NXT Women’s Champion Shayna Baszler def. Candice LeRae in a nontitle match

Candice LeRae vs. Shayna Baszler: WWE NXT, Aug. 1, 2018

Candice LeRae looks to prove that she can hang with the NXT Women's Champion in non-title competition. Video courtesy of the award-winning WWE Network.

While Candice LeRae has repeatedly stood up to NXT Women’s Champion Shayna Baszler, even paint-brushing the trash-talking Queen of Spades three weeks ago, Baszler still showed no respect for her plucky adversary. Baszler held the ropes open for LeRae at the outset of their nontitle match and offered her the chance to leave the ring, but LeRae didn’t take the bait and instead repaid Baszler’s hubris with a dropkick.

The laser-focused LeRae stayed on offense until the meanspirited champion ran her shoulder-first into the steel ring steps. From there, Baszler’s most vicious instincts took over, as she stomped, twisted and nearly tore LeRae’s limb off. Ever tenacious, LeRae stayed in the fight, even forcing a rope break when Baszler locked in the usually match-ending Kirifuda Clutch.

The Submission Magician went for the Clutch again but LeRae spun out of the attack, landed a double footstomp and followed up with an Unprettier before attempting her highlight-reel-worthy quebrada. The high-risk move missed the mark, however, and Baszler reapplied the Kirifuda Clutch, this time forcing the determined LeRae to submit.

Never one to take the high road, Baszler locked in the Kirifuda Clutch again after the bell until referees pried her off LeRae. Unable to stand by and watch Baszler’s out-of-bounds actions, Kairi Sane rushed the ring to prevent any further onslaught against LeRae.

Baszler landed one final parting shot, kicking Sane when her back was turned. The Pirate Princess, who is set to challenge Baszler for the title at TakeOver: Brooklyn 4, came unglued and went after Baszler, but NXT officials were quick to separate the challenger and champion. The story won’t be the same come Saturday, Aug. 18, in Brooklyn.

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