NXT TakeOver 31: Five things that must happen

Finn Balor on the Oct. 30, 2019 edition of WWE NXT. Photo: WWE.com
Finn Balor on the Oct. 30, 2019 edition of WWE NXT. Photo: WWE.com /
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NXT TakeOver 31 is coming to us Sunday evening on the WWE Network. There’s a lot to look forward to, but these five things must occur by the end of the evening.

WWE NXT TakeOver 31 is a few short days away. This is a very intriguing card with important title matches and feud bouts that will help shape both the current and future of NXT. When the durst is clear, there are some changes that should come to the black and gold brand. But before that happens, here are five things that must occur at NXT TakeOver 31.

WWE NXT, Io Shirai
WWE NXT, Io Shirai (photo courtesy of WWE) /

Io Shirai must drop the women’s title

The NXT women’s championship has been the lynchpin for NXT. Time in and time out, the women are stealing the show and have even driven strong ratings for weekly content. The individual who holds that women’s title is seen as one of the best in the industry and there has never been any doubt in the athletes competing for that title. This Sunday, Io Shirai and Candice LeRae compete once again, this time with roles reversed and the title on the line. While Shirai is a strong champion, perhaps now is the time to see her lose the title, not only for NXT but the next steps in her career.

First, Shirai could drop the title to make way for her moving to Monday Night Raw. Shirai would serve as a perfect foil for Asuka, who needs a legitimate challenger while WWE Creative continues to twiddle their thumbs around Bianca Belair. Imagine a situation where Shirai is drafted and presented as a friend to Asuka, only to turn on the WWE Raw women’s champion to reveal her own aspirations to have the crown. Shirai versus Asuka is a match that would easier deliver the caliber of wrestling that has become common place for the women in WWE.

Then there’s LeRae. LeRae has continued to be an exceptional part of the women’s roster and it is time for her to be recognized as such as a champion. While the creative team fumbled the opportunity to build her into a legit babyface, she has done a good job as the heel character she is playing today. LeRae is a strong opposite to the seemingly planned rebuild of Rhea Ripley. Setting up some strong stories for the future.