With WWE potentially developing a women’s Cruiserweight Classic, we looked at which stars we’d like to see in it.
The WWE Cruiserweight Classic culminated on Wednesday, September 14 with a live special. This saw TJ Perkins defeat Kota Ibushi to reach the final, and Gran Metalik top Zack Sabre Jr. to do the same. Perkins would defeat Metalik to win the tournament, and the revived Cruiserweight Championship.
This 10 week event could be considered a success for WWE, who had never tried something like this before. A show dedicated to only cruiserweights was similar to what had been done in New Japan Pro Wrestling, but under the WWE banner? This had been unprecedented.
Well, it seems the company liked this tournament so much that they are developing one for the women, according to PW Insider. No word on if it will hold similar rules to the Cruiserweight Classic. However, for the nature of this post, we’re going to roll with that they are.
Focusing on 32 female competitors would continue WWE’s revolution of women’s wrestling. It began to take notice in 2014, with NXT ArRival, that featured Paige vs. Emma for the inaugural NXT Women’s Championship. Charlotte vs. Natalya for the vacant belt at NXT TakeOver further put this gender on the map in not only WWE, but all of wrestling. This was a stage for the Leader in Sports Entertainment’s talent, though. So, let’s see where else they could go.
The male independent wrestling scene has received the publicity. Fans of this may have known plenty of the names heading into the Cruiserweight Classic, most of which came from the indie’s. However, the women don’t get discussed as much, which could all change if a female CWC takes place in 2017.
For WWE’s potential female Cruiserweight Classic, a veteran presence or two will be needed, especially with plenty of the indepedent women’s wrestling scene having young talent. At 32-years-old, Scott has five years under her belt, including seeing plenty of air time with a popular wrestling show.
Scott is one of three women on this list to be featured in Ring of Honor, who have begun implementing “Women of Honor” segments, which are all female matches. They have been a prodominentaly male organization since debuting in 2002, and changed things up a bit when WWE started putting more focus of their women performers in 2015.
There is reason why she gets plenty of time on ROH, though, due to that she’s improved as a wrestler every year. This is evident by her upgraded ranking in the PWI Top 50 Females in 2015, finishing No. 33. Scott has moved up every year since 2012, along with a 17-spot advancement during this time. She’s continuing to hone her skills as a wrestler, and may be good enough to get a spot in this tournament, especially with months to develop before this tournament even gets made official.
Veda Scott would be a known name on the women’s independent scene, something WWE is going to need if they want to put this event together. Given that there are 32 spots, Scott should be able to hold one of them if her name is called.
We’re potentially going with a name that fans may not know of. Given WWE’s want to make the Cruiserweight Classic a global event (they did so by bringing in wrestlers from many countries), don’t be surprised to see them dip into the international pool again. This could start by going after Arisa Nakajima.
Nakamjima is a 27-year-old wrestler from Japan, who has competed for JWP Joshi Puroresu. If that promotion sounds familar, it’s due to NXT Women’s Champion Asuka being part of it. She went under the name “Kana” there, before coming to WWE in 2015.
If you do a Google search of Nakajima, little is known of her, as a Japanese wrestling company isn’t going to receive much publicity in the United States. However, fan accounts of what she can do in the ring should be noted, all courtesy of CageMatch.net.
“Very good worker with great mat skills. One of the best Joshi wrestlers I have seen. Quite a few titles to her credit already, 14 in just 10 years and current holder of four. She is very marketable and easy on the eyes as well.”
“Great mat wrestling skills, killer forearms and a master of the german suplex. Not only is Arisa Nakajima the backbone of JWP, she is also one of the most skilled wrestlers in the world.”
“Arisa Nakajima is a bright light for modern joshi and one of the best wrestlers going today.”
These comments spanned from 2013, to as soon as August 2016. It’s high praise for the current JWP Openweight Champion, whose work isn’t known much on a national level.
You can get a preview of what Arisa can do in a ring above, though. This match had been against Asuka. While not as vicious as her opponent, Nakajima as a hard-hitting style, something that would be welcome to the American style, which isn’t as stiff as this, in a future CWC. It could make her a threat to win the tournament, especially with WWE giving a healthy push to The Empress of Tomorrow for the past year.
Arisa Nakajima would be an intriguing presence for a 2017 female tournament, one that WWE shouldn’t pass on.
The independent women’s wrestling scene features plenty of young, talented performers. It’s part of the revolution of the females in this business, with one significant name of the bunch being Mandy Leon.
Some WWE fans may recognize Leon from former Superstar Adam Rose’s “Rosebuds”, and also having a tryout with the company. Nothing has come of it, as of September. With Mandy being known to WWE, though, she should be a candidate to join the women’s CWC.
The 24-year-old has the exposure of being in Ring of Honor since 2014, so she’s not unfamiliar to every wrestling fan. She got a spotlight on their “Women of Honor” segments, which the promotion began in 2015. You can see one of her matches against the talented Taeler Hendrix above.
Leon is also a decorated champion outside of ROH, holding the Keystone Pro Wrestling Vixen Championship twice, with her current reign lasting for 400 days. Not bad for having just a few years of experience.
Oh, and she’s also known as the “Exotice Goddess”. Quite the nickname, right? She is an attractive wrestler and would add a unique presence to the field. Leon is ravishing and dangerous, and could strike at any point with her finishers that include the “Havana Dreams”.
Mandy Leon is building a solid resume for herself, and could be an intriguing player for WWE if they do this female Cruiserweight Classic.
WWE NXT fans will be familar with Deonna Purrazzo. She has played the enhancement talent role, putting over the likes of Asuka, Bayley, and Nia Jax. The New Jersey native is way more talented than that, though.
At 22-years-old, Purrazzo is in the infancy of her wrestling career. However, she has made a name for herself in one-off appearances for TNA, and working across the independent scene. This includes wrestling the likes of Taeler Hendrix and Mandy Leon of ROH, Thea Trinidad at House of Hardcore, and Crazy Mary Dobson at CHIKARA. Purrazzo wouldn’t be working with some of the top names of female wrestling if she didn’t have talent.
Receiving these opportunites around the world scene is a positive sign for Purrazzo. It may not be a great one for WWE, though, if they want to sign her. They brought her in for a tryout in early 2016, but nothing has come of it. The current NYWC Starlet Champion hasn’t signed anywhere yet, so if WWE is eyeing her for a female CWC, they should look to lock her in as soon as possible. Waiting too long could be dangerous, as she may be one of the best unsigned wrestlers out there.
One of the top female wrestlers is Candice LeRae, someone who hasn’t received the national spotlight over her 14-year career. WWE would have the opportunity to give her that with a spot in a potential women’s CWC.
Women rarely step into the Pro Wrestling Guerrilla (PWG) ring, but LeRae has done so since 2006. She has put on classic bouts in Reseda, CA, which got herself on the map. This hasn’t been with the girls, either, as she’s battled some of the best in the world, like The Young Bucks. The Canadian star teamed with Joey Ryan to form The World’s Cutest Tag Team. They put on a classic PWG World Tag Team Championship match with Matt and Nick Jackson in 2014, which was a bloodbath. It’s a war that proved how LeRae may be the toughest female wrestler in the world, and one helluva worker. It’s something that’s difficult to avoid.
LeRae getting to show these talents on the main stage would be a well-deserved opportunity. Young stars may be receiving the spotlight over her in 2016, but the veteran has the credibility as a mainstay women’s wrestling. If put in the women’s CWC, she could be a favorite to win it all. A WWE contract could follow, which may be necessary for the young women’s division that lost most of their talent to the main roster.