The 2022 WWE NXT Breakout Tournament will feature the NXT 2.0 women’s division.
WWE announced during this week’s NXT 2.0 episode that the Women’s Breakout Tournament will kick off in two weeks, on the May 10 episode.
WWE has announced four of the eight participants for the first-ever Women’s Breakout Tournament. You can see vignettes for each entrant below. The following names were announced:
* Lash Legend: She did not get her own vignette, but she mentioned being in the Breakout Tournament during a backstage promo to set up her match with Natalya against Cora Jade and Nikkita Lyons at NXT Spring Breakin’ next week. Legend, also known as former WNBA player Anriel Howard, was signed in the same December 2020 WWE Performance Center Class that included MSK and Ikemen Jiro. She has wrestled 11 matches for WWE since debuting in December 2021, including two straight losses to Lyons this month
* Arianna Grace: This is the former Bianca Carelli, daughter of Santino Marella. She just announced her name change on Instagram today. She noted in her vignette that she is a former beauty queen with experience in training MMA and boxing, and the other competitors should beware. They did not acknowledge her father. Grace signed as a part of the mid-March WWE Performance Center Class, and has not made her in-ring debut as of this writing
* Kiana James: This is the former Kayla Inlay. Her new gimmick is a woman who is relentless and successful in the corporate world, and the wrestling ring. She noted in her vignette that she is bringing sophistication to the tournament, and after calculating all the odds, she found that they work out in her favor. James went on and said any successful woman knows her worth and clout, and she has both in spades. James signed in the same mid-March WWE Performance Center Class as Grace. She has worked 5 NXT TV and Level Up matches since debuting on the February 1 NXT show, with losses to Lyons, Tatum Paxley, Ivy Nile, Sarray, and a tag team loss with Fallon Henley against Nile and Paxley
* Sloane Jacobs: This is the former Notorious Mimi, who worked a handful of AEW Dark matches (all losses) in 2021 and 2022. Jacobs noted in tonight’s vignette that she’s only 19 years old and that probably makes her the underdog of the tournament, but she grew up learning to fight with her two sisters. She said this will be a grueling series of matches, but she dreams big and plans on becoming the youngest NXT Women’s Champion in history, and she knows the path to winning the title runs through the tournament. Jacobs also signed in the mid-March WWE Performance Center Class that featured Grace and James. She debuted on the March 29 NXT TV show with a loss to Lyons, then came up short against Roxanne Perez, the former Rok-C, on the April 15 Level Up show
The inaugural NXT Breakout Tournament was held in 2019, and was won by Jordan Myles. The tournament also featured Dexter Lumis, Bronson Reed, Isaiah “Swerve” Scott, Angel, Joaquin Wilde, Boa, and current NXT North American Champion Cameron Grimes, who lost to Myles in the finals. The second NXT Breakout Tournament was held in 2021, and was won by Carmelo Hayes. The second tournament also featured Duke Hudson, Ikemen Jiro, Josh Briggs, Andre Chase, Joe Gacy, Trey Baxter, and Odyssey Jones, who lost to Hayes in the finals.
The winner of the NXT Breakout Tournament receives a title match of their choosing. In 2019, Myles cashed in his Breakout contract against then-NXT Champion Adam Cole, but came short. Last year saw Hayes cash in his Breakout contract to capture the NXT North American Title from Scott, a title he just recently dropped to Grimes at NXT Stand & Deliver.
WWE is expected to announce the remaining four competitors during next week’s Spring Breakin’ episode, along with the tournament brackets.
Stay tuned for more on the inaugural NXT Women’s Breakout Tournament. Below are the related vignettes from this week’s show: