Shayna Baszler Beats Io Shirai, Retains NXT Women's Title at NXT TakeOver: XXV

Mike Chiari@mikechiariFeatured ColumnistJune 2, 2019

Credit: WWE.com

Shayna Baszler defeated Io Shirai at NXT TakeOver: XXV on Saturday to retain the NXT Women's Championship.


They all tap to the Queen of ♠. @QoSBaszler is STILL your #WWENXT #WomensChampion! #AndStill #NXTTakeOver @shirai_io https://t.co/yzaVFiTtb5

Baszler and Shirai have been at odds for the past few months, but their encounter at Saturday's show marked their first major singles match after previously mixing it up with several other Superstars involved.

At NXT TakeOver: New York in April, Baszler faced Shirai, Kairi Sane and Bianca Belair in a Fatal 4-Way match for the NXT Women's Championship. All three challengers came close to dethroning The Queen of Spades on multiple occasions, but she managed to leave the event as champion.

After that, Sane was given one more opportunity at the NXT women's title, but she would be unable to challenge for it again if she lost.

Shirai interfered in the match to save Sane from potential injury, which resulted in The Pirate Princess losing by disqualification. After the match was over, Jessamyn Duke and Marina Shafir held Shirai and forced her to watch as Baszler attacked her friend.

That set the stage for Shirai to emerge as a solo threat for the title, with Sane getting called up to the main roster to team with Asuka as The Kabuki Warriors.

After emerging as arguably the top women's wrestler in Japan, it didn't take long for Shirai to establish herself as a star in NXT. It all started last summer when she reached the finals of the Mae Young Classic where she lost to Toni Storm.

Shirai quickly got into the title mix, but at TakeOver: XXV on Saturday, she finally got her own opportunity to vie for the NXT Women's Championship against a woman who has taken on and beaten all comers over the past several months.

The Genius of the Sky posed a huge threat to Baszler and her title reign, but she also had to keep an eye out for Duke and Shafir, who have made a habit out of interfering in The Queen of Spades' matches.

With the other Four Horsewomen members lurking as a potential threat in the match, Baszler retained over Shirai, and it is beginning to appear that there may be no immediate end to her time as champion.


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