Wednesday, April 17, 2024

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First-time match for NXT TakeOver: Phoenix

The EST of NXT, Bianca Belair, defeated Mia Yim, Lacey Evans and Io Shirai in a Fatal 4-Way match to decide the women’s division number one contender for the NXT Women’s Championship match at NXT TakeOver: Phoenix.

Belair is now slated to challenge two-time NXT Women’s Champion Shayna Baszler for the top prize at TakeOver on Jan. 26.

This will be the first time the competitors will meet in the ring against each other, having paired together once before in a six-woman tag-team match with Lacey Evans.

Belair has been riding a wave of momentum that has seen her soar through the ranks. Earning the first spot in the Fatal 4-Way match, it was easy to see that she had a target on her back from the get go. Yim and Shirai started the match with a pretty firm allegiance, teaming up to drive Belair out of the ring, while Evans watched from the sidelines, scouting for her moment to strike.

The match was an intense showcase of NXT’s top competitors. While the action intensified, so did Belair’s desire for victory. At one moment, lipstick smeared and frenzy-eyed, the EST scrambled around the ring pining opponent after opponent as all four competitors lay exhausted.

Eventually, a string of finishers led to a series of near falls. Evans delivered a women’s right to Yim, before being broken up by Shirai. A beautiful moonsault to Evans was broken up by Belair’s brutal hair whip attack, opening Evans for the pin and the victory.

Now it’s set: Belair has her shot at the belt in Phoenix, but there are many intriguing questions beyond whether her undefeated streak hold up. Mainly, how large a factor will Baszler’s cohorts Marina Shafir and Jessamyn Duke serve in this title match? Tonight, Belair proved herself against three opponents, and she may be in a similar position come Phoenix.

Regardless, the news out of Full Sail is that the EST of NXT is the number one contender for the Women’s Championship title. This is only the second match to be announced for the NXT TakeOver: Phoenix, with the first being Aleister Black vs. Tommaso Ciampa.

Tune in to NXT TakeOver: Phoenix on Saturday, Jan. 26, on the WWE Network.

Does Belair have a chance against the Submission Magician? Let us know in the comments below.

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