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The Royal Rumble is a magical time of year. The beginning of WrestleMania season seems to always rejuvenate the fanbase so that no other event can. The Royal Rumble match also presents a fun challenge to the WWE creative team, one match featuring at least 30 wrestlers. Due to the large number of competitors, there is often room to feature some of the upcoming talents from NXT in the match. The question is, which wrestlers should get the nod and make their way to the ring at the end of that 10-second countdown? Well, here are my top 5 picks for NXT talents that should appear in the 2021 Women's Royal Rumble.

Candice LeRae

candice lerae 2020

Candice has participated in the 2019 and 2020 women's rumble events, but since those appearances, LeRae has evolved into a must-watch talent on NXT. Since turning heel with her husband, Johnny Gargano, last spring, she has really developed her character and shown the NXT universe just how great of an in-ring competitor she is. 

Another great thing about Candice is that she could add a faction presence to the Rumble by having Johnny Gargano, Indi Hartwell, and Austin Theory accompany her to the ring and stay ringside. I'd love to see The Way get involved and help give LeRae a couple of eliminations. 

Io Shirai

Io Shirai Wargames

The genius of the sky, Io Shirai, entered the 2019 Royal Rumble at number 23, where she was eliminated by Nia Jax. Shirai, like LeRae, has really built up her resume since her last appearance in the Rumble. Recently, the NXT women's champion has shown us that she can really stand out in a crowded match with her stellar performance in the 2020 women's wargames match.

Last year's winner Charlotte Flair did challenge for the NXT Women's Championship, so while I hope to see Shirai in this year's event, I would understand if WWE chose to keep this champion out of the match. 

Kacy Catanzaro 

Kacy Catanzaro

Catanzaro only has one prior appearance in the Royal Rumble, but it sure was a memorable one. The former American Ninja Warrior finalist took a page out of Kofi Kingston and Naomi's books and avoided elimination by doing a handstand. Since this moment, Kacy Catanzaro has had several more incredible saves in battle royals, and it is safe to say that this move has become one of her trademarks. 

Putting Catanzaro in the rumble would also help to capitalize on her recent momentum on NXT. This overall is an absolute win for WWE, and I would imagine we will see her take the stage this Sunday. 

Kayden Carter

Kayden Carter

Kacy Catanzaro's tag-team partner, Kayden Carter, would also be an excellent addition to the Rumble. NXT seems to have the desire to establish their women's tag division as being at the same level as the main roster's tag division. Letting Catanzaro and Carter team up in the ring could really show off what the NXT women's division has to offer. 

Kayden Carter has also really improved her in-ring work over the last year, and the Rumble is a great way to point to wrestlers who represent the future of their division. Carter deserves that recognition, and this (along with The Dusty Cup) could kick off her 2021 in style. 

Raquel Gonzalez

raquel gonzalez

If you go back and look at my Men's Rumble list from last week, you may notice that Raquel Gonzalez is a repeat. Well, much like Nia Jax, who pulled double duty in 2019, I think Gonzalez could pull it off this year. 

Raquel has, in just a few short months, established herself as the dominant force on the NXT women's roster. Her size and strength make her the perfect fit for a dominant run in the rumble. Also, if she were to be eliminated by Io Shirai, that could be the kind of action that propels their feud into a championship match at TakeOver just a few weeks after the Royal Rumble. 

Gonzalez is primed to have the best year of anyone on the NXT roster, and a banger of an appearance at The Royal Rumble could ignite the rocket that has clearly been strapped to her back. 

So here is my list, what do you think? Who did I miss? Let me know by tweeting at me @robbydeshazer

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