Shayna Baszler handed Bianca Belair her first televised NXT loss at NXT TakeOver: Phoenix on Saturday night to retain the NXT Women’s Championship.
Baszler made Belair pass out in the Kirifuda Clutch after Belair previously used her strength to break out of the hold.
Belair appeared to have Baszler beaten at one point, but with the referee knocked out, the match continued. Jessamyn Duke and Marina Shafir interfered multiple times on Baszler’s behalf, and while Belair was close to overcoming it, she could not find her way out of Baszler’s finisher a second time.
Some critical remarks made by Sam Roberts during the NXT TakeOver: Phoenix Pre-Show may have overshadowed the match as he felt that Belair didn’t deserve to be on the show.
“It’s not TakeOver worthy,” Roberts said. “Bianca Belair, she’s a good athlete … but, like … look at the list of women’s champions. You’ve got Shayna Baszler, you have Charlotte, you have Sasha Banks, you have Asuka, you’ve got Kairi Sane. This is a list of the elite women in wrestling. And Bianca Belair is nowhere close to that list.”
Roberts additionally said Belair vs. Baszler would be good on NXT TV, but not TakeOver.
In this post-match interview with Sarah Schreiber, Belair fired back at Roberts.