WWE

WWE NXT: Io Shirai retains NXT Women’s Championship

Io Shirai and Rhea Ripley were the main attraction of Wednesday’s show where they battled for the WWE NXT Women’s Championship.

The women of NXT were front and center on Wednesday’s edition of WWE NXT. Io Shirai’s title defense against Rhea Ripley was the main attraction, but there was plenty of other action featuring the ladies and others on the NXT roster throughout the night.

Leon Ruff was out first to defend his title against Johnny Gargano. Last week, Ruff had a brilliant upset, defeating Gargano to take the NXT North American Title. Even still, he was the underdog to keep the momentum heading into Wednesday’s night. Ruff did his best to hang with Gargano in this match. Things would end with a disqualification when Damian Priest came out to the ring. It looked like he was “saving” Ruff from losing the title, but instead, he laid him out with a right hand, causing the match to be stopped.

Cameron Grimes and Dexter Lumis were supposed to have a blindfold match, but things went a bit off the rails. With both men blindfolded, Grimes’ first assault was on the referee, whom he beat down in the corner. Even though this was supposed to be a match with both men blindfolded, both men would wind up shedding their blindfolds, fighting in the middle of the ring. Grime retreated through the crowd, bringing the match to the end without an official finish.

Women’s tag action was next, with Candice LeRae and Indi Hartwell teaming up to take on Kacy Catanzaro and Kayden Carter. This was a showcase opportunity for the newly formed team of LeRae and Hartwell. After back and forth action, it would be Hartwell making the save to pull Catanzaro outside the ring. Meanwhile, LeRae hit the Wicked Stepsister inside the ring to get the victory.

Kushida and Arturo Ruas had a grappler’s delight of a singles match. Both men exchanged one maneuver after another, neither able to gain control. Kushida used several strikes to negate Ruas’s grappling, but in the end he would use an inventive pinning combination to keep Ruas’s shoulders down on the mat for the three count.

Dakota Kai and Raquel Gonzalez have pestered women in NXT for the better part of the past year. Ember Moon and Toni Storm teamed up to face the two in a tag match. Gonzalez and Kai were on top early in the match, alluding Moon and Storm when they tagged in attempting to change things up. However, they were able to isolate Kai to keep her away from her partner, battering her in the process.

Moon got off a flurry of her own hits, but made the mistake of chasing Kai outside the ring. The result was a nasty big boot from Gonzalez. Moon would finally get the tag to Storm, but the match began to fall apart at this point. Gonzalez pushed Storm into the post from outside the ring and Kai tried to pin Storm. Storm used that moment to roll Kai up and pin her, getting the win for her team.

Tim Thatcher and August Grey have been battling each other for the last two weeks. The two faced up in a one-on-one match on Wednesday. This match was as brutal as Thatcher’s weekly demonstrations. Thatcher did everything he could to hurt and torment Grey. Grey found ways to work some offense in on his own, but he made the mistake of taking to the skies. Resulting in a hard uppercut for his work. Thatcher then locked in the front headlock to force Grey to submit.

The NXT Women’s Championship was on the line in the main event where Io Shirai defended her belt against Rhea Ripley. Ripley’s power was on display to start this match, stopping all the offense Shirai had to offer. Every time Shirai tried to get things going, Ripley stopped her in her tracks.

Shirai was able to get her own offense going about midway through the match. Grounding the challenger and busting her ear open with a basement dropkick. Shirai began to focus on Ripley’s arms to attempt to cut into the power that she was using to throw her around the ring. This was no longer a wrestling match, it became personal between the two women. Tensions continued to grow between the two, escalating to the point of Shirai slamming Ripley through the announce table with a power bomb. Ripley rolled back into the ring, and right into the Moonsault where she was pinned and Shirai retained.

November 18 WWE NXT Results

  • Leon Ruff defeated Johnny Gargano via disqualification
  • Cameron Grimes and Dexter Lumis ended in a no-contest
  • Candice LeRae and Indi Hartwell defeated Kacy Catanzaro and Kayden Carter via pin fall
  • Kushida defeated Arturo Ruas via pin fall
  • Toni Storm and Ember Moon defeat Dakota Kai and Raquel Gonzalez via pin fall
  • Tim Thatcher defeated Austin Grey via submission
  • Io Shirai defeated Rhea Ripley via pin fall