Shayna Baszler walked into to NXT with an MMA career and Ronda Rousey’s friendship in tow. One of the MMA’s version of the Four Horsewomen alongside Rousey, Jessamyn Duke and Marina Shafir, Baszler brought a no-nonsense style of pro wrestling to the NXT Women’s division. It was enough to power her to a championship match against the red-hot Ember Moon at NXT Takeover last year. Baszler choked out Moon and captured the championship for the first time.
Her championship reign was cut short by Mae Young classic winner Kairi Sane. However, Baszler would recapture the title a short time later. During both reigns, she dispatched almost every top contender there was. Near the end of 2019, she ran into the momentum that is Rhea Ripley and lost the NXT Women’s title. Still, she garnered a championship reign that could be equal to or surpassing Asuka’s reign in terms of dominance. As it stands, Baszler has the most combined days as NXT Women’s champion in history.
I do all that I can to avoid the dirt sheets in wrestling. However, I am in wrestling groups with smarks who get a kick out of spreading rumors and damn-near ruining sports-entertainment for me. The most recent rumor states that Shayna will soon appear on WWE’s main roster. If that is true, it makes me asks quite a few questions:
Which brand will she be on? The main roster Women’s divisions are once again trying to find their feet and distinguish themselves from the other. Becky Lynch’s 2019 was culminated with her capturing both divisions’ championships. Eventually, she would lose one and it seemed that things in both divisions would go back to normal. However, it really hasn’t been that way. Seeing as how there really is no difference in the divisions, which one would benefit Shayna the most? RAW remains WWE’s flagship show while SmackDown is now being seen by a new audience with the move to FOX. Which would interest YOU more: Shayna versus Becky or Shayna versus Bayley?
How will her style be accepted on the main roster? Like Rousey, Shayna has MMA big-league experience. However, that is where the similarities between the two competitors cease. When Ronda arrived, people loved her despite her polarizing demeanor. Her addition to the Women’s division was as a win on many levels. Before long, the Universe soured on Rousey and she greeted their disdain with her own vitriol. Ronda’s well-known ugly side resurfaced. It laid the groundwork for her sabbatical after last year’s Mania. Shayna has been a true heel in every sense of the word. She pulls no punches and shows you exactly who she is without needing interpretation. Unless there is a major creative shift, I don’t think that will ever change. Shayna’s approach would be a welcome addition to a confusing division – no matter where she lands.
Given the history of others who have been called up, will her transition from NXT to the main roster be successful? Adaptation is never easy. With a new environment comes new expectations and new challenges. No matter what Shayna brings to the table, her career trajectory is in the hands of WWE writers. In the past, talents like The Ascension, AOP, Bo Dallas, Ember Moon and countless others have fallen extremely short of duplicating their NXT success. Other not-so-successful talents who have moved to the main roster such as EC3, Dana Brooke, Apollo Crews, and Tyler Breeze haven’t fared well either. Sometimes, there is a directional shift that sees these performers become someone completely different. Other times, the writers don’t know what to do with them and they get lost in the shuffle. Hopefully, she won’t be the victim of a bad angle or storyline. Sometimes, things like that can truly hinder one’s career with no recovery in sight.
I’m hoping that Shayna’s past has laid the groundwork for a bright future on the main roster. She has done all the could in NXT. She’s left an incomparable legacy behind. 2020 could be a make-or-break year for the “Submission Magician”. Wishing her all the best.
Until next time… …PEACE FROM THE PLANET.