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Shotzi Blackheart shines in NXT gauntlet match despite failing to win

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One of the matches booked for tonight’s NXT was a last chance gauntlet match to earn the final spot in the #1 contenders ladder match next week, the winner of that getting a shot at the NXT Women’s championship. This match consisted of all the women who failed to earn a spot the first time around.

This ended up being the Shotzi Blackheart show. She started number one and ran through four of the five remaining women.

Shotzi first defeated Deonna Purrazzo. Next was Xia Lee. Then Aliyah. Then Kayden Carter. With a mixture of a senton finsher and a submission, she made it all the way to the final match.

However, the fresh Dakota Kai, with Raquel González in her corner, was able to defeated the upstart Blackheart. And even then, Shotzi gave all she got against both Kai and González.

This is traditional booking to build someone up, even in a losing effort. She showed all the grit and heart that a babyface should and then the heel came in to undercut her for the easy win. It’s Booking 101 for a reason. It works.

Unfortunately, the lack of a crowd really undercut the efforts. Normally, you’ll hear the crowd slowly get behind the enduring hero more and more the further they advance. That live crowd support adds more to a match like this than a standard one on one. Without it, this didn’t accomplish all it could if there were a crowd.

But it still helped illustrate that Shotzi Blackheart is a woman to watch on NXT. Even though Dakota Kai was the one who won the match.

You can find the results from tonight’s live blog here.