Tuesday, February 20, 2024

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Rewind: Io Shirai vs. Candice LeRae – TakeOver Toronto 2019

With Io Shirai, now going by IYO SKY, and making a shocking main roster debut at SummerSlam on Saturday, let’s take a look at one of her best matches in her NXT career. Shirai and Candice LeRae had a rivalry in NXT that kept giving, and this was just the start! And with a match time of 15-minutes they didn’t hold back.

Their storyline began like many others. Former friends and tag team partners turned into bitter enemies. But with the right two opponents, that formula is dynamite.

This bout wasted little time to get started. LeRae charges Shirai and takes her down before the bell even has a chance to ring. Once the referee was able to separate the rivals for even a moment the match was able to get underway. Things quickly spilled to the outside and Shirai was looking to get this match over quickly with a massive suplex to LeRae on top of the announce desk. LeRae struggled to even move as she rolled onto the floor. LeRae was able to get back into the ring just before the 10-count would have counted her out of the match.

Shirai capitalized on this momentum and would continue to stay in control of the match and after locking in a submission she executed an Air Raid Crash out of the corner getting a near fall. Moments later after hanging LeRae up on the ropes, Shirai went for a missile drop kick from the top turnbuckle. LeRae was able to get out of the way just in time and start to gain momentum in the bout.

Late into the match, both women pulled out every move they could think of. Shirai had LeRae up for a fireman’s carry when LeRae twisted into a reverse rana pinning her rival’s shoulders to the mat for a count of two. Following this, a swinging neck breaker from the middle rope from LeRae to Shirai granted her another near fall.

Both competitors would head up top on for Shirai to execute a reverse Spanish Fly! LeRae still managed to kick out much to the shock of the crowd and Shirai herself. Shirai’s frustration would set in as the two continue to trade shots.

Finally, Shirai locked in the Koji Clutch which had LeRae pass out and awarded the victory to Shirai.

Tonight’s Raw should be the first time we see the newly named IYO SKY on the main roster since debuting at SummerSlam over the weekend. Along with Bayley and Dakota Kai it is exciting to see what this new stable can do.

What are your favorite moments of this match? Of the Shirai vs. LeRae overall rivalry? Leave your thoughts below!

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