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It’s still not clear who Io Shirai will defend her title against

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In this morning’s preview for tonight’s NXT, my colleague Sean asked the question whether or not the NXT women’s title scene is actually too crowded. It leads to a lot of waiting in line.

With multiple women harboring intentions to take Io Shirai’s title, tonight didn’t give a very clear idea of who’s next, but it narrowed it down. Maybe a triple threat is heading our way?

Toni Storm marched to the ring to call out Io Shirai and the champ answered. This turned into a brawl quite quickly with Io Shirai holding the ring. So it’ll be Toni vs. Io next, right?

Not so fast.

While the champ was posturing in the ring, Mercedes Martinez slid in from behind and laid out the champ. So maybe she’s next in line?

Again, not so fast.

When Martinez went to pick up the women’s title, Toni stopped her and there was a little posturing between the the possible contenders. Shirai took advantage and delivered a springboard drop kick onto one in to another. But in the end, Toni delivered a trio of hip attacks to the joshi superstar and was the woman left standing.

So if we have a one on one match in the future, it looks like Storm is the one who’s best positioned for that shot. But given the tension between the brief former Dusty tag team, we could be looking towards a Valentine’s Day triple threat for TakeOver.

It does feel like these three are the focus right now. So other possible contenders like Shotzi Blackheart or Raquel González will just have to wait a bit longer... probably. Who knows if they’ll be involved with Shirai next week.

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