Tonight is the night of the double main event and the preview is all about the women’s and tag team divisions. Main event one is the tag team title match, Undisputed ERA defending their championships against War Raiders. The second main event is Nikki Cross and Bianca Belair’s rematch. Oney Lorcan and Danny Burch are also in action, as is Shayna Basler, all against unnamed opponents.
War Raiders def. Undisputed ERA – No Title Change
Shayna Baszler def. Britt Baker
Oney Lorcan and Danny Burch def. Tian Bing and Rocky
Nikki Cross vs Bianca Belair DNF
Undisputed ERA (C) vs War Raiders – NXT Tag Team Championship match
SO, one of the double main event matches opened the show, which does make you wonder what the hell is going to happen in Nikki Cross versus Bianca Belair for it to headline. Anyway, that’s for later.
As for this match, it was great – what else did you expect? Undisputed ERA were on a mission. War Raiders definitely enjoy throwing their opponents at each other, and throwing each other at their opponents.
Rowe and Hanson’s superior power was a factor, especially early on. Strong and O’Reilly focused on trying to take their opposition down and staying out of their clutches.
Roderick Strong took Rowe’s knee out from outside while the ref wasn’t looking. From that moment, Rowe took several minutes of punishment from Undisputed ERA, with a heavy focus on them working that leg, until he slammed O’Reilly into the canvas and both of them tagged out.
Hanson powered through Undisputed ERA without going for the pin. But, when it came to the double teaming, Rowe couldn’t pick Hanson up to throw him onto Kyle O’Reilly because of the damaged to his leg. So Hanson slapped Rowe in the face and Rowe shoved him into O’Reilly instead.
As Roderick Strong was about to be pinned, Adam Cole turned up and got punched in the face by Hanson and thrown out of the ring.
Some fast and sneaky teamwork from Strong and O’Reilly put Rowe in trouble again and he ended up in a Kyle O’Reilly submission. Hanson slammed Strong onto O’Reilly to make him break the hold.
Rowe and Hanson pop up power-slammed O’Reilly then Hanson followed it up with a suicide dive onto Cole and Strong.
Kyle O’Reilly took a double team finisher and wasn’t getting up but, before the ref could make the count, Bobby Fish appeared from nowhere and hit Rowe and then Hanson across the back with a chair.
After Undisputed ERA were disqualified, the chair shot continued until the rest of Undisputed ERA arrived to complete the beatdown and celebrate as a foursome.
Nikki Cross was shown scribbling something on bits of paper and screwing them up while muttering something then repeating, ‘I know’.
Britt Baker vs Shayna Baszler
I think we all know how this went, don’t we? I’ve heard really good things about Britt Baker, but I still don’t know if they’re true. The match was stopped with Baker crying in pain when Baszler stomped on her arm. After she was declared the winner, Baszler attacked Baker again and knocked her to the ground with a knee.
William Regal was asked to address Nikki Cross’ claims that she knows who attacked Aleister Black. He said he doesn’t know whether Cross is lying or telling the truth, who knows what Nikki knows. But he does know Aleister Black will be back soon and he needs answers. He’ll be talking to Nikki Cross again after her match.
Tian Bing and Rocky vs Oney Lorcan and Danny Burch
Tian Bing was the first Chinese superstar signed to WWE.
Not a long match, but entertaining to watch. It was essentially a squash, just to display how well Burch and Lorcan are working as a team and how on form they are now Lorcan is back. They finished it with a double team implant DDT on Rocky.
An announcement of an announcement next. William Regal will be on next week’s show to announce something important about NXT TakeOver War Games.
Bianca Belair vs Nikki Cross
Nikki Cross started the match by launching herself at Belair. It seemed to catch Belair off guard because, for the first minute or two of the match she was half a step slower than she needed to be, allowing Cross to anticipate her moves.
Belair soon caught up though. Quite literally. She caught Cross in mid-air and threw her over her head. That gave her the opening to use some of her power advantage and, more importantly, keep Cross grounded and stop the unpredictable offence.
Bianca Belair might want to rethink some of the glitter. By half way through the match, everyone and everything was covered in it. The canvas was sparkly.
Nikki Cross kicked Belair repeatedly in the midsection with Belair hung in the tree of woe, then could have covered after a running bulldog. Instead, she chose to go to the top for a cross-body. She landed it, but only got two.
Bianca Belair looked to be getting frustrated and a little desperate, like she wasn’t expecting it to take so long, or so much to put Cross away. A forearm to the face put Cross on her back, but Belair was unable to capitalise. A spear didn’t do it, neither did the subsequent pin attempts. When Cross kicked out of a sit out powerbomb as well, Belair started to look genuinely freaked out. She started shoving Cross in the face and telling her to stay down, but the more frustration Cross heard in Belair’s voice the more she grinned at her.
To prove her superior strength, Belair picked Cross up above her head and pressed her a few times. Before she had chance to drop her, Cross twisted around and locked in a sleeper. A reverse DDT nearly ended Bianca Belair’s undefeated streak, but she just about kicked out.
A hair whip across the stomach of Cross as she came off the top turnbuckle put Nikki Cross on the canvas, but she was up as soon as Belair climbed to the top, and punched her in the face. They came down to the mat via a superplex from Cross and laid getting their breath back.
At that moment the lights went out and the opening note of Aleister Black’s music played. When they came back on, Bianca Belair was gone and Aleister Black was sitting cross-legged in the ring. Cross responded by rolling around grinning. Black held on hand up to calm her, which worked instantly, then beckoned her close. She crawled over to him looking awed. He growled, ‘tell me’. She leaned in close and whispered something in his ear that made him shake with anger. Cross slid backwards out of the ring looking like she’d just lit the fuse on a firework and couldn’t wait for the show. Aleister Black did a good impression of the firework. I’m surprised there wasn’t steam coming out of his ears.
The tag title match was a great way to start the show, and you have to wonder whether Bobby Fish’s return to fitness is going to cause any infighting in Undisputed ERA. After all, Fish was O’Reilly’s original partner.
Two squashes in one show was a bit much. I guess it means the live crowd see more people, but I’m not sure either added much value.
The other main event, between Cross and Belair, was interesting on so many levels. I usually hate non-finishes, but I’m really happy to see this one continue to another match. And Aleister Black’s return felt perfectly pitched to make the next few weeks intriguing.