How Candice LeRae found herself in Toronto.
Candice LeRae has been under contract to WWE since January 2018, but it wasn't until recently that she showed longtime fans how good she can be. For the majority of her NXT career, LeRae has been mainly known as Johnny Gargano's wife while being used sparingly as a wrestler on television.
That changed recently when Io Shirai turned on LeRae, kicking off a feud between the two. The feud culminated at NXT TakeOver: Toronto when Io defeated Candice. Despite the loss, the match was a reminder of just how good LeRae is when given the opportunity.
"When I got [to NXT] I felt I was sacrificing who I was for no rhyme or reason," LeRae told Newsweek. "I think then I was being insecure. The match with Io forced me to deliver and be myself. And now I feel like I'm wrestling like I always had before coming here. And now I'm able to give fans the me I've always been and should never sacrifice that again, because I want people to see the me that they liked before me getting here, and I want the people who don't know who I am to see that version of me too because that's who I truly am. I want them to feel the love for wrestling that I feel."
LeRae elaborated, saying, "I think I just hadn't been myself when I got here. I didn't feel confident in anything I was doing basically, [laughs] so when I'm not confident in it, I'm like 'do I want to spring off the ropes and flip on somebody? Or do i want to fly in the ring and crash and burn?' The thing is, a lot of the things I do are so risky. The willingness to risk my body for these matches is what I sacrificed the most. And it's not the fans fault. It's just I felt insecure with what I was doing, and I was fearful to do it. And now I'm like, 'you know what, if I'm not going to give it my all and do me, then what am I doing?'"
LeRae kept up her confidence on the premiere episode of NXT on USA, winning a fatal four-way to become the number one contender to the NXT Women's Title. Despite her best effort, LeRae was topped by NXT Women's Champion Baszler on the Oct. 2 episode of NXT.