NXT hasn't always bee the breeding ground for talent that it is currently recognized as. When the brand made its debut back in 2010, the show had a gameshow format that would see each Superstar eliminated from the roster until there was a winner crowned.
Each talent would be paired up with a pro from the main roster and would then be forced to work with that star throughout their time on the show. Season 1 of NXT was where The Nexus was formed and ended in June 2010, Season 2 ended in August and saw the likes of Bray Wyatt, Curtis Axel, and Titus O'Neil introduced to WWE before Season 3 saw the debut of the women.
Season 3 saw six rookie female wrestlers paired up with pros and put through their paces each week until Kaitlyn was crowned the winner and given the chance to move up to the main roster. A decade on, how many of these women are still part of the wrestling business?
#6. Jamie Keyes's NXT tenure
Jamie Keyes had been part of IMPACT Wrestling before she moved over to WWE and was announced as a member of Season 3 of NXT. Keyes was the first woman eliminated from the competition and didn't go on to feature in any other WWE shows from Week 5 of NXT and was released from her WWE contract the following week.
Instead, Keyes had focused on life outside of the ring. She is now a certified personal trainer, owned her own salon until 2015, and has gone on to start a family.
Keyes announced on her Facebook page that she was expecting a son back in August 2017, whom she named Jaxon.
Keyes, who now goes by her real name Brittany Beede-Macintyre is the only member of season three of NXT who didn't go on to make a name for herself in the wrestling industry.
#5. Maxine's time in NXT
Maxine signed with WWE in 2009 and was later announced as a member of the roster for the third season of NXT following a stint in FCW. Maxine was partnered with Alicia Fox and was eliminated from the competition in Week 9.
Following her elimination from NXT, Maxine then went on to re-appear in Season 5 of NXT before making a handful of appearances on WWE's main roster up until 2012. It was then reported that the star had requested her release from WWE and the company granted it in June 2012.
Maxine moved on to compete in IMPACT Wrestling before she found a home in Lucha Underground under the ring name Catrina. Under her new ring name, the former WWE star competed for Lucha Underground from 2015 until 2018.
Over the past few years, Maxine, under her real name of Karlee Perez, has transitioned into acting and appeared in a number of films. Nation's Fire was released back in 2012 alongside Rogue Cell, while Seized is still in post-production and set for release later this year.
#4. Kaitlyn's run in NXT
Kaitlyn came to WWE with a background in fitness and bodybuilding after being part of the Arnold Classic earlier in her career. WWE signed the star in 2010 and she joined a number of up-and-coming stars in FCW which later became known as NXT.
Kaitlyn was one of six women who were announced for NXT's third season and was partnered up with Vickie Guerrero. Interestingly, Kaitlyn became the winner of the show and was named WWE's Breakout Diva, which meant that she was handed a contract to the main roster.
Kaitlyn was moved to SmackDown and went on to compete for WWE for a number of years, where she became Divas Champion. The former Champion opted to terminate her contract with WWE in January 2014 so that she could focus on her bodybuilding career and getting married.
Kaitlyn founded her own clothing line called Celestial Bodies back in 2014, before the former WWE star and her husband went on to open a smoothie bar in 2015. The former Divas Champion returned to wrestling in 2017 as part of an Independent show for Coastal Championship Wrestling, before being announced as part of the Mae Young Classic the following year.
Kaitlyn has since continued to wrestle on the indies and back in October 2019 it was revealed that the former NXT star had won the Slamforce Africa Women's Championship.
#3. Aksana's NXT experience
Aksana had a background in bodybuilding and personal training ahead of her venture in WWE and won the Arnold Classic back in 2009. The Lithuanian star signed for WWE later that year and was sent to FCW to begin training, where she later debuted under the ring name Olga.
Her ring name was later changed to Aksana and she was named as one of the women in Season 3 of NXT, where she was partnered with Goldust. Aksana was able to make a number of main roster appearances throughout her time in NXT but was still eliminated from the competition in Week 11.
Following her elimination from NXT, Aksana was sent back to FCW before being called up to the main roster in 2011. Aksana then competed alongside a number of other stars including AJ Lee and Alicia Fox on RAW until she was released from her contract in 2014.
Following her WWE release, Aksana has left the wrestling world behind and has instead started her own business as a personal trainer. According to RingTheDamnBell, Aksana went on to work for a number of different fitness clubs and currently resides in Tampa, Florida.
#2. Naomi's time in NXT
Naomi was signed to WWE back in 2009 and sent down to FCW before she was announced as part of Season 3 of NXT. The former Women's Champion was paired with Kelly Kelly as part of the competition where she lasted until the finale of the show and was then defeated by by Kaitlyn in the first-ever win for a woman in NXT.
Despite not winning the NXT competition, Naomi was promoted to the main roster in 2012 as part of The Funkadactlys, who were valets for Brodus Clay. Naomi and Cameron were then announced as cast members for Total Divas which made its debut in 2013. Naomi has also played a huge role in the Women's Division over the past few years and was part of Team BAD alongside Tamina and Sasha Banks.
Naomi has since gone on to win the SmackDown Women's Championship on two separate occasions and is the only woman on this list who is still employed by WWE. The former Champion is currently part of the Women's Division on SmackDown, where she was most recently in a feud with Lacey Evans.
#1. AJ Lee's NXT run
AJ Lee is perhaps the most memorable member of the only ever all-female season of NXT a decade ago, even though Lee didn't go on to win the competition. AJ debuted in the wrestling business in 2007 and went on to save up money so that she could audition for WWE.
Lee was signed by the company in 2009 and, like every other female wrestler on this list, she was sent to FCW which later became NXT. Lee was then named as one of the women who were part of the third season of NXT and was paired with Primo.
Lee showed her knowledge of the business and the fact that she was a complete mark for the company throughout her time on NXT, but was still eliminated ahead of the final.
AJ Lee's career after NXT
Interestingly, Lee still went on to debut on the main roster the following year alongside Kaitlyn, and the pair became known as The Chickbusters. Lee then went on to be part of one of the biggest storylines of the year alongside Daniel Bryan and CM Punk before she was named as the General Manager of RAW by Vince McMahon.
Following a scandal with John Cena, Lee was fired from her duties as General Manager and returned to competition where she went on to win the Divas Championship, a title that she held for 295 days which at the time was a record. Lee left WWE in 2015 following WrestleMania.
Lee has since gone on to write her autobiography, which became a New York Times Best Seller, and is currently writing comic books. Her most recent project is called Dungeons & Dragons: At the Spine of the World and is set to be released in October 2020.
Lee recently announced that she and Aimee Garcia had co-founded a new company called Scrappy Heart productions.