I am far from the first to say that Toni Storm is poised to be the next face of the NXT women's division. Storm has been killing it since her official arrival at TakeOver 31, and since then, it has been obvious to anyone paying attention that her ceiling is super high, not just in NXT but in WWE as a whole too. Last month, at TakeOver: Vengeance Day, Storm had her first shot at the NXT Women's Championship since World's Collide 2020 in a triple threat match with Mercedes Martinez and the champion Io Shirai. Notably, Toni Storm did not take the pin in that match and, in fact, almost had the match won but was stopped by a desperate moonsault from the champion.
This week, Toni Storm has an opportunity to challenge Io Shirai for the title in a singles match. This writer believes that Toni Storm should walk away tonight, the new NXT Women's Champion, and here is why.
The accolades of Toni Storm
For everyone who might not be as familiar with Toni's career leading up to this point, here is just a quick rundown of her accomplishments in and out of WWE.
Storm made her wrestling debut in 2009, but her career wouldn't really pick up until the mid to late 2010s.
In 2016, Storm began working for Stardom, where she quickly became an SWA World Champion by defeating Io Shirai. Toni Storm also became the first wrestler in Stardom to win both the Cinderella Tournament and the 5 Star GP in the same year and win the World of Stardom Championship. Despite winning the World of Stardom Championship in an unplanned finish, she still has one of the longest reigns with that title in the company's history.
In Progress Wrestling, Storm became the first-ever Progress Women's Champion. She defended that title against many future WWE rivals, including Kay Lee Ray and Candice LeRae.
In WWE, Storm participated in both the 2017 and 2018 Mae Young Classic tournaments making it to the semi-finals in 2017 and winning the tournament in 2018 by defeating Io Shirai at WWE Evolution. Toni defeated Rhea Ripley to win the NXT UK Women's Championship in 2019. Storm has also appeared in two Royal Rumble matches and participated in the 2020 women's WarGames match.
This is an impressive resume for any wrestler to have going into a title match, but one thing that really stands out to me is the two crucial wins over Io Shirai. If you have been following Toni, you know that she has what it takes to beat Io, and you might be hoping that she can do it again.
The Future of The NXT Women's Division
Some might be tempted to call the NXT women's division the secret weapon of WWE, but it is safe to say that the secret is out. NXT has one of the strongest women's divisions in wrestling today, and that really reflects the relatively recent renaissance of women's wrestling in the industry as a whole. The women of NXT consistently put together incredible matches both in and out of the title scene. The one thing that remains the same for NXT is that they continue to feed talent into the main roster.
One of Toni's biggest rivals in WWE has been Rhea Ripley, and we already know that Ripley will be making her Raw debut in the near future. Io Shirai is the current champion, but it also seems like she is being prepared for a main roster run after she loses the belt. Sure there are some mainstays of NXT, such as Candice LeRae and Dakota Kai, but with Ripley and Shirai gone, it is time for someone else to hold down the fort on Wednesday nights (or maybe Tuesdays).
Toni Storm is clearly ready to be the face of the division.
Ok, I already said that I think Toni should walk out of the CWC tonight as NXT Women's Champion, but I know there is a good chance that WWE will wait until TakeOver actually to have the title change hands.
So here is a quick fantasy booking to get us to TakeOver. Tonight's title match needs to feature some kind of interference, maybe a distraction from Aliyah and Jessi Kamea of The Robert Stone brand that allows either Raquel Gonzalez or Mercedes Martinez to layout both Storm and Shirai for a double countout finish. This leads to a number of matches between know and TakeOver that force Shirai and Storm to work together. By the time Storm gets her rematch at TakeOver, the two totally respect each other and know each other too well, setting up what could be a match of the year quality bout.
Maybe I am wrong about it being time for Io to move to the main roster, but it is absolutely time for Toni Storm to have a run with the NXT Women's Championship.
What do you think, is it Toni time? Who are your dream matches for Storm in NXT? Let me know by tweeting at me @robbydeshazer!
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