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Io Shirai To Defend NXT Women’s Championship Against Rhea Ripley

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Io Shirai will defend her NXT Women’s Championship against Rhea Ripley as confirmed on Wednesday’s edition of the black and gold brand.

During a video package which asked what was next for ‘The Genius of the Sky’, Shirai talked about there being only one thing left to accomplish to ensure that the brand is hers and that was defeating Rhea Ripley:

“Everyone wants to know what’s next for Io Shirai. To show this is my NXT there is still one challenge I must face. Rhea Ripley. Rhea, I want to face her, one-on-one. For the NXT Women’s Championship. Rhea, I’m not afraid of Nightmares.”

After the video package aired, a second was presented with the Australian’s reply. Was she going to shy away from the challenge? Of course not. Rhea Ripley relished the opportunity and with a somewhat heelish demeanour gladly accepted:

“Io Shirai wants to challenge me? Perfect. Because that is exactly what I have wanted since June. Now 2020, 2020 has been complete trash. Everybody has been getting in my way and I’ve had to prove to them exactly who I am. Now Io, you say that you’re not scared of nightmares, but everybody’s scared of something and I know for a fact that you are terrified of losing your championship. And mate, that’s exactly what’s going to happen because I am going to leave this year just like I did 2019. As the new NXT Women’s Champion.

Io Shirai and Rhea Ripley have history. ‘The Nightmare’ was the one to save Shirai from Charlotte Flair in May before the three women did battle in the main event of NXT TakeOver: In Your House on June 8.

During that bout, Shirai pinned Ripley with a brutal moonsault to claim the NXT Women’s Championship. In the weeks after, Ripley came to Shirai’s rescue but never took her eye off the prize which she lost at WrestleMania 36.

While it is currently unknown when and where this will take place, Io Shirai vs. Rhea Ripley for the NXT Women’s Championship is a TakeOver worth happening. It just so happens that Dave Meltzer recently speculated on the next edition being considered for December 6.

You can read full results from NXT here.