NXT Women’s Championship Vacated Following WWE Draft

NXT Women's Champion Indi Hartwell

The recent WWE Draft promised to “truly change the game” and certainly did just that for NXT’s women’s division.

On the April 28th edition of Friday Night SmackDown, Hall of Famers the Road Dogg Jesse James and the Heartbreak Kid Shawn Michaels announced that NXT Women’s Champion Indi Hartwell was coming to Monday Night Raw.

The move was a surprising one, to say the least, due to Hartwell having only recently won the title. Hartwell captured the championship at Stand & Deliver on April 1st in a six-women ladder match.

Since winning her first singles title she has successfully defended on two occasions. Firstly against Zoey Stark, who also joins her on Raw, and secondly against Tiffany Stratton and Roxanne Perez in a Triple Threat match, which saw her suffer a nasty ankle injury. However, she was able to continue the match and retain the championship.

But, now she is champion no more as she vacated the title on the May 2nd edition of the show in an emotional speech stating:

Don’t cry because its over, smile because it happened.

NXT Women’s Championship Indi Hartwell Vacated The Title

During her farewell speech, she also announced that a tournament to crown a new Women’s Champion will begin next week culminating at Battleground on May 28th.

Following the announcement, Hartwell complete with a walking boot and crutch struggled to get out of the ring. But help was not far away as her husband Dexter Lumis appeared from under the ring to carry her out of the arena for the final time much to the delight of the live audience.

As the two Raw Superstars made their exit, Tiffany Stratton, Cora Jade and Lyra Valkyria fought over the title before the entire women’s roster entered the fray resulting in a wild brawl.

Also on the show, NXT Women’s Tag Team Champions Isla Dawn and Alba Fyre, who were drafted to SmackDown retained their titles against Katana Chance and Kayden Carter, who were drafted to Raw meaning the future of the titles is still undecided.

Fans also got to see JD McDonaugh make his final appearance for the brand in a match against Dragon Lee. Wes Lee successfully defended the North American Championship and Jacy Jayne defeated Gigi Dolin in a bloody grudge match.