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Taya Valkyrie: Five Matches We Need to See

by Spencer Love
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While ‘hottest free agent in wrestling’ has become an all-too-common title over the past few years, there’s no doubting that the moniker more than applies to Taya Valkyrie.

At least, it did until Sunday.

As first reported by PWInsider, the longest-reigning Knockouts Champion of all-time is WWE bound and is expected to be announced as part of the next class to report to the Performance Centre.

There’s simply no understating how big of a signing Valkyrie would be for WWE, should the rumours turn out to be true. Much like she did with IMPACT, Valkyrie would stand as one of the promotion’s top stars, which should speak volumes considering the sheer wealth of talent currently contracted to WWE. There are few better female wrestlers on the planet than La Wera Loca by this writer’s money, and there’s a laundry list of potential dream matches to begin crossing off on each of WWE’s major brands.

There’s no time like the present to start doing it, right?

Sasha Banks

Let’s just get real, folks: when it comes to women’s wrestling, pretty well every wrestler’s dream list should feature Sasha Banks.

There’s simply no doubting that Banks represents the current woman to beat on WWE’s main roster. Simply put, few wrestlers of any gender could compete with the year that The Boss has had whether inside or outside the squared circle. There’s no doubt she’s the top dog in the women’s division, and if Valkyrie is looking to make a – heh – IMPACT in WWE, there’s no better way to do it than to go after the Smackdown Women’s Champion. Of course, the pair represent two of the best characters in wrestling right now, and their respective abilities on the microphone would make any potential promo battle need-to-watch. Inside the ring, there’s no arguing that they’re two of the top wrestlers in the world on merit alone, but given Valkyrie and Banks’ respective Lucha backgrounds, it could truly be an all-time classic.

Charlotte Flair

To be the man, you’ve gotta beat the man. Ric Flair said that, and it makes it ever-so-appropriate that the quote gives a ton of credence as to why Taya Valkyrie would want to challenge The Queen, Charlotte Flair.

The name Flair is synonymous with greatness in the WWE. Fight it all you want, but there’s simply no denying that the 2nd-generation Superstar is truly one of the faces of the company and, of course, one of its most successful stars.

A similar comparison could be made about Valkyrie’s time in IMPACT. Since signing with the promotion in 2017, there was nary a time that she wasn’t either carrying the Knockouts Championship or involved in a major feud. Even on a roster as stacked as the Knockouts, Valkyrie stood as one of the forefronts of the division.

Pro wrestling doesn’t need to be complicated. When you’ve got two athletes as talented as Valkyrie and Flair and their eerily similar last few years, how could it not be a dream match?

Io Shirai

Similar to how I wrote about Sasha Banks earlier, there’s no denying Io Shirai’s greatness over the past year. The Genius of the Sky is now sitting at over 260+ days of carrying the NXT Women’s Championship following her win at NXT TakeOver: Vengeance Day. She’s defended her title against the best of the best that the brand has to offer at, and while there are certainly challengers left on the table – lookin’ at you, Raquel Gonzalez – a debuting Taya Valkyrie immediately targeting the black-and-gold brand’s women’s title could lend her some immediate legitimacy in the eyes of the WWE Universe and those who perhaps didn’t watch her incredible IMPACT run.

Not only would a Shirai/Valkyrie cross all of those boxes, but simply, hot damn would any potential tilt would be a hell of a matchup for any wrestling fan. Can you really ask for a better introduction for Valkyrie than a killer match with one of the best in the biz?

Kay Lee Ray

Speaking of long title reigns…

Really, how can you argue against two of the longest-reigning women’s champions of all time in one match? Of course, we’ve talked at length already about Valkyrie’s record-setting Knockouts title reign, but what about Kay Lee Ray? At the time of writing, the Scot has ruled over the NXT UK Women’s Division with an iron fist, holding her championship for an incredible 530 days. Yes, much like I described Shirai earlier, KLR’s next challenger seems fairly set in stone in the form of Meiko Satomura; however, there’s no reason to let a silly little thing like logic get in the way of a dream matchup for yours truly!

It’s far from a secret anymore, but Kay Lee Ray has been rock-solid in carrying her championship for the better part of two years. However we get there, whether it’s this week, this month, or five years from now, a face-off between KLR and La Wera Loca will tear the proverbial house down.

Candice LeRae

Candice LeRae has followed the path of Bayley, Sami Zayn, and Johnny Gargano before her in taking what may have looked like ill-advised heel turns at their respective times and moulded them into the runs of their careers. Since shifting to the dark side, LeRae has been phenomenal both character-wise and inside of the ring. While it was previously unfathomable that one of the most beloved women’s wrestlers in the world could so effectively change alignments, it’s done wonders for her on the black-and-gold brand. Not that there was ever any doubt about her talent-wise, but over the past year, she’s truly established herself as one of the faces of NXT as many expected she would.

Given that, why wouldn’t she be an immediate target for Taya Valkyrie?

If you’re looking to make a statement in your first few weeks in a promotion, targeting their top rudo is a good way to do it. While NXT is chock-full of great heels, few would match up as well with Valkyrie as the Poison Pixie and could be a solid first feud for the SWA graduate.

What do you think, friends? Who do you want to see Taya Valkyrie square off with in her time in WWE? Let me know in the comments or on Twitter @SpennyLove!

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