Photo credit: WWE.com.
Asuka‘s incredible run of more than one year as NXT Women’s champion continued Saturday, as she defeated Ruby Riot and Nikki Cross in a Triple Threat to retain the title at NXT TakeOver: Chicago.
Illustrating her general dominance over NXT’s women’s division, Asuka pinned both challengers to earn the win.
Nikki was already out following a series of blows, culminating in a modified Pele kick. As Ruby had Nikki pinned, Asuka hit Ruby flush with a low running knee, knocking her out as well. WWE NXT showed the victorious champion:
WWE NXT @WWENXT
“Arrive. Dominate. Repeat” has become a LIFESTYLE for your winner AND STILL the #WWENXT #WomensChampion, @WWEAsuka! #NXTTakeOver https://t.co/rbnvfTl3Xv
Raw star Nia Jax thought the three put on an entertaining bout:
Nia Jax @NiaJaxWWE
This Women’s Triple Threat match is great! Good job ladies #NXTTakeOver
Billie Kay offered grudging praise of Asuka:
Billie Kay @BillieKayWWE
Congratulations @WWEAsuka … I hate to admit it, but you really are incredible #NXTTakeOver
Following Asuka’s controversial victory over Ember Moon at NXT TakeOver: Orlando the night before WrestleMania 33, NXT general manager William Regal booked a battle royal to determine a new No. 1 contender.
The battle royal came down to Moon, Riot and Cross before the Empress of Tomorrow appeared and took out all three women.
In doing so, Asuka reinforced her belief that no Superstar in NXT is on her level, according to WWE NXT’s official Twitter account:
Asuka’s act of defiance wasn’t rewarded, as Regal booked her in a Fatal 4-Way at TakeOver: Chicago against Moon, Riot and Cross.
The bout was quickly revised, however, after it was revealed that Moon suffered a shoulder injury, rendering her unable to compete.
That led to it becoming a Triple Threat with Asuka being forced to defend her title against two of the most unpredictable Superstars NXT has to offer.
While both Riot and Cross had their sights set on the NXT Women’s Championship, they have been at odds with each other for several weeks.
It started when Riot came to the aid of Tye Dillinger, Roderick Strong and No Way Jose in their feud with Sanity. She teamed with Dillinger, Strong and Kassius Ohno in a losing effort against the group at NXT TakeOver: Orlando.
Ruby wasn’t done with Nikki, though, as they engaged in a wild brawl on NXT programming and made it clear that they wanted to make each other pay.
Asuka had run through essentially every woman on the NXT roster leading up to TakeOver: Chicago, and she even had success against multiple opponents, including a win over Cross, Billie Kay and Peyton Royce at NXT TakeOver: San Antonio.
That experience worked in her favor, as she once again came away with the title in tow.
NXT has seemingly been building toward a rematch between Asuka and Moon when the latter is healthy, and Asuka’s victory suggests that may still be in the cards, perhaps at the TakeOver the night before SummerSlam.
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