The competitors for the 2023 NXT Women’s Breakout Tournament were revealed at No Mercy. As has been the tradition, the winner will receive not only the pat on the back of winning this tournament, but also a title shot in the near future—likely at either Halloween Havoc or a random episode of NXT in November.
Which of these women best deserves that opportunity? Let’s look at the lineup and break them down one by one in ranked order of who I think would best serve this role.
#6 TIE) Karmen Petrovic / Jaida Parker / Izzi Dame
I know virtually nothing about all three of these women. In fact, I don’t think I’ve seen a single match for any of them. Granted, that’s partially what this tournament is about. They should be relatively unknown. It’s a breakout concept, after all. But with that in mind, I don’t know if any of them are good enough to give this title shot to and not have them whiff it.
I would assume, based on the track record of NXT’s women’s division in the past two years or so, that they need a lot of seasoning and none of them are quite ready for a massive immediate push. Maybe I’m wrong. But since they’re the least established names and four women have to lose in the first round no matter what, I’d be shocked if more than one of them makes it to the second round, if any do. WWE might want to have an upset with one of them beating a more established name like Jakara Jackson.
Speaking of Jackson…
5) Jakara Jackson
So far, Jakara has wrestled a few matches. Not many, but enough to see that she’s probably at a level above Lash Legend despite getting less reps in. More importantly in the overall scheme of things, she’s had lots of time on screen as part of Meta-Four. That’s given her presence that most others in the tournament don’t have.
She checks off the box of being a heel. That is more logical for a future opponent to fight babyface Becky Lynch. But is anyone truly going to think she stands ANY chance to win that belt?
Then again, would anyone think any of these women would? You could make that argument and twist it for all these Superstars.
Ultimately, I give Jackson a massive edge over the other three that are tied, but I do think her winning creates more problems than positives. Why have her in such a prominent spot while Legend is just hanging around? I don’t think we’d have Becky vs. Legend on an episode of NXT prior to this to hype it up, do you? How does Becky interact with Noam Dar and Oro Mensah, for that matter?
I’m expecting Jackson to either be the one who gets upset by someone like Jaida Parker, or she makes it to round 2 and loses there to Jordan or Palmer.
4) Dani Palmer
The few matches I’ve seen of Palmer’s, I’ve thought she has a lot of spunk. She’s definitely one of the hyper athletic types and fits that mold of the super-smiley babyface who is happy to be there.
If you want to put someone up against Becky with the idea in mind that they’re so thankful for this opportunity and that they’ll give it their all to fight The Man, come up short, but get a pat on the back, she’d be a great option for it. She has no chance to win the title, as mentioned, but she might be the person who could put on the best actual match with Lynch. That’s something to think about.
3) Kelani Jordan
Even still, while Palmer is arguably the most athletically gifted woman in this tournament, I think Kelani Jordan proved with her match against Blair Davenport at No Mercy that she has advanced more on the storytelling aspect of her ring work in comparison.
Frankly, that was one of my biggest surprises of that show. I either hadn’t paid much attention to Jordan in the past, or something just clicked for her, but now, I think she has a bright future. Since she was paired with Dana Brooke out of the blue, that might have been WWE seeing potential in her, too. Actually, even just having this match with Davenport could be another testament to that, as it took me by surprise that was even booked at all.
With the Brooke storyline being dropped, Jordan never got to fulfill whatever that was going to be. Maybe it would have led to Brooke just destroying her, or maybe she would have been put over instead.
This tournament could be a way to circle back to that push, but in a different way.
2) Arianna Grace
She’s a heel. Check that off. She’s got more experience than some others, so you’d hope that she would be able to handle herself better. But even more importantly, Arianna Grace was in last year’s tournament. Why she’s in this one as well is something I’m sure isn’t some big concern to WWE. They either do not care whatsoever and hope that you don’t because, effectively, “Oh shut up, she’s been MIA for the past year and you don’t REALLY remember her, do you?” Or, maybe WWE actually forgot about that.
But if she gets embarrassed and loses in the first round or something, it’s going to look bad for anyone who does care to pay attention and remember these things. An analyst like myself will just write her off as someone WWE isn’t invested in beyond her looks and the fact that Santino Marella is her father.
It’s telling, by the way, that Ava Raine isn’t in this. Just saying.
But a good way to circumvent that criticism would be to give her the win. Then, she can have her match with Becky, lose, but tout herself as the winner of the tournament anyway. Grace is accustomed to the beauty pageant scene, after all. Maybe winning this tournament can spin off into that kind of gimmick for her.
1) Lola Vice
This started out with Lola Vice telling Roxanne Perez how she was going to win the tournament. Maybe that’s been the plan all along and it’s just that simple. After all, Vice has the most matches to her name out of this group and has been treated as the biggest star of the bunch due to her background in MMA.
It helps that she also has a teammate in Elektra Lopez who could lose to Becky on an episode of NXT prior to this title shot. Or, alternatively, Becky and someone else (maybe the person Lola Vice beats in the finals) could team up to fight Vice and Lopez. Then, Vice can get another pin on the rookie and the commentary team can act like she technically has a win over Lynch (albeit in tag team format without Becky taking the pin) and uh oh, that’s a sign she could maaaaaybe have a shot (even though we’d all know that’s b.s.)
Who do you think should win this year’s NXT Women’s Breakout Tournament? Drop your thoughts and/or predictions in the comments below!
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The 2023 NXT Women’s Breakout Tournament is set to take place, and the competitors have been revealed. This tournament has become a tradition in NXT, where the winner not only receives recognition but also earns a title shot in the near future. Let’s take a closer look at the lineup and rank the competitors based on their potential to win the tournament and make an impact in the women’s division.
At the bottom of the list, we have a three-way tie between Karmen Petrovic, Jaida Parker, and Izzi Dame. These three women are relatively unknown, and there is little information available about their wrestling abilities. While the tournament is designed to showcase breakout talent, it is unlikely that any of them are ready for a major push at this stage. It wouldn’t be surprising if one of them pulls off an upset, but their chances of advancing far in the tournament are slim.
Next up is Jakara Jackson, who has had a few matches under her belt. She has also been part of the Meta-Four stable, which has given her some exposure and presence. Jackson fits the role of a heel, which would make her a logical opponent for babyface Becky Lynch. However, it is doubtful that she would stand a chance against Lynch or any other established name in the division. It is more likely that Jackson will either be upset in the early rounds or make it to the second round and lose there.
Dani Palmer comes in at number four on our list. Palmer has shown a lot of energy and athleticism in her matches, making her a great option for a super-smiley babyface character. She could be positioned as someone who is grateful for the opportunity to face Lynch and gives it her all but ultimately falls short. While she may not have a chance to win the title, Palmer could potentially put on an impressive match with Lynch.
Taking the third spot is Kelani Jordan, who surprised many with her match against Blair Davenport at No Mercy. Jordan demonstrated advanced storytelling skills in the ring, indicating that she has developed beyond just athleticism. Her pairing with Dana Brooke and the unexpected booking of her match with Davenport suggest that WWE sees potential in her. This tournament could be a way to further push Jordan and explore new storylines for her character.
In second place, we have Arianna Grace, a heel who brings more experience to the table compared to some of the other competitors. Interestingly, Grace was also part of last year’s tournament, which raises questions about why she is participating again. If she were to lose early in the tournament, it would reflect poorly on WWE’s investment in her. However, giving her the win could create an opportunity for her to claim victory despite losing to Lynch, potentially leading to a gimmick centered around her beauty pageant background.
Finally, at the top of our list is Lola Vice. Vice has the most matches under her belt and has been treated as a star due to her background in MMA. Her teammate Elektra Lopez could lose to Lynch on an episode of NXT prior to Vice’s title shot, setting up a storyline where Vice claims to have a win over Lynch (albeit in tag team format). While it is unlikely that Vice will win the tournament, she could be positioned as a formidable opponent for Lynch and play a significant role in the women’s division.
In conclusion, the 2023 NXT Women’s Breakout Tournament features a mix of relatively unknown talent and more established names. While some competitors may not be ready for a major push, this tournament provides an opportunity for them to showcase their skills and potentially develop new storylines. It will be interesting to see who emerges as the winner and how they will fare against Becky Lynch in the future.