You can scroll to the end for a TLDR recap of the show. Last week’s show was a recap of 2017 and, as such, there was no review. Before the introduction video, Undisputed Era cuts a promo regarding their defense of the NXT Tag Team Championship against SAnitY tonight. Adam Cole says he’s taking out anyone in his way to the NXT Championship. Also, this set of tapings occurred in Atlanta’s Center Stage in case you’re wondering why the set looks different.
Match #1: Shayna Baszler v. Dakota Kai
Some footage of Baszler at the WWE Performance Center choking out some recruit is shown. There are some Shayna’s Gonna Kill You chants early. Baszler easily overpowers Kai into the corner and kicks her leg out from under her. Kai tries a forearm and a go-behind, but Baszler takes her down with a wristlock. Baszler twists on her arm and hits a variation of Eat Defeat. She then just kicks a downed Kai against the ropes.
Baszler stands on Kai’s hand to mock her before stomping on her elbow, which was a great visual since it looked nasty. Kai sells a serious injury to the elbow and the referee stops the match. As staff tends to Kai, Baszler locks in a rear naked choke. Ember Moon hits the ring and Baszler releases the move and slowly gets out of the ring.
Winner: Shayna Baszler via referee stoppage
Thoughts: I can’t think of any better way to do Baszler’s NXT TV debut. She’s a credible monster heel and should be booked exactly like this. It seems premature to put her right in there with Ember Moon, but what the hell? She’s already over and she would just be a great heel champion. Good stuff.
Backstage Promo: Akam and Rezar say some things that I didn’t understand. Ellering says they want their titles.
Backstage Promo: Baszler is asked why she did what she did to Dakota Kai. Before she can answer, William Regal approaches and wants a word with her. Regal says that Baszler attacking people from behind won’t get her a championship match. Baszler kind of brushes him off and walks away.
Match #2: Kassius Ohno v. Raul Mendoza
The two exchange a handshake before the match. Mendoza is way smaller than Ohno, so that’s going to get played up throughout the match. Ohno stands up out of a headlock. They exchange pin attempts until Mendoza goes to the top rope. Ohno catches him, and then he and Mendoza save the spot with a hurricanrana out of the corner. Mendoza gets a near fall and connects with Yes kicks until Ohno catches one. He flips Mendoza over and destroys him with a big boot to the face.
Ohno tees off on Mendoza in the corner with a chop and an elbow. Ohno locks in an inverted Gory Special, but Mendoza counters with a victory roll for a near fall. Ohno comes right back with a senton, but Mendoza kicks out at 2. Mendoza makes a comeback with arm drags and a springboard kick to Ohno’s face. Mendoza gets caught and dropped across the top rope, though. Ohno hits him with what is called the High Tension Elbow Strike by Mauro, which was just a leaping elbow to the back of the head. Mendoza is out and that’s all.
Winner: Kassius Ohno via pinfall
Thoughts: Basic TV match for Ohno to get a televised win after a series of losses and sort of get some credibility back. I wasn’t overly impressed with Mendoza in this match. He and Ohno just didn’t work too well together.
Backstage Promo: Zelina Vega says Almas will retain at TakeOver against Johnny Gargano. She says he’s only lucky to be the contender and runs him down a little more.
Backstage Promo: Johnny Gargano is interviewed and asked about his opportunity, but the Velveteen Dream is back! The Dream tells Gargano to say thank you for being lucky. The Dream says he could have beaten Kassius Ohno in 30 seconds. The Dream says he deserves his spot (Gargano was a substitute for an injured Velveteen Dream).
Backstage: Street Profits are backstage doing their thing. They head into William Regal’s office to ask for a tag team championship match. Regal says they are undefeated, so next week, there will be a #1 Contender’s match and they will be facing the Authors of Pain. We’re going to find out if WWE is high on the Profits if they go over the Authors.
Match #3: Lio Rush v. Lars Sullivan
Looks like management still isn’t pleased with Lio Rush after his Emma comments. Rush is way faster than Sullivan and gives him a slap across the face. Rush hits a rolling heel kick, but Sullivan catches him by the neck and pulls him into the ropes. Referee Drake is bigger than Rush. Rush avoids a corner charge and then another. Sullivan turns him inside out with a clothesline and then hits the Freak Accident for the win.
Post match, Sullivan has a microphone. Sullivan calls out Killian Dain and says he’ll destroy him. Sullivan grabs Lio Rush and hits a Freak Accident from the second rope.
Winner: Lars Sullivan via pinfall
Thoughts: It was the same Sullivan match you’ve seen a dozen times. Whoever wins the Killian Dain and Lars Sullivan match will tell us a lot as well. I just think Sullivan is too limited, but what do I know.
Backstage: Undisputed Era is pummeling Eric Young. Alexander Wolfe and Killian Dain are also laid out.
Match #4/Main Event: NXT Tag Team Championship: Undisputed Era (Bobby Fish & Kyle O’Reilly) © v. SAnitY Roderick Strong & Aleister Black
Undisputed Era makes their way out to the ring after beating SAnitY down backstage and the announcers assume there won’t be a match. Cole says it feels like they’re missing something? He asks where SAnitY is? Cole says they kicked the chaos out of SAnitY. Nikki Cross tries to get to the ring, but the referees are restraining her. There are chants of Let Her Go and Nikki Cross. Before Cole can talk more, Regal comes out on stage and says this is ridiculous. He says they will defend the titles tonight, but Roderick Strong interrupts and says he’ll fight them. Now Aleister Black’s music hits! It’ll be Strong and Black challenging for the titles! They hit the ring and start to brawl with the champs.
Strong and Black clear the ring as NXT goes to break. Back from commercial, the match officially starts. Black destroys O’Reilly with knees, a back fist, and a knee to the face. O’Reilly tries to get a breather, but Strong hits a wrecking ball drop kick out of the ring. O’Reilly rolls back into the ring and gets a front leg sweep and ends up on his face. Black works an arm bar as everyone resets a little.
Strong tags in and lands a back leg kick. Strong hits O’Reilly with a backbreaker and gets a near fall. Black gets a tag, but gets low-bridged to the ring apron. Fish kicks his legs out from under him and Undisputed Era takes over as the show goes to another commercial. Back from break, O’Reilly and Fish are working over Black with quick tags. Fish scores with an exploder suplex, but Strong breaks up the pin attempt.
Black makes a comeback with a sunset flip and a knee to the face. Strong gets the hot tag and hits a step-up knee to Fish and lights up O’Reilly with forearms and a drop kick. Strong delivers a uranage back breaker to O’Reilly, then an overhead belly-to-belly on Fish right on top of O’Reilly. O’Reilly eats a step-up knee and a face buster, but Fish breaks up the pin. O’Reilly hits an ax kick, but Strong delivers a jumping knee and both guys are down. Black levels Fish on the floor, but Adam Cole lures Black into the crowd, which leaves Strong alone. Strong gets destroyed with Total Elimination and that’s all for Roddy.
After the match, Black takes Fish and O’Reilly down with kicks, but Cole comes from behind to throw him shoulder-first into the post. O’Reilly and Fish hold Black while Cole tees off on him. Black takes Total Elimination. O’Reilly brings a chair into the ring and sets it up. Cole hits an Attitude Adjustment onto the chair and leaves Black lying. Before Undisputed Era can leave, Regal comes out and says that Aleister Black versus Adam Cole at TakeOver will be an Extreme Rules match.
Winners: Bobby Fish & Kyle O’Reilly via pinfall to retain the NXT Tag Team Championship
Thoughts: Aleister Black got a huge pop when he came out to join Strong. This was a pretty solid match and none of the babyfaces look bad since they were outnumbered. What Strong lacks in charisma, he makes up for in the ring. The guy is so good. I just want to see him turn heel with Undisputed Era and see if he can make something click character-wise. Black is just a mega-star in NXT. I wouldn’t be shocked to see him challenge Almas at TakeOver before WrestleMania.
- Shayna Baszler destroyed Dakota Kai
- Kassius Ohno beat Raul Mendoza
- Lars Sullivan beat Lio Rush
- Undisputed Era beat Aleister Black & Roderick Strong to retain the tag team championship after SAnitY was unable to compete
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