Battle of the Badasses: Who should win NXT’s Steel Cage Match?

WWE NXT “Super Tuesday II” will be headlined by a highly-anticipated Steel Cage match. It will be “the Battle of the Badasses” as Rhea Ripley seeks redemption against Mercedes Martinez in the brand’s third women’s cage match.

While there’s no debating the call to fast-track this heated feud into a steel structure, there are some questions regarding who should prevail as the victor. An argument can be made as to why either should emerge the winner, but what are the stakes otherwise?

Mercedes Martinez is ready to shine

Mercedes Martinez may still feel like a newcomer on NXT TV, but she’s far from it. Rocking a 20-year career at 39 years old, Martinez was born for this match stipulation. Aligning a badass like herself with the boujee Aliyah and Robert Stone was, and still is, questionable, yet she’s kicking teeth in and establishing herself as a threat in the women’s division.

While it has yet to be confirmed, this Steel Cage match should main-event this special edition of NXT. Finn Balor and Adam Cole’s NXT Championship clash should serve as the hot opener following last week’s cliff-hanger. Plus, the women didn’t get enough time to shine since the inconclusive title match took up a whole hour. With this being “part two” of the Super Tuesday series, Martinez and Ripley are more than worthy of going on last.

With that being said, will Martinez be able to win her first main event? She has all the tools to do so. Plus, Stone and Aliyah will surely be there to see to it that she does. Should Martinez stand tall, Io Shirai better watch out for her next contender.

Can Rhea Ripley win the big one?

The former NXT Women’s Champion has had a roller coaster of a year. From walking in as the new titleholder, to defending at a bizarre WrestleMania, main-eventing a TakeOver, and seemingly feeling lost in the shuffle immediately after. Such is the life in WWE, but Ripley has proven she’s not going anywhere just yet.

The mosh pit queen has already disposed of Aliyah and Robert Stone (at the same time, mind you), but she has yet to conquer the formidable Martinez. It truly is a dream match that has quickly come together, and Ripley is used to those scenarios already. So, what would a win do for her?

WWE went all-in on Ripley less than a year ago. She accomplished quite a bit during her tenure in both NXT brands, so there’s already talk of her moving on to a different brand. While that could be effective, Ripley should remain in NXT for a bit longer. And even if this is her last hoorah for the black and yellow brand, she should go out victorious.

Ripley needs to be kept as strong as possible no matter what her next move is. She has yet to beat Io Shirai, and a big rematch against the current champion after beating Martinez would certainly be acceptable. Looking back at how NXT’s previous women’s cage matches played out, Shayna Baszler and Dakota Kai stole victories against Shirai and Tegan Nox, respectively, with heel tactics. It would only be fitting if Ripley defeated Martinez to reestablish herself as the superior badass.

The verdict: Ripley for the win

Mercedes Martinez’s NXT career is still young. She can look strong in defeat against Rhea Ripley. In fact, Martinez could use the loss to realize she doesn’t need The Robert Stone Brand. A shocking turn of events such as the alliance of Ripley and Martinez would make for some good television, right? Or Martinez could move on to Raw as part of Retribution.

When all is said and done, Rhea Ripley should add “badass Steel Cage match winner” to her growing list of accomplishments.

Who do you think should win the Battle of the Badasses? Let us know your thoughts below or on Twitter @BellToBelles.

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