This week’s NXT certainly had a rollercoaster of emotions. Io Shirai retained her NXT Women’s Title, we had the introduction of the NXT Women’s Tag Team Titles with two different champions, and Xia Li received some retaliation.
The show started out with General Manager William Regal making the announcement that he promised from last week. As speculated, he introduced the new NXT Women’s Tag Team Titles.
After having the roster out on the ramp to introduce the shiny new titles, he invited Dakota Kai & Raquel Gonzalez into the ring. From them being the winners of the Dusty Cup, he presented them with the titles – making them the inaugural champions. For the full rundown, you can click here for the previous report.
Io Shirai (c) defeated Toni Storm – NXT Women’s Title Match
Toni Storm tried to capitalize on her history with Io Shirai where she has been victorious in the past and in the process capture the gold. Unfortunately for Storm, that didn’t happen. Perhaps an error in judgment at the end of the match caused Storm to deliver a flying headbutt but unable to connect. Shirai immediately capitalized on the miss and locked in the crossface in the middle of the ring. Storm fought it off as much as she could but in the end, had no choice but to tap.
Next, we had the inaugural NXT Women’s Tag Team Champions defending their titles already on night one.
Shotzi Blackheart & Ember Moon defeated Raquel Gonzalez & Dakota Kai (c) – NXT Women’s Tag Team Championship Match
With as quickly as Gonzalez and Kai became the inaugural champions was as quick as they are now former champions. Blackheart and Moon picked up the win as a result of Moon and Gonzalez spilling to the outside. This was enough to cause a distraction to Kai who fell victim to a bridging matchbook cover from Blackheart. The count of three took place and we have new champions. The full rundown of this match can be viewed here from the prior report.
As far as how I feel personally about this booking is questionable. I really like both teams, although I still feel that Ember should have become more of a contender for Io. It seems as though they backed themselves in a corner with this idea. Why weren’t the tag titles just introduced for whoever won the Dusty Cup? Giving them to Dakota & Raquel at first made sense from them getting screwed over last week but this just ended up screwing them over again. It was weird booking to say the least.
For Gonzalez though, things are looking bright for her. She may have become a champion for just an hour, however, she may be the one to dethrone Shirai. After the tag team match, Shirai approached Gonzalez backstage and let her know that it is her that Shirai wants next.
Gonzalez pinned Shirai to win WarGames in December for her team. It made the most sense to follow up with that then but better late than never I guess.
Lastly, we have Xia Li taking on Kayden Carter in the third women’s match of the night.
Xia Li defated Kayden Carter vis disqualification
The result of this match was a little surprising to me. I figured that Li would have just taken out Carter as she did Catanzaro two weeks ago. Then perhaps moved on from this feud. Before Gonzalez was selected by Shirai, I had a feeling that Li might have been her next opponent.
However, having Li win by DQ still allows her to remain undefeated since her transformation. It also gives Catanzaro and Carter a little boost. The DQ came when Catanzaro was ringside and hit Li with one of her crutches. She continued to attack Li until Boa stepped in. Carter then attacked Boa with the other crutch, saving her partner. The two would then escape before receiving any further retaliation.
There was also a promo video for Zoey Stark which was good to see. She has been impressive so far and it is clear that they are pushing her which is nice to have new faces. I think they need to showcase some of the other women that have debuted recently though so that they can get more exposure.
Let’s get into the Winners & Losers of the week:
WINNERS: Shotzi Blackheart & Ember Moon
The crazy booking aside, this was big for both of these women. Shotzi getting her first gold and Ember finally getting her first piece of gold in a few years. Overall they work very well as a team together and I feel as though any match they have could be a good one with their talent.
WINNER: Raquel Gonzalez
I know, it is weird to put her in the winner’s column after what transpired. However, I feel as though one door closed for her and another one opened. There aren’t many women who have been on TV long enough now that Io Shirai hasn’t already defeated. This will most likely take place at the next TakeOver as I don’t see them throwing this one on a random NXT. This may just be Raquel’s moment.
LOSER: Dakota Kai
It is a shame that her first title win within the company lasted less than an hour. Dakota reminds me a lot of Sasha Banks. I feel as though she is always the workhorse but often is just there to put everyone else over and now it seems as though she will be on the sidelines as Raquel goes for a singles title. I feel as though Dakota could easily just be moved to the main roster at this point. She is kind of at the point where Bianca was where she will obviously never hold the NXT Women’s Title. I could be wrong with that though.
LOSER: Toni Storm
After this loss, which was expected, it seems as though it puts her in the back of the line. She could always have a solid feud with anyone on the NXT roster though but she may just need a call-up. I have always been very vocal on the thought that both RAW and SmackDown could use a couple more women. Toni to me is one of those women. She has had enough exposure that putting her on the main roster would make sense. I miss the time where they would bring a few women up at a time. Now it seems to be more random.
What did you think of this week’s NXT? Who were your Winners & Losers? Let’s discuss in the comment section below!