There have been some big matches in the NXT Women’s Division this year, but maybe none bigger than this. It’s redemption time for Rhea Ripley, after a long climb back to the top of the division, and has a chance to become NXT Women’s Champion once again. All she needs to do is beat perhaps the best in the world, Io Shirai.
Rhea Ripley Hits A Crucial Blow
This match instantly had a big match feel, and Ripley established her power advantage. Shirai responded by showing her speed, and not showing fear. She’d hit a front dropkick and go to work with some chops in the corner, before being thrown across the ring. Shirai would dive onto Ripley, and almost be caught with a suplex, instead slipping out.
Ripley would be sent to the outside, but counter a suicide dive with a forearm. She’d lift Shirai into the Electric Chair and drop her face first into the apron, as we went to a commercial break. Not much action throughout, as the referee checked on Shirai to make sure she’s good to continue, Ripley taking some cheap shots along the way.
Shirai was potentially really hurt, and Ripley was starting to get impatient. She waited months to get this match, only for the champion to be dropped for minutes at a time? Shirai wouldn’t give in, coming at Ripley with a forearm strike, and getting this match started as the show came back to the full screen.
Io Shirai Fights From Underneath
Ripley applied a body scissors on the mat, but Shirai broke free. She’d go for double knees and be caught in a back suplex. Ripley would go for a vertical suplex, Shirai countering into a small package, but Ripley went right back for the suplex, a show of sheer power. Shirai was grounded, but fought out.
She’d be placed on the top rope, and nearly hit with a superplex, but Shirai slipped out and hit a German Suplex, sending Ripley to the middle of the ring. Safe to say, this gave Shirai her best chance yet, and charged in with a back elbow, rolled up Ripley to hit a double stomp. She couldn’t lift Ripley yet, but her strikes are deadly.
The ear of Ripley was bloody, and Shirai would apply a crossface, that being turned into a pinfall by the challenger. Ripley noticed the blood and wore it like warpaint. Shirai would go right after the arm to take away some power from Ripley, her best weapon.
A battle on the apron saw the shoulder of Ripley land hard, before being thrown into the steel steps. Another break would come, and this time it would see Ripley in intense pain. She’d struggle into the ring, and Shirai went right for the submission attempt. Once the damage was done, she went for the moonsault, but was stopped.
An Absolute War
Stranded on the top rope, Ripley would set up the superplex and hit it as we came back to the match. Both women showed the damage of this match, being simply brutal, reminiscent of the Finn Balor & Kyle O’Reilly classic.
They’d throw some heavy strikes, but Ripley grabbed the head of Shirai and hit some knee strikes to the head, and hit the dropkick, getting a two count. With one good arm, The Prism Lock was applied, and she’d manage to spin Shirai around before locking it in the middle of the ring.
Shirai crawled to the ropes to break the hold. The Riptide was set up, but Shirai countered into an armbar. Ripley tried to powerbomb Shirai out of it, but couldn’t break it. She’d get the ropes, and free herself. Two 619 attempts would miss, but the third hit it’s mark. Shirai went high, and hit the missile dropkick, only getting a two count.
Something Had To Give
The Bullet Train double knees would be followed with the moonsault, Ripley dodging and hitting a big lariat, still not enough to end it. The Riptide was countered again by Shirai, this time into a DDT. They both went for the ropes, pulling themselves up, with Ripley going to the outside and being hit with a sunset flip bomb through the announce table!
Ripley just broke the count, was hit with the moonsault and Shirai managed to retain. This was one of the best NXT Women’s Championship matches of all time, and more proof Shirai belongs on the top of this division. Rhea Ripley & Shirai hugged it out after this match, which felt like a final hurrah for Ripley in NXT. Who will step up next? Is Ripley going to RAW or Smackdown? Let us know what you think in the comment section down below.
SUBSCRIBE NOW: Get TheOvertimer’s Hottest Stories, Breaking News and Special Features in your email, CLICK HERE!