Io Shirai Retains NXT Women's Championship at NXT TakeOver 31, Gets Two New Challengers

Despite heavy interference from Johnny Gargano, Io Shirai managed to retain her NXT Women's Championship on Sunday night by beating Candice LeRae at NXT TakeOver: 31. The final sequence of the match saw the referee get taken out, Gargano attempt a fast count while wearing a referee shot, LeRae nail the champion with the title while the referee's back was turn and Shirai still manage to kick out. "The Genius of the Sky" then nailed a Spanish Fly from the top rope, followed by a Moonsault to pick up the win.

Shirai first captured the championship at NXT TakeOver: In Your House in June, defeating then-champion Charlotte Flair and Rhea Ripley in a triple threat match. She's since defended the title against Tegan Nox and Dakota Kai before Sunday's match.

Shirai's celebration was short-lived, as former NXT UK Women's Champion Toni Storm popped up on the screen to announce she was on her way back to the Black and Gold Brand.

But there was even more. Suddenly the feed cut to the mysterious motorcycle wrestler, who entered the WWE Performance Center and walked out onto the entrance ramp. They removed their helmet to reveal they were Ember Moon, former NXT Women's Champion.

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Check out the full results from NXT TakeOver 31 below:

  • NXT North American Championship: Damian Priest def. Johnny Gargano
  • Kushida def. Velveteen Dream
  • NXT Cruiserweight Championship: Santos Escobar def. Isaiah "Swerve" Scott
  • NXT Women's Championship: Io Shirai def. Candice LeRae
  • NXT Championship: Finn Balor vs. Kyle O'Reilly