After a two-week pause, NXT returned to Full Sail University to set up some quality matches down the line. In the next month, Keith Lee will defend his North American Championship against Dominik Dijakovic and Damian Priest, Johnny Gargano and Tommaso Ciampa will face off in their fourth match to finally end their rivalry once and for all, and six women will compete in a Ladder match to determine the number one contender for the NXT Women's Championship.
On last night's episode, the black and gold brand held two more qualifying bouts for the Ladder match as Aliyah was scheduled to take on Xia Li. However, before Li could make it to the ring, the broadcast headed backstage to show her lying in pain after being attacked by a mystery assailant.
Aliyah's smirk was quickly wiped off her face, as Io Shirai suddenly headed to the ring, marking her return to the squared circle. The Genius Of The Sky proved her time off had done little to dull her abilities as she made quick work of her opponent and will advance to the number one contender's match.
This was Shirai's first match since she injured her leg on the January 22 episode of NXT against Toni Storm.