9. Asuka Vs. Mickie James - NXT TakeOver: Toronto
Asuka was supposed to defend the NXT Women's Title against Trish Stratus at NXT TakeOver: Toronto on November 19, 2016 but Trish's pregnancy put a stop to that and necessitated a substitute.
Drafting in her old frenemy and former Women's and Diva's Champion Mickie James, WWE made the best of the situation and created an intriguing first-time matchup.
This was James' first WWE match in over six years and she really took it to the Empress of Tomorrow, beginning with some nice chain wrestling exchanges as the two felt each other out and sought the advantage.
It started off respectful and even-tempered but soon boiled over as it spilled to the floor, where James hit a beautiful hurricanrana and Asuka nailed a German suplex.
James beat the count but then took a beating before the closing stretch, where both women hit some fierce strikes and attempted submissions.
Mickie looked like she had it won with a spinning kick, but Asuka managed to get the ropes and then rallied and slapped on the Asuka Lock for the tapout.
This was a really interesting dynamic and Mickie looked great in her return, giving the champion a proper challenge and forcing her to raise her game after having steamrolled through the competition to that point.
It's no wonder that James inked a full-time deal on the back of her performance here.