Former WWE Superstars have been making their way back to Raw and SmackDown in droves ever since Triple H took over control of the company in the wake of Vince McMahon’s retirement. Dakota Kai and IYO SKY returned alongside Bayley at WWE SummerSlam, and since then we’ve seen returns of names such as Karrion Kross, Braun Strowman, Hit Row, Johnny Gargano, Candice LeRae, and more.
Now, a new report from PWInsider reveals that former NXT darling Tenille Dashwood (known in WWE as Emma) is backstage for tonight’s episode of WWE SmackDown in St. Louis, MO. She is expected to answer SmackDown Women’s Champion Ronda Rousey’s call for an open challenge.
Following her release from WWE in 2017, Dashwood worked for Ring of Honor and various independent promotions before signing with IMPACT Wrestling. She departed IMPACT last August when her contract expired, making her a notable free agent.
Tenille Dashwood Helped Build The Foundation Of The Women’s Evolution In WWE
While Dashwood’s two runs on WWE’s main roster were uneven at best, she was a beloved figure in NXT and took part in a match with Paige at NXT ArRIVAL that helped kick start the Women’s Evolution in WWE. Speaking on an episode of his Gentleman Villain podcast back in June, William Regal spoke about the match between Emma and Paige, praising both women for their contributions.
“Paige came into the ring as the WWE Divas Champion at the time. And, you know, I’m going to, so we don’t have to go into this again, I’m gonna have to give Paige an Emma the highest compliment I can give them is that they were the two people before the four horsewomen and everybody else they, Paige and Emma were the people, the two ladies that set all that in motion as far as being where everything went from then onwards.
“And it’s weird to see that TakeOver, because if you’d have asked me, I wouldn’t have thought Paige had gone to the main roster by then. You know, it’s just, that’s how quick all the time goes. And I remember being there the first night she debuted, we were in New Orleans and I remember talking to her afterwards and going oh this is it. But you know, the rides about to start whatever you’ve just done in NXT the rides about to start now.
“But we’re probably not gonna get to that until another episode but I’m saying it right now. Paige and Emma were the foundation of whatever came out of the incredible run of ladies that came through NXT and all that the happenings afterwards. They were the two starting ladies that sort of got attention on everybody.”
If you use any quotes from this transcription, please credit Gentleman Villain and link back to this article with a h/t to Inside the Ropes.