If you’re anything like the staff of Bell To Belles, you’re excited to see Shayna Baszler defend her title against Io Shirai at NXT TakeOver XXV. If you’re a women’s wrestling fan, however, you’ll want to watch their title match in Stardom before tuning in to the Yellow Brand, Saturday night.
Back in early 2017, Io Shirai, coined “Big Match Io” at the time, had held the World of Stardom Championship since Dec. 2015. The match is Io’s eleventh time defending the title, which makes her a fighting champ.
During this time, Baszler is on her first tour of Stardom. She’s a rookie with a title shot because of her “badass” reputation, and because Shirai often took challenges from the women with the worst reputation.
The match is over 20 minutes, and the two stars didn’t waste time with fillers. Baszler had strong offense, and worked the ground often in her defense. She was still new to wrestling at the time, and so her vulnerability is more palpable in this match, compared to what you would see in NXT. Shirai’s offense was more severe than normal, matching Baszler’s submission-heavy move set.
The match is well-known and well-liked within the Stardom fan base, and it’s a must-see if you consider yourself a fan of women’s wrestling. You can watch the entire match below.
Be sure to tune into the WWE Network for NXT TakeOver XXV on Saturday, June 1, starting with the preshow at 6 p.m. EST.