WWE has been known for signing some of the best wrestlers on the planet over the years. However, the women in WWE were often terrible for many years. After Trish Stratus and Lita retired, all the women hired seemed to be more model-driven than wrestler-driven. The man in charge of Talent Relations at the time, John Laurenitus, seemed to avoid women's wrestling in favor of signing other male wrestlers.
Though he would help to get them all in one place for training, FCW, a lot was missing. WWE decided to remove John from his position and Paul Levesque would take over as the Executive of Talent Relations. Paul happens to be a former multi-time champion in WWE and still wrestles part-time for WWE. You may know him as Triple H. He decided to make a new place for wrestlers to train that would be perfect to help them become legends. This was when he created the WWE Performance Center.
He knew he wanted to make everyone better, so he hired more independent wrestlers rather than randoms off the street. While Triple H has hired some power-lifters and newer people, Indie talent has ruled their hiring pool. They've also hired some people with martial arts backgrounds quite often. He then hired many wonderful trainers, such as Sara Del Ray to help train people, especially women, to become great.
Now that they have so many amazing women and men, it seems like the future is now. The question is, out of all the newer women, who will stand out as the best of the newer crew? That is what we're going to go over today. We'll rank 20 women who we feel will have the best odds of becoming the next big thing for WWE as a Female Superstar. Let us know how you'd rank them.
20 Tegan Nox
It is likely you've heard of Tegan Nox, just not under this name. She came to WWE a little while back, but before she arrived she went by the name of Nixon Newell. Her signing was considered to be a pretty big deal by wrestling fans who knew her from the independent wrestling circuit. At only 23 years of age, she could likely have a brighter future than some who are already on the main roster. Many women and men arrive in WWE after far too many years on the indies, which ultimately cuts their career down massively.
Nox comes in at a young age, which can allow her to have a great run on WWE NXT and then go to the main roster with a nice shot at greatness. She wrestled all over the world, but most of her notable work came from Japan and her native United Kingdom. Some of the places she's worked for can be pretty notable. She wrestled for UK's PROGRESS Wrestling and WCPW promotions. She also worked for UK promotion Attack! Pro Wrestling where she was 24/7 on three occasions as well as a tag team champion. On top of this, she wrestled for Japan's DDT Pro-Wrestling promotion where she was a two-time Ironman Heavymetalweight Champion. She also wrestled some for Fight Pro and SHIMMER.
Obviously, Nox is already accomplished as such a young age. So it'll be interesting to see if she can continue down this path while in WWE.
19 Taynara Conti
Taynara Conti has made history already in her young career. She is the first Brazilian woman to ever sign with WWE, and the first Brazilian in history to work a WrestleMania event. She was in the Women's Battle Royal just recently at WrestleMania 34. Conti did not have a wrestling background like many others do on this list, however. Rather, she trained most of her life in martial arts. It has resulted in her rise up the ranks as one of the most impressive female martial artists in the world not involved with an MMA promotion. Her list of accomplishments are pretty impressive if you ask us.
She holds a black belt in Judo and a blue belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. She was so impressive that she actually made the Brazilian Olympic Team for Judo and participated in the trials at the 2016 Summer Olympics. This is where many felt WWE came in contact with her, due to the fact that they had scouts all over the Olympics that year. She made her debut at last year's Mae Young Classic, where she impressed many people. The feeling is that Conti, at only 23, has a very bright future in WWE. The company seems to love her, which is why they have tried using her on NXT so often. She still has to work on her English, but this may be the only thing that hinders her.
18 Kavita Devi
Kavita Devi is quite impressive for someone so new to the pro-wrestling scene, and especially WWE. Like Conti, she made her debut at the Mae Young Classic and also participated in the Women's Battle Royal at WrestleMania 34. She is the first Indian woman ever signed to a WWE contract, and of course the first to work a WrestleMania event. Kavita was thought to be someone the WWE needed to sign, as she was quite an impressive woman. WWE wanted to expand more in India, and the best way to do this was to sign great talent and develop them to one day do just that. Devi was actually involved in wrestling a short while before being signed by WWE, however.
She trained under The Great Khali in India and worked for the Continental Wrestling Entertainment promotion. This was not the only impressive thing on her resume, however. Devi is a literal powerhouse. While she stands at 5'9, she does not look imposing. But around most other women, she can look that way. She looks quite muscular and strong, and that is probably because she is. Her powerlifting background certainly made her worth a look for WWE.
She won gold in the 75 kg female category at the South Asian Games, which ultimately put her on their radar outside of Khali's school. Since coming to WWE she has improved drastically thanks to training by Sara Del Rey and other PC coaches. Devi is very different compared to other girls WWE has, which means she could very well get some major opportunities. If she capitalizes on that, she could become a pretty big star.
WWE recently signed a woman that goes simply by the name of Jinny. She happens to be one of the best female performers on the planet, and will likely take the company by storm. She was not signed to a normal WWE deal, however. She was signed to work for WWE's new UK show. This will also allow her to continue working for other promotions with WWE simply getting the first call to use her. While she is the reigning PROGRESS Women's Champion, she could get more titles before she is done. Due to her major success in wrestling since her debut in 2014, she has been used in several promotions.
Places you could find Jinny performing include OTT Wrestling, Revolution Pro Wrestling, Pro Wrestling Chaos, Empress Pro, SouthCoast Wrestling, Plymouth Wrestling Association, Wrestling League, and IPW: UK. These are some of the top UK promotions known, and she did not get booked so often because she was just a woman they had to add. She was tremendous and they all knew it. She can cut a great promo and has a lot of skill in the ring. The thought is that she could certainly make a big name for herself in WWE. It is assumed that if she does well for the UK show, WWE will sign her to a full deal before too long.
16 Sonya Deville
While Sonya Deville did make her way to the main roster last year, and currently works on the WWE SmackDown Live brand, she is still quite new. Sonya was first noticed by fans on the WWE Tough Enough show a few years back. She was thought to be someone the company would want to sign due to her resume, and they did just that. Deville had a nice background in mixed martial arts. In fact, she is 2-1 in the sport of MMA. While she may look older than she is at times, Deville is only 24 years of age. This makes her one of the youngest on the main roster.
Deville has been well-liked by fans and has shown some amazing toughness and potential since arriving to the main roster. She never truly had a huge career in NXT like other women. She even came up in a group called Absolution, where she helped to flank a returning Paige. Sadly, injuries forced a very early retirement for Paige and a thrust to the singles world was put on Deville. Sonya has managed to do well with it thus far and is considered one of the best young stars in the entire company. Deville also happens to be gay. WWE is truly trying to connect to GLAAD and push their "Be a S.T.A.R". program to stop bullying, which could allow for Deville to be a useful person in both areas due to her current and past issues with being a female wrestler who happens to be gay.
15 Ember Moon
Ember Moon has been with WWE for a little while now but just arrived to the main roster for the WWE RAW brand a few months ago. She stood out a lot due to her ability in the ring, especially as an athlete. She was trained by Booker T and his training system/promotion in her hometown of Houston, Texas. She made a name for herself on the indies under the name of Athena and began to slowly show how impressive she was. While she always stood out as an athlete, she had to prove her skill as an actual wrestler on the indies against some of the best in the United States. She would do just that.
She spent several years trying to stand out and did so with promotions like Women Superstars Uncensored, CZW, Anarchy Championship Wrestling, Absolute Intense Wrestling, and of course SHIMMER where she wrestled off and on for 5 years. She held multiple titles across all of these promotions before being signed by WWE. She would have great matches with various women, especially Asuka. She eventually won the WWE NXT Women's Championship. She is now in a good position to make a big name for herself in WWE. Though she is 29 and will turn 30 in August. Due to her age, she may not have as long as others to truly stand out. We feel she can become a major name, however.
14 Shadia Bseiso
Shadia Bseiso is one of the most unique people WWE has signed in the last number of years. She is from the Middle East and happens to be the first female from the area to ever be signed by WWE. She is from Jordan and speaks Arabic, English, and several other languages. She was actually a television host(or presenter) in Jordan before signing with WWE. She has a degree in Business Administration from the American University of Beirut. She is a Jiu-Jitsu practitioner and even competed at the 2014 Abu Dhabi World Pro Championship where she won the silver in her weight category, and the bronze out of all weight classes.
She is also a lover of CrossFit where she has been able to stay in shape and become quite the athlete. The one thing getting in her way is that she is 31 years old. Most women signed in their 30's have been wrestling for several years while Shadia is just now training for a jump into it. The thought is that she'll be used extensively when she is finally ready to make the jump. Due to being the first Middle Eastern female ever signed by WWE, they're likely going to give her several chances to stand out. That said, if she can do well....we could see her become a huge asset to WWE. This is especially huge for them when connecting to a major market like the Middle East.
13 Kairi Sane
Kairi Sane has managed to stand out for years as a major name in Japan. Like Asuka before her, Sane made her name in likely the biggest female promotion outside of SHIMMER on the planet, World Wonder Ring Stardom. Stardom has given us some of the best women in the world, and several of the best have either been trained by the system or have become big names through it. Sane was even the last woman to beat Asuka before she left for WWE. She would go on a winning streak that lasted over 2 years in WWE. Obviously, it showed how impressive Sane was. She won quite a lot of titles with Stardom in her time there. She won 7 tag team titles for the promotion, 4 under their six-woman tag title.
She would eventually go on to win the Wonder of Stardom Championship(their secondary title) before winning their World of Stardom Championship, the promotion's top title. She was signed by WWE in 2017, the same year PWI ranked her #10 in the best women's wrestlers category. In WWE, she would win the inaugural Mae Young Classic and would go on to take part in the Women's Royal Rumble match and Women's Battle Royal at WrestleMania 34. Though Asuka wrestled on the same WrestleMania 34 card, due to the match placement, Sane is the first Japanese women to wrestle a match at WrestleMania.
Aliyah is someone that many have wondered about for quite some time now. She has shown a lot of skill in the ring and has managed to stand out well. Yet she has not been given a lot of spotlight in her WWE career thus far. Many feel this was due to her youth and the fact that WWE wants to be sure to use her well. Though Aliyah was born in and grew up in Canada, she has a big Middle Eastern background. One would know this by knowing her real name, Nhooph Al-Areebi. She takes her WWE ring-name after the movement of Aliyah, the period in which the Jewish went on their trip to the Land of Israel. We're pretty sure you can guess her religious background.
She signed with WWE in 2015 at the age of 19 but had a few years of independent experience from promotions throughout Canada and the United States. She wrestled in places like Squared Circle Wrestling, Pure Wrestling Association, Absolute Intense Wrestling, Great Canadian Wrestling, and New England Championship Wrestling. She won a few titles while in these promotions before her signing with WWE. Aliyah is gorgeous and has a lot of ability. At only 23, she is likely to be someone the company uses in a big way eventually. Due to her youth, they're taking it slower. However, in her short time, she has shown a great bit of potential as a wrestler.
11 Dakota Kai
Dakota Kai went by the name of Evie while on the independent wrestling circuit. Though from New Zealand, Kai managed to work in a lot of major promotions all over the world. She made her debut in December 2007, meaning she has been wrestling for over a decade. While she is 30, her in-ring skill and resume clearly are on display for her inside a WWE ring. She mostly worked in Australia and New Zealand before going to America. She would work for companies like Pro Wrestling Women's Alliance and Impact Pro Wrestling while close to home. She won 4 World Titles in the promotions.
When she went to America, she managed to work for SHIMMER where she would become a tag team champion. She even had a good run in Stardom where she won their six-woman tag team championship. Obviously, she showed great potential and that was why WWE signed her in 2017. She made her debut for them in the Mae Young Classic and has been having some great matches on WWE NXT ever since. Dakota is a bit older, but her background is clearly giving her a chance to be used right off on NXT. She is likely to go up to the main roster next year and could very well stand out as a top female star for WWE if given the chance to take the ball and run with it.
10 Peyton Royce
Peyton Royce managed to stand out a lot with WWE NXT, but she was a star in her homeland of Australia for years. When she signed with WWE, the company used her relatively soon. They eventually paired her with her friend Billy Kay, and the two would go on to call themselves the "Iconic Duo." Though Royce did not win a title in NXT, she was beloved by fans for her promo work and ability in the ring. Due to her height and flexibility, Royce can do practically anything in the ring. This allowed her to take brutal moves from several wrestlers, gaining her respect from fans.
There is a theory that, if pushed, Royce could truly take over WWE as one of their clear stars. Unlike Kay, Royce has shown the potential to be a Women's Champion and the top female heel in all of WWE. She came up with Kay a few months ago to the main roster and both now wrestle as "The IIconics" on the WWE SmackDown Live roster. At only 25, she has shown that she could become a major star for WWE, and the company has taken notice a lot lately due to her skill since arriving to the main roster. She is also the first Australian woman to work a match at WrestleMania, as she worked the Women's Battle Royal at WrestleMania 34 a few months ago.
9 Bianca Belair
When Bianca Belair made her debut for WWE at the Mae Young Classic, she quickly made a name for herself. She showed amazing athletic ability with ring work to match. Fans instantly thought this woman had what it took to become a top star in WWE immediately. She has worked WWE NXT since and has continued down the path that fans hoped. Though she is not exactly where she wants to be just yet, Belair has clearly impressed fans and especially management. Before arriving in WWE, she was a top track and field star who attended three different universities across the southeast to keep a good college career going.
She attended the University of South Carolina, Texas A&M University, and The University of Tennessee where she was on the All-SEC and All-American teams. She has an accomplished powerlifting career and a background in CrossFit. She was an easy signing for WWE in 2016. She has everything they want as well. She is fast, strong, powerful, and extremely athletic. She can do literally anything asked of her, and the thought among fans is that she is one push away from being the top female star in NXT and could get similar thoughts when she goes to the main roster. She oozes potential and Belair is one of the few who seems like a sure-thing for WWE.
8 Shayna Baszler
Shayna Baszler is likely one of the few women in WWE that could be feared by women and men alike. She has an extensive background in MMA, where she happened to be for a good portion of her life. She fought for Invicta FC, Strikeforce, and the UFC. She would ultimately have a 15-11 overall MMA career. After being released by UFC she jumped into Pro-Wrestling in 2015. Her career has been all over the world as a top performer. She worked for Stardom, DDT Pro, SHIMMER, Absolute Intense Wrestling, New Horizon Pro Wrestling, and Premier Wrestling. In almost all, she won a title of some kind.
She made her debut with WWE last year through the Mae Young Classic. She choked every woman out on her way to the final, where she ultimately lost to Kairi Sane. WWE signed her during the tournament, and after the Classic ended she would go to the WWE NXT system. She challenged right away for the NXT Women's Title and eventually won it. She is the reigning champion as of this writing. The only thing holding her back would be her age. She is 37 and although she'll likely be used a lot right off, her career may not be as long as others on this list. In fact, she is old enough to be a mother to some. However, "The Queen of Spades" is someone who can put anyone to sleep at any time. So her age should certainly not be a hindrance to her at any point soon.
7 Rhea Ripley
Rhea Ripley looks like a star. Seriously, look at her and try to proclaim otherwise. Rhea proved herself in a major way already and could continue doing that as time goes on. The Australian perf0rmer is similar to Charlotte Flair in build, making her a mostly muscle female with major athletic ability. She is also taller than most girls, standing at 5'8. She uses her height as an advantage in most of her matches. Her in-ring style is usually a power driven one, with some speed moves thrown in. Many felt that she was signed so young that she could not have had much of an indie career...if any.
She actually spent about 4 years on the independent scene in Australia. She wrestled in RCW there and was the promotion's World Champion twice. Once for nearly a year. Her matches were consistently praised and eventually caught the eye of WWE. She was signed at 20, making her 21 today. She is so similar to Charlotte Flair that some call her "baby Charlotte" online. The size is the exact same, as well as the skill to most. Yet she is about ten years younger. While her youth has gotten her into some trouble with WWE, she has made up for it by being quite talented. She showed a lot of potential in her debut run in the Mae Young Classic, and many think she is a star in the making.
6 Candice LeRae
While she might be married to WWE NXT wrestler Johnny Gargano, he is by no means the reason she was hired to WWE last year. Candice LeRae is one of the best women's wrestlers on the planet and WWE knew this for years. She is 32 years old and has been wrestling since 2002. If you do the math, you'll see she has been wrestling since the age of 16. This makes her, well, a 16 year veteran in pro-wrestling. She has accomplished a lot in her time as well. She has won titles for Alternative Wrestling Show and DDT Pro Wrestling, and she even won the Smash Wrestling Gold Tournament in 2015.
Yet her real popularity comes in the form of tag-team wrestling alongside her tag-team partner, Joey Ryan.
The two won titles together in multiple promotions like Family Wrestling Entertainment, Alternative Wrestling Show, and most notably Pro Wrestling Guerilla. While she has still wrestled many women in various promotions like TNA Wrestling, CZW, SHIMMER, and Full Impact Pro...her wrestling against men still stand out. This made her a beloved figure for fans, as did not just hang with the men...she was often better. She was even the last independent wrestling match for her husband Johnny. She joined WWE last year in the Mae Young Classic, where she went pretty deep into the tournament before losing to Shayna Baszler. She has been a fixture on WWE NXT shows ever since.
5 Nikki Cross
Nicola Glencross came to WWE with a lot of fanfare. She happened to be one of the top independent wrestlers in the world. From Scotland, she mostly made her name in The UK. Her biggest work comes from Pro Wrestling: EVE. Here she was a 3-time World Champion. She also made her way to Japan and worked with the JWP Joshi Purosueo promotion as well as Stardom. Of course, she also worked with various other major women's wrestling companies like Shine, SHIMMER, and Women Superstars Uncensored. She would also go on to wrestle for some American promotions like GCW and TNA.
Eventually, she was hired by WWE in 2016 and debuted with the group Sanity under a new name, Nikki Cross. While she wore make-up and dressed very girly on the indies, she had to wear zero make-up and look crazy to play the Nikki Cross character. Cross has gone toe to toe with major NXT names like Asuka and most recently has taken it to current NXT Champion Shayna Baszler. At 29, it is thought that Nikki could be an amazing character that could make a huge name for herself in WWE if given the chance.
4 Deonna Purrazzo
Deonna Purrazzo has been one of the top independent female wrestlers on the planet for a number of years now. She has wrestled pretty much everywhere there is to wrestle. She is most known for her work with places like East Coast Wrestling Association where she won just about every single title available, including their World Title. She would join Ring of Honor Wrestling in 2014 and become one of their top performers. She is often credited with the "rebirth" of the Women of Honor division. She wrestled with the promotion for 3 years off and on and just last year she won their WOH Wrestler of the Year award.
She has also wrestled for TNA Wrestling. She was a useful star for them from 2014-2017. Since last year she has been a huge star for Stardom and has been one of their best performers. She just signed with WWE but has worked with the company for several years in random segments or matches, she was just not given a contract. Now that she has one, many expect her to become a top female star for WWE. At only 24 years of age, it seems like they have a lot of time with her and will likely want to use her in major ways for the company. Deonna's potential is endless and she could be a quiet favorite for the best female performer in WWE history. That is how good she is.
3 Io Shirai
Now we're getting to the big guns. Io Shirai is considered by many to be the best female wrestler on the planet, though some disagree with that statement. She just signed with WWE and many feel the company will likely want to put her right at the top of WWE NXT from the moment she gets started. She made her pro-wrestling debut in 2007 after rigorous training in Japan. She was a top female star in Mexico, a place trainers often send Japanese performers to learn. Due to her amazing work, she was brought back and was instantly used as a major star in World Wonder Ring Stardom. Shirai has quite literally won all there is to win in Stardom.
Overall, she has won 13 championships in the promotion including 2 World Titles. She is also a 3-time Stardom MVP and has numerous 5-star matches to her record. While she did debut in 2007, she is only 28 years old. This means she has been wrestling since her teenage years and has more experience than most when they sign with WWE. She is expected to debut in the upcoming 2018 Mae Young Classic and could likely become WWE's newest female star. Time will tell, but if she is as good as she has been in Japan...WWE fans are in for a treat.
2 Toni Storm
When people speak about Toni Storm, it is with much praise and honor as she has proven herself to be a huge asset to the independent scene. She is from Australia and managed to get her start there with various promotions like Pro Wrestling Alliance Queensland, where she won their Women's World Title twice. She also jumped to nearby New Zealand to work for Impact Pro Wrestling where she won the Women's, Cruiserweight, and Hardcore Championships. She eventually made her way to Europe and Japan where she truly stood out among everyone else. She worked with promotions like PROGRESS, British Empire Wrestling, Westside Extreme Wrestling, All Action Wrestling, and Stardom.
She won multiple titles in each, including multiple tournaments in places like Stardom. It was here in 2017 that she would become a top star and win their World Title as well as their MVP award. She would make her way to WWE last year to take part in the Mae Young Classic where she made it to the Semi-Finals. She did not sign a contract then, but the plan was always to sign something the following year.
She did just that as she just signed a UK deal with WWE. This will allow her to work on the indies but WWE will get first rights to use her and block her from signing with another major company. Eventually, fans feel Storm will be given a full exclusive contract with WWE as she is only 22 and massively accomplished already. She's a star and there are very few who will attempt to think she won't become one of the world's biggest names in wrestling when all is said and done.
1 Ronda Rousey
When we talk about "the next big thing," it is obvious we need to make the major name number one on our list. Ronda Rousey signed an exclusive deal with WWE for 3 years where she will be used as a pro-wrestler. Ronda made her name in MMA first with promotions like Strikeforce and the UFC. She was the first Women's Champion of any kind in the UFC and quickly became one of their biggest draws in history. She was THE biggest in her top tier time with the company.
She won 12 straight MMA match-ups before losing her last two fights to Holly Holm and Amanda Nunes. Ronda is still one of the most accomplished female martial artists on the planet today.
While he was a champion in both UFC and Strikeforce, she also won the Bronze medal for the United States at the 2008 Summer Olympics. She was one of the only Americans ever to medal in Judo. Overall, Ronda is a massively accomplished Judo specialist who also trained in multiple other fighting styles. Rousey is a huge name already and is being pushed big time already by the WWE. She is likely to become one of their premier stars, and she is probably the biggest "sure-thing" in the company today.