Nikki ASH (A.S.H aka Almost a Super Hero) just shocked the world and cashed in her Money in the Bank briefcase 24 hours after winning it. Just as a few of the winners before her, she pinned Queen Charlotte Flair to win it. That said, she’s a fresh face at the top of a division that, unfortunately, revolves around Flair. I am not a Charlotte Flair fan, and I was very angry that they had her go over Rhea Ripley at the MitB PPV, but since they had Nikki cash it in on Raw the choice made a little more sense to me. If you wanted Nikki to cash it in the very next night, would it mean more if she defeated Rhea or Charlotte? As much as I am loathed to say it, it means more that she defeated Charlotte to win the title than it would have if she had beaten Rhea. WWE has built Charlotte up as the woman to beat on Raw and as much as I don’t agree with it, that is the reality of the red brand. So today, I wanted to take a look at five fresh challengers for Nikki’s title. There is, however, one problem in saying that. The Raw women’s division has a serious lack of contenders you could look at seriously when giving out title shots. That said, I’ll be picking contenders not named Charlotte Flair or Rhea Ripley since they were the last two to feud over the title.
The Former Champion graces us at number five. You may be asking why I am putting her on the list and there is one simple reason for it. She and Nikki have a history. They had some amazing matches in NXT feuding over the title and now that the roles are reversed, it would be fun to revisit one of the best feuds that the NXT women’s division has had. Their Last Woman Standing match back on June 28, 2017, was in one word phenomenal. I said above that it would be fun to revisit their feud, but let’s be honest here. It would be downright criminal if WWE didn’t revisit the feud from 2017. You could even turn Asuka heel to challenge Nikki ASH since she is clearly a face and is going to be used for the kids. Asuka carried the division throughout the pandemic era and, like it or not, she is more than deserving to remain in the hunt for the title.
4. Shayna Baszler
Number four today is the Queen of Spades, Shayna Baszler. Shayna has gotten the shit end of the stick since her feud with Becky Lynch fizzled out due to the latter becoming pregnant. That’s no fault of Shayna’s, but unfortunately for her, she has been put into a dud tag team with Nia Jax and has been stuck in a rut. It’s unfortunate since Shayna is one of the longest-reigning NXT Women’s Champions and she ran roughshod over that division for years. I may not be the biggest Shayna fan, but she is a natural heel and she has the talent and skills to carry the Raw women’s division on her shoulders. She’s a legitimate badass and needs to be turned loose. I’d first have her utterly destroy Nia Jax before turning her sights to Nikki ASH, but she would be a fresh face feuding for the title and that is something that Raw desperately needs.
3. Alexa Bliss
The creepy and twisted Alexa Bliss marks the number three spot today. Much like Asuka, there is significant history between Alexa and Nikki so this is a tailor-made feud for both women. Alexa is a former champion and former tag team champion alongside Nikki, and Alexa turned her back on Nikki, so I don’t see why WWE wouldn’t revisit this. I’m sure that Nikki ASH would be a perfect opponent for Alexa and you could really enhance her superhero gimmick by making her go against the witch that Alexa is. As it stands right now, Alexa seems to be the next feud for Eva Marie and Doudrop which makes absolutely no sense whatsoever. Alexa shouldn’t be in a feud with Eva Marie, hell no one should, but WWE will do what they want no matter what we think. I think it would be better if you took Alexa and put her against Nikki. It’s good vs evil and that is what super hero’s excel at.
The freshest face to Raw is number two today. Aliyah didn’t have the most memorable time in NXT, she didn’t hold any titles and she was stuck in the dead-end ‘Robert Stone Brand’ but she has the skills, looks and the talent to be a star in the company. WWE just needs to use her right and that is something that, let’s be honest, WWE has had problems doing with some of their NXT call ups. There is no history really between Aliyah and Nikki so this is as fresh as it can get. There is nothing holding Aliyah back but herself and if she can prove to WWE that she deserves the chance to challenge Nikki ASH, then they need to run with it and embrace it.
Coming up with a number one was very difficult for me. The reason being that Raw has a significant disadvantage for their women’s division when compared to Smackdown or NXT. The other issue was that I exhausted my picks from Raw between numbers 2 and 5. So for number one, I chose to pick a star from NXT who could seriously boost the Raw women’s division and provide a fresh challenger for the championship. Who is that person that I am hoping comes from NXT to Raw and boosts a stagnating division? It’s none other than…
1. Dakota Kai
Dakota Kai has become a stellar heel during her run in NXT but has unfortunately been playing second fiddle to Raquel Gonzalez for a while now. Like Shayna Baszler before her, Dakota deserves so much more than she has been given. She’s never held a title in WWE and that is a damned shame. Captain Kota is one of the most talented women on the WWE roster and, whether booked as heel or face, brings a work ethic that rivals some of the best women on the roster. Nearly every match that Dakota Kai has is extremely entertaining and is consistently one of the better matches of the night. So, bringing Dakota to Raw would give you a fresh face, a consistent performer and someone who Nikki ASH could have show-stealing matches against. The real question is this. Will WWE take a chance and bring Dakota Kai to the main roster or will they keep her stagnating in NXT? I really hope not.