Io Shirai currently holds the NXT Women's Championship. The Genius of the Sky won the coveted title in a triple threat match against former champions Charlotte Flair and Rhea Ripley at NXT TakeOver: In Your House earlier this year.
So far, Shirai has had an impressive reign. She defended the title against Tegan Nox and Dakota Kai, despite interference from Raquel Gonzalez.
In this week's episode of NXT, General Manager William Regal announced that eleven members of the NXT women's roster will go head-to-head in a battle royal next week to determine the next number one contender for Io Shirai's NXT Women's Championship. There are some big names set to take part in the match including former NXT Women's Champion Rhea Ripley and relative newcomer Indi Hartwell.
As the women of NXT prepare to face off for a chance to contend with Io Shirai, here are the top five potential winners of next week's battle royal.
#5. Will Xia Li win a shot at the NXT Women's Championship?
Xia Li has made sporadic appearances on the black and gold brand this year, but could she earn a chance to be in the NXT women's title picture soon?
Xia Li is a talented in-ring competitor, and WWE appears to be teasing a change in her character. On NXT, she and Jessi Kamea took on the team of Kayden Carter and Kacy Catanzaro, who are now known as Team Ninja.
Following Li and Kamea's loss, their opponents offered a friendly handshake but Li rejected it. This may be just the change in persona that Xia Li needs to propel her up the ranks and into a match for the NXT Women's Championship.
Io Shirai and Xia Li haven't had many encounters in NXT. Earlier this year, Shirai stepped in to replace Li in a bout to decide which women from the brand would move forward to compete in a number one contender's ladder match for the NXT Women's Championship. The identity of the culprit who attacked Li to keep her out of the match remains a mystery. It could've been Shirai, who later won the ladder match?