It’s the post-TakeOver NXT, which means most of it will be recaps and post-match interviews. We do have three matches on the card though. Lars Sullivan and Keith Lee both take on unnamed opponents, and Candice LeRae finally gets her hands on Nikki Cross.
Keith Lee def. Fidel Bravo
Lars Sullivan def. Keita Murray
Nikki Cross def. Candice LeRae
The show opened with an overview of TakeOver’s winners and losers. It really was an incredible show.
Keith Lee vs Fidel Bravo
A nice pointless squash match to get the show underway properly. As with all post-TakeOver episodes, the matches were filmed in front of the TakeOver crowd. It’s more obvious after WarGames because of the two rings.
Lee didn’t play with his prey for too long, he finished Bravo with a jackhammer after a couple of minutes.
Shayna Baszler’s successful title defence got the first highlights package of the night. The match was awesome, but I just want to watch Io Shirai’s moonsault over and over. Apparently, there was some controversy over whether Kairi Sane lifted her shoulder before the final three-count, but it wasn’t mentioned in the post-match interview with Shayna Baszler. Baszler, accompanied by Jessamyn Duke and Marina Shafir, wasn’t asked a question, she interrupted to say she’s the most dominant woman that the division has ever seen and the first two-time champion. If they ask more about that she’ll do the interviews. So the interviewer asked if she was confident. Baszler said, yes, there’s no one that can stop them. Note the them, it’s probably going to be important.
Matt Riddle and Kassius Ohno’s pre-show confrontation and ‘impromptu’ match was covered next. The match was shown in its entirety which, considering it was all over in a single kick, seems fair. Matt Riddle got the post-match interview. He now holds the record for the quickest victory in an unscheduled match. He was pleased, but it sounds like kind of a small category.
Lars Sullivan vs Keita Murray
Vignettes for Lars Sullivan are already showing on the main roster, so he’s heading out of NXT to pastures new at some point in the near future. This might have been one of the most literally meant squash matches ever. Sullivan took four moves to finish his opponent and three of them weren’t necessary.
Lars Sullivan grabbed a mic after the match and said, let that serve as a warning and an example of what’s going to keep happening until he gets what’s coming to him, and that’s an NXT Championship match. And just to make sure that his point has been registered, he started to beat Murray up some more. Keith Lee came in to make the save and pounced Sullivan out of the ring.
The next highlights package went to Johnny Gargano versus Aleister Black. In the post-match segment, Black was asked if he thought this was the end of his rivalry with Gargano. He came face to face with Candice LeRae in the corridor and they stared at each other for a few moments. Aleister Black said nothing.
Velveteen Dream versus Tommaso Ciampa was recapped next. No post-match interview for that one.
Keith Lee and Lars Sullivan were shown arguing backstage, with officials keeping them well apart. Sullivan shouted that he’ll see Lee next week, and the match has been made official.
Of course, the final highlight reel of the night went to the WarGames match. As it should. The match was incredible for so many reasons, and it got a good long package. No post-match interviews though.
Candice LeRae vs Nikki Cross
A worthy main event for any episode and I’m so pleased they got to do it in front of the TakeOver crowd.
Interesting dynamic at the start of this match. Candice LeRae was looking for retribution for Cross telling Aleister Black it was her husband who attacked him. Nikki Cross just wanted to play.
It didn’t take Cross long to get serious-ish, and she got LeRae caught up in the ring skirt and pummelled her for a bit. LeRae took the control back with a kick to Cross’ head and a knee from the apron.
Candice LeRae hit an Unprettier and went for a moonsault. Cross moved and caught LeRae for The Purge. Candice LeRae became the first person to kick out of the move.
Cross got annoyed then and put LeRae on the top turnbuckle. LeRae managed to block whatever she was doing and went for a sunset flip powerbomb. She didn’t get that but she did suplex Cross off the middle turnbuckle and almost pinned her.
Nikki Cross looked dazed and LeRae was checking the integrity of her teeth, then Cross started to laugh. That got to LeRae and she started beating on her in the corner with the ref trying to pull her away. She got Cross’ legs locked up and dragged her up by the hair before slamming her face into the canvas with her foot.
With a hard look on her face, Candice LeRae locked in the Gargano Escape. Nikki Cross managed to get her feet on the ropes, but it took LeRae almost the full five-count to let go.
Cross shoved Candice LeRae face first into the ropes, picked her up and delivered a twisting neckbreaker with LeRae’s legs hung up on the top rope to get the win.
Decent post-TakeOver episode. The squash matches were unnecessary, but LeRae vs Cross was great.
There’s not much else to say really. If you haven’t seen TakeOver, make time, it was fantastic. And next week we’ll begin the road to the next one.