It’s that time again. The first stop on the road to WrestleMania, the Royal Rumble. With few names already announced for the Women’s Rumble match, I take a look at the NXT roster and pick out five names I think should be in this year’s match.
Since joining WWE back in 2017, Rhea Ripley’s career on both NXT and NXT UK has been nothing short of incredible. She was the first-ever NXT UK Women’s Champion, defeating Toni Storm in a tournament final to win the title and she is also a former NXT Women’s Champion, defeating Shayna Baszler, ending her second reign at four hundred and sixteen days.
Rhea has entered the Mae Young Classic twice, being eliminated in the second round in 2017 but losing in the semi-finals in 2018 to current NXT Women’s Champion Io Shirai. An entry into the Royal Rumble match this time around could result in a full-time call-up for Rhea, especially after her loss in a Last Woman Standing match to Raquel Gonzalez at New Year’s Evil, which seemed to have been a “farewell” match for Ripley. Rhea entering the Royal Rumble match could lead her to have another marquee match at the Show of Shows after defending the NXT Women’s Title against Charlotte Flair last year.
Since Hartwell joined NXT in 2019, she hadn’t really done much until she aligned herself with Candice LeRae and Johnny Gargano, and, along with Austin Theory, they formed a stable named The Way. Being paired with two of the best wrestlers on the NXT roster should eventually prove to be beneficial and even get her a title shot down the line but an entrance in the Royal Rumble match could also prove to be beneficial to Hartwell’s career.
Hartwell entering the Rumble match would also promote NXT and, with rumors of her and Candice LeRae joining forces to enter the recently announced Women’s Dusty Cup, a Royal Rumble appearance could get a few more eyes on NXT when the tournament kicks off, which, as of writing, has yet to be announced.
My bias is showing with my next choice as I strongly believe NXT UK star Dani Luna should enter the Women’s Rumble this year. She has incredible charisma and is one of my favorites to watch and seeing her in the Rumble match would legit make my entire 2021 because she is just so good.
Since signing with NXTUK, Dani Luna has had matches with the likes of Rhea Ripley and Nina Samuels, even teaming with Piper Niven recently to battle Jinny and the NXT UK Women’s Champion Kay Lee Ray. Having Dani in the Women’s Royal Rumble match will get more eyes on her talent and it’s what she deserves as she is just so damn good.
Since joining NXT in October 2019, Shotzi has really become a big part of Wednesday nights, with many incredible battles with the likes of Shayna Baszler, Deonna Purrazzo, Toni Storm, and even current NXT Women’s Champion Io Shirai. You can tell she’s well-liked as she hosted the Halloween Havoc themed episode of NXT and absolutely nailed it if I do say so myself.
Shotzi has recently begun a rivalry with Candice LeRae, and her stable The Way, with it even leading to a WarGames match, that saw Shotzi, Rhea Ripley, Io Shirai, and Ember Moon battle Candice, Toni Storm, Raquel Gonzalez, and Dakota Kai, which Team Shotzi unfortunately lost. Having Shotzi enter into her second Royal Rumble match could even lead to a full-time promotion, as Blackheart could easily be inserted into a Women’s title picture on the main roster when needed.
With her recent transformation, Xia Li entering her third Royal Rumble match could showcase exactly how much she has changed since she was recruited by this mysterious woman that seems to be looking over herself and Boa on NXT. She had quite a career before being recruited, as Xia competed in both of the Mae Young Classics, with her reaching the second round in 2018 being her best performance.
Xia returned with this new transformation at New Year’s Evil on January 6th and defeated Catalina in a very dominant fashion so putting her into the Royal Rumble match could really prove to the audience just how dominant she can be. As Xia Li is the first Chinese woman to ever compete in a WWE ring, she could be in line for a mega push and could possibly even hold the NXT Women’s Championship one day, provided she can stay healthy. Xia Li entering the Royal Rumble match could be her way to prove that she will rise to any opportunity she is given.
The Royal Rumble match is always exciting and never fails to create magical moments and always has a few surprises so what better way to pull off those surprises than by entering in a few NXT talents?