Spoils of War: Raquel Gonzalez Goes for Glory

Raquel Gonzalez WWE NXT

Raquel Gonzalez had an impressive showing at NXT TakeOver: WarGames. Not only was she an even match for the formidable Rhea Ripley, but she also secured the win for Candice LeRae’s team by pinning none other than the current NXT Women’s Champion, Io Shirai. Gonzalez is clearly going for glory and her ascendance continued on December 09’s episode of NXT. Just days after facing off on opposite teams at WarGames, Raquel and Ember Moon met in singles competition. In this encounter, Gonzalez dominated the former champion.

Since returning to NXT, Ember Moon has been reinvigorated, focused, and striving valiantly. However, the goal of Raquel Gonzalez throughout their faceoff was to prevent her opponent’s attempts at offensive maneuvers. Moon opened with a kick, but Gonzalez eyed her with steely resolve, barely shaken. She unleashed her impressive strength and threw Moon, got her down and kept her on the ground with a series of slams. Raquel covered Moon for the first pin attempt. Moon kicked out and rallied with a series of three kicks, seeking to weaken the titanic Gonzalez. While Moon did bring Gonzalez down long enough to attempt to pin her, the latter rolled to the edge of the ring before she could be covered.

Never short of will, Moon rallied her characteristic resolve and charged Gonzalez off the ropes and into the barricade. The two athletes made their way back into the ring, and they grappled for dominance, the struggle ending with Moon being forced out into the corner. Though she fought free, she soon found herself on the receiving end of more kicks and strikes from Gonzalez, who lifted her over her shoulders and held her in a wearying hold, as if trying to break her body and her spirit.

Moon broke the hold, but Gonzalez continued to resist her offense and kicked her. Twice Gonzalez pinned Moon and twice more she kicked out. Wearied but fighting back hard, Moon pulled out all the stops in her last stand, beginning by locking her feet around Gonzalez’s neck, throwing her into the post. She followed this up with a tornado suplex and a step-up enzuigiri. Gonzalez, however, didn’t suffer much damage from the onslaught, only annoyance that Ember hadn’t been put away, yet. Moon emitted a caterwauling war cry of frustration and a last gasp of fury before charging at Gonzalez.

Gonzalex caught hold of Moon, but Moon turned Gonzalez’s maneuvers around on her and turned them into a DDT. If she couldn’t prevail, Moon was intent to at least do some damage. She launched into a flying charge at Gonzalez that sent her into the announce desk. She climbed some aesthetic scaffolding around the announce table and attempted to use the air to her advantage again. Once again, Moon was caught by Gonzalez, who threw her face-first into the post. After escaping Gonzalez’s attempt to pin and get a cover, Moon tried her finisher, the Eclipse, but to no avail. Gonzalez caught her with a hard clothesline and was able to get a cover, winning the match.

Throughout the battle, Gonzalez had set the pace, standing mountainously resolute against some of Moon’s most aggressive tactics, willfully inflicting strategic and unrelenting brutality, herself. Following the match, Toni Storm rushed the ring to attack the fallen Moon. Gonzalez joined in on the post-match attack before Rhea Ripley made the save. This week’s edition of NXT closed with a staredown between Gonzalez and Ripley; clearly, business between them was far from over.

The victory against Ember Moon proved beyond a shadow of a doubt that Raquel Gonzalez is on the rise and going for glory. A WWE NXT Women’s championship is obviously in Gonzalez’s sights; will it be in her future?

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