WWE released a staggering amount of talent last year, in what is the largest spate of releases in company history.
Unfortunately, WWE continued to release wrestlers at an alarming rate with names like Ruby Riott (Soho), Ember Moon, Franky Monet (Taya Valkyrie), and Nia Jax to name but a few all left the promotion way too soon.
Thankfully, several names let go from WWE have found gainful employment elsewhere. Mickie James is owning both IMPACT! and NWA. The IIconics, now the IInspiration are Knockouts World Tag Team Champions. Also, Soho and fellow former NXT Superstar Mercedes Martinez have both turned up in AEW while Valkyrie and Scarlett Bordeaux wasted little time in filling their calendars with indie dates.
Following the releases of all these women, wrestling fans are speculating where each of them could wind up to further their careers. Here are potential wrestling destinations now they coming to the end of their no-compete clauses.
Taya Valkyrie signed for WWE in 2021 and debuted on NXT as Franky Monet in April. She came into the company with a list of accomplishments, which includes the longest-reigning IMPACT! Wrestling Knockouts Champion run in history.
Despite having some interesting interactions with Raquel Gonzalez and Io Shirai her NXT run never really took off in the way it should have. Monet challenged Gonzalez for the NXT Women’s Championship but it never felt as if the brand knew exactly what to do with her.
Then on November 4, WWE released her from her contract only nine months after signing her. Her release was a huge shock and such a waste of her talents, however, Valkyrie now finds herself with two possible new wrestling destinations.
A return to IMPACT! makes a lot of sense and her comeback would mean a huge boost to the Knockout’s division. AEW would be wise to snap her up as her star power, and charisma would make her an instant standout performer in the promotion. In a recent interview, Valkyrie says she would love to pair with her husband, John Morrison, to face Britt Baker and Adam Cole. AEW has made some steps in the right direction when it comes to the women’s division, but to add Valkyrie would be a game-changer.
Talk about a wasted talent on the WWE main roster and Ember Moon is a name that would be near the top of the list.
Moon had a strong run in NXT that featured some great matches with Asuka and a 140-day title reign. However, upon reaching the main roster the night after WrestleMania 34, Moon quickly found herself lost in the shuffle and unable to make an impact.
She suffered a career-threatening injury to her Achilles heel, which kept her out of action for over a year. Moon returned to NXT at Takeover: 31 after weeks of vignettes advertising a mysterious figure.
The comeback saw a rejuvenated Moon thrown right back into the mix and into a tag team with Shotzi Blackheart. The duo captured the newly introduced women’s tag team titles before losing them in a cracking match against The Way.
Her last big match was against Raquel Gonzalez for the women’s championship at TakeOver: In Your House
AEW is the perfect destination for Athena. Her style and skills would be able to flourish in the promotion. She would bring name value and fanfare along with a hunger and fire that would elevate all around her.
Nia Jax/Lina Fanene
Nia Jax was easily the biggest name on the list and the only former RAW Women’s Champion to be released.
Jax was pushed as a monster from day one and while her size and strength were impressive she never really lived up to expectations. Despite what some may feel were her shortcomings in the ring, Jax was continuously featured in prominent positions throughout her seven-year WWE career.
She won the RAW women’s title at WrestleMania 34 from Alexa Bliss and went on to hold it for 70 days. Two years later she captured the women’s tag titles with Shayna Baszler and would do so again in 2021. As a team, Jax and Baszler hold the longest-reigning combined days.
Jax was constantly mixing it up with main event Superstars and heavily featured in top-level programmes. Yet her run was not without controversy as she injured several opponents in the ring, most notably Becky Lynch and Kairi Sane.
Since leaving WWE she dropped her WWE moniker to Lina Fanene (her real name) and fired back at those speculating it was her new ring name stating it is “highly unlikely” she gets in the ring again.
If she ever does enter the squared circle it would be for an unlikely WWE return or an IMPACT! run, but it may be surprising if we see Fanene in a wrestling ring again.
Tegan Nox/Nixon Newell
Tegan Nox was another name shockingly added to the list of releases but will undoubtedly find herself with a wealth of options once her no-compete clause expires.
Nox was a popular member of the NXT roster for years because of her energy, attitude, and genuine likability. Plus her heartbreaking yet inspiring journey back from three career-threatening knee injuries made her a much-loved babyface on the show.
Despite her injuries, Welsh Superstar was an integral part of NXT’s roster and often touted for title success. However, Nox never captured gold during her time in NXT or WWE’s main roster.
Nox was surprisingly called up to SmackDown alongside Shotiz Blackheart. After two victories over WWE Women’s Tag Team Champions it seemed as tho they were destined for a title shot, but it didn’t come and the duo was quietly disbanded before her departure from the company.
Unable to fulfill her potential, due to her lengthy stay on the shelf, Newell will be bursting to hit the scene again and show the wrestling world what she can really do.
Before signing with WWE Nox was a fixture on the European and American indie circuit as well as in Japan too. Expect to see her hit the big indie promotions with aplomb before easily signing for either IMPACT! or AEW.
Mia Yim was a name who arrived in WWE with much fanfare due to her time on the independent circuit and in TNA, but like others on the list, she was unfortunately unable to live up to her promise.
She had several memorable moments in NXT most notably her the Street Fight with Candice LeRae, the brutal Ladder Match with Io Shirai and title challenge against Shayna Baszler at NXT TakeOver: Toronto.
Her main event call-up couldn’t have gone worse as she was revealed as a member of the doomed-from-the-start faction, RETRIBUTION. Now named Reckoning, Yim competed in only four matches under the flawed gimmick before being taken off television and ultimately released along with her fiancé Kieth Lee.
As her no-compete clause edges toward expiration she will be looking for her next wrestling destination. Similar to Nixon Newell, expect to see Mia Yim return to the indies followed by a return to IMPACT! and hopefully a debut in AEW.
Scarlett was a huge part of NXT when she debuted as Karrion Kross’ soothsayer-esque valet. Her presence was felt throughout the company and she led Kross to two NXT Championship reigns.
Surprisingly she wasn’t present during Kross’ unsuccessful main roster run but revealed she was in preparation as an in-ring competitor. Unfortunately, an injury kept her out of action, and before she could return WWE released her from her contract.
Since her departure, Scarlett has stated she won’t be returning to IMPACT! Wrestling, due to her previous run with the promotion ended badly over a dispute about pay.
She has taken several independent bookings, which seems to be the most likely way forward for her and Kross. With GCW on the rise and ROH returning in April they could very easily become fixtures of those companies. MLW is a strong possibility for Scarlett as is AAA as she performed in Mexico in the past.
Toni Storm is the only one on the list who left WWE of her own accord. Last December reports broke of her request to be released being granted shocking the wrestling world in the process.
Storm is a hugely popular talent whose poor booking resulted in fans criticizing WWE for wasting yet another promising young star. The former NXT UK Women’s Champion seemed like a can’t miss superstar due to her fun persona and strong connection with the audience, but in true WWE style, they somehow did.
Her NXT UK run was great but her NXT US and main event runs were drastically mishandled. Her feud with SmackDown Women’s Champion, Charlotte Flair, was criminally bad and featured pies more than elevating Storm to the next level.
A return to Japan, and especially STARDOM, where she is a former World of STARDOM Champion is very possible, but an amazing debut in AEW is also definitely on the cards.
Where do you think the former WWE Superstars will end up? Let us know in the comments below.