Shayna Baszler defeated Mia Yim at NXT TakeOver: Toronto on Saturday to retain the NXT Women's Championship.
Yim had Baszler in an armbar, but the champion countered out. Baszler sustained too much damage from the move to successfully lock in the Kirifuda Clutch, so she had to improvise. She used a modified triangle choke and forced Yim to tap out.
After spending several months as a mid-tier player in the NXT women's division, Yim took a big step forward and established herself as a title contender thanks to her performance in a series of matches against Bianca Belair.
Belair was looking to get back on track after falling short in a couple of championship matches, and it looked like she was poised to do precisely that thanks to a win over Yim. The Head Baddie in Charge won each of the next two matches, though, and she was suddenly in the championship match.
Baszler retained the NXT women's title in a steel cage match against Io Shirai, after which Shirai turned heel by attacking Candice LeRae. With Shirai and LeRae focused on each other, Yim emerged as Baszler's opponent for TakeOver: Toronto.
Unlike some of Baszler's previous opponents, Yim took a proactive approach in an effort to improve her chances of winning the strap.
Yim launched attacks against Four Horsewomen members Marina Shafir and Jessamyn Duke in the parking lot and locker room with an eye toward ensuring they would not be healthy enough to interfere in the title match in Toronto.
The Queen of Spades took exception to Yim's antics and called her a "street rat," but Yim had no shame in doing what she had to do in order to level the playing field.
Although it hasn't been acknowledged on television, Baszler and Yim are close friends in real life, which may explain why they have such great chemistry. Before coming to NXT, Baszler and Yim faced each other in matches for promotions such as Shimmer and AIW as well.
Baszler and Yim even faced off in the inaugural Mae Young Classic, so they already had a good feel for one another going into TakeOver, and it likely contributed to the quality of their match.
Saturday's bout was by far the biggest spotlight provided to Yim during her NXT career thus far, and she showed why she is one of the best female Superstars WWE has to offer.
With Baszler retaining, however, her second title reign is approaching 300 days, and there is no obvious threat to end it any time soon.
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