At NXT TakeOver: Stand & Deliver, Io Shirai faces possibly her toughest test in the form of Raquel Gonzalez. After defending the title against the likes of Candice LeRae, Dakota Kai, Rhea Ripley, and others, Shirai will attempt to push back the physical threat presented by Gonzalez.
The Genius of the Sky was the one who challenged Gonzalez for a match about a month ago. It seemed like Raquel would be getting a title shot anyways since she pinned Shirai at WarGames last November.
It took a few months and some detours, like Gonzalez and Kai winning the NXT Women's Tag Team titles. They lost the belts in their first defense, however, which was likely done so that Shirai and Gonzalez could meet for the title.
As the main event of the first night of NXT TakeOver: Stand & Deliver, this match truly needs to deliver. Shirai has proven to be among the top stars in all of WWE with practically every one of her matches. This will be the biggest stage yet for Gonzalez, so a good amount of pressure lies on her shoulders.
Can she make her mark at NXT TakeOver: Stand & Deliver? She just might walk out of Night 1 as the new NXT Women's Champion. Here are five possible finishes for the title match at NXT TakeOver: Stand & Deliver between Shirai and Gonzalez.
#5 Dakota Kai helps Raquel Gonzalez win the title at NXT TakeOver: Stand & Deliver
When Raquel Gonzalez has a match, she is always accompanied to the ring by Dakota Kai. Kai has tried and failed herself to wrest the NXT Women's Championship from Shirai and others.
Throughout the build to this title match, Kai has assisted her friend at every turn. She's been the weaker link in the duo, however, as she was the one pinned when they lost the NXT Women's Tag titles. That has been done to make Gonzalez look strong for this Championship match.
Kai has had her friend's back, and she even briefly interfered in Gonzalez' recent match with Z Stark. For that reason, it wouldn't be a huge surprise if Kai does the same in the main event of Night 1 of NXT TakeOver: Stand & Deliver.
If Kai does interfere and it leads to Gonzalez winning, it protects Shirai to a degree. It would also give the Genius of the Sky another reason for getting a fair rematch should she lose.
When there are people at ringside during matches, the possibility for interference is extremely high. That doubles when the person outside the ring is a heel like Kai. If Shirai loses the title at NXT TakeOver: Stand & Deliver, it could very well be due to outside interference from Dakota Kai.