If you watched NXT last night, you may have noticed that Mauro Ranallo referred to Rhea Ripley as the NXT Champion during her entrance and also talked about Io Shirai’s “designs on one day becoming NXT Champion.” He even talked about Toni Storm holding the NXT UK Championship. The word “women’s,” though applicable, went unsaid.
According to Mike Johnson at PWInsider, this wasn’t just Ranallo’s quirk of the evening, but a specific change in how the NXT Women’s Championship is talked about. He reports that this was an internal change within WWE that states that the NXT Women’s Belt will now only be referred to as the NXT Championship. There’s no mention of the possibility of changing the name of the men’s belt, which is currently also called the NXT Championship.
The idea seems to be to have separate divisions with separate titles, but not give those titles separate names. That also lines up with something Becky Lynch said on WWE Backstage this week, about how the best thing for the women’s division would be to stop calling it “women’s.” There’s no word so far on whether the main roster women’s titles will have “women’s” dropped from their names. At least in that case they would be the Raw Championship and the Smackdown Championship, which are not the names of any men’s belts.
If you ask me, this seems like kind of a dodge to avoid the subject of intergender wrestling, which of course has been in the air recently because of Tessa Blanchard winning the Impact World Championship. In WWE, at least for the foreseeable future, women won’t actually be allowed to compete with men, but maybe journalists will be less likely to ask female WWE Superstars if they want to compete for men’s championships, since they’ll be competing for something with the same name.