She’s next. One of the problems with a long term champion is that they run out of opponents in a hurry. This can make for a rather fun ride to the top, but at some point you need someone fresh to challenge you. When those challengers become few and far between, some interesting opponents can come up. Now we might have a new challenger who seems primed for a title run.

Io Shirai has been the NXT Women’s Champion since June 2020 and shows no signs of slowing down. She has beaten back all challengers who have come after her title and that makes for a rather difficult situation. At some point someone is going to have to take the title from her, but who is left for her to face? Shirai had an idea of her own but it might wind up costing her.

During this week’s NXT, Shirai challenged Raquel Gonzalez to a title match. According to Wrestling Observer Live, the plan has been for Gonzalez to take the title from Shirai for several months now. There is no word on when the title match will take place and Gonzalez has yet to accept the challenge. Gonzalez and Shirai have never faced each other in a singles match.

This could be a showdown. Check out the challenge and the two in the ring:

Io Shirai confronts Raquel González: WWE NXT, March 10, 2021

Rhea Ripley vs. Raquel González – Last Woman Standing Match: NXT New Year’s Evil, Jan. 6, 2021

Io Shirai vs. Toni Storm – NXT Women’s Championship: WWE NXT, March 10, 2021

Opinion: This is about the only choice available at the moment as other than Xia Li, there are very few stars that Shirai has not defeated so far. Shirai has been a great champion for a long time now and eventually that means she is going to have to lose the title. I’m not sure if Gonzalez is going to be the one to take it from Shirai, but they are going to need some kind of fresh challenger. Why not Gonzalez?

Thomas Hall has been a wrestling fan for over thirty years and has seen over 50,000 wrestling matches. He has also been a wrestling reviewer since 2009 with over 5,000 full shows covered. You can find his work at, or check out his- Amazon author page with 30 wrestling books.

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