There are plenty of things fans can quibble about when it comes to NXT’s women’s division, but the one thing no one can question is the depth of talent the black and gold brand’s distaff ranks possess.
Since 2014, NXT’s women’s division has been at the heart of WWE’s women’s renaissance (even as the main roster maintains its “one step forward, two steps back” tendencies with the women), growing to the point where the brand now features a women’s version of the Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic and its own set of women’s tag team championships.
One person who has noticed this growth is Samoa Joe, who recently returned to NXT to serve as a quasi-peacekeeper that quells the recent uptick in pull-apart brawls on the show.
Samoa Joe praises the women of NXT.
“I’m amazed at the women on the roster. They’re beyond incredible. Some are very young in their careers, and they’re exceptional—look at how [NXT Women’s Champion] Raquel [González], she’s been fantastic. Then look at Ember Moon, Dakota Kai, Io Shirai. It’s a murderer’s row of top-tier, internationally-certified talent. NXT, they’re putting out an incredible wrestling program.”
For the brand, Raquel Gonzalez is the current Women’s Champion while The Way’s Candice LeRae and Indi Hartwell hold the Women’s Tag Team Championships. LeRae and Hartwell will defend their titles against Io Shirai and Zoey Stark at NXT’s The Great American Bash television special. Shirai and Stark earned this title shot by beating Gonzalez & Dakota Kai and Ember Moon & Shotzi Blackheart in a triple threat tag team match on the June 29 episode of NXT.
That episode also featured Mercedes Martinez teaming with Jake Atlas to face Xia Li and Boa — Li and Boa won via referee stoppage — and a segment where newcomer Sarray challenged Toni Storm to a match.