Saturday, December 9, 2023

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Winners & Losers: NXT 02.24.21

Another overall great outing for the ladies of NXT.

Zoey Stark had a massive push by facing the NXT Women’s Champion Io Shirai in her second match in NXT. Going one-on-one with not only the champion but against the high level of Shirai is a huge rub for someone the WWE audience hasn’t seen much of. This shows how big they are on Stark and I couldn’t be happier with that.

The match was overall great and fun to watch. There were obviously a few spots that weren’t the best but that just shows that they aren’t the most familiar with each other and that’s okay.

Io Shirai defeated Zoey Stark – Non-title match

The NXT Women’s Champion executed a lot from her arsenal and Stark just kept kicking out. After a hurricarana and moments later a back break on Stark, she was still kicking out much to the surprise of Shirai. Stark fought back with a german suplex but she couldn’t keep the champion down herself.

She tried to capitalize and execute another german suplex but Shirai was able to avoid it and throw Stark into the bottom turnbuckle. Shirai follows up with double knees in the corner before executing a moonsault to give her the three count.

After the match and a very respectful handshake and embrace between the two competitors, Toni Storm made her way on stage. She challenges Shirai to a one-on-one title match and says that the champion can’t beat her in singles competition. Shirai accepts the challenge and the match is booked for two weeks on March 10.

The second match of the night was between Xia Li and Kacy Catanzaro. Prior to Li’s transformation, Catanzaro and Kayden Carter were right there with her while she kept losing match after match. Now it has come full circle and Li was hell-bent on “purging” Catanzaro and she did just that.

Xia Li defeated Kacy Catanzaro – referee stopped match because Catanzaro could no longer compete

This match started off with Catanzaro doing what she could to avoid Xia Li’s offense. Eventually, Li’s viciousness prevailed. Once the action spilled to the outside, Li drove Catanzaro into the barricade which was the beginning of the end. Catanzaro landed by the steel steps which had her leg propped up. Li took advantage of this and drove her foot into the leg/knee of her opponent. She ends up dragging Catanzaro back into the ring just for the official to call off the match. This declared Li the winner due to Catanzaro no longer being able to compete.

Later in the night, the commentators reported that Catanzaro was being looked at for a possible broken leg.

After the match, Carter wanted answers but her stepping away from Catanzaro allowed Li to give a final blow.

There was a video package that was shown for the upcoming Women’s Tag Team Title match next week. The champions Shayna Baszler and Nia Jax will be defending the titles against the winners of the Dusty Cup Dakota Kai and Raquel Gonzalez. The promo was very well put together and this match is being treated very well. It makes me feel that Kai & Gonzalez are going to take it.

Although they weren’t involved in a match, Indi Hartwell and Candice LeRae had their moments on this week’s show. The Way has personally become an enjoyable stable in my personal opinion. Highlights of them tonight include Hartwell getting googly eyes over Dexter Lumis. Lumis defeated Johnny Gargano in their match.

In that match, Gargano expected Austin Theory to help him out and hit Lumis with a chair. In a backstage segment, Gargano and LeRae were trying to understand why Theory didn’t execute the chair shot. Theory says that Lumis didn’t deserve that and the Gargano’s tried to figure out why since Theory had been kidnapped by Lumis just a couple of weeks ago.

When asking Hartwell to agree with them she said and I quote – “I think he [Lumis] is kinda hot.”

Lastly, we had an appearance from Anriel Howard. Howard is a recently signed talent who is a former Mississippi State basketball player. She showed off her skills in a segment with Cameron Grimes earning some cash in the process.

Let’s get into the Winners & Losers of the week.

WINNER: Zoey Stark

Great, great, great showing. I am so glad they didn’t have a squash match with her. This match received a good amount of time and Zoey being given this is such a great sign for her and ultimately us as fans. Losing this match in this way doesn’t hurt her at all. Hoping to see a lot more of her. Now if only we can get Gigi Dolin and Cora Jade on TV before people overlook them.


Xia has done so well with this new gimmick. I am excited to see her every week which before this transformation I wasn’t invested. Dragging Kacy into the ring after the vicious stomp on her leg shows just how much Xia is committed to this role.

Without being extremely picky (which I don’t feel like I need to be), I can’t think of a loser this week. Every woman on the show did an excellent job. While watching I was thinking of Catanzaro being on the losing side of things for obvious reasons. However, her SELLING that attack was incredible (at least I hope it was just her selling it). HUGE kudos to her for that amazing acting.

As for the upcoming NXT Women’s Title match, I can see Io winning only cause I don’t know if she would lose her title on a random NXT episode. With that being said, I am also okay with her losing because I think it is time for her to move to RAW or SmackDown.

What did you think of this week’s NXT? Who were your Winners & Losers? Leave your thoughts below.

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