The NXT after a TakeOver is always a bit of a filler week. The next set of taping happen tonight, and that is where the majority of new storylines will be set in motion. Tonight’s episode will feature a lot of recaps and interviews, a run-down of who has moved on to the main roster, and a couple of matches, usually filmed as TakeOver dark matches. Those matches will be Lacey Evans versus Kairi Sane, and Heavy Machinery versus Tino Sabbatelli and Riddick Moss.
Kairi Sane def Lacey Evans
Heavy Machinery vs Tino Sabbatelli and Riddick Moss – no contest due to War Raiders
The show started with an overview hype package of the NXT TakeOver New Orleans results. Straight into the first match after the credits.
Kairi Sane vs Lacey Evans
Lacey Evans had made some disparaging remarks about Kairi Sane in the past few weeks, most recently referring to her as the ‘pathetic pirate princess’. Actually, Lacey Evans has made disparaging remarks about most of the NXT women’s division, and Kairi Sane looked more than ready to put her in her place. She’s done a good job of making herself unpopular with the fans as well’ She got a nice volume of boos from the pre-TakeOver crowd.
The match itself was good. Kairi Sane looks tiny next to Lacey Evans, but Sane looks tiny next to most people. She’s ridiculously fast though, and that worked in her favour. She’s also incredibly skilled and a complete joy to watch.
Evans definitely had the power advantage, manhandling Sane at every opportunity and trying to slow her down and keep her grounded. Big power moves and attempted submissions took Sane down a few times, a shoulder breaker got Evans a two count, but it wasn’t enough.
At the end of the day, Sane’s superior skill and speed won out. She hit a spinning back fist that Evans had no chance of seeing coming, then went up for the InSane elbow. It hit its mark, and no-one kicks out of that.
The first recap of the night was for the first match on the TakeOver card, the six-man ladder match for the North American Championship, which Adam Cole won. Followed by a look at the events after the tag team championship match, where Roderick Strong turned on Pete Dunne and joined undisputed ERA. Adam Cole was asked for an explanation backstage, but Roderick Strong put his hand over the mic, whispered something in Cole’s ear, and they left without saying a word.
Clips from Authors of Pain RAW debut against Heath Slater and Rhino were shown, along with them dispensing with the services of manager Paul Ellering, before an interview with Akam and Rezar. Akam said, ‘This is not about Paul. This is about how we just destroyed the first ever SmackDown Live tag team champions. Ellering appeared and asked ‘What are you guys doing? What is in your minds? I developed the strategy for winning the Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic, I developed the plan to win the NXT tag team championships. What are you thinking?’ Rezar replied with ‘Paul, this is not about you. Your chapter ended has in NXT. Then Authors of Pain walked away. I’m guessing that Paul Ellering wasn’t interested in the full-time schedule of the main roster.
The next recap was Tommaso Ciampa versus Johnny Gargano. Gargano is now back on the NXT roster, after winning the brutal match. There was no post-match interview, but Johnny Gargano will be on next week’s show.
Another recap, Shayna Baszler’s defeat of Ember Moon this time. In the post-match interview, Baszler said this isn’t a bandwagon, it’s a war-wagon, she knows who was with her from the beginning and who wasn’t. Asked about winning on the weekend Ronda Rousey makes her debut she said that this was just another weekend for them (it definitely wasn’t), it just feels right. As for her plans going forward, she said things are going to change. Wrestling in the NXT women’s division isn’t going to be about who walks in and get the most compliments on their hair and outfit it’s going to be about who can wrestle, because that’s what she’s there to do.
The interview was followed by footage of Ember Moon’s RAW debut and an interview with her afterwards, with Nia Jax stood beside her. She said it was a dream come true, she’s happy and excited to be starting a new chapter of her path on Monday Night RAW. She was asked how she felt about not getting her rematch against Shayna Baszler, and said her biggest regret was leaving Baszler with the rest of the NXT women’s division. She is confident they will dethrone her though.
The final recap of the night was the NXT Championship match. I was hoping for an interview with new NXT Champion Aleister Black, but it was not to be.
No Way Jose’s RAW debut was shown next. He had a squash match against John Skyler. The Iconic Duo, Peyton Royce and Billie Kay debuted on SmackDown this week. All that was shown was them walking down the ramp, but they attacked Charlotte Flair and beat her up badly enough for Carmella to successfully cash in the Money in the Bank briefcase.
Killian Dain versus Lars Sullivan was announced for next week.
Heavy Machinery vs Tino Sabbatelli and Riddick Moss
Heavy Machinery are such an entertaining team, but Mauro Ranallo commented that they are determined to secure wins now and make entertaining the crowd their secondary priority.
The two teams may have very different personal styles, but this was big lads wrestling and it was good. It’s always fun to watch the big lads diving about the place. They’re very evenly matched. A program between the two teams may even get me invest in Moss and Sabbatelli’s characters, maybe.
Dozovic did the ‘Caterpillar’ and nearly got the pin on Sabbatelli but Riddick Moss broke it up.
That was the closest we got to a finish. War Raiders ran in to make their NXT debut in chaotic style. Rowe and Hanson destroyed everyone as the crowd chanted ‘War Machine’. That’s one way to make an impact.
Standard post-TakeOver NXT. Fewer post-match interviews than normal. The women’s division has some serious rebuilding to do, especially now Moon, Kay and Royce have departed, but a fresh start might be the best way.
Authors of Pain may be gone from the tag team division, but War Raiders will make a more than satisfactory replacement, an upgrade even. The tag division in NXT is in good shape.
The post-WrestleMania weeks are like the new year of the wrestling calendar. It seems unlikely that the superstar shake-up will affect NXT, but you never know. Either way, next week’s show will be interesting.