NXT's Rhea Ripley Makes Surprise Return to Beat Down Charlotte Flair

Tonight's NXT definitely had a TakeOver feel, and one of the biggest matches on the card was for the NXT Women's Championship. NXT Women's Champion took on a new challenger in the form of the lethal Io Shirai, and while Flair was extremely confident coming into this match, Shirai showed just how dangerous a competitor she is, weathering an early onslaught from Flair and doing some damage to the Champion, whether directly or just by evading Flair's high-risk moves. Flair did the same though, but it wasn't enough, so she disqualified herself and punished Shirai for a while longer, paving the way for Rhea Ripley to make her big return to NXT.

That's right, Ripley is back, and she's as angry at Charlotte as you might expect. Charlotte decided enough was enough and took a Kendo stick to Shirai's back. That caused the bell to ring and Shirai to win the match, but Charlotte then wrapped Shirai's leg around a pole and was going to crush it with the metal stairs.

That's when Ripley came out of the ring and hit Charlotte from behind. She then picked up a stunned Charlotte and sent her face-first onto the side of the ring. Charlotte managed to get away though, with Ripley telling her to get back in her ring.

Shirai was pretty upset at Ripley for interrupting the match, though she was clearly hurt as well. Ripley told her to shut up as she made her way out of the ring, though Shirai kept talking to her and followed her out.

You can find the official description for tonight's NXT below.

"The Velveteen Dream finally gets what he's been after — a match with Adam Cole for the NXT Title. Charlotte Flair will also defend the NXT Women's Championship against Io Shirai, Karrion Kross makes his in-ring debut with Scarlett, Finn Bálor calls out his assailant and Dominik Dijakovic clashes with Johnny Gargano tonight on USA Network at 8/7 C!"

Here's the announced card.

Dominik Dijakovic vs Johnny Gargano

NXT Women's Champion Charlotte Flair vs Io Shirai

NXT Champion Adam Cole vs Velveteen Dream

Karrion Kross and Scarlett Debut


Finn Balor Reveals Mystery Attacker

What did you think of the match? Let us know in the comments or hit me up on Twitter @MattAguilarCB for all things NXT!