Why Io Shirai Should Beat Charlotte Flair for the NXT Women’s Championship By Eduardo Solano
This year WrestleMania 36 was on April 4 and 5 at the WWE Performance Center in Orlando, with no audience. It was originally scheduled to be at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa Bay on April 5th but the company was forced to make their biggest event of the year in a different venue due to COVID-19.
A match that stole the show at WrestleMania 36 was Charlotte Flair against Rhea Ripley for the NXT Women’s Championship. Flair surprisingly eliminated Shayna Baszler to win the 2020 Women’s Royal Rumble in January, giving her an opportunity to challenge the Women’s champion of her choosing at WrestleMania 36.
“Whether any of you wanted me to win or to lose, tonight I reminded all of you that this is my division,” Flair said after the Women’s Royal Rumble.
Many fans did not want her to win because she already faced Raw Women’s Champion Becky Lynch and SmackDown Women’s Champion Bayley many times and more of the same would be tiring.
“She is very talented but isn’t needed in every WrestleMania… wasted opportunity to build the division with a fresh feud,” a fan tweeted after Flair won the Women’s, Royal Rumble.
“My take is this… Forget Mania, setting does not matter. We have seen Becky face Charlotte so many times that seeing them fight on frigging Mars doesn’t interest me at this point!” another fan tweeted.
Rhea Ripley was the NXT Women’s Champion at the time and she appeared on an episode of RAW to tell Charlotte Flair to challenge her at WrestleMania 36.
Flair was cutting a promo about who she wanted to face and explained how she has held the RAW and SmackDown Women’s Championships and beat Becky Lynch and Bayley in the past when Ripley interrupted and taunted her, saying she should use her Women’s Royal Rumble title shot to challenge for the NXT Women’s Championship. Flair just stared at her and left.
A few weeks passed and Charlotte Flair accepted the challenge. Both women had an incredible match at WrestleMania 36 and Flair become a two-time NXT Women’s Champion.
Rhea Ripley previously pinned Charlotte Flair in a triple-threat match on the road to Survivor Series last November in an episode of SmackDown. Ripley became NXT Women’s Champion at the end of 2019, ending Shayna Baszler’s dominant reign.
Baszler was the longest-reigning NXT Women’s champion in history. Ripley successfully led the NXT Women’s Division for months. She was the first NXT UK Women’s Champion, as well as the first superstar to win the NXT UK Women’s Championship and the NXT Women’s Championship and she led her team to victory in an epic first Women’s WarGames match in NXT and WWE history.
Ripley has not been seen since losing to Flair. I would not have taken the NXT Women’s Championship off her yet. She is the future of WWE’s Women’s division. I do think that losing to Flair can lead to a rematch down the line and it doesn’t hurt her credibility.
Flair has been the face of the Women’s division since debuting in 2013 and she has fought and beaten everyone on Raw and SmackDown. Moving Flair to NXT for a while and giving her a championship run kind of makes sense because she will have fresh feuds and dream matches
Flair now has a completely new list of opponents and dream matches with the likes of Mia Yim, Candice LeRae, Tegan Nox, Dakota Kai, and Io Shirai to name a few.
Io Shirai Deserves to Win
Shirai will challenge Flair for the NXT Women’s Championship on May 6th and I must confess that she is my favorite wrestler right now. To me, no one deserves the opportunity to win that championship than her
The talented Japanese superstar beat Tegan Nox, Chelsea Green, Mia Yim, Dakota Kai and Candice LeRae in a Six-Woman No. 1 Contender ladder match on the April 8th episode of NXT and she’s been very entertaining since turning heel last year.
Shirai is considered by many as the greatest Women’s wrestler in the world. Nicknamed the Genius of the Sky, the 29-year-old has it all, her in-ring skills are unmatched, she has charisma and a great look. She’s proven she can be a face or a heel since joining WWE in 2018 but since then it has always seemed that someone else was meant to shine at the top.
First Shirai lost in the 2018 Mae Young Classic Final against Toni Storm. Then, she challenged Shayna Baszler for the NXT Women’s Championship last year but came up short after Baszler and her friends Marina Shafir and Jessamyn Duke were always one step ahead of her, not fighting fair.
She got frustrated, which led to her heel turn when she attacked her former best friend Candice LeRae. After that Baszler was still the top heel in NXT and Ripley just debuted as a face, which meant that it was her turn to have a championship.
Shirai has had some of the best matches in NXT for almost two years and her new evil character is extremely over with fans. Just check the reaction she got at NXT TakeOver: WarGames. Now Shirai is finally getting the spotlight she deserves and she should beat Charlotte Flair.
Flair is Shirai’s dream opponent, she said so before joining the WWE and this can be an unforgettable match. I would have made this match later down the road, with fans in attendance buy maybe someone interferes and we don’t have a clean finish.
Charlotte Flair should not beat Io Shirai clean. I don’t know what I would do if that happens. The Money in the Bank pay-per-view is on May 10th and there are betting lines for it but my focus is on this Charlotte Flair-Io Shirai match. I do like Lacey Evans to wins the Women’s Money in the Bank Ladder Match at +400.