Xia Li def. Taynara Conti

Xia Li def. Taynara Conti

Although the match between Xia Li and Taynara Conti began amicably enough with a handshake — the Chinese wushu master and the decorated Brazilian judoka were teammates when they last competed on NXT TV not long ago, after all — there was no trace of goodwill to be found by the time Li’s hand was raised in victory.

Proving to be evenly matched from the start, Li and Conti went move for move in an exhilarating exchange, with Conti using throws and slams, and Li keeping Conti on her heels with a bevvy of lightning-fast kicks. After Li scored with a dropkick, however, Conti lost her cool, yanking Li to the mat by her hair. Conti then added trash-talk to the equation, deriding Li as she wailed on her mercilessly.

Showing great resiliency, Li endured the thumping and regained the advantage with a series of sternum-shattering front kicks. The self-described “Spicy Girl” then turned up the heat even further, wiping out Conti with a spinning heel kick to gain the three-count.

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