WWE News

Io Shirai To Face Raquel Gonzalez At NXT TakeOver: Stand & Deliver

lo Shirai vs Raquel Gonzalez

WWE have announced that Io Shirai will defend her NXT Women’s Championship against Raquel Gonzalez in the main event of NXT TakeOver: Stand & Deliver Night 1.

On the March 10th episode of NXT General Manger William Regal announced that for the first time ever, an NXT TakeOver event would take place over two nights, with Stand & Deliver set to be held on April 7th and 8th.

Io Shirai has held the NXT Women’s Championship since defeating Charlotte Flair and Rhea Ripley in a Triple Threat Match at NXT TakeOver: In Your House back in June 2020.

Her most recent title defence was against former NXT UK Women’s Champion Toni Storm on the March 10th edition of the black and gold brand. On the same episode, Shirai approached Gonzalez backstage before simply stating “I want you next.”

Meanwhile her new challenger Raquel Gonzalez, has been on something of a roll since debuting on NXT television in February 2020. While Gonzalez had previously competed in two Mae Young Classic events as Reina Gonzalez it wasn’t until she took on her current moniker that she found her stride.

Following her debut, Gonzalez formed an alliance with Dakota Kai which would eventually lead to them being crowned the inaugural NXT Women’s Tag Team Champions. However, the duo would lose their titles to Ember Moon and Shotzi Blackheart on the very same night they were awarded the belts. This left the path clear for Io Shirai to make her challenge.

Since news of the huge title match broke, Raquel Gonzalez posted a video to Twitter of her signing the contract for the bout.

While there has currently been no official announcement, it is expected that the showdown between Finn Balor and Karrion Kross for Balor’s NXT Championship, will headline Stand & Deliver Night 2.