The hype for NXT's Valentine's Day TakeOver is already building, and while we have a few weeks until the big event, we can exclusively reveal one of the biggest matches on the card. In recent weeks Toni Storm and Mercedes Martinez have made it clear they are gunning for Io Shirai's NXT Championship, and it all boiled over last week, which ended with Storm holding up Shirai's title as perhaps a preview of what's to come. Now they'll both get a chance at the title in a Triple Threat Match for the NXT Championship at TakeOver, and ComicBook.com had the chance to talk to Storm all about the big match.
Storm called out Shirai on last week's NXT and got her wish, as the Champion came out to face her, but that was interrupted by Martinez, who viciously attacked Shirai upon returning to the black and gold brand. Storm was the last one laughing by the end of the night, and we asked her what she thought about Martinez being introduced into the TakeOver matchup.
"Yeah. I mean, I can't say I'm thrilled that Mercedes has managed to get herself in the way of my title opportunity, but I'm going in there with a game plan," Storm said. "I'm not going to let her ruin this massive opportunity for me, the biggest match of my life so far. And yeah, she will not be standing in my way."
Storm and Martinez were actually on the same side during their match in the Women's Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic, and while their time together was brief Storm does feel like it helped give her a bit of an edge going into their Triple Threat Match.
"Yeah, in a way I'm kind of glad that we got to team up for that one evening because it gave me a little insight on how she works and her mindset is when she's in the ring," Storm said. "So, I'm glad I got to see that side of Mercedes, and I think it's going to help me going into this match."
Storm holding the NXT title could very well be a preview of what's to come, but she also feels it helped her get in Shirai's head, just a little. "Yeah, I think it definitely got inside her head, and I mean, what can I say? It looks very good on me," Storm said. "It was a very good moment. And it's just an insight on what's to come, I guess. And I can imagine she wouldn't have liked it."
Storm is now poised for Championship gold once more after successful runs as part of NXT UK and the independent scene, but the road to this point in her NXT career hasn't always been easy.
"Yeah, it's been quite a journey. Obviously, I moved here not so long ago, and my intention from the very get-go was to get my hands on Io and take away the NXT Women's Championship, but it's been very challenging," Storm said. "Obviously, I did all I could in the UK to the point where it was time for a new fresh start, but it was a huge adjustment for me, and it's made me grow up a lot as a person. And now, I'm headed into, as I said, the biggest match of my life, and the pressure is on my shoulders a lot, because I know how big this is. But, at the same time, I'm confident and I'm definitely ready."
Storm has been a part of Steel Cage matches and most recently a WarGames match, though even compared to those, a Triple Threat poses significant challenges, especially if you underestimate it.
"Oh, I think the Triple Threat is more challenging than people think, because you've got to be on your toes and keep your eyes open at all times," Storm said. "All it takes is three seconds for someone else to come in and steal the win away. So, I would say Triple Threat's a lot more challenging than people would realize. But, I'm ready for that, I'm training for that and preparing. I think it's going to be a hell of a match for everyone viewing."
Speaking of challenges, 2020 held quite a few of them for, well, everyone. Now that we're moving into 2021, we wanted to know what the biggest takeaway from 2020 was for Storm and what she wants most in 2021, and for the latter, she's hopeful live crowds can start to become a reality again.0comments
"Wow. That's a tough one, but I guess the biggest thing I took away from 2020 was we can't take anything for granted," Storm said. "We've had to just take everything as it comes, and do what we can with what we've got. But, I miss those live crowds. I'll never take that for granted. We didn't know what we had at the time. I am just hoping that by the end of this year, hopefully, we'll have more people being able to watch live in the arena. Yeah, I need more people there live to see me as champion. So, that's what I'm hoping comes out of 2021."
You can watch Storm, Martinez, and Shirai battle it out for the NXT Championship on NXT TakeOver, which airs on the WWE Network at 7 PM EST on February 14th. You can catch live coverage of TakeOver right here on ComicBook.com, and you can always talk all things NXT with me on Twitter @MattAguilarCB!