The gritty and experienced Mercedes Martinez has had a bone to pick with reigning NXT Women’s Champion Raquel Gonzalez for some time now. Martinez felt that Gonzalez benefited from the trail she paved. Both are formidable figures who capitalize off intimidating and overwhelming their opponents. On the May 11 broadcast of NXT, the rising phenom and the ruthless vet met in the ring to test experience against raw power. Which would win out for the NXT Women’s Championship?
— WWE (@WWE) May 12, 2021
No sooner had the two met in the ring than Mercedes Martinez knocked Raquel Gonzalez outside of it, taking the fight outside the apron. Martinez hit Gonzalez with a flurry of punches against the barricade. Gonzalez and Martinez rolled back into the ring, trading blows. Gonzalez dominated with punches and kicks. Next, she threw Martinez against the ropes, getting her down, holding her arm in submission, then threw her when holding her failed. Martinez sustained a hard blow to the head, forcing her to lean against the ropes for support.
The challenger rallied and knocked Gonzalez against the post, seeking to overcome the champion with a series of kicks, leaving the champion weakened. Martinez attempted a clothesline. Instead, she was met with a punch from Gonzalez, who was able to catch the challenger in her grasp and drop her to the canvas in a suplex. Gonzalez covered, Martinez kicked out. Gonzalez, however, still had plenty of gas in the tank and was able to perform a vertical suplex on Martinez, and once again covered. Though Martinez kicked out, the champion locked her arm in submission, dominating the challenger.
Martinez touched the rope with her foot and was released, but Gonzalez trapped her in another cover; once again, Martinez fought her way free. Gonzalez was looking visibly frustrated as the pattern repeated itself several times. The champion sought submission of Martinez, finding her no easy opponent to put down.
— WWE Universe (@WWEUniverse) May 12, 2021
Gonzalez struck Martinez between the shoulders, knocking her down and getting another cover but Martinez fought her way to freedom. Not only was she liberated from Gonzalez’s grasp, but the tenacious Martinez had a second wind. She hit Gonzales with a series of chops. Gonzalez responded with a clothesline, which sent Martinez to the floor, allowing her to cover once again. When Martinez once again escaped, Gonzalez once again sought submission. However, this time Martinez grasped for Gonzalez’s hair and reached to slap her face, fighting back any which way she could.
Martinez’s last stand began in earnest. She attempted to turn Gonzalez’s submission tricks against her, putting the champ in a sleeper hold. Gonzalez remarkably resisted all the way, getting to her feet in her attempt to break Martinez’s hold, knocking her into the post. Martinez delivered the now liberated Gonzalez a forearm strike and knocked her into the ropes. Gonzalez attempted a kick but got tangled in the ropes. Her momentary dazed and confused state allowed Martinez an opening, Martinez grabbed hold of Gonzalez, lifting and slamming her to the canvas, getting a cover on the current champion. Gonzalez kicked out. As the two women took their fight to the very edge of the ring, Martinez charged at Gonzalez and was knocked off the apron. Both athletes landed outside the apron, momentarily immobilized and winded. Champion and challenger, two women with very similar skill sets, were wearing each other down.
— WWE (@WWE) May 12, 2021
Mercedes Martinez rolled Raquel Gonzalez back into the ring and covered. Once again, Gonzalez kicked out. Martinez, still not giving up, kicked and punched Gonzalez, with a streetfighter’s sensibility coming out in her desperation to win. Gonzalez’s formidable strength came to fore, and she dropped Martinez up and over, jettisoning her outside the ring. Gonzalez threw Martinez into the barricade. From there, Gonzalez picked the challenger up and hoisted her over her shoulder to drive her into the post. Gonzalez rolled Martinez into the ring, covered, but victory was not yet secure: Martinez kicked out.
Martinez kicked Gonzalez in a last flurry of offensive retaliation. Gonzalez caught her in a clothesline attempt, covered Martinez, and delivered a backbreaker. Martinez, however, was still alive. Gonzalez hoisted her up, perhaps looking to deliver a knee to her back. However, Martinez was able to roll out, land on her feet, and knee strike Gonzalez’s jaw, knock her down and cover. Gonzalez kicked out, rallied, and kicked Martinez. Martinez’s receipt was three knee strikes, but Gonzalez paid her back and stopped her last stand with a big boot kick.
— WWE (@WWE) May 12, 2021
At last, Mercedes Martinez had nothing left to give. Raquel Gonzalez secured her victory and retained her NXT Women’s Championship title with a powerbomb. She had answered the challenge, and proven that she was deserving of her title to the skeptical veteran.
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