finally get her chance to break out as one of the top female stars in the WWE in 2019.
1 IO SHIRAI
Io Shirai might be the best female wrestler in the WWE on any of their brands. With names like Becky Lynch, Charlotte Flair and Sasha Banks around, that is high praise. Despite this, Shirai is coming along slowly. She was a runner up for the Mae Young Classic in 2018, losing to Toni Storm.
While only 28, Shirai is a veteran entering her 12th year in the world of professional wrestling and has competed in Japan, Mexico and the United States. She made her NXT debut in November 2018 at NXT TakeOver: WarGames 2 and she should be one of the biggest breakout stars in the women's division in 2019.