NXT

WWE’s 2017 Women’s Tournament: Who to Watch

It’s no secret that WWE is moving forward with a women’s wrestling Network exclusive series early next year in the same vein of the Cruiserweight Classic. It goes without saying that Lady J and DW Reno are super pumped about this news. They are so excited that they’ve decided to share with you a list of  10 competitors that they believe should take part in this upcoming series. The following list is in no particular order and it may or may not be the first of many to come.

If you want to get really deep, Lady J even made a list of 150+ female wrestlers sorted by country who we could potentially see in this tournament, for anyone who’s interested. As always, feel free to keep the conversation going in the comments section below or hit us up on twitter @FightBoothPW

mercedes-canusa1. Mercedes Martinez – The two-time and current Shimmer Champion has been doing this since 2000, she’s long overdue for that WWE life changing push. Not only does Martinez have what it takes in between the ropes, she’s also the owner of a breathtaking smile that’s right up there with the likes of Daniel Bryan and Bayley. If the folks over at WWE can figure out how to use Mercedes Martinez properly they could have one of the biggest babyfaces of all-time on their hands. If Martinez ends up being a part of this tournament you can expect her to be a heavy favorite.

2. Allie/Cherry Bomb – Call her what you will. If you’ve only seen her work on TNA Impact Wrestling programming then you sir/ma’am are missing out. This Toronto-born competitor has wrestled all over the world and she has the hardware to prove it. If NXT wanted to, they could easily recreate the incredible rivalry she had with Rosemary under the Smash Wrestling banner. This rivalry was so good I feel fully confident telling you guys that it would be just as big as Banks versus Bayley, but in a different kind of way. Full Sail would be all in – and so would you.

3. Rosemary/Courtney Rush – See above. She can play the babyface all she wants but Rosemary works way too well as a villain. Rosemary is currently one the only must see things on Impact Wrestling along with her Decay stablemates. Their feud with the ‘Broken Hardys’ put Rosemary over in a big way as one of the scariest performers in the business today. She’s a bona-fide headliner who when it’s all said and done could rank right up there with Kenny Omega, Chris Jericho, Sarah Stock, Roddy Piper, Steve Corino and Candice LaRae when it comes to performers who were born and/or raised in the great province of Manitoba.

rosemary-allie-canusa As a pure fan of the sport I cannot help but get excited about this particular performer. If WWE signs her for this tournament she will, I repeat, she will make an impression that will make it impossible for the world not to either fall in love or hate with her.

4. Leva Bates – If you’re a fan of NXT programming you may know Bates as simply ‘Blue Pants,’ a performer who simply wears Blue Pants and tends to put over the competition. If you’ve been lucky enough to follow Bates outside of her NXT career, then you’ve been treated to an incredible performer and a female cosplayer equivalent to Prince Devitt aka Finn Balor.

Forget the Blue Pants gimmick. If WWE is lucky enough to procure Bates for this series then they need to let her do her own thing. There’s a reason why she has a cult like following and it has nothing to do with her being held back by the “man”.

kay-lee5. Kay Lee Ray – Glasgow, Scotland’s Kay Lee Ray has been seen everywhere from Shimmer to Shine to NXT to TNA to Progress over the past couple of years. Who wouldn’t want to book her? She’s proven that she can hang with anyone and take the brutal bumps needed to become a top worker in the industry. She wouldn’t be anywhere near our top picks to win this tournament but she would be our top darkhorse to steal the show and potentially a contract.

6. Kimber Lee (featured photo) – Trained in the Combat Zone Wrestling Academy, Kimber Lee is one tough cookie. If all you’ve ever seen are pictures of her in her purple gear, bestowing her crown to a child in the audience during a Chikara show, you’re not getting the full picture. As an experienced intergender wrestler, Kimber Lee is known to welcome even the biggest opponents to the Suplex Kingdom with her hard-hitting style. She matches graceful movements with violent impact, and is certainly worthy of being the aforementioned Philadelphia promotion’s first ever female Gran Champion. Opponents beware.

veda-fb7. Veda Scott – After recently receiving her release from Ring of Honor, Veda Scott put out the call to social media – where should she head to next? The response she got was overwhelming; everyone wants to see her work live, and right now. And why not – the diminutive redhead is not only a powerhouse talker, spending the early part of this year as manager to Cedric Alexander before he, too, departed ROH, but she can go in the ring, too. Scott is lightning fast with a mean streak. She’s fun and funny, but sneaky as hell. The perfect mix for a top heel. Plus she’s a lawyer – so if you need a reason to boo her, just keep in mind that she can charge you, like, $600/hr just to speak to her.

8. Viper – There are a lot of women here who might not be tall enough to ride all of the rides at Disney’s Magic Kingdom. But if it’s diversity you’re after, consider a 5′ 8″ vicious-as-hell Scottish Viper of a Lass. Trained by Mikey Whiplash and Big Damo at Source Wrestling School in Glasgow, Viper’s not here to make friends and hold hands. She may be beautiful, but she’s here to absolutely crush you. The smaller women don’t have the monopoly on speed, either. Viper’s faster than her size suggests and being hit full-force by this steam train is likely to leave a mark. She’s faced off against many of the biggest names in women’s wrestling, so beware her confidence level if she enter’s WWE’s tournament. Viper’s a powerhouse, all right, and anyone who’s locked up with her in the ring has got the bruises to prove it.

9. Jessica Havok – Speaking of powerhouses, beware stepping in the path of the Havok Death Machine. As far as this list is concerned, Jessica Havok is one of the veterans, debuting way back in 2004. Since then, her career has had its ups and downs, but the one thing that has held firm is her dedication to being authentic – and impactful. Known for her powerful wrestling style and distinctive, alternative in-ring attire, Havok provides not only strength and force, but is visually stunning. Part of why we all love wrestling is the entertainment value, and Havok never disappoints with her gas masks, wild hair, colored contacts, and intense make-up. There’s a theatrical level to Havok’s performance that can be equal parts frightening and scintillating. Speaking of which…

shirari10. Io Shirai – Want to see your twitter feed explode? Mention you don’t know ANYTHING about Japanese women’s wrestling and see what happens. And if you REALLY want to see something wild, check out what happened on the internet the night of November 30th. That’s when Japanese women’s wrestling intersected with the intense fanbase of Lucha Underground during an hour-long gauntlet match that pitted current World of Stardom Champion Io Shirai against LU chosen one Pentagon Dark in one of the most brutal televised matches we’ve seen this decade. If there’s anyone on this list to keep an eye out for, it’s this woman. Io carries herself with a defiant swagger, packs more punch than any guy you can name, and isn’t afraid to take a bump like it’s absolute death. With a deep arsenal of complex and impressive moves, it’s no wonder there are plenty of promotions with her name in their mouths, not the least of which is WWE. Here’s hoping everyone else in the tournament knows what they’re up against – and they’re not afraid of sunset flip piledrivers.

cover image credit – ZiaHiltey

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