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Belair wins a great match at the end of a battle royal, and a TakeOver title shot

Like they do with any decent battle royal, several storylines wove their way through the main event of the Jan. 15 NXT.

  • Deonna Purrazzo was not happy she was eliminated by Shotzi Blackheart, so she drug Shotzi out of the ring and kicked her ass.
  • Mercedes Martinez and Shayna Baszler brawled, and teased a dream (re)match somewhere down the line in the process.
  • Candice LeRae was surprisingly dumped well before the end, by Bianca Belair.
  • Blackheart recovered in time to shockingly eliminate Baszler.

It came down to Belair and Io Shirai. When they started brawling, you might have expected another minute of action, culminating in a cool spot sending one of them over the top. Instead, we got a ten minute mini-match. And a really good one at that!

Maybe it shouldn’t have been too big of a surprise considering the talent involved. But it was a little bit of a surprise when after several suspenseful minutes of counters and battling on the ropes & apron, Belair got the final move. She fought off a powerbomb and got Io on her shoulders, then KOD-ed her to the floor.

She’ll go on to face the NXT Women’s champion (technically whoever wins the Worlds Collide match between Rhea Ripley & Toni Storm; but barring a shocker, it’ll be Rhea) at TakeOver: Portland.

Will The EST fare better against The Nightmare than she ever did challenging Baszler for the belt?

We’ll find out on Feb. 16.

For all the results from tonight’s NXT, click here.

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