We’re getting so close to one of WWE’s biggest weekends of the year, and NXT looks to make a big name for themselves.
NXT will have two opportunities to steal the show and they’ll start with War Games.
This year the women will have their chance in the devastating War Games and what a match it could shape up to be. Rhea Ripley will head up one team and the NXT Women’s Champion, Shayna Baszler, the other. If I’m a betting person, I’d want to be on the Champ’s side. At the time of writing the final participants haven’t been announced, which means we get to play the guessing game!
While I like Rhea and am confident she will put together a strong team, I am going to take a look at five people Shayna Baszler could pick to stack the cards against Rhea’s team. Of course the obvious picks would be Marina and Jessamyn, but what if the champ decided to look elsewhere? women with a little more… experience?
1. Ronda Rousey
Okay, hear me out with this pick. Marina and Jessamyn are still very new to the wrestling world and in a match like War Games, experience is preferable. Now with that said, we haven’t seen Rousey since Wrestlemania but she is one of Shayna’s best friends. As a former Women’s Champion, Ronda would bring leadership experience to the team and is someone Shayna would trust going to war.
Besides the trust factor, Rousey would be an unexpected opponent. Shayna could announce every other person on the team but Rousey. Bad Reputation could ring out in the Allstate Arena and Ripley’s team wouldn’t know what hit them. The surprise element of Ronda is huge! She’s an opponent who is difficult to prepare for, even with the unpredictability of War Games. Picking Ronda, while out of the box, would give Team Baszler a huge edge.
2. Bianca BelAir
The EST. Bianca is one of the most gifted athletes on the entire roster, if not the most gifted. She is so entertaining to watch and incredibly strong. While BelAir has been wanting another chance at the NXT Women’s Championship, she has hit many roadblocks, but teaming up with the champ could come in handy.
One of Bianca’s main roadblocks to the title has been Rhea Ripley, they both are after the same thing and so far Ripley has been ahead of Bianca. If Bianca is picked for Baszler’s team she could kill two birds with one stone in a sense. Think of it this way: if she helps Shayna win, Bianca could pull the whole “ya owe me one” card, stepping right on Rhea’s toes and being two steps ahead of the game. That and Bianca is just damn good – who really wants to be on the end of getting hit with her braid locked in War Games?
3) Kay Lee Ray
The NXT UK Women’s Champion teaming with the NXT Women’s Champion? Sounds magical to me. We all know what KLR is capable of and the lengths she’ll go to score the victory, so why not toss her in War Games? Let’s say Rhea adds Tegan Nox to her team. KLR has already beat her and knows how to get under her skin, which gives a slight advantage to Team Baszler.
Bringing Kay Lee Ray over to NXT in America is overdue anyways. Yes, she’s been on the Florida loop, but if WALTER can be on the USA Network so can KLR. The UK Women’s division deserves to be recognized at War Games and there is no one better than the champ. With the attitude KLR has been sporting lately, added in with how talented she is, KLR would show why the NXT UK Women’s division shouldn’t be overlooked. Team Baszler would truly dominate the world with the addition of her to the team.
4. Shayna Baszler
Of course, you have to have the champ in there. Shayna Baszler has been one of the most consistent heels across all brands in the last two years, and it’s only a matter of time before she joins the Lynch’s and Flair’s of this world. This could be one hell of a curtain call.
5. Io Shirai
This one seems pretty obvious (so much so, she has already been announced for the match). I mean, not seeing Io fly off the top of the cage would be a disservice to the fans. Also, why would Shayna want to stand across the ring from her when she could stand beside her?
With her moveset and new attitude, the devastation Io would bring to Team Baszler is almost immeasurable. We have see in the recent weeks what Io is willing to do to not only win, but hurt her opponent; bringing that kind of mindset into War Games is what is necessary for victory. Io brings big energy and adding her to this match would be beneficial to either side, but seeing as she really doesn’t like anyone who could possibly be on Team Rhea, Team Baszler would be pretty lucky to gain her.
Whether Shayna picks all of these women or just a few, the team she has the opportunity to build is going to be super talented. Any combination of these wrestlers, seems to point to a victory for the champ.
Of course there are other women Shayna could choose from, tune into NXT tonight to see if she announces any more of her teammates! War is coming and it’s shaping up to be pretty entertaining.
You can find the author of this article on Twitter @paigeyb88. Thanks for reading!