All the matches on this week’s preview were announced last week. Undisputed ERA, represented by Kyle O’Reilly and Roderick Strong due to an injury to Bobby Fish, take on Oney Lorcan & Danny Burch. Io Shirai & Candice LeRae face Jessamyn Duke & Marina Shafir. And Kushida puts his growing undefeated streak on the line in a Submission match against Drew Gulak.
Io Shirai & Candice LeRae vs Jessamyn Duke & Marina Shafir ended in No Contest
Kushida def. Drew Gulak
Danny Burch & Oney Lorcan def. Undisputed ERA
It was a travelling show this week, which always makes the atmosphere weird because we’re so used to Full Sail’s acoustics.
Candice LeRae & Io Shirai vs Jessamyn Duke & Marina Shafir
Shayna Baszler came out with Duke and Shafir but watched from the top of the ramp. We haven’t seen much of them outside of their roles as Baszler’s sidekicks.
Candice LeRae started things off for her team and got the best of both Duke and Shafir in the early going. Jessamyn Duke distracted her while she was climbing the turnbuckle and Marina Shafir kicked her down to take control of the match.
From there, Duke and Shafir kept LeRae in their corner, tagging in and out frequently, with Baszler looking on approvingly. A back kick from Shafir knocked Shirai off the apron and removed the possibility of a tag. LeRae took a lot of punishment but Duke and Shafir were unable to keep her down.
Candice LeRae shoved Jessamyn Duke into Shafir, which knocked Shafir off the apron. Duke made the wrong call and went to knock Shirai off the apron but missed. She caught LeRae by the foot, but an enziguri made her let go and LeRae tagged in Io Shirai.
Duke had no answer to Shirai’s offence and Shafir’s attempt to pull her off the apron failed. Io Shirai bent Duke’s arm into the position Baszler likes to stamp on people and kept eye contact with Baszler while she stamped down on it. Baszler pulled Duke from the ring before Shirai could land a moonsault, so Shirai altered trajectory and Baszler took it instead. Candice LeRae took out Duke and Shafir with a suicide dive.
Shirai threw Baszler into the steps and laid into her, then they ended up in the crowd. LeRae fought Duke and Shafir until the numbers game caught up with her. Officials finally pulled them apart but Shirai and Baszler were still fighting when they disappeared backstage.
It was later announced that Shayna Baszler and Io Shirai will have a steel cage match in two weeks.
Velveteen Dream still thinks he’s the greatest thing ever.
Damian Priest is arriving next week.
Kushida vs Drew Gulak – Submission match
This was massively impressive, but I have no clue how to do it justice on the page. Limbs and torsos were twisted and stretched into increasingly uncomfortable-looking positions, with an occasional burst of strikes to try to wear their opponent down.
Kushida has the early momentum, but in a match that runs hold to counter to hold, control can flip back and forth quickly.
After they’d been slugging it out on the apron, Kushida dragged Gulak back into the ring with a hurricanrana, and Gulak landed on him. It took them both a few moments to get back up and go back to slugging it out.
The strikes got bigger but it was only ever to soften one of them up for a submission. Kushida got the win with a hoverboard lock.
Drew Gulak looked angry after the match, but he eventually shook Kushida’s hand after they exchanged a few words.
Vanessa Borne and Aliyah had a segment, filmed in the parking lot, where they talked about Mia Yim. Borne told Aliyah that Yim thinks she deserves a title shot. Aliyah said they both deserve a title shot more than Yim does because she doesn’t act or sound or look like a champion. Vanessa Born said she had some books for Yim, a fashion bible, a basic English textbook, and Grammar for Dummies. It was more than a bit gross, to be honest, but I’m not generally a fan of the mean girl/bully characters. Can’t like everything.
We got to see footage of Mansoor winning the super-ridiculous battle royal at Super ShowDown and heard his winner’s speech, but no match was announced for him or anything.
Adam Cole will be on next weeks show to gloat a lot.
Oney Lorcan & Danny Burch vs Undisputed ERA
Bobby Fish accompanied O’Reilly and Strong as far as the stage. His arm is still in a sling.
Lorcan and Burch wanted to get straight into it and had to be backed off for the bell to be rung. Unsurprisingly, it didn’t take long for all four to end up in the ring together. A situation that was solved by Burch and Lorcan tossing Undisputed ERA out of the ring and Lorcan throwing himself over the top rope onto them.
Burch and Lorcan’s momentum was halted by them being thrown into each other when all four men were in the ring together, again. Lorcan was the legal man and he was very effectively isolated from his partner by O’Reilly and Strong.
Sheer determination almost got Lorcan to Burch, dragging Strong along with him. But Strong punched Burch before Lorcan could make the tag, and dragged Oney Lorcan back to the other side of the ring. Lorcan finally made it to Burch with a blockbuster on O’Reilly, who also tagged out.
Danny Burch set about cleaning house, almost got caught out by an unseen tag, then nearly pinned O’Reilly from a powerbomb. He transitioned into a crossface, but Strong pulled O’Reilly free.
A brainbuster would have put Burch down for the count, but Strong went over to stop Lorcan breaking it up and Lorcan shoved him on top of O’Reilly and Burch. Hey picked themselves up and punched it out with all four in the ring.
They were all down again when Jaxson Ryker made his presence felt. He shoved officials out of the way, and chokeslammed one at ringside and threw another up the ramp. While everyone was distracted, Danny Burch shoved O’Reilly into Strong, knocking Strong out of the ring, then rolled up Kyle O’Reilly for the win.
That was a fun episode of NXT. Three entertaining matches and very little filler. It’s such a refreshing change from the main roster. Shirai versus Baszler in a steel cage should be amazing, and the tag division is heating up again. Next week sees the start of the shows from the new batch of tapings, so we should start to see new storylines unfolding.