Io Shirai entered the main event of TakeOver: Stand & Deliver Night One with more than 300 days as NXT Women’s champion on her resumé. Raquel González came in with a six month path of destruction behind her.
Despite González’s size and power advantage, Shirai started fast and looked to have another defense well in hand. Even when Dakota Kai tried to get involved to turn the tide for her tag partner, Io evaded her and watched as the referee sent Kai to the back.
But when Big Mami Cool caught Shirai on the outside and drove her into the ringpost, the beatdown was on. Just as she had in the build-up to the match, however, the champ proved capable of taking whatever Raquel dished out and fire back. After trading nearfalls and surviving submissions, the battle spilled onto the ramp. Where else was Shirai going to find a giant skull to jump off of?
That splash and a follow-up moonsault in the ring still weren’t enough to put González away, though. One last act of defiance earned the Genius of the Sky a huge lariat, then a one-armed powerbomb ended things.
Speculation about main roster plans for Shirai will intensify, and the Reign of Raquel is here.
Congratulations, @RaquelWWE!— WWE Network (@WWENetwork) April 8, 2021
The shock and awe continues on tomorrow's Night 2 of #NXTTakeOver : Stand & Deliver on @peacockTV in the U.S. and @WWENetwork everywhere else. #AndNew pic.twitter.com/04cacK3Yjd
For a complete rundown of everything that happened during TakeOver: Stand & Deliver on Night One, head to our live blog here.