What makes a title meaningful? Is it the number of rulers you have as a champion, or is it the way a champion represents the belt? The latter applies to the NXT Women’s Championship.
Since its inception in 2013, the NXT Women’s Championship has been the only constant at not just NXT but WWE as well. The title has been held 14 times, with only two women, Shayna Baszler and Charlotte Flair holding it twice. Only twice has a term of office lasted less than 100 days, not counting Mandy Rose’s current term of office over 70. For comparison: the NXT Championship has been held 24 times since 2012. Several wrestlers (Samoa Joe 3x, Finn Balor 2x, Tommaso Ciampa 2x, Shinsuke Nakamura 2x, Karrion Kross 2x) held the belt more than once.
Before the 2016 women’s revolution took over WWE, NXT was the one with breakout matches. Paige, Emma, Charlotte Flair, Becky Lynch, Bayley and Sasha Banks fought for the title and proved their talent. There was legitimate wrestling in the ring and fans realized early on how special this group was.
The creative contribution of Paul “Triple” H Levesque, along with others in his circle, resulted in a prestigious department with a valuable title.
“The NXT women’s title is one of the most significant in the business,” Triple H once told Sports Illustrated. “That is proof of all the women who played a part in it. The women in NXT have something to prove. They really go out of their way to make a name for themselves. ”Women in wrestling have often been restricted and constrained on TV time and squad size, but they are currently enjoying unprecedented freedom and opportunity in NXT.
“NXT is where people come when they need to prove something. This has been anchored in the women’s department since it was founded. The floodgates opened with Charlotte, Becky, Sasha, Bayley, Paige and the entire crew, taking it to another level. Since then it has been moved up. “
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Things were in full swing when Bayley beat Sasha Banks for the title in Brooklyn in 2015. The rematch they had, a 30-minute Iron Man match on NXT TakeOver: Respect, won the Pro Wrestling Illustrated Match of the Year. A new era in women’s wrestling in WWE officially began.
After the Four Horsewomen, Asukas followed over 500-day reign as champion, which further reinforced the aura of the title. Every game felt important and no fan could turn away. Since she was drafted for the second time on WWE’s main shows, the title has been vacated. Then the new blood took over. Ember Moon, Shayna Baszler and Kairi Sane made it their business to keep the title’s legacy intact, which they did.
The title may have been embroiled in an uncomfortable time when Rhea Ripley and Charlotte Flair traded titles, but the importance behind Flair, one of the world’s best female wrestlers and Royal Rumble winner, just wanted to fight for the NXT Women’s Championship added value . The governments of Io Shirai, Raquel Gonzalez and currently Mandy Rose, the latter through the new NXT, continue to set the standard for this division.
The NXT Women’s Championship is valuable depending on how it and the champion are booked. Bayley’s road to the title was moving for many, Baszler looked like a monster on her reins, and when Ripley won it it felt like it was going to take a long time. Raquel Gonzalez’s recent accession to the throne is the perfect example of this. Originally attending the Mae Young Classic, Gonzalez spent several years without a booking. Gonzalez was originally completely transformed into the muscle of Dakota Kai. Her popularity with the fans and the skills she possessed impressed the backstage staff. Among other things, it helped to strap her on the missile. Gonzalez, who won the NXT Women’s Championship like Ripley, Moon and Bayley, was a feel-good moment due to the right booking.
A championship is as valuable as those who hold it and those who fight for it. Although Nikki Cross, Bianca Belair, Lynch, Mickie James, Peyton Royce, Billie Kay, Nia Jax and others never won the title, they competed in matches that are still remembered today.
Rose defends her title against Gonzalez and Cora Jade at NXT New Year’s Evil. Jade, believed to be the future of NXT 2.0, has grown a lot in its short time with promotion. That organic growth and fanatic interest is the standard for a future NXT Women’s Champion. Whether she wins the title or not, her name will forever be associated with the belt. That will come in handy in the future.
Winning a title is one thing. What one does afterwards is another. The NXT Women’s Championship is the workhorse belt, with an enduring passion for maintaining its excellence that brings it all together.