NXT Women’s Champion Shayna Baszler def. Kairi Sane via Disqualification

Shayna Baszler vs. Kairi Sane - NXT Women's Championship Match: WWE NXT, April 17, 2019

Kairi Sane receives one final opportunity to vie for the NXT Women's Title held by her archrival, Shayna Baszler. Video courtesy of the award-winning WWE Network.

Give Shayna Baszler credit, she really is The Queen of Spades. Like a card shark, The NXT Women’s Champion has proven herself to be a master strategist in recent championship bouts by entrapping her opponents with cerebral mind games that force her rivals to play into her hand. That much was proven in bouts against Bianca Belair at NXT TakeOver: Phoenix and her recent Fatal 4-Way battle against Belair, Io Shirai and Kairi Sane at TakeOver: New York.

After poking fun at Sane last summer for not having “killer instinct,” Baszler continued her play this week in a controversial fashion against The Pirate Princess. With the crucial caveat being that Sane will be barred from challenging for the NXT Women’s Title if she loses, the reigning champion once again exposed her opponent’s hand.

Fiery as ever, Sane dumped on Baszler from the opening bell, unloading a fury of strikes before taking flight with a diving cross body from the ring apron. As the NXT Universe’s chants became the wind in her sails, The Pirate Princess made her longtime nemesis pay for all the insults thrown her way on the road to TakeOver: New York. She drove The Submission Magician to claw toward the ropes after locking in her signature cross-legged Boston Crab that she calls The Anchor, and even dropped an Insane Elbow as Baszler lay face-down on the canvas.

However, that “killer instinct” would end up as Sane’s Achilles’ heel after a second Insane Elbow attempt went off course as a result of Baszler knocking her down with a stunning enzuigiri. Baszler then avoided a flying kabuki elbow, causing Sane to crash into the barricade. From there, The Submission Magician preyed on the challenger’s right elbow, twisting it like a monkey wrench. After she continued to tenderize Sane’s limb, Io Shirai rushed in to stop the punishment inflicted on her best friend, which prompted the referee to call for the Disqualification. The onslaught continued as Baszler’s comrades Jessamyn Duke & Marina Shafir held Shirai down and forced her to watch as The Queen of Spades viciously stomped on her Sane’s wounded arm. In the game of strategy, the NXT Women’s Champion has once again outplayed her opponent, solidifying what looks to be her most dominant reign yet.

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