Top 5 NXT matches and moments of Io Shirai
2019 was an incredible year for NXT as the show moved from TV tapings to airing live weekly on the USA Network. The brand kept firing on all cylinders as TakeOver specials continued to deliver and NXT even won the battle of brand supremacy at Survivor Series.
While the men's division saw the return of Finn Balor, the Undisputed Era being draped in gold, the highlight of NXT was seeing the evolution of my favorite wrestler Io Shirai.
From teaming with former NXT Women's Champion Kairi Sane to turning heel and being nominated in multiple categories as part of the NXT Year-End Awards, there's no doubt that the sky is the limit for Shirai and a championship reign will likely happen in 2020.
So without further adieu, here are my favorite Shirai matches and moments in 2019.
#1 Candice LeRae vs. Io Shirai at NXT TakeOver: Toronto
NXT has the best women's division and I got to see my favorite wrestler Io Shirai and Candice LeRae steal the show at NXT TakeOver: Toronto. This was incredible to watch live as both Candice LeRae and Io Shirai worked at an incredible pace and had the fans buzzing throughout the match. Shirai's heel entrance was awesome to watch live as she displayed so much charisma and just fit her new character.
There were so many amazing sequences that included LeRae and Shirai trading the German suplex spot. LeRae hit a Poisonrana and a flying neck breaker but couldn't keep Shirai down.
Shirai wasn't going to be outshined as she delivered a top rope Spanish Fly and her signature moonsault but couldn't put LeRae away. Shirai finally got the win after applying a Koji Clutch. This match showed that you don't need a Championship match to make a rivalry feel important. It was an incredible match between two amazing wrestlers.