The preview for tonight’s show is all matches. Matt Riddle takes on Adam Cole. Mia Yim and Bianca Belair will either settle or escalate their differences. And Riddick Moss makes his return from injury against Raul Mendoza.
Bianca Belair def. Mia Yim
Raul Mendoza def. Riddick Moss
Matt Riddle def. Adam Cole
Mia Yim vs Bianca Belair
Interesting match to start the show. Yim and Belair have been aggravating each other for a while so there was some pre-match posturing from Belair and a bit of getting in Yim’s face.
A minute or so into the match, when they both went for a dropkick at the same time, there was a brief moment of respect, which Belair immediately undermined by kicking Mia Yim in the gut.
Mia Yim’s experience advantage was apparent at times, but Belair is clever and quick and had the upper hand when it comes to strength. It added up to an entertaining but even match.
Belair’s confidence transitions smoothly into arrogance at times and it backfired on her when she wiggled her butt at Mia Yim. Yim kicked her away then got angry. The first pin attempt was unsuccessful, as was the guillotine, and Belair took the control back briefly.
Yim got her knees up when Belair went for a splash and started to wind up towards finishing it. They wound up rolling each other over near the ropes, trying for a pin. Belair got caught and reprimanded for holding onto the ropes, so the next time she got Yim’s shoulders down she looped her hair over the rope and used that to get enough extra leverage for the pin.
NXT security camera footage was shown, of Forgotten Sons attacking The Viking Raiders when they were leaving the performance centre. Ivar and Erik will be on next week’s show to address that attack and discuss their future.
We got to see a bit of Shayna Baszler working with Jessamyn Duke and Marina Shafir, and Io Shirai attacking Baszler from behind despite being obviously outnumbered. They had to be pulled apart, and Shirai was dragged from the ring.
Raul Mendoza vs Riddick Moss
Riddick Moss has apparently made his comeback early thanks to the ‘Riddick Regiment’, so his new character is… fitness nut, wellness guru? Something like that.
He didn’t have much of an answer to Mendoza’s speed or agility, but he is very strong. He displayed the strength when he caught Mendoza in mid-air and did a few curls with him before throwing him over his head.
Moss’ new characterisation also involved him telling the ref off for not counting fast enough, and taking a break to rehydrate. He held the water bottle in front of Mendoza and Mendoza slapped it out of his hand.
That was the start of Raul Mendoza’s resurgence and the end of Riddick Moss’s offence. Mendoza got the win and ruined Moss’ comeback.
Kushida will be back on NXT next week.
Matt Riddle vs Adam Cole
Cole seemed very tentative at the start of the match, and with good reason. Riddle got him around the waist and Cole couldn’t free himself until they ended up under the ropes. Cole rolled outside and took his time getting back in.
When he did get back in the ring, Adam Cole was manhandled around the ring for a while. He made himself some breathing space by pulling Riddle off the ropes and kicking him in the head.
Cole took charge after that and set about weakening Riddle with constricting holds. He was going well until he started trash-talking. That’s my new pet peeve/overused mechanism. Of course, the trash-talk fired Riddle up. They had an escalating exchange of blows, which Cole lost when Riddle suplexed him.
Riddle built up momentum, but it was halted when Cole caught him with a kick and delivered a fireman’s carry neckbreaker. An attempt at a second resulted in Cole getting kneed in the face, but he reversed Riddle’s GTS set up into a backstabber. Riddle kicked out but he was rocked.
Adam Cole stamped on Riddles foot to get him into position for the Last Shot but Riddle caught his foot and applied an ankle lock. Cole twisted over to get out only for Riddle to grab the other leg then try to transition into the Bromission. Cole reversed that too and nearly got the pin in the process, but Riddle kicked out.
Matt Riddle kicked him in the head, delivered two fisherman’s busters and had the third countered into a neckbreaker.
Riddle kicked out of the Last Shot, then landed a GTS, powerbomb, and knee to the face that had Cole rolling out of the ring.
Roderick Strong arrived to help Cole. Riddle kicked Strong in the head and rolled Cole back into the ring. Cole kicked Riddle in the head, Riddle kicked out and applied the Bromission. Adam Cole tapped.
Kyle O’Reilly and Bobby Fish arrived at ringside and the first thing O’Reilly did was tell Strong off for letting it happen. Strong chased Riddle out of the ring and he left them to it. Strong touched Cole’s arm and Cole brushed him away. O’Reilly and Fish separated them while they yelled at each other. Cole said he had a plan and it was Strong’s fault he lost.
The crowd chanted at them to hug it out but they did not. Fish and Strong left first and Cole and O’Reilly got out of the other side of the ring and followed after. As they were leaving Cole was telling O’Reilly how frustrated he is that he keeps losing big matches and Strong is always there.
One thing I always comment on is how busy and tightly packed NXT episodes are. This one just wasn’t. It was another short episode as well, under 50 minutes. The cynic in me thinks that’s just about perfect for an hour-long televised show, could the rumours be true?
It’s unusual for there to just be three matches and no other significant segments. But despite an incredible talent pool, there doesn’t seem to be an awful lot going on in NXT at the moment. I’m sure it’s the calm before the storm, especially with the tease of Undisputed ERA imploding, but it has a distinct transition period feel.