We have a title match on NXT tonight. Shayna Baszler defends her NXT Women’s Championship against Dakota Kai. In last week’s interview with Kai it appeared that she was overcoming her fear of Baszler, tonight we’ll find out. EC3 will be in action, we get an in-depth look at Bianca Belair, Aleister Black will be making an appearance, and we’ll find out more about Gargano and Ciampa’s street fight, scheduled for TakeOver Chicago. Candice LeRae was certainly unhappy when she found out. You can see the video of that here. Sounds like a busy night.
War Raiders def Cody Vincent & George Hixon
EC3 def Fabian Aichner
Ricochet def Chris Dijak
Shayna Baszler def Dakota Kai
The initial housekeeping was a recap of last week’s altercation between Johnny Gargano and Tommaso Ciampa, in which Candice LeRae got hurt. That led into the news that both Ciampa and Gargano had been told to stay away from NXT by William Regal, and the official announcement of their street fight at NXT TakeOver Chicago. A tweet from LeRae was shown later saying she is ok after last week but doesn’t support her husband’s decision to do the street fight.
Aleister Black opened the show proper. He said winning the NXT title has been life-changing. There is some dispute over who his next challenger will be, but he wants us to remember he only needs one shot to knock his opponents down one shot to make his opponents fade to black.
Lars Sullivan came down to the ring and said the dispute is over. William Regal has confirmed it will be Aleister Black versus Lars Sullivan for the NXT Championship. He’ll give it to Black, for sixteen years he’s travelled the globe making his opponents fade to black, and now he’s NXT champion. But he’s never faced anyone like Sullivan because there is no-one like him. He’s going to take everything Black has worked his entire life for and become the next NXT Champion. Black might like to think he can do something about it, but there’s nothing he can do.
Lars Sullivan grabbed Aleister Black by the throat. Black fought him off and went for the Black Mass, but Sullivan caught his foot and delivered the Freak Accident.
War Raiders vs Cody Vincent & George Hixon
Squash match, which is a shame. We already know War Raiders are monstrously powerful ridiculously agile and talented big lads. Why do we need to see them in a match with no character development or storyline value?
Fairly long for a squash (three whole minutes). Hixon decided offence was the best form of defence and took it to Raymond Rowe. He was wrong. He got destroyed. Then his partner got destroyed. Then he got destroyed again. Then Vincent got destroyed and pinned.
Fun and all that, but it didn’t tell us anything we didn’t already know.
Nice little hype package for Dakota Kai and Shayna Baszler. Kai comes across as very sweet and emotional, the complete opposite of Baszler. They documented Kai’s fear of Baszler and the fact she’s over it. The video finished with Kai saying that once she’s overcome all the mind games and what Baszler’s done to her, the only thing left to do is kick her head off, and her standing up to Baszler at the end of last week’s interview.
Lacey Evans and Kairi Sane are having another match next week, which stands to reason as they hold one victory each over each other. Evans was interviewed about it and said the result will be the same as last week because she’ll do whatever it takes to win. She doesn’t care that Sane was the Mae Young classic winner because she has a Woman’s Right with Sane’s name on it.
EC3 vs Fabian Aichner
Good match. A nice example of the depth of talent NXT has available.
In the middle of the match, while EC3 was trying to throw Aichner back into the ring, Johnny Gargano strode past them to the announce desk, grabbed a mic and waved a piece of paper in the air shouting that it was the signed contract for the Street Fight as NXT TakeOver Chicago. Then he left again.
EC3 looked less than happy at the intrusion. He looked even more annoyed when Aichner launched himself off the top turnbuckle and landed on him.
Aichner got a two-count from it, but moments later EC3 got the pin. He still looked annoyed afterwards.
The Bianca Belair ‘getting to know you’ was up next. These are always worth seeking out. It covered her family, her many and varied athletic achievements, and her path to NXT. She is going to be a huge star in WWE, I have absolutely no doubt in my mind.
Ricochet vs Chris Dijak
Chris Dijak, better known as Donovan Dijak on the indies, is a massive and massively exciting addition to NXT. Interesting way to have him debut. I’d expected a fanfare, some hype packages… something. I certainly wasn’t expecting him to debut in a losing effort.
He looked great in defeat though. He caught Ricochet in mid-air from a suicide dive and slammed him spine first on the apron, then followed it up with an elbow from the top rope. Sadly, he missed the moonsault he went for afterwards.
Ricochet managed to get Dijak up for a suplex twice, once without any momentum assisting him. Then he finished him off with the 630.
After the match, Ricochet took to the mic. He said the Velveteen Dream likes the spotlight. That’s ok, he gets that and, much as he hates to admit it, Velveteen Dream kind of deserves it. Velveteen Dream has been one of the most entertaining superstars to come through NXT, he can basically do it all. But when the spotlight shines on you it shows how good you are, but it shows your flaws. Last week it didn’t show how good he is, it showed how much of a punk he is. At TakeOver Chicago…
That was as far as he got before Velveteen Dream interrupted. He objected to being called a punk. Tonight is Ricochet’s spotlight, but last week was their spotlight. And while Ricochet showed everyone just how incredible he is, The Dream showed whatever Ricochet can do he can do better.
Ricochet called him a coward and invited him to come to the ring and take the spotlight.
Velveteen walked down to the ring but didn’t get in. Instead he said, as epic as the two of them would be, there’s only one spotlight big enough to contain them. He’ll see him in Chicago and show that anything Ricochet can do, Velveteen Dream can do better.
Ricochet somersaulted out of the ring, over the top rope, and landed on the ramp. He leaned in close to Velveteen Dream’s mic and said, ‘Then show me.’ Velveteen Dream looked shocked and backed away.
Danny Burch versus Roderick Strong is happening next week.
Shayna Baszler (C) vs Dakota Kai – NXT Women’s Championship match
Dakota Kai was trying not to show her nerves, her face was stony as the match started. Unfortunately, the fact she kept backing off every time Baszler came near her gave her away.
Baszler saw straight through her and immediately began to bully her with leg kicks and a forearm in the face smiling the whole time.
Kai tried to fight back but Baszler went for her ankle and worked on her legs for a long time. She weakened her legs with kicks and stomps before going for the ankle lock, throwing a few punches in for good measure.
Kai finally broke the ankle lock with a kick and started fighting back. It took a good few blows and kicks, but she got her down and managed to land a couple of huge kicks in the corner.
The good period for Kai didn’t last long. After a really awkward looking manoeuvre from Baszler she locked in the Kirifuda Clutch and Dakota Kai tapped out.
After the match, Baszler put the Kirifuda Clutch back on Kai, and Nikki Cross ran down to make the save. She dragged Baszler off her and screamed at Baszler to start something. Baszler grabbed her title belt and backed away. She turned her back as she got halfway up the ramp, so Nikki Cross ran after her and nicked the title. Cross laid the belt out in the ring and invited Baszler to come and get it. When she got close, Cross dashed in and grabbed it again.
Nikki Cross demanded Shayna Baszler grant her a title match, there and then, with Dakota Kai as ref. She handed the championship to Kai and when Baszler tried to retrieve it from her, Cross grabbed her and delivered The Purge. Dakota Kai counted three and raised her hand. Nikki Cross left Shayna Baszler laying in the ring and took the belt to go and celebrate with the crowd. By the time Baszler got up, Cross was leaving with the championship.
I’m hugely surprised by NXT having Dijak debut on a loss. Have I mentioned I think Dijak is awesome? With the performance he put in, and the way Ricochet is being presented, it won’t do him any harm at all, but it was a surprise.
WWE.com has little to no information on NXT TakeOver Chicago. It’s always frustrating when you can’t find what’s already been announced. Was Undisputed ERA versus Lorcan and Burch a thing? I’m sure it was a thing, but I can’t find mention of it on WWE’s website. Anyway, we’ll take that as happening, so the card so far is:
Aleister Black (C) vs Lars Sullivan – NXT Championship match
Johnny Gargano vs Tommaso Ciampa – Street Fight
Undisputed ERA vs Danny Burch and Oney Lorcan – NXT Tag Team Championship match
Ricochet vs Velveteen Dream
And almost certainly, Shayna Baszler vs Nikki Cross for the NXT Women’s Championship
Got to say it, that’s a decent looking card. Baszler versus Cross will be amazing, Can’t wait for it to be official, Nikki Cross is just wonderful.