Due to an injury sustained at NXT TakeOver: Brooklyn III, Asuka was forced to relinquish the NXT Women’s Championship on a recent episode of NXT. It was also announced recently that Asuka had signed with Raw and should be debuting soon. This leaves the NXT Women’s Championship vacant. With the landscape of NXT’s women’s division in flux now being without the woman who was champion for more than 500 days, who can step up and fill that spot?
1 Ruby Riot
The first option would be Ruby Riot. She had a great showing in the triple threat match against Asuka and Nikki Cross at NXT TakeOver: Chicago and is a great talent who would showcase that as the face of the NXT women’s division if given the chance. Ruby Riot would be a good replacement for Asuka and it would also give the division a much-needed overhaul if Riot were to win the title.
2 The Iconic Duo (Peyton Royce & Billie Kay)
This is my most interesting option. I was going to have Peyton and Billie as two different choices but it would make for great viewing if WWE decided to have Peyton and Billie co-hold the NXT Women’s Championship. They’ve been inseparable since forming The Iconic Duo and it would make a lot of sense for either Peyton or Billie to win the title and then end up doing a “Laycool” and naming themselves co-champions. This could also lead to their inevitable split with them facing off to determine the real NXT Women’s Champion.
3 Ember Moon
This is the most likely option. Ember was one of Asuka’s main rivals in the past couple of months for the title with their match at NXT TakeOver: Brooklyn III being the closest that Ember has come to defeating her. Depending on what William Regal decides, having Ember Moon win the title would possibly be the best choice as she came closer to defeating Asuka than any other superstar has.
4 Toni Storm
This is a wildcard choice. Toni Storm has proven her amazing talent and charisma in the Mae Young Classic. Before the tournament began airing, it was announced that Toni Storm had been signed to the NXT brand. Her matches in the Mae Young Classic prove how much talent she really has and having her win the NXT Women’s Championship could also mean that the WWE Universe has another woman superstar to get behind and seeing as she had a big following during the Mae Young Classic. If they decide to have Toni win the NXT Women’s Championship, the reaction would be a positive one.
5 Nikki Cross
Nikki Cross is definitely a major suggestion to give the NXT Women’s Championship to. Seeing as her co-members of SAnitY, Eric Young and Alexander Wolfe, are the current NXT Tag Team Champions, giving Cross the NXT Women’s Championship would make SAnitY look unstoppable as a stable. Keeping both titles in SAnitY would then make the stable look more formidable and it would make for a great moment when they lose the titles.
6 Kairi Sane
The final suggested option comes in the form of the winner of the inaugural Mae Young Classic. Kairi was, by far, the standout of the tournament and had some of the best matches in every single round. While her finals opponent Shayna Baszler has not yet been confirmed as signing with WWE, Kairi has been signed since before the tournament. On top of that, WWE announced that a match at NXT TakeOver: Houston would take place to decide the new NXT Women's Champion and that Kairi would be part of that match. It's not clear who her opponent or opponents will be, but Kairi is on a roll and could try to replace the role that Asuka played in the division.
Whoever is picked as the next NXT Women’s Champion will have big shoes to fill as the previous champion, Asuka, held the title for 510 days. There’s no guarantee that the next champion will hold the title for that long but WWE has to be careful who to give it to as the WWE Universe are known to be hard to please when it comes to following such a monumental reign. Whoever does win the championship next will have to prove why they deserve to hold it after Asuka’s record-breaking reign.
Who do you think should be the next NXT Women's Champion? Let us know in the comments below!
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