The women’s division takes centre stage for this week’s NXT. The advertised main event is the triple threat elimination match for the NXT women’s champions between Asuka, Ruby Riot, and Nikki Cross. Also advertised for tonight’s show is Drew McIntyre’s return to action against an unnamed opponent.
Drew McIntyre def Rob Ryzin
Authors of Pain def Anthony Dominguez & Wilmer Freyday
The Velveteen Dream def Raul Mendoza
Asuka (C) vs Nikki Cross vs Ruby Riot – declared no contest
Drew McIntyre vs Rob Ryzin
The advertised return to action for Drew McIntyre opened the show. His opponent, Rob Ryzin, is a semi-regular enhancement talent on NXT. This, as with most of Ryzin’s matches, was essentially a squash match. It was all about Drew McIntyre showing what he’s got for a few minutes, before disposing of the opposition. The disposal took the form of a massive kick in the head.
Flashback to Billie Kay and Peyton Royce’s video segment from two weeks ago, where Ember Moon received her medical clearance. After the video Ember Moon versus Peyton Royce was announced for next week.
Lovely little promo video for Aleister Black up next, not for any reason, just to remind people he’s there I guess. Always good to see Aleister Black, whatever the reason.
Authors of Pain (with Paul Ellering) vs Anthony Dominguez & Wilmer Freyday
Weird match really. Akam did the entire thing on his own. He took out both members of the other team, and got the pin, while Rezar was talking to Paul Ellering outside the ring. After the match Rezar collected one of the other team from the ramp, where Akam had thrown him from the ring. He threw him back in and Authors of Pain delivered the Super-Collider.
Paul Ellering took the mic and said, ‘Heavy Machinery is as foolish as they are large. We have been here one year and are still undefeated. Have you not read the book of pain. We beat American Alpha, we beat TM-61, we beat The Revival, and we beat DIY. Now my Authors of Pain want to write the first chapter in our book of dominance. And Heavy Machinery you won’t ever make a footnote. You just don’t match up with my Authors of Pain.’
At that point, Heavy Machinery came to the ring and squared up to Authors of Pain, until Ellering pulled his monsters away and back up the ramp.
Roderick Strong and Bobby Roode recap from last week came next, followed with a screenshot of a tweet Strong sent out saying he wants a shot at Roode.
Next up was a beautiful intro package for Sonya Deville. She’s floated around NXT for a while now (as Daria Berenato until recently), but she’s never had an intro package before. Apparently she will be appearing next week. I hope that means she’s becoming as women’s division regular, I’ve found her very impressive.
Raul Mendoza vs The Velveteen Dream
The Velveteen Dream might be a flamboyant and larger than life character, but he can back it up when it matters. Raul Mendoza wasn’t there to be walked over, he gave The Velveteen Dream plenty to work with, and it was a decent enough match. The purpose of the match was clear though, and whatever Mendoza had The Velveteen Dream had just a little bit more. It only took a few minutes for him to clock up his second win via a top rope elbow drop.
Tonight was the night of the flashback apparently. This time it was Kassius Ohno saving Oney Lorcan from Hideo Itami last week. This was followed by an interview with Ohno. He was asked where his friendship with Itami stands. Onho said he’s not sure, but he knows he shouldn’t have sunk to his level and shoved him last week. He also said Itami needs to stop dwelling and get over it.
Ohno finished the interview by announcing he has been given the opportunity to face Aleister Black next week. I’m going to apologise now for the excessive levels of enthusiasm that will be present in next week’s NXT notes. That’s a match worthy of a TakeOver spot, it’s going to be amazing.
Asuka (C) vs Nikki Cross vs Ruby Riot – NXT Women’s Championship, elimination match
There’s no real justification for this match, Asuka beat them both fairly clean at the last NXT TakeOver, but never mind we’ve got it and I’m not complaining. It started off as a standard triple-threat, chaos and interrupted offence all over the place. It’s a pleasure to watch three such distinct characters, each with their own distinctive style, leaving it all in the ring. I love that they are all three less of an example of women’s wrestling and more simply women wrestling.
Nikki Cross eliminated Ruby Riot with a spinning neckbreaker while Riot’s legs were hung up on the top turnbuckle.
It all got a bit vicious and visceral after Riot went. It stopped feeling like a wrestling match and started to feel like a fight. With the main roster women regularly pushing the boundaries and writing new chapters in the history books, it would seem that NXT’s women are keen to show they’re not being left behind.
The match was ruled a no contest when Asuka and Cross brawled out of the arena and through the backstage area, apparently ending up outside. Asuka slammed Nikki Cross’ head into a metal shutter, Cross dunked Asuka into a cooler full of water, ice and bottled water. Then they fought their way back into the arena briefly, with the announce desk and tech area both playing host to the fight for a while.
The fight finally ended with Nikki Cross launching herself at Asuka, and driving them both off the tech area barrier and through a table.
Authors of Pain vs Heavy Machinery looks to be on. I guess it was fairly obvious, but it should be a good clash of the big lads. I hope they string it out until TakeOver, because it could be a match that deserves that treatment.
Black versus Ohno next week, is going to be awesome. They know each other really well having teamed together, and fought each other, several times. And they are both top of their game. They’re also two of my favourite wrestlers. Black is undefeated since his arrival at NXT, I wonder if that will still be the case this time next week.
Tonight’s main event was great, and the result was clever despite my general dislike of messed up finishes. It was always unlikely that Asuka’s championship reign would come to an end at anything other than a TakeOver, but this way no-one else gets damaged either. Ruby Riot was eliminated, but that just keeps her feud with Cross going. And the way the fight ended elevates Cross by showing just how far she’s prepared to go. I still think it will be Ember Moon who takes the belt from Asuka, but good showing from the women’s division tonight.