The women of NXT have started an entire revolution that has sent ripples through both NXT and the main roster over the past few years ever since they were called up to the main roster and allowed to continue what they started down in NXT.
The Four Horsewomen of NXT have redefined what it is to be a female wrestler in WWE ever since their days as part of the developmental set up. It was a change that was much needed by WWE. The women were finally being treated seriously and continue to be so to this day as they are given more opportunities to make history than ever before. There is even talk of a Women's Royal Rumble match next year, which could happen if WWE decides to sign a number of women following the Mae Young Classic tournament that is happening in WWE right now.
These women did not become stars overnight, they became the women they are today because of the roots that they planted in NXT, roots that have since been continued by many other women who have stepped into the ring knowing that they have a lot to live up to in front of the University of Central Florida crowd.
The following is a list of the 15 greatest matches that have ever happened on NXT TV or on NXT pay-per-views between the women who continue to revolutionize the way the women in wrestling are viewed and many of these matches are the reason that NXT often blows the main roster pay-per-views out of the water.
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15 Asuka Vs. Mickie James - NXT Takeover: Toronto
Mickie James made her shock return to WWE back at NXT Takeover: Toronto in 2016 to fight the most dominant NXT Women's Champion of all time, Asuka. There were rumours that WWE had approached Trish Stratus about making a one-off return in her hometown but she had recently announced her pregnancy and was unable to wrestle for the company, so instead, Mickie took her place.
Mickie didn't manage to defeat Asuka, but she did put on such a good match that Triple H later stated that the door was open to Mickie if she wanted to return to the company that she had found fame in so many years before. Mickie later signed a three-year contract with WWE and debuted on their SmackDown brand in January earlier this year. Asuka has since continued her Women's Championship reign in NXT and has recently broken Goldberg's longest undefeated streak as well as many other historic lengthy reign records.
14 Asuka Vs. Ruby Riot Vs. Nikki Cross - NXT Takeover: Chicago
Asuka defended her NXT Women's Championship in Chicago a few months ago as Nikki Cross and Ruby Riot stepped up to the challenge. As expected, it was a hard hitting affair between the three women with Nikki Cross playing the role as a psycho convincingly.
Ruby had only been in WWE for a number of months at this point, and for many of the NXT Universe, the real match was between Asuka and Nikki Cross. The only female member of Sanity managed to live up to the hype and wasn't afraid of the bumps either. Ember Moon was originally set to make this match a fatal-four-way but a shoulder injury put her on the shelf for a number of months and forced WWE to go forward with the match without her. Even though it was a last minute change, it was thought that the match definitely lived up to the hype that the Women's Division has created over the past few years.
13 Bayley Vs. Nia Jax - NXT Takeover: London
Bayley walked into NXT Takeover: London back in 2015 as the NXT Women's Champion. She had already proved her worth in Brooklyn against her friend Sasha Banks a few months before this and again a few months later when the women collided in an Ironwoman match at Takeover: Respect, but Nia Jax was the biggest task to ever stand in Bayley's way.
Nia was undefeated when she walked into London in the hopes of taking that title from Bayley, but she had only been part of NXT for a number of months. It was a hard fought match for Bayley and perhaps one of the biggest tests the Huggable star has ever endured, but somehow Bayley survived and managed to force the undefeated star to tap out. Bayley then retained her Championship and proved once more that she was the rightful woman to be holding that title at that moment in time.
12 Sasha Banks Vs. Becky Lynch - NXT Takeover: Unstoppable
Paige once dropped a pipe bomb on Becky Lynch and stated that she was the least relevant woman in the Women's Revolution. That probably wasn't true, Tamina would fit that slot much better than Becky, but over her career, Becky hasn't really done a lot to prove that she is on par with the other four Horsewomen.
Back at NXT: Takeover Unstoppable in 2015, Becky stepped up to fellow Horsewoman Sasha Banks with the NXT Women's Championship on the line. Becky proved that she was a worthy challenger for Sasha as the duo had a standout match that ended with Becky tapping to the Bank Statement. The Full Sail crowd was fully behind two of the best female wrestlers to come out of NXT that night and it is a shock that Becky is the only member of the Four Horsewomen who has not been able to lift the Women's Championship in NXT.
11 Paige Vs. Emma - NXT Takeover: ArRival
When NXT began gaining the popularity and respect it deserved back in 2014, it was decided that the brand would need both Championships and Champions, so at the first ever NXT style pay-per-view event it was decided that the new Champions would be crowned and the final of the Women's Championship tournament pitted Emma up against Paige.
Emma was a face character at the time, this was before she finally embraced the new attitude that has seen her make much bigger strides on the main roster, while Paige was relatively new to the WWE Universe and they were just getting used to this Anti-Diva who later went on to become the first ever NXT Women's Champion. Paige and Emma set the bar for the division that night, a bar that has been raised over the past four years following every Women's match. They set the tone and the rest of the Division have had to follow that level ever since.
10 Emma Vs. Asuka - NXT Takeover: London
Asuka hadn't been in NXT for very long when she managed to become the victim of a number of two-on-one assaults from Emma and Dana Brooke, two women that believed they ran the Women's Division ever since the likes of Sasha, Becky Lynch, and Charlotte had been promoted to the main roster.
Asuka was out to prove that they were wrong and faced Emma in a one-on-one match at NXT Takeover: London back in December 2015. Asuka and Emma opened the show and proved that when Emma is on point she can be one of the best female wrestlers in the company. Despite the futile attempts of Dana Brooke to help her friend throughout the match and even to break up the Asuka Lock, it was Emma who tapped to Asuka as the Empress of Tomorrow began to foreshadow the dominance she would have over the Women's Division in the years that followed.
9 Ember Moon Vs. Asuka - NXT Takeover: Orlando
Ever since Ember Moon made her debut in NXT, it was known that she would be the one who would step up to Asuka and finally be able to match her in the middle of the ring like no woman before her ever has. The duo first met at NXT Takeover: Orlando as part of WrestleMania weekend and it seemed as though Ember had Asuka's number at that point.
Asuka had to resort to underhanded tactics and pushing the referee in the way of the Eclipse so that she could finally defeat Ember because she wasn't fully prepared for the fight that she brought to her. There is a reason Asuka has held that Championship for so long, not only is she one of the best female wrestlers NXT has ever had, but she is also smart and she knows how to overcome even the biggest obstacles in the ring.
8 Charlotte Vs. Natalya - NXT Takeover 2014
When Paige made her main roster debut the night after WrestleMania 30 to defeat AJ Lee and claim the Divas Championship, it sent shockwaves through NXT because it meant that she was forced to drop her NXT Women's Championship and another tournament began to crown the woman who would take her place.
Charlotte and Natalya were the women who made it to the final of the tournament in May 2014 at NXT Takeover, and with Ric Flair and Bret Hart by their sides, the women fought it out for the NXT Women's Championship. It was a fantastic match between two technically gifted stars and one that WWE even allowed ring time to lead up to on their main show. The women proved that they had what it takes to steal a show and the rumblings of a Women's Revolution began not on the main roster, but down in NXT where it was obvious that the women were just as respected as the men.
7 Sasha Banks Vs. Charlotte - NXT Takeover: R Evolution
Charlotte put her Women's Championship on the line at NXT Takeover R Evolution against her former friend Sasha Banks as the two women proved that there really was no love lost between them as they fought it out for more than 12 minutes in one of the best matches of the night.
Charlotte got the victory after she hit Natural Selection from the top rope to keep Sasha down for the three count, but it proved that Sasha was a future star in the division in her own right and that Charlotte would go on to be a star on the main roster one day. Looking back at where it all started for the women of the main roster, it is easy to see that they were showing signs of potential from day one and this match was definitely the best in the Women's Division in NXT up until that point. This match perhaps foreshadowed what would later become one of the greatest female rivalries of this generation on Monday Night Raw.
6 Bayley Vs. Asuka - NXT Takeover: Dallas
Asuka has always been on another level in the NXT Women's Division but there was something that she needed to prove that she was worthy of being called The Empress of Tomorrow and that was the NXT Women's Championship.
Bayley was the NXT Women's Champion at the time and she was definitely put on notice when she saw how easily Asuka was brushing aside the challenges of all of her opponents, but Bayley was no stranger to competition. She has proved this throughout her Women's Championship reign, but sadly it was time for Bayley to take her rightful place on the main roster and for Asuka to take over the reins down in NXT. It was a fantastic match that was later redone for NXT Takeover: Brooklyn, but it was the match where Asuka finally picked up the NXT Women's Championship, a title she has held onto ever since along with her impressive undefeated record.
5 Charlotte Vs. Becky Lynch Vs. Sasha Banks Vs. Bayley - NXT Takeover: Rival
They are still seen as four of the greatest women to have ever stepped through the ropes in NXT, so with their call ups to the main roster imminent as the Women's' Revolution began to take hold, it was only fair that the NXT Universe was able to witness all four women in the same match at least once.
Charlotte had been holding onto the Women's Championship for almost 10 months at this point following her win over Natalya and going up against three women who could all be a threat to the title was perhaps the best thing for her reign given that she was seen as Genetically Superior. It was Sasha Banks who managed to pull off the unthinkable and walk out as the new NXT Women's Champion, something that then set into motion a number of events that led to all three women leaving NXT and beginning a worldwide Women's Revolution on the main roster.
4 Asuka Vs. Nikki Cross - NXT: May 2017
The Women of NXT have become accustomed to making history given the fact that Triple H has an incredible belief in all of the women he decides to add to his roster, so when Nikki Cross and Asuka collided in a Last Woman Standing match on NXT a few months ago, the fans definitely weren't disappointed.
Nikki and Asuka had locked horns before and both women were crazy enough to do what it takes to take that NXT Women's Championship home. Nikki was a woman possessed and it seemed that Asuka had an answer to everything Nikki threw at her, including chair shots and even a sick ladder bump through the announcer table. It was an incredible history-making Women's Championship match and hopefully, it isn't the last that NXT Universe has seen of Nikki Cross in the Women's Championship picture, especially since Asuka has now already defeated Ember Moon twice.
3 Sasha Banks Vs. Bayley: NXT Takeover: Respect
After their incredible exploits in Brooklyn a few months prior to the Takeover: Respect show, Triple H made the decision to make history with his NXT women and allow Sasha and Bayley to step into the ring at Takeover: Respect as part of the first ever Iron Woman match.
Bayley defended her Championship in the 30 minute match and it was seen as a fantastic way for the women to take another step forward, and even though the match lived up to the hype and made the two women instant stars in the WWE, it didn't live up to their match a few months prior in Brooklyn. Take nothing away from Sasha and Bayley, it was an incredible Ironwoman match, one worthy of making history, but the match in Brooklyn just seemed to have much better structure than the 30 minute one they were forced to endure a few months later.
2 Ember Moon Vs. Asuka - NXT: Takeover: Brooklyn III
Over the past few years, the women of NXT have set the tone when it comes to the matches at NXT Takeover Brooklyn, and Ember Moon stepped up to Asuka this past weekend and definitely didn't disappoint.
This was the second time that the WWE Universe had seen these two women go one-on-one so they knew that they had to bring something new to the table. Shockingly, Asuka managed to kick out of the Eclipse, just as the WWE Universe thought that Ember had it won, before she locked in the Asuka Lock and once again Ember, like many women before her, had no choice but to tap out of the vicious hold. If not for the shocks and surprises that the other matches had in store for the NXT Universe later in the night, this match would definitely have been seen as one of the best of the night.
1 Sasha Banks Vs. Bayley - NXT Takeover: Brooklyn
Bayley was never seen as a real threat to Sasha Banks' title reign when the duo was down in NXT, but Sasha had been called up to the main roster, so it was obvious that Bayley would have to step up to her friend and challenge her in the absence of any other contenders in NXT.
Sasha mocked Bayley going into the event and it seemed like it could have been a mismatch, but both women left it all in the middle of the ring as they set the tone at the Inaugural NXT Takeover: Brooklyn event. Bayley finally managed to dethrone Sasha and despite the event being headlined by Kevin Owens and Finn Balor, the talk was all about the women following the show. Bayley and Sasha may be good friends but this match proved that they could be better enemies and hopefully, WWE is thinking about turning Sasha heel soon so that the duo can pick up where they left off down in NXT all those years ago.
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