Undisputed ERA vs SAnitY is our main event for tonight. we also have the next qualifying match for a place in the women’s fatal four-way title match at TakeOver, between Ruby Riot, Sonya Deville and Ember Moon to look forward to. And, according to the preview on WWE.com, Kassius Ohno will be facing Cezar Bononi, Aleister Black will take on Raul Mendoza, and Drew McIntyre is dropping in for a chat. Sounds like it’s going to be another packed episode.
Ember Moon def Ruby Riot and Sonya Deville
Aleister Black def Raul Mendoza
Kassius Ohno def Cezar Bononi
SAnitY vs Undisputed ERA – No contest due to interference
Sonya Deville vs Ruby Riot vs Ember Moon
What a great way to start an episode of NXT. No preliminary chat, just straight into the entrances for the first match.
They kept the chaos to a minimum early on, by consistently making it one on one. As soon as all three were in the ring someone was ejected. They kept switching it round, and it really seemed to work for this match. Deville and Moon ended up brawling on the outside, and Ruby Riot went to the top to try to take them both out.
When Riot flew off the top turnbuckle, onto her competitors, she appeared to hurt her ankle. She kept going, but Deville had spotted the weakness and latched onto it, literally, with an ankle lock. Riot tried for the rope break, but you don’t get rope breaks in a triple threat, and Deville locked it straight back in.
It looked like Ruby Riot might tap out, but neither of them noticed Ember Moon climbing to the top turnbuckle. Moon hit the Eclipse on Sonya Deville, who rolled out of the ring. Riot was too injured to get away though and she was pinned by Moon.
Ember Moon now joins Kairi Sane and Peyton Royce in the fatal four-way title match at TakeOver.
CCTV footage of an interaction between Undisputed ERA and Roderick Strong. They talked, they tried to give him a shirt, he gave it back. We didn’t get to hear any of what was said.
William Regal announced that the final qualifying match for the women’s TakeOver match, will be a battle royal. The announcement was made after Billie Kay and Peyton Royce interrupted Regal being interviewed to ask if Billie Kay would get a chance to compete for the place.
Aleister Black vs Raul Mendoza
The preview on WWE.com asked if Mendoza could be the first to deal Aleister Black a loss. I’m going to go out on a limb and say no.
Velveteen Dream appeared at ringside before the match even started, and put Aleister Black’s vest/jacket thing on. Mendoza took advantage while Black was distracted by Velveteen Dream, and took the upper hand early on.
It didn’t take long for Black to turn it around. It couldn’t the match was pretty short. And once he started to dominate, he didn’t stop.
Aleister Black hit the Black Mass on Mendoza to stay undefeated.
After the match Aleister Black stayed cross legged in the ring, carefully not looking as Velveteen Dream backed away up the ramp. Just as Velveteen Dream moved out of sight, Black looked round.
Drew McIntyre interview was up next. He talked about his journey to the title, his firing from WWE the first time, and how that was a trigger for him to work hard to get back. It was quite a nice interview, but it got derailed.
Zelina Vega showed up and asked to finish the interview. Once there, she talked about how similar McIntyre and Almas are, then tried to goad and cajole McIntyre into giving her client a title shot. Drew McIntyre told her to bring Almas with her next time, and said that if he asked for the shot himself he would get it.
Kassius Ohno vs Cezar Bononi
This match was brief, but fun. Quite an even match for the most part. No real story to tell, which was probably just as well considering how little time it got. They still managed to combine smacking each other around, with flying about like cruiserweights, to good effect.
Ohno hit Bononi from behind with the rolling elbow, and kind of fell on him before turning him over and pinning him.
Before the main event they announced Johnny Gargano versus Fabian Aichner for the week after next, and gave us a still of the competitors in next week’s battle royal for the last place in the women’s title match. It looks like almost half the Mae Young Classic competitors are in there, with Billie Kay and Aliyah. That should be mayhem.
SAnitY vs Undisputed ERA
Surprisingly, this started very normally. Alexander Wolfe and Bobby Fish got things underway, then Kyle O’Reilly tagged in and got isolated by SAnitY. After Undisputed ERA got the upper hand back, they did the same to Eric Young.
For the majority of the match, it was just a really good tag team match. Slower paced than I’d expected, but with frequent tags by whichever team was on top at the time, isolating their opponents, and as much double teaming as they could get in without incurring the wrath of the ref. It was almost civilised.
It broke down a bit from time to time, but what’s a six-man tag without a bit of chaos. Killian Dain showed off his power with a fallaway slam/Samoan drop combo on Fish and O’Reilly, while Adam Cole looked on horrified.
SAnitY cornered Adam Cole, after taking down Fish and O’Reilly. They dragged him back into the ring by his hair, and had him helpless in the corner. Then Authors of Pain’s music hit, and down to the ring they came.
Authors of pain destroyed SAnitY, while Undisputed ERA made a tactical retreat to the stage. The final shot of the night was Authors of Pain holding up the tag belts, with SAnitY laid out around them.
Another strong episode of NXT, but there is almost too much content crammed in now. Let’s face it, the NXT roster is stacked beyond overflowing with talent. For me, much as it was good to see him get some tv time, the Kassius Ohno match didn’t add anything to tonight’s show. That time could have been given to the Aleister Black match, and given that a bit more time to develop. More and more I’m coming to the conclusion that NXT needs to be longer. It’s frustrating to see this wealth of talent in three-minute matches. There’s no time to get invested in anything.
There is actually nothing wrong with the storylines in NXT, they are plentiful, and don’t all revolve around the titles, I like that. There is enough going on to make you want to keep watching. My only concern is that, in trying to showcase as much of their roster as possible, they may end up short-changing everyone. Let’s hope not.
Only one match announced for next week, the battle royal, but it should be a good one. Looking forward to seeing what else crops up. I’m guessing we haven’t heard the last of Authors of Pain vs SAnitY.