The Future of WWE: The top 25 superstars to come from NXT

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10 of 25

16. Shayna Baszler

The current NXT Women’s Champion, the Queen of Spades Shayna Baszler, checks into our countdown at No. 16. Her second reign as champion will be threatened on Saturday night as she takes on the Genius of the Sky, Io Shirai.

Baszler, one of the Four Horsewomen of mixed martial arts, got her start wrestling on the independent circuit, eventually catching the eye of Triple H and the WWE. The company brought her in to compete in the first-ever Mae Young Classic and they haven’t looked back since.

While “Rowdy” Ronda Rousey’s long-term future with the company is in question (she’s only signed for another two years) there is no doubt that Baszler can be a big player in WWE’s women’s division for years to come. An instant link to Rousey upon her main roster debut will be absolutely crucial for not only her short-term, but also long-term success.

The smart money for WWE would be keeping Baszler where she in NXT right now with Jessamyn Duke and Marina Shafir until Rousey is ready to return to the company. Bringing the four of them in together will give the NXT trio instant credibility in the eyes of the fans. Plus, when Rousey eventually departs the company she can do the honors for her friend to set Baszler up as the woman who retired her from the company. Barring any unforeseen circumstances, it would be hard to imagine the Queen of Spades not factored into WWE’s future long-term.