With WrestleMania 34 fast approaching, there’s no better time of year to be a wrestling fan. In a more macro sense, the same is doubly true for fans of women’s wrestling specifically, as the female half of the sport has been getting the most attention they’ve ever received. Of course, this has been the case for the past three or four years, but each passing WrestleMania is another chance for the ladies of WWE to take things a step further by stealing the show yet again on the Grandest Stage of Them All.
By and large, women in pro wrestling have responded to the extra attention they’ve been getting in expert fashion. That said, some are obviously better than others, showing truly unbridled potential with no limits to what they may achieve. On top of that, the fact women are getting all this attention in general means more ladies than ever before are interested in wrestling, meaning there’s an entire class of newcomers the WWE Universe at large doesn’t even know about yet. Historically, the most popular time for new wrestlers to debut and assert themselves is the post-WrestleMania season, so it probably won’t be long before we know all about them.
Only time will tell which female superstars will best utilize the spotlight the women’s revolution has afforded them, but it’s easy to make some guesses about who will excite us the most based on past performances. Vince McMahon may well surprise the world with random pushes and unexpected surprises, but fans can at least expect these wrestlers to continue putting in fantastic work. Keep reading for the 15 female WWE superstars we expect the most from after WrestleMania 34.
15 Carmella Is Running Out Of Time
Truth be told, Carmella is only appearing on this list out of a technicality. Since shortly after the 2017 Money in the Bank show, the self-proclaimed Princess of Staten Island has held that event’s titular prize briefcase, allowing her a WWE Women’s Championship match at any time of her choosing. Typically, the wrestler holding the Money in the Bank contract is treated as a big deal from the second the win it to the moment they cash in, but Carmella has pretty much faded into the background, with her shiny briefcase a mere accessory.
At this point, she really can’t wait any longer — the title shot is only good for one year after she won it, leaving only about two months left before it runs out.
Carmella could wait until the very end, but hopefully, WWE will realize what a waste the situation has been thus far and try to save it very soon. In fact, Carmella’s cash-in could even happen the night of WrestleMania, depending on who walks away with the gold.
14 Shayna Baszler Always Impresses
For the most part, when it comes to former UFC standouts succeeding to WWE, Shayna Baszler doesn’t even show up until page two of the story. That’s not to say she doesn’t have just as much potential as her friend and co-worker Ronda Rousey, though. In fact, what Baszler slightly lacks in star power she makes up for in her higher levels of training and immediately ability to adapt to the business. While Rousey’s initial WWE appearances were criticized as awkward, Baszler looked like a natural from her earliest matches in the Mae Young Classic tournament, and has continued to shine as a top challenger to the Women’s Championship in NXT.
Considering she hasn’t won the gold yet, Baszler probably still has a little bit of time in the developmental league left,
but there’s no doubt she’ll continue proving herself as a star the second she’s called up to the main roster.
13 Piper Niven Deserves To Get Noticed
Upon Piper Niven’s first appearance in the WWE Universe, longtime fans immediately realized she wasn’t like the other girls Vince McMahon has promoted in the past. It’s not just that Niven is a bit bigger than average for a female wrestler, but more importantly, for the first time ever, WWE didn’t make her physical appearance the sole point of her character. It’s a good thing they didn’t, because Niven consistently impressed inside the ring throughout the Mae Young Classic tournament, making it all the way to the quarter-finals and typically wrestling in the best match of the night whenever she was on the show.
Unfortunately, despite initial reports WWE was interested, Niven has yet to receive a return call that would bring her to NXT or the main roster on a permanent basis.
It’s possible that Vince McMahon himself wasn’t that involved in the tournament and disagreed with the people who booked her in it, but hopefully, Triple H and company will continue increasing their influence to a point Niven gets hired full-time real soon.
12 Mercedes Martinez Has Experience
One of the most experienced participants in the Mae Young Classic tournament, to wager a guess, chances are WWE passed on offering Mercedes Martinez a full-time contract primarily due to her age. That doesn’t mean her career is over by any stretch of the imagination, though, as the company clearly wasn’t done with Martinez just yet, inviting her back for a televised match on NXT. Since then, Martinez has returned to the independent scene where she still performs at an extremely high level, which has got to have Triple H and Vince McMahon second guessing their decision to ignore her talents.
Truth be told, Martinez’s age does mean she may not have as much upside as others on this list, but that doesn’t mean she couldn’t have one great run on top before she goes.
The idea of a veteran female indy wrestler desperately fighting for a shot in the spotlight could easily play out well for all involved, and it’s just a matter of WWE deciding they want to use it.
11 Nikki Cross Stands Out
Titles aren’t everything in wrestling, which is why Nikki Cross can be considered one of the most successful women in NXT despite never winning the brand’s Women’s Championship. As the lone female wrestler in SAnitY, Cross is also one of the group’s most vocal members, in many ways as responsible for their reputation as anything the men do in the ring. She’s also a great wrestler in her own right, delivering expert performances as she rose through the ranks of the brand despite her lack of gold.
Like all good things in NXT, SAnitY is ultimately going to come to an end, and probably sooner rather than later — there’s just not much left for the group to do.
Whether they get called up to the main WWE roster as a unit or separately, there’s a good chance Storm will remain the standout, and could well become the most successful member of all in the long run.
10 Toni Storm Has Skill
Of all the women WWE passed over after expert performances in the Mae Young Classic tournament, Toni Storm made the least sense. Maybe Piper Niven and Mercedes Martinez didn’t quite fit Vince McMahon’s profile of a female wrestler, but Storm is the sort of woman he dreams about.
Beyond mere appearances, the 22-year-old from New Zealand is also significantly more talented than most female wrestlers her age, already a complete natural in the ring and on the microphone.
It may have been a bit much to expect WWE would hire her for a debut on the main roster right away, but a stint in NXT should have been borderline mandatory. Presumably, the only reason WWE passed on Storm at the time was to give her a little more experience on the indies, and maybe because the NXT women’s roster was loaded already. That’s not quite the case anymore after a number of major call-ups, and more space will continue clearing up in the near future, so maybe it’s time WWE gave Storm another look and hired her for real.
9 Mickie James Might Be On A Good Track
With all due respect, Mickie James is a bit of a wild card on this list. Once one of the freshest faces on the WWE roster, James is now pushing 40, which is typically around retirement age for a female wrestler. If she wants one last run on top before her career is over, it needs to start pretty soon.
In the past few weeks, her method of standing out has been forming a team with WWE Raw Women’s Champion Alexa Bliss, and it’s actually not the worst idea.
Inevitably, this team will have their problems and break up, instantly shooting James back into the title picture herself. She may not win the red belt, but a few high-profile, well-worked matches could be an excellent way to strength her reputation and go out on top. Of course, we could be off about this prediction, but even if James isn’t looking to slow down, she might use the story opportunities to prove why she’s going to stick around for a long time coming.
8 Kairi Sane Is Impresssive
By winning the inaugural Mae Young Classic tournament, most WWE fans naturally assumed Kairi Sane was destined for great things in the company. It didn’t hurt that her performances were also across the board some of the best in the contest, earning the respect of countless fans who had never even heard of her highly acclaimed work in the Japanese promotion World Wonder Ring Stardom. Surprisingly, WWE hasn’t quite capitalized on Sane’s potential just yet, merely giving her a background role thus far in her career.
While very active on the house show circuit, Sane has only competed in a small number of televised matches, but then again, these have been some of the biggest contests in history, including the first ever women’s Royal Rumble.
Its very possible WWE is just waiting for the right, huge moment to let Sane make an impact, and whenever that time comes, she’ll definitely know what to do with the opportunity.
7 Becky Lynch Has Quite The Reputation
Notwithstanding an impressive 30 minutes plus in the first ever women’s Royal Rumble, it could be said Becky Lynch hasn’t really done much in WWE since losing the SmackDown Women’s Championship a full year and a half ago. This is a bit confusing, considering Lynch was initially one of the superstars doing the most to make the women’s wrestling revolution work. To this day, Lynch is upholding that reputation in the ring, delivering excellent matches she can reasonably sell on the microphone despite the relatively weak material she’s given.
For whatever reason, though, WWE has rewarded her with a background role compared to newer wrestlers from NXT who don’t quite have her skills.
It’s fine to use Lynch in a teaching role to show these younger talents the ropes, but hopefully, WWE will realize how good she is sometime soon and reward her with more attention in the post-WrestleMania season.
6 Ember Moon Is Moving Her Way Up
As the first NXT Women’s Champion since the rise of Asuka, it could be said Ember Moon has incredibly big shoes to fill. In some respects, she’s been chosen to rebuild an entire division from the ground up, and the good news is that she’s done a great job of it thus far. Even before Asuka left, Moon was poising herself as a potential replacement as the top female star in NXT with her unique look and flashy move set. One might even argue she was destined to be a star the first time she flipped off the top rope to hit an opponent with the Eclipse, perhaps the most exciting new move in recent history.
Once a wrestler wins gold in NXT, the next logical step is getting called up to the main WWE roster, so it’s only a matter of time before Moon winds up on Raw or SmackDown.
The only question is how long WWE will wait before bringing her into the spotlight.
5 It's Time For Sasha Banks To Win
Unfortunately, there’s a way to look at Sasha Banks over the past few years and see her on something of a downslide. Of course, after repeatedly making history on a regular basis throughout 2016, it was hard for the Boss to live up to her standard in 2017. Hopefully, the lull in her career is over, and Banks will start performing at a top level again soon. The only real issue is that she’s already done everything there is to do on the Raw brand, including winning the red Women’s Championship four times.
Granted, those reigns were pretty short, but this only means Sasha has two options for the post-WrestleMania season. Either it’s time for her to finally win the Raw title and hold it for more than a week, or she should jump to SmackDown and start over somewhere she doesn’t have the stink of being a choker.
Given the tendency for wrestlers to jump around after the Showcase of Immortals, for now, we’re banking on option B.
4 Charlotte Flair Is Up For A Challenge
Just two short years ago, the era of “WWE divas” officially ended at WrestleMania 32 with the official revival of the Women’s Championship. That night, the Diva’s Championship was retired, followed by Charlotte Flair reigning supreme over Sasha Banks and Becky Lynch to win the newly instated, more respectful title.
With WrestleMania 34 just around the corner, Flair has remained at the peak of her industry, which is why Asuka choose to challenge for her SmackDown Women’s Championship after winning the first ever women’s Royal Rumble.
Quite frankly, most people probably expect Charlotte to lose that match so Asuka’s reign of terror can continue, and indeed, that’s very likely to happen. The mere fact Charlotte might lose her blue gold hardly means her career is on a downslide, as the match with Asuka is poised to be pretty great no matter who wins. On top of that, even if Charlotte does lose, her journey back to the top will surely entertain, as well.
3 Alexa Bliss Knows What She's Doing
Only 26 years old, Alexa Bliss has been in WWE for 5 years now, and she’s improved exponentially every step of the way. Originally, Bliss seemed a little uncoordinated in the ring, better suited for her role as manager to Buddy Murphy and Wesley Blake. By the time she was called up to the main WWE roster separately from that team, Bliss was skilled enough to quickly win the SmackDown Women’s Championship.
In addition to getting great in the ring, she’d also developed incredible character work and acting skills, which she now utilizes on Monday nights after switching brands to Raw and winning that Women’s Championship.
This made Bliss the first woman to win both Raw and SmackDown’s titles, and even more impressively, she’s basically held on to the red belt since her arrival a whole year ago, merely losing it for a week before getting it back. Impossibly, Bliss still doesn’t have a match booked for WrestleMania 34 yet, but it’s clear that whatever she does will continue her reign of greatness, and what comes next may well be even better.
2 Ronda Rousey Is Taking The Next Step In Her Career
Such is the aura of former UFC Women’s Bantamweight Champion Ronda Rousey that she’s already the most talked about superstar in WWE, despite the fact she’s yet to wrestle a single match. Of course, as that title alone makes obvious, it’s not like Rousey is walking into the WWE Universe a complete unknown. She’s already dominated the women of MMA in decisive fashion, followed by over a year of acting, interviews, and various other media appearances that made her a bona fide international celebrity.
Rousey finally made her way to pro wrestling at the 2018 Royal Rumble, hitting the ring to point at the WrestleMania sign after the first ever all-women’s version of the titular match.
In the ensuing weeks, the Grandest Stage of Them All was chosen for her debut match, where she’ll team with Kurt Angle against Triple H and Stephanie McMahon. Whether or not that match will be a success is unclear, but no matter how it turns out, Rousey has the star power to do whatever she wants when it’s over.
1 Asuka Deserves Major Credit
If there’s anyone in WWE who not only has more upside than Ronda Rousey, but also looks more dominant, it’s the terrifying and undefeated “Empress of Tomorrow,” Asuka. Long before winning the first ever women’s Royal Rumble, Asuka already solidified her stance as the top woman in pro wrestling with a winning stream that has lasted well over two and a half years at this point.
For most of that time, she reigned as NXT Women’s Champion without any close competition, nonetheless still creating extremely entertaining matches as she ripped her opponents to shreds.
The same trend has largely continued on the main roster, with Asuka all but assured to pick up her first WWE SmackDown Women’s Championship at WrestleMania 34. From there, she may as well win Raw’s belt, then start beating the men for theirs. Okay, so maybe that won’t happen, but the point is there’s really no limit to what Asuka could accomplish next.