Io Shirai won her first gold in the U.S., defeating Charlotte Flair and Rhea Ripley at NXT Takeover: In Your House tonight. Shirai pinned Ripley to win the gold. At the post-Takeover media call, Wrestling Inc. Managing Editor Nick Hausman asked Triple H about the title change and what it might mean regarding her future in NXT.
“Charlotte is proving why she’s in the spotlight, she’s in as the veteran that she is and continuing to make stars, even tonight, in that moment,” Triple H said. “Charlotte’s always been a RAW talent, that’s where she signed and is her own. She’s been working all three brands lately, which has been awesome, but we’ll see.
“I’m not 100% sure of that, but I think in this moment that obviously just happened, I think we will see where that goes. What I am excited about is Io Shirai. I always considered Io to be one of those game-changing talents, like I did with Asuka when came in. There have been bits and pieces of moments, setbacks and injuries and it’s amazing to see her and where she is right now. She is one of the greatest in-ring performers in the women’s division anywhere and I’m really excited for her.
“This is a new era for the NXT women’s division. You can look across that women’s division as second to none. You look at Io, Rhea, and the opening match of that night Candice LaRae and Mia Yim, Dakota Kai, Tegan Knox, Raquel Gonzalez, Shotzi Blackheart ….and that’s not even the entire division. It’s incredibly stacked, it’s incredibly talented and I look forward to big things.
Triple H also noted on the call that the title change was part of a story that will play out over the next several months.
“For me it’s part of the long term storytelling,” Triple H said. “The difference between this and writing Game of Thrones is that you write Game of Thrones and that happens, right? This is physical storytelling and things can happen over the next month, or two months, three months, four months that change the directive. The intent is knowing where we’re going, how we want to get there and the storytelling to get there. That finish was done tonight, the way it was done was for a very specific reason.
“To me the whole rhetoric regarding Charlotte Flair and her dad and her name is garbage. She works as hard as anybody I’ve ever seen, she’s a great performer, she deserved anything she’s ever gotten and has. This was done for a very specific reason, for storytelling purposes. Hopefully, if we get to tell the story the way we want to over the coming months, three or four months from now, you’ll go, ‘I know exactly why they did the finish they did.'”
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