It has been less than two years since Shayna Baszler made her debut in WWE, and my, what a run it has been so far.

    The former-MMA standout has become a force to be reckoned with in NXT, decimating her competition and proving why she deserves to be in the position she’s in.

    In this article, I’m going to talk about her WWE career so far, how much she has improved, why I’m a huge fan of hers, and what’s next for her in the company. Now, let’s take a closer look into the reign of The Queen of Spades.

    WWE fans got their first glimpse of Baszler in the inaugural Mae Young Classic back in 2017. It didn’t take long for her to turn heads with her brutal and dominant style of wrestling. She advanced to the finals with ease, defeating Zeda, Mia Yim, Candice LeRae, and Mercedes Martinez before losing to her future rival, Kairi Sane.

    She would then make her NXT debut in August 2017, competing at several house shows. Starting on the December 6th episode of NXT, vignettes began to air advertising her television debut. That would come on December 27th, where she attacked Sane and sent a message to then-NXT Women’s Champion, Ember Moon.

    Her and Moon squared off for the first time at NXT TakeOver: Philadelphia, where Baszler would come up just short at capturing the title. She would respond by attacking Moon afterwards, locking her in the Kirifuda Clutch.

    Two months later, at NXT TakeOver: New Orleans, Baszler had her rematch and was able to win her first NXT Women’s Championship. For the next several months, she would successfully defend her title against Dakota Kai and Nikki Cross before entering a feud with Sane.

    The two would clash at NXT TakeOver: Brooklyn 4, where Sane would end Baszler’s first reign at 133 days. Their rematch came in October 2018 at the first-ever all women’s pay-per-view, WWE Evolution, with Baszler making history by becoming the first two-time NXT Women’s Champion. Since then, she has successfully defended her title on several occasions, with her most recent defence coming at NXT TakeOver: New York against Sane, Io Shirai, and Bianca Belair.

    Her current title reign stands at 181 days and counting. The combined length of both of her reigns (314+ days) rank second in NXT history, only behind Asuka (510 days) and most recently passing Paige (308 days).

    When she first made her debut in WWE, Baszler was the stereotypical bully-type heel. She picked fights with those she saw as weak and would torment them just because she could. This can only last for so long and can get stale once someone finally stands up to the bully.

    Her character began to evolve once she lost the NXT Women’s Championship to Sane. After that, she changed into a more focused, smug, and cocky competitor. Her bully-like tendencies were replaced by a tenacity and confidence that made her even more dangerous than before. She knew she could beat you and took great pleasure in doing so.

    This has helped her become not only one of the best heels in NXT, but in all of WWE.

    My first time seeing Baszler was where many others saw her, in the Mae Young Classic. Right away I was fascinated with her dominance and style of wrestling. While some use flashy moves to wow the crowd, she instead methodically picks her opponent apart with various holds and submissions.

    Some fans may consider her a “boring” wrestler, but I think she’s quite entertaining and her ground-and-pound style and brooding demeanour is a great contrast to the high-flyers and flashier women on the roster. That and she also loves Star Wars, so she has amazing taste!

    Now with everything she has accomplished in her career, the question is: what’s next for Baszler? In my opinion, she should stay in NXT for a little while longer. Yes, she’s already done a lot on the black-and-yellow brand and the main roster needs more main event talent, but I just don’t think it’s the right time for her to get called up.

    With Ronda Rousey taking a break from WWE and Jessamyn Duke and Marina Shafir still being pretty new to NXT, the Four Horsewomen stable won’t be happening for the foreseeable future. Duke and Shafir need time to gain more experience and exposure on NXT, especially the TV tapings. Baszler should stay and help them create more chaos and destruction as a team.

    Also, there really isn’t anyone in the NXT women’s division at the moment that could believably beat her for the title. Sane has moved on to SmackDown Live, and Shirai and Belair have already been beaten by the champ. I personally hope that Mia Yim will be the one to beat Baszler, but that won’t happen until Yim gets more exposure on NXT TV. So, for right now, her stranglehold over NXT needs to continue.

    While there have been many unique women in WWE over the years, there hasn’t been anyone quite like Baszler. In just a few short years, she has quickly become one of the most decorated women in NXT and one of the top heels in the entire company.

    Some love her, some hate her, but no one can deny how successful she has been so far. Just imagine what more she’ll be able to accomplish in the coming years. If done right, she could have just as much success on the main roster and become one of the faces of either the RAW or SmackDown Live women’s division.

    All hail The Queen of Spades, and long may she reign.

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