Tiffany continues her look at the women’s division over SummerSlam weekend as she takes a deep look into how the women were used at NXT Takeover Toronto!
For the first time in a long time, NXT TakeOver will feature TWO women’s matches on the same card!
Since 2013, the NXT Women’s Division has been the vanguard of the brand. Most people couldn’t tell you who the NXT Champion or Tag Champions were from 2013 on, but you will hear about the Four Horsewomen, Charlotte Flair, Sasha Banks, Bayley, and Becky Lynch and the amazing matches and feuds they had, including stealing the show at the first Brooklyn TakeOver. After the Horsewomen rode off to the main roster, the division took a little bit of the backseat as the men’s division began to show off bigger indy stars in the singles and tag divisions, but always remained a large part of NXT’s success. Now, the Women’s Division has the chance to steal the show with TWO huge matches, one for the NXT Women’s Championship and one is a grudge match between two former allies.
NXT Women’s Championship Match: Shayna Baszler vs Mia Yim
I’m going to be honest, I wasn’t exactly feeling jazzed about this match since WWE seems set to have Shayna Baszler carry the Women’s Title until she’s called to the main roster, no matter what it costs the Women’s Division as a whole and, as much as I like Mia Yim, I didn’t see Triple H picking her to be the one to beat Baszler once and for all.
The match was really good. Mia Yim is an incredible wrestler and rightly earned her spot in this match. Baszler’s reputation speaks for itself. I wasn’t surprised that Baszler won because it seems that she’ll be champion at all costs, which is a terrible way to book a division that has such deep potential as the current NXT Women’s Division. As it stands right now, the only person who could challenge is Io Shirai, which means Mia Yim got a push just to put the NXT Women’s Title back where it started, which is even more frustrating.
Grudge Match: Candice LeRae vs Io Shirai
Of the two Women’s Division matches, this is the one I was more invested in. Shirai and LeRae weren’t onscreen allies for very long, but the way it was done was so great because it wasn’t just about LeRae making a mistake, it was a culmination of months of frustration over Baszler and her gang, which made it less of a personal feud than most. Also, Shirai and LeRae getting a feud of their own, instead of being part of the Sane/Baszler feud has been nice to see.
The match was not as badass as I was hoping, but it was still good. It seemed to take LeRae forever to get out of the box, but once she did, the match was very enjoyable. I’m really disappoined LeRae lost, even though I picked Shirai to win. Candice LeRae hasn’t gotten very much love from NXT other than being Johnny Gargano’s wife, she needed a big moment and a big win a lot more than Shirai, who was a Mae Young runner up, did. Still, both women looked great in that match, but LeRae losing AGAIN was disappointing.
I wasn’t surprised at the results of TakeOver, but that doesn’t stop me from being disappointed. Shayna Baszler is a badass, no doubt, but it’s time to move away from her and put the belt on someone else. Triple H did this with Asuka and it’s proven to be a long-term disaster for the division because all the women who should have been in contention had all been beaten, so no one looked like a strong contender.
Of the two Women’s Matches, LeRae and Shirai was the better match, but I’m still frustrated by LeRae not getting a badly needed win over Shirai or even a double DQ. I have nothing against Io Shirai, I’m a fan, but LeRae has been needing to show herself as more than Johnny Gargano’s wife and as a talent that should be in the title picture and she didn’t really get that at TakeOver. She looked great, but not winning shows that WWE doesn’t see her as a contender, which is a shame because she has shown as much and more talent than a lot of the division, but she never seems to be the one picked to be the top star. Hopefully, Baszler will lose and not regain soon because it’s time for the Women’s Division to move on.