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Candice LeRae wins battle royal to become #1 contender

NXT kicked off tonight’s (Sept. 23) episode with one of the two advertised #1 contender match. The show opened with women in the ring waiting for the battle royal that would decide Io Shirai’s Takeover opponent on Oct. 4’s still unnamed TakeOver.

The match featured most of the women’s roster, outside Tegan Nox who was attacked prior to the match by Candice LeRae and could not compete.

The early part of the match featured both Rhea Ripley and Raquel González racking up eliminations, establishing both heavy hitters that likely have a date against each other in the near future. There were many PC talents who have seen little to no screen time in this match, and they played fodder for this aspect of the match.

Kacy Catanzaro got her guaranteed athletic spot (“The Kofi Kingston spot” as some may know it) when she was eliminated but landed on her back without her feet touching the floor. She was able to work into a handstand and make her way into the ring. These spots aren’t as mind blowing as they used to be because we’ve seen them so often, but this was really cool.

Kacy had another save where she landed on the guardrail and had to jump to the stairs, where Indi Hartwell kicked her back to the guardrail. When Catanzaro’s partner Kayden Carter was eliminated trying to help her, she gave her a lift on her shoulders to the ring.

We finally got that show down between Rhea and Raquel in the middle of the ring. After they exchanged blows, they ended up eliminating each other.

The final four was Candice LeRae, Kacy Catanzaro, Dakota Kai, and Shotzi Blackheart.

A big kick to the corner from Dakota eliminated Kacy with a running kick. Kai was then soon eliminated by Blackheart.

LeRae and Blackheart would go at each other for awhile. Both women found themselves outside the apron. Shotzi knocked LeRae off, but the Poison Pixie landed on the stairs, still in the match. Blackheart tried to remove Candice from the stairs, but LeRae kicked Shotzi to the floor to earn the win.

This will be a TakeOver rematch a year ago, but it was a very good match then and will probably be even better now given the new characters for both women. It also makes sense because they don’t have to build this match too much, and it will surely play into LeRae’s actual feud with Tegan Nox.


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

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