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WWE NXT results: Shayna Baszler vs. Io Shirai steel cage match

Images: WWE

Io Shirai turning against Candice LeRae in the aftermath of a cage match with Shayna Baszler highlighted the main event on the latest episode of NXT.

Baszler retained her NXT Women’s Championship inside a steel cage against challenger Shirai. The bigger story was Shirai turning heel on LeRae after the cage match. Billed as the first time the NXT Women’s title was ever defended in a cage, the match was typical of many WWE cage matches. It was also vastly different in other ways.

The episode opened with the first match of the Breakout Tournament.

Angel Garza defeated Joaquin Wilde to advance in the Breakout Tournament

Garza (formerly Garza Jr.) pinned Wilde (formerly DJZ) in a first round match that was also the first match of the tournament itself. Garza used a butterfly stunner to score the pinfall. They had a fast-paced match with Garza playing heel. Wilde did his full DJZ routine during his entrance.

They flew around early and often. Garza heeled on Wilde. Later in the match, Garza did the Latin Lover gimmick where he ripped off his pants to reveal trunks. Wilde made a comeback with a dive to the outside.

Moments later, they did a Spanish Fly for a near fall. Garza soon finished the match with a double underhook suplex into a stunner for the pinfall. Garza moves on to the next round of the tournament.

A Kushida vignette highlighted the NXT newcomer. Kushida plans to continue his success in WWE. He is in WWE because the best are here, and he wants to prove he is the best. This was a great video package hyping Kushida.

A reporter tried to get a word with Damian Priest, but he was having none of it except to say we have seen nothing yet.

NXT Tag Team Champions The Street Profits (Angelo Dawkins & Montez Ford) defeated The Forgotten Sons (Steve Cutler & Wesley Blake w/ Jaxson Ryker) by DQ

Ryker interfered to cause the disqualification. This originally wasn't for the Tag Team titles, but The Profits cut a pre-match promo making it a title match. The DQ made that irrelevant in the end.

They were having a basic tag match with the heels getting heat on Ford. Dawkins cleaned house after a hot tag. That led into Ford doing a super high frog splash. Ryker interfered at this point.

The Sons attacked The Profits after the match. Oney Lorcan & Danny Burch ran down to make a save. They sent The Sons packing back up the ramp. Lorcan & Burch grabbed the title belts and gave them back to the champions. There was some teases of tension among the two teams with The Profits now seemingly indebted to Lorcan & Burch.

Keith Lee defeated Nykos Rikos

Lee pinned Rikos in a squash match. Lee struck out of the gates with a Pounce that almost knocked Rikos out of his boots. Lee followed with the Limit Breaker for the pinfall. Not much to the match, but it helped make Lee look like a superstar.

Next was arguably the best thing on the episode. Newly crowned NXT Champion Adam Cole is on a celebration tour, and a film crew is there to document his journey. He flew on a private jet so he could wrestle at Download Festival. While globetrotting on the “Bay Bay Championship Celebration Tour,” he stopped to cut promos about his own greatness. This was all great.

Cole talked to Roderick Strong via cell phone, and he gave Strong an order. Cole then had the limousine stop at a sandwich shop named "Gargano's." 

NXT Women’s Champion Shayna Baszler defeated Io Shirai in a steel cage match to retain her title

The finish was a clever take on the heel winning by default. It allowed Shirai to save face despite losing. The Horsewomen interfered at one point, which prompted LeRae to make a save. Shirai then inexplicably turned on LeRae in the aftermath of her loss.

Baszler wore MMA gloves during the match. They started with catch-as-catch-can as they grappled on the mat. They tried to give the match a unique vibe despite them using traditional WWE rules for a cage match.

On commentary, Mauro Ranallo was able to get in a Pride reference while Shirai was throwing kicks. She also hit Baszler with a palm strike. That only served to anger Baszler. She began repeatedly heaving Shirai into the side of the cage. Baszler started to work the neck.

Baszler got heat on Shirai and chose to inflict more punishment instead of leaving the cage when she had the chance. Shirai started a comeback soon after that. It led into double knee strikes and a German suplex for a two count.

Shirai tried to climb out, but Baszler cut her off. Shirai did the same moments later as she gave Baszler a German suplex off the top rope. That led to a double down where Shirai stirred first.

Jessamyn Duke and Marina Shafir stormed to ringside and argued with the official in front of the cage door. Shirai kicked the door and everyone on the outside went down like bowling pins. The door was then shut when Shirai needed to escape. She instead tried climbing out.

Baszler cut her off about the time that LeRae ran in to make a save. By this point the other Horsewomen were in the ring. LeRae climbed over the cage and did a flying crossbody off the top of the cage onto the Horsewomen in the ring. The stunt show was not over yet. Shirai then did a moonsault off the cage on Baszler. 

Baszler and Shirai each kept countering the other as the finish played out. They were fighting to escape out of the door. Baszler applied her sleeper, but Shirai managed to break free. Baszler again applied the sleeper and wrenched on the hold.

Shirai grabbed the open cage door and slammed it shut on Baszler’s head. Baszler sold being knocked unconscious as she tumbled over Shirai and fell to the floor in a heap. Because the rules stipulate the first to touch the floor wins, Baszler retained her title. Shirai was in disbelief. She would take out her aggression on her friend.

Shirai turned on LeRae and attacked her. At first Shirai covered her mouth with her hands almost like she didn’t mean it. Her intentions were then clear when she retrieved a folding chair. She pummeled LeRae with the chair, and Shirai then unfolded the chair to set up a brainbuster that laid out LeRae.

Shirai ranted as the evil flowed through her veins. She had now fully embraced her dark side with no remorse for her actions.