Royalty of the Ring: Round 1 – Naomi vs Io Shirai

We now have just one last match to go, who will be facing Mia Yim in the semi-finals? Let’s take a closer look at our competitors.




It’s your boy Duke Dre aka Petty Dre back to defend his ROTR tournament crown from the rest of these peasants that prance and masquerade around this place like they’re royalty. Last go around I was accused of taking the easy route by hitching my wagon to John Cena. But there will be no such accusations this time around because I’m rolling the dice on my wrestling crush Naomi.

Now I know, Naomi is more known now by her feel the glow entrance or her marriage to Jimmy Uso then she is for anything related to her in ring workrate. And that’s okay, I won’t fault you the reader out there for that. Naomi was long gone from NXT and in the main roster tearing up the dance floor as one half of the Funkadactyls by the time Triple H revamped NXT and it’s NXT’s women’s division, which has gone on to produce some of the greatest wrestlers in the world today regardless of gender. So a lot of what Naomi is capable of inside the ring goes unnoticed. But I’m here to put y’all on notice.

For my first selection I’m going back to a time when NXT was under its original Pro/Student format. Naomi vs AJ Lee (NXT 2012/Season 3). From the get go Naomi displayed athleticism which was rarely seen in the diva era. Her and AJ both displayed great ring awareness and chemistry and really gave the viewer including myself who watched this when it aired a glimpse of how much more the women were capable inside the ring. This is without a foundation match that women’s wrestling in the WWE billed off of and I’m fortunate enough to have been able to witness women’s wrestling evolving from the diva era to the women’s revolution before my very eyes. And hopefully for those here who are reading, this is a nice glimpse of why #NaomiDeservesBetter



Io Shirai has done everything in Stardom including holding five titles… SIMULTANEOUSLY. She has won all the titles in the Stardom that she has competed for, and was Stardom’s first ever Grand Slam Champion. In Stardom she was a part of a trio’s stable ‘Threedom’ with Mayu Iwatani and Kairi Hojo (aka Kairi Sane), and she created her own stable called ‘Queen’s Quest’. She has fought and beaten Mia Yim, Toni Storm, Kay Lee Ray, Shayna Baszler and Kairi Hojo.

Now onto her opponent in this tournament Naomi, she is athletic, good in the ring and had a good run as the Smackdown Women’s champion. She has been a mainstay in the Women’s division ever since she broke away from the Funkadactyls. Since then she has fought everyone who has been through WWE ever since, and while that’s impressive, her talent pales in comparison to Io’s talents.

The reason I’ve picked this match, is Io had a great partnership and rivalry with Mayu Iwatani and this match is just one of many. Io has beaten so many great women and Naomi is going to be added to the list of them.


You know the score, make your vote in the poll for our final semi-finalist. Please vote based on only what you’ve read and seen here. Let’s make this a fair tournament. (Poll ends Friday October 30th, at 8pm ET).

Naomi vs Io Shirai

  • Naomi (56%, 9 Votes)
  • Io Shirai (44%, 7 Votes)

Total Voters: 16

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