Paige stripped of NXT Women's Championship; title tournament announced

PaigeAfter winning the WWE Divas Championship on the April 7 episode of Raw, Paige not only became the youngest titleholder in the division’s history, but became the only woman to hold both the Divas and NXT Women’s Championships at the same time. However, that could not last, as NXT General Manager John Bradshaw Layfield stripped the 21-year old of the NXT strap on last night’s show in a segment which was presumably filmed on Monday and slotted into the pre-taped broadcast. He also announced that a tournament would take place to determine a new champion.

While it seems ridiculous that the first titleholder would lose the belt without being beaten for it and have another tournament to crown a new champion, it makes sense for Paige’s progression on the main roster. To conceivably be beaten for the belt would put over the winner, who can claim they beat the reigning Divas Champion, it doesn’t help Paige’s credibility and cheapens the Divas Championship. It’s a tough situation for NXT to be in, but WWE made the right move to protect the Briton and the Divas Title.

The tournament quarter-final and semi-final matches took place during last night’s tapings at Full Sail University in Winter Park, FL ahead of the next live NXT special entitled Takeover, taking place on May 29. The Wrestling Observer has the results for the next few weeks, which we will place after the jump – so if you don’t want to know what’s coming up, stop reading here.

Tapings #1
NXT Women’s Championship Tournament Quarter-Finals
Sasha Banks defeated Bayley with a combo backstabber/modified crossface
Natalya made Layla tap out to the Sharpshooter

Tapings #2
NXT Women’s Championship Tournament Quarter-Finals
Charlotte beat Emma with a clothesline/split/school boy combo
Alexa Bliss defeated Alicia Fox

Tapings #3
NXT Women’s Championship Tournament Semi-Finals
Charlotte beat Alexa Bliss

Tapings #4
NXT Women’s Championship Tournament Semi-Finals
Natalya made Sasha Banks tap out to the Sharpshooter

**

So that means it is Natalya against Charlotte for the NXT Women’s Championship on May 29. Considering the push she has received since early March, one would imagine it will be Charlotte winning the gold, and doing so by claiming arguably her biggest scalp in Natalya. We will find out win just over four weeks.

– Lee Burton

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