Tuesday night’s WWE draft which split Raw and SmackDown into separate brands saw plenty of surprises. However, none was bigger than seeing all the women that were chosen from NXT.
While WWE promised that six picks would be made from the NXT roster, four women left the brand for the main roster. Carmella, Alexa Bliss and Eva Marie will all be going to SmackDown, while Nia Jax will look to make her presence felt over on the Raw brand.
If Bayley and Asuka are the only two women that you can think of on the NXT roster, you’re probably not alone. That’s what we’re here for. As WWE introduces a new era with its brand split, NXT will undergo some changes as well. The women’s division was picked bare in the draft, but the WWE is like a revolving door. There’s always someone else ready to step in. Though many of these names may sound foreign, these girls will be ready to do just that on NXT.
While Asuka and Bayley may be the only “name” female talents on the roster, it’s not a bad place to start by any means. But they’ll need opponents and allies. Let’s meet the ladies that will fill those roles.
You’ve most likely seen Peyton Royce in action, but I guarantee it was in a losing effort. The 23-year old from Australia was trained by Lance Storm before landing a spot with WWE and though she’s been used as an enhancement talent to this point, it’s time to take the training wheels off.
@WWENXT I've been ready. ????
— Peyton Royce (@WWEPeytonRoyce) July 20, 2016
She has the start of an interesting character, calling herself the “Venus Fly Trap of NXT”, but that won’t go anywhere until there’s a legitimate reason to call her that.
The runner-up on the most recent edition of Tough Enough, Mandy Rose is guaranteed to start getting some exposure in WWE. She’s already been featured on the reality show “Total Divas,” and she’s also worked some NXT house shows.
Though she likely has quite a way to go inside the ring, she has the look that WWE likes and she could be the perfect antagonist replacement for Alexa Bliss, perhaps even starting in the role of a valet, just as Bliss did.
Ah, yes. If Mandy Rose is going to get her shine, you can believe that Sara Lee, the girl who actually won Tough Enough, will too. WWE hasn’t done a good job of keeping the winner in the spotlight and by the time she comes back, many fans may not even remember who she is.
She was a polarizing figure on the show. It will be quite interesting to see what kinds of tweaks she’s made to her personality, what kind of character she’s created and how she’s advanced inside the ring whenever we do see her again.
Easily the most accomplished NXT wrestler you’ve never heard of, Ember Moon was trained by a host of wrestlers, including Booker T. On the independent scene, she went by the name Athena and competed in promotions such as Pro Wrestling Alliance and Shimmer.
During her time on the independent scene, Athena had matches against the likes of Mickie James, Ivelisse Velez and Leva Bates while winning a total of five singles championships.
Here’s a look at her hitting her unique finishing move, which in the past she’s called the “O-Face”.
She signed a contract with WWE last fall and has competed on some NXT house shows. She also took part in a dark match prior to NXT TakeOver: The End, defeating Royce. Now known as Ember Moon, make sure to keep an eye —and an ear — out for this girl.
This girl is the true definition of developmental wrestler in the sense that she has a long way to go in refining her in-ring skills and putting the complete package together. But as is usually the case with women in WWE, it starts with a look, and she certainly has that.
A former cheerleader and model for the restaurant Hooters, Morgan has been under WWE contract since 2014. She may never be seen as someone who can make the leap to the main roster, but she could easily hold the same spot in NXT that was once occupied by Carmella, so long as she can connect with the crowd.