Io Shirai def. Candice LeRae
After a battle that had the NXT Universe on the edge of its seat, Io Shirai emerged victorious over her former friend Candice LeRae, and sent a clear message to any woman on the NXT roster that dares step to her.
At the start of the bout, LeRae wasted no time in going right after her former friend, tackling Shirai to the canvas before the bell had even rang. The fray soon spilled out to the arena floor as The Genius of The Sky attempted to powerbomb LeRae to the arena floor. Those attempts would prove fruitless, but Shirai would not be stopped from unleashing her fury. She grabbed LeRae and suplexed her into the announcer’s desk, the thud echoing through the Scotiabank Arena.
LeRae barely made it back to the ring before she was counted out, but she did, which left her susceptible to Shirai’s ruthless offense. LeRae would fight through the pain and go back on offense, wearing Shirai down with an Octopus Hold. The brawl eventually spilled back to the arena floor, capped off by Candice LeRae diving through the ropes, catching Shirai and driving her into the ground with a tornado DDT.
The grudge match saw both competitors throwing everything they had at each other – neckbreakers off the ropes, reverse hurricanranas and a devastating Spanish Fly by Shirai from the top rope. Despite this, neither competitor could put the other away. LeRae’s determination frustrated Shirai to no end, especially when she kicked out of The Genius of The Sky’s patented Moonsault. A furious Shirai unleashed a barrage of strikes on LeRae before locking on a Koji Clutch. Though LeRae fought valiantly, with her arm trapped, she found herself with no way of escaping, and eventually passed out in the hold, ensuring Shirai’s victory.
With that win, Shirai showed just how dangerous a competitor she can be, and how big a threat she may be to the NXT Women’s Championship in the future.