Three years ago, thirty-two women thrilled us and chilled us in a tournament for the ages.
Well, there was one the year before, but each stood out, so FOR THE AGES IT BE.
Today, seventeen remain with the company that put the tournament on and fifteen are off doing something else that I hope is the best thing ever for them.
I watch a bit of WWE on me tele and I like seeing the seventeen that are left, so how they be?
This time last year, there were only sixteen knocking about, and they shaped up like this.
16. Kavita Devi
15. Karen Q
13. Xia Brookside
12. Isla Dawn
11. Toni Storm
10. Kacy Catanzaro
9. Jessie Elaban
8. Mercedes Martines
7. Xia Li
6. Lacey Lane
5. Reina Gonzalez
4. Tegan Nox
3. Mia Yim
2. Io Shirai
1. Rhea Ripley
Lotsa bother around the world affected ’em last year, but they’ve kicked into overdrive since then, so let’s rank the remnants of the 2018 Mae Young Classic, three years gone.
17/ PRISCILLA KELLY
She’s still fresh in the new job, though we all know what she can do. We sadly ain’t seen much of her yet, but I can’t wait for her to explode. Start popping tampons in everyone’s mouth.
Or, ya know, other stuff.
Difference: NEW ENTRY
16/ MIA YIM
Commitment is key, eh? I cannae blame any of the performers for what happened with Retribution, they gave it their all, but that was not reciprocated by… Anyone else. In the past twelve months, ‘Reckoning’ has managed four matches while tweaking out, as well as two as Mia Yim before her day of Reckoning.
Can’t wait to see her back to her best.
15/ XIA BROOKSIDE
Been a bit anonymous since NXT UK returned to the airwaves, popping up here and there with no clear direction. As new members join, she continues to slide down, which just ain’t a good thing.
14/ TEGAN NOX
Injury got her again, much to everyone’s detriment. But in that time off, she made us wanna see her back, so when she finally did get fully charged, it was a killer pay-off. And then she was immediately off to Smackdown in a random tag team and now goes by simply ‘Nox’.
If it weren’t for the inconsistency, she might even be higher, such was the power of the return of Lady Kane. And she’ll be even higher if Mike Knox returns and they form that not-at-all-anticipated power-team of ‘Knox-Nox’. Like Knock-Knock. Do you get it? I can’t hear you laughing.
13/ JESSIE ELABAN
Great to see more of her and watching her evolve as a performer is cracker. Found a nice niche in The Robert Stone Brand, and at time of writing, is branching out once more.
For some reason I can really see her playing an astronaut. Or a Top Gun kinda jet pilot. She should just be the new Breezango.
Not that THE OLD ONE SHOULD HAVE GONE ANYWHERE
12/ MERCEDES MARTINEZ
A great hand to have around, though it don’t seem they ever intend to send her to the moon with any angle. She’s a mighty presence just ‘cos of who she is, and she kills it whenever she gets in the ring.
11/ ISLA DAWN
NXT UK came back and Isla underwent a bit of a rebrand, tilting her character and leaning more into the ‘White Witch’ stuff. Yeah, man, dig it. Go for it more, I say. Put curses on people, levitate shit. It’s a shame she’s under the weight of some cracker talent at the top of the card as she should be there too, but maybe next year, that’ll be the case.
10/ KAREN Q
Hasn’t had a match in two years, don’t matter. Wrestling ain’t all about wrestling, duh. As Mei Ying, Q has come in with a fresh character with a lot of promise and something that’s fresh for NXT, just one of those things that makes it stand out as an entire brand. The angle is slow-paced, and it don’t need to be faster — still wanna see where it goes.
9/ KACY CATANZARO
The tag team is steadily on the rise, but then I’ve been saying that for a bit. This year, the tag titles came about and the division seemed mighty fresh, with plenty more teams meaning plenty more competition. In NXT, anyways. Catanzaro and partner are putting themselves in the middle of it all and are impressing along the way.
8/ LACEY LANE
The now Kayden Carter is the other member of that tag team and she has been rockin’ it as well. You could pretty much copy and paste what I said about Kacy, but as for why I put Carter above… Dunno. She’s cracker though, in’t she?
7/ XIA LI
Oof, she has turned a corner and is strolling down a street paved with gold. She’s rockin’ the new digs, man. Not that she couldn’t before, but I’m more scared than ever that she could kick my arse. And I mean like, kick it across a room — I’m flying through a wall if she kicks me.
I cannae see the ceiling yet for Xia, and even if there was one, she’d kick me through it.
Difference: NO CHANGE
Just the workhorse of NXT UK — she’s got the character down, instincts and everything on point, her matches all go somewhere, all have stakes — everything’s justified with attitude, she don’t even need promos, but she’s sparkling there as well anyways.
It’s a shame it hasn’t translated to a title, but one cannae be far away.
5/ MEIKO SATOMURA
The Final Boss arrived for the long haul this year and she got right in amongst it, dethroning the forever champ Kay Lee Ray and winning the NXT UK Women’s Title in the process. Her ascent has seemed swift, like, but it’s been nowt short of quality, with even her shortest matches being a cracker study aid.
Difference: NEW ENTRY
4/ TONI STORM
Getting herself permanently on NXT was a cracker move and she shone immediately, then shone ever brighter when she went bad. She just clicked all over the shop, she was like a field of crickets, having banger after banger and weaving story in amongst it. I cannae wait to see what she does on Smackdown, good guy or bad guy.
3/ IO SHIRAI
Might be one of the most entertaining NXT Women’s Champions ever. It was like she just rolled from entertaining gimmick match to clinic of a singles match, machine-like. She’d just rock up, steal the show, and off she went, coming back a few weeks later to do the same thing. She might have lost the big one, but she’s got tag titles now, so that train ain’t stoppin’ yet.
2/ RHEA RIPLEY
The end to her NXT-run was an obvious farewell, stacked with bangers, obvs. Then the Royal Rumble came and she showed everyone why she was so highly touted, followed by the two matches in which it took her to become RAW Women’s Champion. I’ve been calling it here for years that she’s gonna rule, and she was doing. The run might have been a bit shaky as a story, but Rhea’s done her bit and looked every bit the golden goose she was meant to.
1/ REINA GONZALEZ
Move over, y’all, here she be.
The past year has been the confirmation of the queen here. From lackey with a presence to force to be reckoned with to force not to be reckoned with, the now Raquel Gonzalez bombarded through War Games, Last Woman Standing, Dusty Classic, Women’s Tag Titles, and then the NXT Women’s Title to have a classic year in the job. She’s been dominant as all feck since then, and now she can add this to her accolades.
Top shelf if you don’t mind.
BIGGEST MOVE UP: +8 — Jinny
BIGGEST MOVE DOWN: -13 — Mia Yim
Women’s wrestling is in a boom and it has been for several years now. GO FOR IT, LIKE
It ain’t Yim’s doing that she’s down at the moment, ‘cos she’s still Mia feckin’ Yim, she’ll be back up in no time. As for Jinny and Rhea and Reina, all those having a cracker time right now, long may it continue, I hope everyone else can join you up there.
Including me! I’m trying to sell crumpets out of a truck, so if that could take off, I’d be happy as Larry.
I ain’t gonna rank those extra fifteen ‘cos I ain’t watching a lot of what they’re up to. Sorry for not watching more wrestling, but I’ve seen that Deonna Purrazzo is murdering it and would absolutely be atop this list if I did it that way. Tay Conti’s having a banger, and then, well, I bet everyone else is ‘cos they is good peoples. Be they Big Swole, Allysin Kay, Zeuxis, Hiroyo Matsumoto, Rachel Ellering, MJ Jenkins, Nicole Matthews, Zatara, Killer Kelly, Madison Rayne, Kaitlyn, Vanessa Kraven, or Kavita Devi.
This has been lovely and I think I just rank these for me now. I start something then I get annoyed if I don’t keep it up.
So that’s why these are here. Duty to my own compulsion.
Take the well-wishes in your stride though! Here’s one more:-
Keep it streets ahead,