It wasn’t the first match on the card (BRO), but the two-out-of-three falls Women’s championship match between long-time rivals Kairi Sane and Shayna Baszler was the first of the announced bouts to hit our screens from TakeOver: WarGames 2 at the Staples Center in Los Angeles on Nov. 17.
The challenger Sane not only showed no fear, but she came out red-hot, lighting the champ up with strikes, neckbreakers and the sliding D which sent Baszler to the floor. But it was there that Shayna’s big advantage - fellow MMA Horsewomen Jessamyn Duke & Marina Shafir - struck. Kairi was bounced off the ring post and the stairs while the Queen of Spades distracted referee Drake Wuertz. When the Pirate Princess was back in the ring, it wasn’t long before she had to tap to a kirifuda clutch.
Still reeling, it looked like a second fall - and the match - might quickly go to the two-time champ. A knee flattened Kairi, but she kicked out. The choke was reapplied, but Sane reached the ropes. Then, after the ‘17 Mae Young Cassic winner fought back with strikes, this happened:
The Pirate Princess followed that with an InSane Elbow to all three Horsewomen! She refused to win by countout, so she dragged Shayna back into the ring, hit her finisher again, and we were all tied up at one fall a piece.
The challenger didn’t waste any time going for the decisive fall, hitting her Interceptor spear three times. An attempt at a superplex was countered into a sunset flip powerbomb for two, and then things got chaotic again.
But this time, Kairi had friends to answer for Duke & Shafir. First Dakota Kai and then the Genius of the Sky, Io Shirai ran in to make sure things would be settled in the ring:
With falls and squads even, it looked like Sane would get her treasure back. Another InSane elbow connected, but Baszler was ready, rolling with the strike and holding her rivals shoulders to the mat for three. Kairi evened the odds in every way she could, but the champ was a little better, and keeps her belt.
Is that it for a feud which has lasted for more than a year?
For all the results from TakeOver: WarGames 2, check out our live blog here.