Why Kairi Sane Must Face Shayna Baszler After Loss at NXT TakeOver: WarGames

Mike Chiari@mikechiariFeatured ColumnistNovember 19, 2017

Credit: WWE.com

After falling short of winning the NXT Women's Championship in a Fatal 4-Way match at NXT TakeOver: WarGames on Saturday night, Kairi Sane is still in line to be a significant part of NXT's women's division moving forward.

Ember Moon prevailed in Houston, but Sane still has momentum on her side from winning the Mae Young Classic, and she is already among the most popular Superstars NXT has to offer.

Sane defeated Shayna Baszler in the finals of the Mae Young Classic, which resulted in the announcement that she would vie for the NXT Women's Championship in Houston the night before Survivor Series.

In the subsequent weeks, NXT general manager William Regal booked qualifying matches with Moon, Peyton Royce and Nikki Cross all earning opportunities to face Sane for the strap.

It was apparent early in the Mae Young Classic that WWE had big plans for Sane. She was impressive in all of her matches during the tournament, and the announce team of Jim Ross and Lita made sure to talk up her majestic Insane Elbow finisher.

Prior to joining WWE, Sane was a major star in Japan, and she even enjoyed success stateside with Lucha Underground.

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There was plenty of hype surrounding her signing, and there is no question that she has lived up to it thus far.

Her charisma and diminutive size have endeared her to the WWE Universe, and despite the fact she has won so many matches already, she is a natural underdog.

That fact makes her a fairly easy Superstar to book provided NXT can build some top heels in the women's division to contest her.

There are a few solid options in place, but none is better than Baszler, who signed a WWE contract after her loss to Sane in the Mae Young Classic finals.

Baszler worked as a heel throughout the Mae Young Classic, and most considered her the favorite to win the tournament because of her mixed martial arts background and friendship with Ronda Rousey.

The upset loss to Sane was a surprise, but it could serve to fuel her heel character in NXT and build even more sympathy for Sane.

While the match between Sane and Baszler was entertaining, the fact that they met in a tournament didn't allow for much build or storyline progression. Also, it is likely they can put together an even better match if given more time at a future NXT TakeOver event.

It isn't often that there are multiple major storylines at the same time in the NXT women's division, but by having Moon win the title rather than Sane, that possibility is on the table.

Since Baszler has yet to make her presence felt on NXT programming, an attack of Sane as retaliation for the Mae Young Classic loss would generate a ton of heat and start a red-hot feud.

To add higher stakes to the rivalry, Sane and Baszler could battle each other at the NXT TakeOver in Philadelphia the night before the Royal Rumble with the NXT Women's Championship No. 1 contendership on the line.

Saturday's loss did little to damage Sane, and it takes the burden off her shoulders of having to live up to Asuka's incredible undefeated streak.

Sane is far more of an underdog than Asuka ever was, and pitting her against a legitimate fighter in Baszler in a long-term program will go a long way toward establishing her as a huge fan favorite.


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