Raquel Gonzalez Beats Dakota Kai, Retains NXT Women's Title at NXT TakeOver 36

Mike Chiari@mikechiariFeatured ColumnistAugust 23, 2021

Photo credit: WWE.com

Raquel Gonzalez beat Dakota Kai at NXT TakeOver 36 on Sunday night to retain the NXT Women's Championship.

Kai provided a stiff challenge to the champion but eventually succumbed to the Chingona Bomb from the second rope.


The #NXTWomensTitle remains in the grasp of @RaquelWWE! #NXTTakeOver #WWENXT https://t.co/lN24z9LFdU

The relationship between Gonzalez and Kai dates back to February 2020, when Kai enlisted Gonzalez to be her bodyguard. Gonzalez showed up at NXT TakeOver: Portland and helped Kai beat Tegan Nox in a Street Fight.

Kai and Gonzalez had a successful partnership for several months after that, and they even won the inaugural Dusty Rhodes Women's Tag Team Classic. As a result, they were crowned the first NXT women's tag team champions.

They dropped the titles that same night to Shotzi Blackheart and Ember Moon, however, allowing Gonzalez to focus on her pursuit of the NXT Women's Championship.

Gonzalez went on to beat Io Shirai for the title at NXT TakeOver: Stand & Deliver in April, capping a remarkable and rapid rise from being Kai's backup to the head of the NXT women's division.

With Gonzalez overshadowing Kai, hints started to be dropped regarding Kai being unhappy in her new role behind Gonzalez.

Kai seemed especially frustrated when she won a match against Moon only for Xia Li to storm into the ring, walk right past her and set her sights on Gonzalez and the NXT women's title.

In the wake of Gonzalez beating Li to retain the title, she and Kai cut a promo about how there was no one left to challenge her. Kai also said Gonzalez would be NXT women's champion as long as she had Raquel's back.

It was at that point that Kai attacked Gonzalez from behind with a vicious kick, thus ending their alliance.

As if the turn wasn't enough, Kai generated even more momentum for herself on the Aug. 10 edition of NXT TV when she defeated Sarray in a singles match, which marked the first loss of Sarray's NXT career.

Kai had the makings of a true threat to Gonzalez's championship reign, but Gonzalez still managed to retain at TakeOver, further calling into question whether anyone on the NXT roster is capable of taking her down.


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