NXT Women’s Breakout Tournament 2023
It is that time again when we get the opportunity to witness a handful of the best up-and-coming talent down in the WWE’s ‘Developmental’ brand, NXT. Whilst many of the ‘Hardcore’ fanbases are familiar with these 8 competitors in this year’s Breakout Tournament from the Independent scene and also over on NXT Level Up, others may not have had the chance to witness the talent on the show prior to this year’s Tournament.
The names selected for this year’s tournament are as follows.
- Kelani Jordan
- Izzi Dame
- Arianna Grace
- Jakara Jackson
- Karmen Petrovic
- Jaida Parker
- Dani Palmer
- Lola Vice
The Brackets have been announced and the Tournament began on Tuesday 3rd October 2023, The first round matches are as follows with one match result*
•*Kelani Jordan def. Izzi Dame*
•Arianna Grace vs. Jakara Jackson
•Karmen Petrovic vs. Jaida Parker
•Dani Palmer vs. Lola Vice
So, without further ado, let’s dive into each competitor from this year’s NXT Women’s Breakout Tournament and find out who is my pick to win the Tournament…..
The Former Gymnast: Kelani Jordan
A former Gymnast, now signed to NXT debuted in May of 2023 where she was beaten by Wendy Choo on an episode of Level Up. In the months that followed, Kelani teamed with Wendy in a winning effort against the team of Elektra Lopez & Lola Vice, she has also faced Kiana James who has featured heavily on weekly episodes of NXT and also has a win over the talented Tatum Paxley on NXT Level Up. Kelani has been featured heavily and protected extremely well on Level Up and has clearly transitioned from gymnast to superstar with ease which will bode extremely well for the talented 24-year-old.
We have seen success stories in both NXT & on the main WWE roster for Kacy Catanzaro (Now known as Katana Chance) who has a similar background, therefore, judging by the very bright start that Kelani Jordan has made, her future within the industry looks extremely bright.
The Volleyball Player From Eastern Michigan University: Izzi Dame
Izzi Dame is a firm favourite of mine and is certainly one to watch across NXT. Izzi made her NXT debut in a losing effort in July 2023 as she was beaten by Dani Palmer. Izzi is a former Volleyball player representing both Buchanan and Eastern Michigan University.
As we know, Izzi was beaten in the first round of this competition by Kelvin Jordan, however, with a look that will set her apart and natural charisma, Izzy Dame will soar to success in NXT.
The Italian Stallions Daughter: Arianna Grace
The Daughter of former WWE Superstar and current ‘Director of Authority’ with Impact Wrestling, Arianna seemingly has it made. Arianna will be facing Jakarta Jackson in the first round of this tournament.
Arianna has featured heavily since 2022 on both NXT and NXT Level Up where she has faced the likes of Roxanne Perez, Fallon Henley & Thea Hail just to name a few. Grace was also involved in #1 Contenders Battle Royale in which Zoey Stark won and has also challenged for the NXT tag titles in a losing effort when teaming with Kiana James at an NXT Live house show.
The sky is seemingly the limit for Arianna and look for her to spearhead the latest batch of Leading Ladies from NXT.
The Meta Four Badass: Jakara Jackson
The 28-year-old member of the Meta Four has really found her feet in NXT since joining the group and notably working alongside the talented Lash Legend. Heavily being featured at Ringside in support of NXT Global Heritage champion Noam Dar, Jakara has an image that cannot be ignored.
Signed to NXT in 2022, Jakara has been featured heavily on Level Up and on live house shows and I fully expect her team to be featured more often on weekly television as we close out 2023. Jakara has been working as a heel but her image would easily benefit from a singles face push.
A Future NXT Women’s Champion: Karmen Petrovic
I have used the term ‘image’ heavily throughout this piece, but Karmen Petrovic has ‘image’ and personality in abundance. Since Debuting in July of 2023, the 27-year-old Bosnia-born superstar has again featured heavily on NXT Level Up with notable losing efforts against both Ivy Nile & Jacy Jayne. Karmen’s most notable defeat was on a recent NXT house show against Lyra Valkyria.
Petrovic is over with the NXT faithful and if she can build momentum in this tournament and some strong showings, we could easily be looking at a future NXT Women’s champion in 12 months’ time.
The Up and Coming Star: Jaida Parker
Trained by Sara Del Rey, the 24-year-old was signed to WWE in 2022 formerly known as Tiana Caffey. We have yet to see Jaida on live NXT TV, however, she has competed against Kayden Carter & Elektra Lopez in untelevised bouts.
Jaida will be facing Karmen Petrovic in the first round of the Breakout tournament and is likely to fall at the first hurdle. However, with plenty of experienced talent currently on the roster and with the likes of Tiffany Stratton having a phenomenal 12 months anything is possible with the talent surrounding her.
The Future Face of NXT: Dani Palmer
Signed in 2022, Dani Palmer is one of the talents involved in this tournament who has been featured frequently on NXT TV, facing the likes of Blair Davenport, Thea Hail & Lyra Valkria, It is clear that WWE is high on the talented Dani Palmer.
This is the perfect time for Palmer to stand tall at the end of this tournament and receive an NXT title match against whomever the champion may be at the time of challenging. Dani could potentially work with Becky Lynch which would be massive at this stage of her career. At only 25 years of age, we could see one of the biggest breakout stars of the future and a future face of NXT.
The International Taekwondo Champion: Lola Vice
My Pick….Yes, Lola Vice is my pick to win it all. Lola faces Dani Palmer in the first round and this is the one to watch for me. As previously stated, Dani has a bright future and has featured heavily, a win here for Lola would cement her as a firm favourite in the tournament from the get-go.
Before the age of 25, Lola (Valerie Loureda) became an international Taekwondo champion and also holds a 4-1 record in Bellator. Lola has again featured heavily on NXT house shows, most notably in a losing effort to Tiffany Stratton but was also featured recently on NXT TV as she teamed with Elektra Lopez in defeat to the new team of Jacy Jayne & Thea Hail.
The NXT faithful have taken a liking to Lola and that bodes very well. As with all of the other 7 competitors, Lola has a unique look & style which will separate her from the pack as she looks to break out and into 2024. I expect Lola to be a future NXT champion, however, she may need to wait in line until 2025 but Vice has time very much on her side.