NXT Takeover: Vengeance Day saw Io Shirai retain her NXT Women’s Title over challengers Mercedes Martinez and Toni Storm in an uncharacteristically shorter title match for a Takeover event.
Speaking on the post-show media call, Triple H revealed the competitors had a larger window of time, but unforeseen circumstances had the match wrap quicker than anticipated.
“First of all, it was a spectacular performance by all three,” Triple H said. “As far as the time goes, they had all the time they wanted. They had a window that was much bigger than that. I think bell-to-bell it went somewhere in the neighborhood of 12-13, I don’t remember precisely, but I think that’s where they went to. They had what they wanted. I think it was laid out at 20 [minutes], just as a window. But they had what they wanted. There were a few things in there that I know didn’t go exactly how they had planned it, and I don’t necessarily mean mistakes on their part. Tables breaking, things happening beyond people’s control that make them go in different directions. You know, it’s a funny thing that people sometimes get caught up in the, ‘Gee, how could they not go 20 minutes.’ You can never make everybody happy.”
The spot in question came towards the final moments of the match. With Martinez and Shirai down, Storm turned her attention to the announce table. While Storm was clearing the table, it collapsed on its own.
Triple H applauded all three competitors for moving past the unexpected botch, noting that the best performers are equipped to adjust on the fly.
“All three of them are pros, they didn’t miss a beat,” Triple H said. “It’s a funny thing that, you know, stuff happens. You got to be able to roll with the punches. They did it, they did it seamlessly, and I thought they had a great match. No matter what you do, things are never going to go exactly as you planned, unless you’re extremely, extremely lucky. Even then, it’s why to me the best performers are always the ones that can ad-lib and be on the fly and be in the moment. That’s when it’s the best. When things are just A-B-C all the way through, if something does go arry, for some of those people it can be really hard to adjust, but they did it seamlessly. My hat’s off to them.
“In that moment, there’s nothing for me other than just hating the fact, and somehow you feel like… well, there’s nothing you can do about it, but you feel terrible. You just want to be able to give them everything you can and have them succeed, because you know what it’s like when that happens. You hate it for them, but it is what it is and you just have to move on.”
The match as a whole was held in high regard by Triple H, who gave major props to all three competitors, but especially the champion.
“I thought that they had a spectacular match, an incredible performance from all three of them. But Io Shirai, she’s on a different level,” Triple H said. “She is so versatile with her performances, and I don’t just mean in the ring. One minutes she’s this smiling innocent girl, the other minute she’s this vicious killer, another minute she truly is the genius in the sky. Anytime I think I’ve seen it all from her, she pulls something else out. She really can just do anything, and she’s just so versatile. It’s hard to put into words just how good she is.”
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