While the future of the Mae Young Classic and a possible Evolution 2 are up in the air, WWE showed last night on a Jacksonville, Florida, house show just how easily it could produce another quality all-women’s event without even using main roster or unsigned talent.
One of the reasons 2018 was a banner year for women’s wrestling in WWE was because of the company’s events that were only women. Not only was there the second Mae Young Classic tournament, but WWE’s first all women’s pay-per-view, Evolution, which included the MYC final. This year, the biggest moments for women in WWE were main-eventing WrestleMania, which got the company a lot of positive press, and hosting the first women’s match in Saudi Arabia, which was praised by some, but also criticized by multiple major publications as part of the country’s attempt to “sportswash” its history of human rights abuses.
2019 probably saw WWE get more publicity for its women’s division, but it didn’t deliver as much for fans who don’t care about the company’s PR and just want to see more women’s wrestling, especially those who enjoyed seeing it stand on its own at times. A third Mae Young Classic was briefly advertised but ultimately never happened, and so far there’s no hint there will be an Evolution 2. But when WWE held an all-women’s NXT house show last night, it demonstrated just how easily it could actually broadcast another all-female show in the form of an episode of NXT.
— The HBIC (@MiaYim) December 6, 2019
The Jacksonville event had a very house show card, featuring a fair amount of talent who doesn’t usually appear on TV and maybe shouldn’t for a while. But it also featured Io Shirai, Santana Garrett, Xia Li, Deonna Purrazzo, Bianca Belair, Taynara, Chelsea Green, Shotzi Blackheart in her NXT debut, Shayna Baszler in the main event, and a trios match of Rhea Ripley, Candice LeRae and Mia Yim vs. Dakota Kai, Jessamyn Duke, and Marina Shafir. Factoring in the NXT UK women’s roster with the likes of Toni Storm, Kay Lee Ray, Piper Niven, Jazzy Gabert, Isla Dawn, Jinny, and Killer Kelly, and it’s obvious how strong an all-women show could be just using the talent under the NXT umbrella.
One could say, “Then why just not write about how there could be a good all-women TakeOver?” but while there could be a good all-women TakeOver, that feels too much like fantasy booking and overly high expectations. Women have only main-evented an NXT TakeOver one time (back in 2015 with the Sasha Banks vs. Bayley Iron Woman match) and these shows rarely have more than one women’s match these days. More realistically, WWE could so easily get some good PR and give people just two hours of good women’s wrestling on USA on any given Wednesday without even trying that hard.