Io Shirai Beats Toni Storm, Retains NXT Women's Title on WWE NXT TV

Mike Chiari@mikechiariFeatured ColumnistMarch 11, 2021

Photo credit: WWE.com.

Io Shirai beat Toni Storm on Wednesday to retain the NXT Women's Championship.

Storm went on the offensive numerous times in this match, delivering a Hip Attack and a suplex off the top rope:


H 🤍 I 🖤 P🤍 A 🖤 T🤍 T 🖤 A🤍 C 🖤 K #WomensTitle #WWENXT @shirai_io https://t.co/0DlCHNtZU1


The STRENGTH of STORM! 😱 😱 😱 #WomensTitle #WWENXT @shirai_io https://t.co/zhzpBHauG6

However, Shirai later delivered a moonsault off the top rope onto Storm, who stood on the floor below: 


Genius thinking. 😈 🌜 #WWENXT #WomensTitle @shirai_io https://t.co/6q2Vtp9eQV

Eventually, Shirai won after applying a crossface to Storm, who had just missed on a moonsault beforehand.


STAND & DELIVER? No one does that better than the reigning #WWENXT #WomensChampion @shirai_io! #AndStill #WomensTitle https://t.co/zArKeA56xi

The pair have been at odds for several weeks dating back to the build toward a Triple Threat NXT Women's Championship match at NXT TakeOver: Vengeance Day in February that also involved Mercedes Martinez.

Martinez took the fall in that match, which led to Storm pushing for another title opportunity. The Lightning Down Under even accused Shirai of ducking her and suggested she was afraid to put the title on the line against her.

In subsequent weeks, Shirai and Storm attacked each other on multiple occasions, which only served to add fuel to the fire with regard to their rivalry.

The recent issues between the two made their match a must-see affair, but they also had some history together that goes further back and added even more intrigue to the encounter.

The first time Shirai and Storm faced each other was in the finals of the second Mae Young Classic in 2018. That match took place at the Evolution pay-per-view and still stands as a memorable and beloved bout. Shirai was arguably viewed as the favorite entering that match, but it was Storm who prevailed and launched herself to superstardom.

While The Joshi Judas rebounded and became a huge star in her own right, Storm entered Wednesday's episode of WWE NXT with a psychological advantage of sorts.

Shirai had never beaten Storm in a one-on-one singles match, and The Lightning Down Under aimed to prove she still had her rival's number.

Despite some of the factors working against Shirai, she managed to extend her nearly 280-day title reign, and Storm is still in search of her first NXT Women's Championship win.


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