Charlotte, Ripley and Shirai Will Steal the Show at NXT TakeOver: In Your House

Mike Chiari@mikechiariFeatured ColumnistJune 1, 2020

Wrestler Charlotte Flair arrives at the ESPY Awards at Microsoft Theater on Wednesday, July 18, 2018, in Los Angeles. (Photo by Willy Sanjuan/Invision/AP)
Willy Sanjuan/Associated Press

The NXT TakeOver: In Your House card is stacked from top to bottom, but the Triple Threat match for the NXT Women's Championship between Charlotte Flair, Rhea Ripley and Io Shirai is the contest to beat as far as match-of-the-night honors go.

They are three of the most talented women's wrestlers in the entire world, and they are also all part of a meaningful storyline in which each of them have interacted and developed the tension necessary to make fans care about their match.

The angle truly began in January when Charlotte won the women's Royal Rumble. While she was deciding who she would challenge at WrestleMania 36, then-NXT women's champion Ripley stepped up and turned the tables by challenging The Queen.

Charlotte, who held the NXT Women's Championship before getting called up to the main roster in 2015 and becoming the most decorated woman in WWE history, accepted the challenge, which led to a lengthy feud and a marquee match on The Grandest Stage of Them All.

They were thrown a curveball in the form of the coronavirus pandemic, though. Their WrestleMania match was supposed to take place in front of a capacity crowd at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Florida, but it was moved to the WWE Performance Center in Orlando, Florida, with no fans in attendance instead.

While Charlotte and Ripley could have easily crumbled or phoned it in, they had what was arguably the best in-ring match at The Show of Shows this year. The Queen masterfully played the heel role and worked her rival's leg, while The Nightmare was the perfect underdog babyface who fought through the pain and gave her opponent a run for her money.

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Charlotte won the match, which led to a title defense against Shirai, who had won a ladder match to become No. 1 contender. Their clash on May 6 was excellent until the champion purposely got herself disqualified by hitting Shirai with a kendo stick.

Shirai wasn't happy that Ripley made the save, which led to a match with the Australian. The Queen interrupted that bout, which put the finishing touches on the build toward a Triple Threat title match at TakeOver.

Having a compelling story is half the battle when it comes to making a match good, and there is no doubt they have that taken care of. The other factor is in-ring chemistry, and all signs point toward Charlotte, Ripley and Shirai having that in spades as well.

It is already apparent Charlotte and Ripley can work magic together in the ring. They have only had fleeting moments in the squared circle with Shirai, but she may be the best high-flying women's wrestler in the world, and the fact that she brings a different dimension can only be a good thing.

NXT has done a lot of things right over the years, but the one factor that truly separates it from all other wrestling companies and brands is its women's division. Even the Raw and SmackDown women's divisions pale in comparison at times due to NXT's commitment to building up its female wrestlers and presenting them as stars.

Triple H undoubtedly trusts Charlotte to deliver, and both Ripley and Shirai are clearly favorites of his as well. Because of that, it seems like a virtual guarantee that they will be given all the time and opportunities they need at TakeOver: In Your House in order to steal the show.

There are several other matches on the card with big-time potential, such as Karrion Kross vs. Tommaso Ciampa and Keith Lee vs. Johnny Gargano, but there is an element of mystery regarding whether they will mesh well.

That isn't the case with Charlotte, Ripley and Shirai, as fans will go into Sunday's pay-per-view knowing the trio will rise to the occasion.

              

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