Io Shirai returns to NXT to qualify for the ladder match

On tonight’s episode of NXT, Io Shirai returned to win a qualifying match and earn a spot in the No. 1 Contender’s Ladder Match. 

Aliyah was originally scheduled to face Xia Li in the first qualification match of the night. However, Li couldn’t compete because someone attacked her backstage. That’s when the ring announcer revealed that Shirai is cleared to wrestle.

“The Genius of the Sky” has been out of action since she sustained a knee injury following her match with Toni Storm back in January. Shirai quickly defeated Aliyah with a moonsault to become the fourth competitor to qualify the ladder match.

Later, Candice LeRae forced Kayden Carter to submit with the Gargano Escape to earn a slot in the number one contender’s match. Next week, Li, Carter, Aliyah, Shotzi Blackheart, Deonna Purrazzo, and Dakota Kai will get compete for the last spot a Second Chance Gauntlet Match.

In two weeks, Io Shirai and Candice LeRae will compete for a shot at the NXT Women’s Championship. They will join Chelsea Green, Mia Yim, and Tegan Nox, who all qualified earlier this month.

NXT TakeOver: Tampa was canceled due to COVID-19. As such, the No. 1 Contender’s Ladder Match will take place on Wednesday, Apr. 8.

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