Expert Poll - Who's the next big star of the WWE Women's division?

I am all in on Sonya Deville and Liv Morgan, but am I the only one?
I am all in on Sonya Deville and Liv Morgan, but am I the only one?

When you think about the women's revolution, stars like Charlotte Flair, Becky Lynch, Bayley, and Sasha Banks immediately come to mind. All of them are multiple time Champions and true trailblazers for future generations of women's wrestlers.

With the exception of a few lulls now and again, the Four Horsewomen have been heavily pushed since their main roster debuts. They've especially been dominant in recent years. I mean, just look at the three current Women's Champions.

Becky Lynch has held the RAW Title for over a year, Bayley has been SmackDown's Champion almost as long, and Charlotte took out the fastest rising star in NXT at WrestleMania 36 to claim the Black and Gold brand's Championship.

Sooner or later though, WWE has to utilize their depth on the women's roster and let others have an opportunity to shine at the top of the card. Even a self-proclaimed Becky Lynch homer like myself knows she won't have that RAW Women's Title forever.

When it comes to the future, I've got my eye on two Superstars I think the company needs to fully get behind.

I made a statement on Twitter this past week and I absolutely stand by it. By the end of 2020, Liv Morgan and Sonya Deville should be in their respective brand's Title picture, if they haven't already won the gold before the New Year.

I have been thoroughly impressed with the performance of Liv Morgan since her return late last year. The charisma, confidence and mic work she has shown so far have been top-notch.

More importantly, after years of being hidden a bit in the Riott Squad, Morgan has finally been given a chance to really showcase her in-ring ability. The match she had with Asuka the night after WrestleMania was her coming-out party, even in defeat.

She followed that up with another banger of a match on RAW last night against Ruby Riott. That off-the-ropes flatliner was a thing of beauty!

Morgan has been the victim of some dropped storylines since her return and is need of some direction, but she has all the tools to be an absolute star.

Meanwhile, I have always been a firm believer in Sonya Deville. She's a natural in the ring and has this wonderfully bubbly personality. Anyone who watched this past season of Total Divas saw how easily like-able she can be.

This past Friday on SmackDown she showed off her range, as she cut arguably the promo of the year on Mandy Rose.

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In a storyline that has centered around Mandy Rose and Otis, it may end up being Deville that shines brightest in the end. She made a lot of valid points in her promo on Friday and opened a lot of eyes with her delivery.

If WWE gives her the opportunity, I firmly believe Deville will grab that coveted brass ring and never look back - just like Becky Lynch did in 2018.

That said, this is just one man's opinion and more often than not, people tend to not get on board with my ideas. So I decided to do something fun.

In an effort to find out if others feel the same way I do, I reached out to a number of my colleagues and some other well-respected wrestling journalists to get their thoughts on some of the future main event stars of the women's division. Here are their responses.


Tom Colohue - Sportskeeda

Sportskeeda's Tom Colohue is high on NXT's Tegan Nox
Sportskeeda's Tom Colohue is high on NXT's Tegan Nox

Tom Colohue is one of Sportskeeda's top pro wrestling journalists. He started writing professionally in 2008 and has been covering wrestling since 2017. He's most well-known for the PWTorch Roman Reignsometer that started at that time.

Tom is also the co-host of Sportskeeda's Dropkick DiSKussions Podcast. You can catch new episodes as well as his weekly news updates on the Sportskeeda YouTube Channel.

Tom's been watching wrestling for over two decades and is someone whose opinion I have come to value.

So I had to gauge his thoughts on some of the up and comers in the Women's Division:

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Thoughts on Liv Morgan:

"WWE is increasingly corporate from top to bottom and that's why Liv Morgan is so popular. Someone who is totally different, who rides Sarah Logan around, tells people to follow her Twitter because 'I'm super cute' and doesn't hide what she wants is everything that company needs right now."

Thoughts on Sonya Deville:

"With her style, physicality, and demeanor, Sonya Deville will eventually replace both the need and the desire for Ronda Rousey to return to the WWE - if she is pushed right."

Who would Tom push to the top of the main event scene?

"Probably Tegan (Nox). She's being built towards the (NXT) title right now but she looks and acts like a fighter and that's what people connect with right now."

Alex McCarthy - talkSPORT and Sportskeeda

Alex McCarthy thinks Toni Storm is ready for the main event
Alex McCarthy thinks Toni Storm is ready for the main event

Alex McCarthy is one of the leading voices for wrestling in the UK through his deep interview work with top stars from WWE, AEW, and IMPACT. He's been absolutely crushing it on the wrestling beat for talkSPORT and you can hear his great work every Sunday at 9 pm in the UK when Alex hosts talkWRESTLING.

When I asked Alex about the potential about both Liv Morgan and Sonya Deville, he had nothing but great things to say. However, much like Rhea Ripley, he thinks one woman on the NXT UK roster could come in and take the WWE by storm:

Thoughts on Liv Morgan:

"Liv Morgan has the intangibles that hand-crafted WWE stars often lack in the crunch. You see many Superstars who have the look, or they can talk, or they have charisma, or they are good in the ring, but it's rare someone has it all or, indeed, hard for them to put it all together.

If you look at the reactions Morgan has got since returning, especially following her WrestleMania win, there is clearly a fan investment that WWE needs to capitalize on. She's also a seriously underrated seller and could shine working from underneath."

Thoughts on Sonya Deville:

"Sonya Deville is probably the biggest sleeper in the women's division and she has been for a couple of years now. Her promo on SmackDown last week was the best of her career thus far, but that's not even really a fair bar to judge given the opportunities she's had. That promo was of the elite level that Becky or anyone else would have been proud to deliver.

"She's a snug, believable in-ring worker in an age where Rousey's and Baszler's MMA backgrounds have underpinned their strong records/styles. Maybe Deville has suffered so they could shine, but she has arguably the best look of them all, arguably the best ability on the mic and a unique poster-girl potential.

"WWE shouldn't ever push someone for sexuality alone, but Deville has pushed to run a lesbian angle in the past and would take pride in presenting that story properly. There's real money in her."

Who would Alex push to the main event scene?

"It's a tough question. I think Ruby Riott is a great worker with a unique look that deserves more. Sonya Deville has everything you'd want for a top star. Kacy Catanzaro is a phenomenal talent in NXT with a style and move-set no one else has. She could seriously catch fire if allowed to deliver (and if she wants to, judging by previous reports).

"But I think my pick here is Toni Storm. She could conceivably feud with any of the Four Horsewomen tomorrow and plausibly defeat them. She is still only 24, but we saw during her Mae Young Classic victory and the work she's done in NXT, she's special. From the look to her character all the way to the in-ring talent, Toni Storm is a megastar WWE can launch anytime."

Stephanie Chase - Digital Spy and Sportskeeda

Should it be Dana Brooke's time to shine? Yes according to Stephanie Chase!
Should it be Dana Brooke's time to shine? Yes according to Stephanie Chase!

Stephanie Chase is a freelance wrestling journalist and is one of Sportskeeda's newest contributors. She's a lifelong viewer and follower of pro wrestling and has extensive knowledge of WWE, New Japan Pro Wrestling, Ring of Honor, All Elite Wrestling and more.

Stephanie's conducted a number of high-profile interviews with stars like Triple H, Jay White, Paige, Brie, and Nikki Bella, Charlotte Flair, and Bayley. Her work has appeared on outlets including Digital Spy, The Mirror, Huffington Post, The Sun, and Cosmopolitan.

Stephanie also sees the potential in Liv Morgan and Sonya Deville but believes another overlooked member of the SmackDown Women's division deserves a real chance to prove herself.

Thoughts on Liv Morgan:

"Liv is definitely one of the most improved women on the roster. The time away from the ring did her good but she just needs some direction with her character. The storyline with Lana was just a one and done and the Riott Squad never broke up properly. I think if Liv was given something to do she could really excel."

Thoughts on Sonya Deville:

"Sonya has what it takes to be a major player in the Women’s Division. She has a legit fighting background and is very good in the ring. Plus her promo on SmackDown last week showed that she’s also very charismatic and a great promo."

When it comes to a big push though, Stephanie says one SmackDown star is long overdue:

"I'd like to see Dana Brooke really be given a chance by WWE. She’s a good athlete and a decent promo but more than that I think she’s really hungry to go out and properly show what she can do. Dana has never been given a good chance since leaving NXT and I think the time is right to give her a push and let her prove herself."

Maybe this is Dana's time. She did qualify for the Money in the Bank Ladder Match and will have a chance to "climb the corporate ladder Sunday, May 10th at the Money in the Bank PPV.

Gary Cassidy - Sportskeeda and BBC

Gary Cassidy has high hopes for another NXT star.
Gary Cassidy has high hopes for another NXT star.

Gary Cassidy is a freelance journalist and an official columnist for Sportskeeda. Gary is one of the go-to wrestling journalists in the UK, having had the opportunity to sit down with the likes of Triple H, Stephanie McMahon, Chris Jericho, Charlotte Flair, and Kurt Angle.

Gary also creates video content for BBC, writes for WhatCulture, and is regularly featured on the Wrestling Daft podcast as well as TalkSPORT's talkWRESTLING show.

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Thoughts on Liv Morgan:

"Liv Morgan, for me, has always had all the makings of a star - but without the push. Going to the most extreme measure, Stone Cold wasn’t Stone Cold when he was The Ringmaster. Liv Morgan has found herself. Since returning to television, while the storylines haven’t been mind-blowing, her performances have been. Only losing to Asuka - which there is no shame in at all - has showcased Morgan as the star she could be, and the star I hope she can become. The underdog of The Riott Squad, Morgan has all the ingredients to be a recipe for success."

Thoughts on Sonya Deville:

"Sonya Deville has always seemed legitimate in the ring. While her cameo with Ronda Rousey was short-lived, the eagle-eyed could tell there was something much more grand happening in the background. Sonya Deville has always been a star, but EVERYONE realized it this past week on SmackDown.

"A legit MMA fighter, an LGBT hero, and someone with the look, the promo skills, and the in-ring prowess, Deville is going to explode onto everyone’s screen before the end of 2020."

Gary likes both Liv and Sonya but can't take his eyes off a rising star in NXT:

"Before the end of the year, one person who I think will surprise EVERYONE is Shotzi Blackheart. While we may be restricted to NXT appearances for the green-haired dynamo, she’s most definitely one to watch. For me, the most exciting entrance in wrestling, one of the most energetic performers and a complete enigma, Blackheart is one to watch!

"If you tell me to watch the main roster, Morgan and Deville ARE my two picks, but looking further afield, Shotzi is someone I can’t keep my eyes off of - from the second we see the tank, to the green-haired goddess making her mark in the ring. Shotzi will make her mark in 2020, and is a ready-made WWE Superstar."

Sean Ross Sapp - Fightful

Much like me, Sean Ross Sapp is ready to see Sonya go to the next level.
Much like me, Sean Ross Sapp is ready to see Sonya go to the next level.

Sean Ross Sapp is the managing editor at Fightful.com and has previously been a feature and news writer for the likes of WhatCulture, Rant Sports, Cage Passion Sports, and Fansided. Today, he is one of the foremost knowledgeable analysts and trusted insiders in wrestling journalism.

I've had the pleasure of interviewing Sean on multiple occasions and I'm very happy that he decided to take part in this poll. Once again, we have another expert who has high hopes for both Liv Morgan and Sonya Deville, but Sean likes one of them a little more than the other at the moment.

Thoughts on Liv Morgan:

"I was a little surprised when Liv Morgan didn't get the nod over Asuka on RAW a couple of weeks back. She's received rave reviews from her peers that I've spoken to and seemed to be poised for a big return after vignettes and a major angle.

"However, none of that is referenced now and we're left a hard worker facing an uphill battle after she's already been effectively nerfed. Talent shouldn't have to overcome 50/50 (or worse) booking to establish themselves. The goal of a promotion is to promote, and in Liv's case, she might have to get over in spite of the booking she's given. She has the tools to do so."

Thoughts on Sonya Deville:

"Deville told me last year she'd been taking acting classes, and it showed in the outstanding promo she unleashed on former tag team partner Mandy Rose. The development of this storyline, albeit hurt by not having a crowd, has been good for all involved. Five people have gotten over more as a result of Mandy Rose and Otis' relationship, and that's not easy to pull off.

"Sonya has it in the ring, we just haven't had the opportunity to see it outside of short bursts. She doesn't have a televised singles match (besides Worlds Collide, which hardly anyone watched) that has gone six minutes since 2018, but even back then she was having good 8-10 minute matches with Bayley, Charlotte Flair, and Becky Lynch."

Who would Sean push to the top of the main event scene?

"If I had to pick one person on the roster that is ready right now for that launch into the main event, it'd be Sonya. They can reference past wins over Sasha Banks, Naomi, Carmella -- all former Champions in their own rights. WWE shouldn't have to remind you that someone is good, but they and Sonya did it in the last couple of weeks. Now, they need to do it more and stick with it."

Chris Van Vliet

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Anyone who has visited his YouTube channel can tell you Chris Van Vliet has a passion for wrestling. The four-Time Emmy winning TV host travels the country interviewing some of the top stars in WWE, AEW, Impact - heck, pick a wrestling promotion and he's talking to people involved with them.

Chris is no stranger in the ring either. Back in his college days, Chris was training to be a wrestler before ultimately choosing to pursue a career in media instead. Most recently, he hopped in the ring at the wrestling school owned by Shawn Spears and Tyler Breeze.

To his credit, Chris took several bare-chested chops from both professionals and several of their students. The end result was a chest that looked like raw hamburger meat. You can see that video above by the way.

There's no doubt Chris loves pro wrestling and he's a big fan of both Liv Morgan and Sonya Deville. However, just like Otis, he has his sites set on the other half of Fire and Desire:

Thoughts on Liv Morgan:

"The sky's the limit for Liv Morgan. I think WWE had a golden opportunity to really catapult her into the main event picture after that angle at Lana and Bobby Lashley's wedding, but unfortunately, nothing came of it. Now is the time to capitalize!"

Thoughts on Sonya Deville:

"Fire and Desire breaking up could be the best thing to happen to both Sonya Deville and Mandy Rose. While they worked great together, this feud is proving what we knew all along, that they are even better as singles competitors. Sonya's MMA background makes her a believable threat in the ring and the best is yet to come for her."

Who would Chris push to the top of the main event scene?

"Mandy Rose. She has the look, the build and the in-ring abilities to be a future champ. The amount of love she's getting as part of this babyface turn with Otis shows just how over she can be. I'm hopeful that she can ride this wave of popularity to bigger and better things!"

Riju Dasgupta - Sportskeeda

More love for the NXT women's division
More love for the NXT women's division

Riju Dasgupta is the most-read active writer in Sportskeeda at the moment. Dasgupta is best known for the 'Best and Worst' column, which comes out after every RAW, SmackDown, NXT, Dynamite and major PPV event.

Over the past four years, he has conducted over 150 interviews with stars from WWE, Impact Wrestling, PCW Ultra, WOS, UFC, ONE FC and the world of boxing as well. In addition to his writing duties, Riju is also the Community Manager at Sportskeeda and the bassist of two bands; Albatross and Primitiv.

Unlike an overwhelming majority of those polled, Riju is not as high on Liv Morgan and Sonya Deville but believes in the potential of one star from NXT.

Thoughts on Liv Morgan:

"Liv Morgan is not ready for the main event, in my opinion. The first step is to get her gimmick right. She's obviously a talented individual but WWE needs to figure out who she is. The audience needs a reason to root for or against her."

Thoughts on Sonya Deville:

"The issue with Sonya Deville is that there are far too many MMA fighters in WWE right now. Just like Steve Blackman got lost in the mix when Shamrock and Severn were in the roster, she plays third fiddle to Rousey and Baszler, in my opinion. She's obviously a very talented performer. I'd repackage her if it was up to me."

The NXT women's division continues to feel the love from the SportsKeeda Staff:

"If I had to push someone I'd probably choose Dakota Kai. She's the complete package. She's gorgeous, she's great in the ring, and we've seen she can be equally good as a heel and a face."

Denise Salcedo - Instinct Culture and Fightful

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Denise Salcedo is a TV host and producer with her own YouTube channel. Instinct Culture is a platform designed to talk about all realms of pop culture including pro wrestling. In addition to her channel, you can also hear her weekly on the post-RAW podcast for Fightful alongside Sean Ross Sapp.

Denise has interviewed several huge stars in the wrestling industry, both on her channel and on the red carpet. I was really excited when she agreed to take part in today's survey, and she certainly had a lot to say about three women rising through the ranks in WWE.

Thoughts on Liv Morgan:

"Liv Morgan’s recent makeover has felt very disconnected, which is unfortunate since many fans were curious about the new route her character would take. After the confusing vignettes and random return that led to nowhere, it seems Liv Morgan is still trying to find her place on the main roster.

"Nonetheless, just because her return has been stale, she has a tremendous amount of potential and can fill a void missing in the Women’s Division.

"In-ring wise Liv Morgan has been consistent, her match with Natalya at Wrestlemania 36 was a reminder that she has what it takes to be a top contender. Obviously, Natalya is the perfect opponent for women that aren’t as developed yet, and we’ve seen her work with plenty of girls, and I would say Liv Morgan held her own and was one of the most impressive.

"I think that Liv Morgan could go back to her original alternative look when she was with The Riott Squad but with a new spin.

"My reasoning behind that is that it worked for her, it came across as authentically her, and the most over stars in WWE are usually themselves times 10. I think Liv Morgan can connect with fans the way Lita and AJ Lee did before her if given more character depth and a larger spotlight."

Thoughts on Sonya Deville:

"Shortly after her time in Tough Enough and NXT, Sonya Deville was fast-tracked to the main roster. However, for the better portion of her inception into the big leagues, she was easily forgotten about and roamed about Monday Night RAW, usually in the shadows of the other women that were rising into superstardom at a faster pace.

"It took a while for Sonya to be part of a major storyline that spotlighted her strengths. Sonya’s character was as an MMA fighter, however, once WWE brought in Shayna Baszler and Ronda Rousey, it diminished Sonya’s character.

"Now fast forward to this year, Sonya has been featured a lot more on SmackDown, has dropped the MMA fighter persona and most recently impressed viewers with her passionate promo on SmackDown. This is one of the first times, definitely the strongest, that Sonya’s skills have been highlighted. The WWE Universe now has a reason to like her, or dislike her versus just knowing of her."

Don't forget about the faster-rising star in the company:

"The WWE Women’s Division is easily the strongest in pro wrestling. There are many women that haven’t had their moment yet, but the potential is there. There are so many possible matchups, and it’s only in WWE’s recent history that the women’s matches have outshined a lot of the men’s. With that being said, Rhea Ripley is one of the women I think can easily be at the very top someday.

An obvious choice simply because she has had one of the best transformations, she went from being a clone of Charlotte Flair to a badass version of the first Rhea Ripley. She looks the part, she works the part and has already begun building what can possibly be a great career."


Thank you to all the journalists who participated in this survey.

One of Samoa Joe's colleagues had harsh words for him HERE