There were a lot of open spots heading into the first ever Women’s Royal Rumble in Philadelphia tonight (Jan. 28), and pre-show reports indicated that a number of those would be filled by wrestlers from WWE’s third brand and developmental promotion, NXT.
Those reports weren’t correct. Word was there would be only a handful of Legends and numerous Performance Center ladies, when in reality, the opposite was true. Only two women from the black-and-yellow brand appeared on the main roster pay-per-view (PPV) to compete for a Raw or SmackDown Women’s championship match at WrestleMania 34. Neither of them earned that opportunity, but it was a big moment for two big stars of NXT.
Kairi Sane at #6
The Mae Young Classic winner immediately showed off her signature flying elbow drop, hitting it on Becky Lynch and Sasha Banks before the next competitor entered. Noteworthy was Michael Cole renaming it from the InSane Elbow to Seven Seas. That was her highlight, as Dana Brooke eliminated her a few minutes later.
Ember Moon at #23
The NXT champion showed up selling the damage Shayna Baszler inflicted on her arm during their match at TakeOver last night. She got in some offense against Nia Jax, but was quickly dropped on her wounded wing by the larger woman. She got to revisit her feud with Asuka, but after taking a one-armed Eclipse, The Empress of Tomorrow tossed Moon as part of an armbreaker on the bad arm en route to her eventual win.
So there you have it. Despite reports of a wave of new faces, we got the same number of ladies from NXT as men.