Xia Brookside vs Io Shirai

Next is Io Shirai who is a fan of Rey Mysterio Jr. She’s out to prove women’s wrestling is as good as the men’s and she wants to be the one to lead that wave. Xia is the youngest competitor and a second generation wrestler. She’s using this as a platform to prove herself and make her name.

In comes Xia, with high energy and smiles, she hugs her dad who hasn’t ever seen Xia wrestle. In comes Io complete with boss jacket and an amazing mask. She has the reputation as the crowd chants her name, of being the best WRESTLER in Japan for the last three years, we see her best friend Kairi Sane there to cheer her on. They shake hands and bow, and as soon as the bell rings, Xia brings the fight to Io, which surprises everyone watching. Hard shots to the chest and an Irish whip, reversal by Io, who goes for a clothesline, a miss and here comes with Xia with a headscissors that doesn’t phase Io. To the contrary, she’s up quickly and smiling. The crowd chants Io’s name again.

Xia comes running at Io, and gets met with a boot to the stomach and her face rammed into the turnbuckle. Io plays to the crowd a bit, then runs full force at Xia and Xia eats a back elbow. Xia is still stuck in the corner and she gets a forearm to the chest. Io brings Xia out of the corner to punch her so hard, Xia falls back into the corner into a seated position where Io stomps her, chokes her with both boots, slingshots her body up and essentially dropkick this poor girl dead in her chest. She drags Xia into the ring and a cover for two. Io pulls Xia up and Xia tries for a forearm, only to be crossfaced down lightning quick. Xia’s Father looks on and looks as if he’s seen a ghost.

Xia powers up and rolls through to break the crossface to be met with a hard kick to the face that knocks her down by Io. Io is telling Xia to get up and goes for a knee that’s blocked. She then goes for a double underhook and Xia blocks and hits a jawbreaker. Xia off the ropes and hits a running facebuster, Robbie approves as chants for Brookeside erupt through Full Sail. A kick and a miss and Io goes full Mortal Kombat mode with a hard European Uppercut. Io is feeling it and the crowd is feeling her, she psyches herself up and runs and meteoras poor Xia in the opposite corner where she’s seated trying to catch her breath. Io drags her into the center of the ring and moonsaults the holy hell out of poor Xia and just like that, it’s over. Io helps up Xia and they hug and shake hands while the crowd claps to the amazingness that is Io’s theme song. Zeuxis, you in danger girl.

Io plans to continue her winning ways throughout the tournament.

Thoughts: Far and away the best match of the night. It was hard-hitting, physical and told a story with two people we could get behind; Xia wanted to show what she could do, Io showing she was the best. The father aspect was a nice touch, it must have been hard to watch his daughter get beat down like that. I found myself impressed with both ladies, and must give props to Xia because this girl is wrestling and selling beyond her years. The hurting that Io put on her, especially the meteora, she sold like a champ, and that moonsault-ouch. I have no complaints about the match, it was short, but it needed to be. Nobody in their right mind would think Xia would pose a big challenge to Io, but she had her moment. Io wants to face Charlotte and Asuka down the road? I’m here for it.

Next week we move to our Sweet 16! Which matchup are you most excited to see!? Comment below!