Bianca Belair NXT

Bianca Belair earns a title shot at NXT TakeOver: Portland

After an action-packed match, Bianca Belair stood tall as the winner of the women’s battle royal on this week’s episode of NXT.

This match was absolutely stacked and it was filled with some big surprises. WWE showed their hand when they announced that the newly-signed veteran, Mercedes Martinez, would make her USA debut in the bout.

However, the biggest surprise of the night was yet to come as Kacy Catanzaro made her return to NXT. Next, the former NXT Women’s Champion, Shayna Baszler, entered the fray. All eyes were on her as she immediately became the woman to beat.

Basler proved as much, racking up the most eliminations out of any of the competitors. Newcomer, Shotzi Blackheart, also had a good showing. “The Ballsy Badass” eliminate Deonna Purrazzo, who pulled her out the ring afterward.

Back in the ring, Martinez scored her first elimination on Mia Yin to set up an epic staredown with Baszler. The two traded strikes until “The Submission Magician” locked in the Kirifuda Clutch.

Mercedes somehow made it to the ropes and looked positioned to eliminate her. Instead, Baszler shifted her weight and launched “The Latina Sensation” out of the ring.

This set the table for what looked like the final four: Io Shirai, Baszler, Tegan Nox, and Belair. Tegan took control, only to be taken out again by Dakota Kai.

Then, Blackheart returned out of nowhere to stun Shayna Baszler and eliminate her from the match. Before she could enjoy her upset, “The EST of NXT” snuck up and threw her out.

Now, we were down to two. Shirai and Belair went back and forth, trading reversal and battling on the top rope and apron. Ultimately, Bianca picked up the win with the KOD to become the new number one contender.

Bianca Belair will challenge either Rhea Ripley or Toni Storm at NXT TakeOver: Portland next month.