From out of Full Sail University comes another exciting episode of NXT. This week’s edition of the show featured an outstanding opening and closing match with some more storyline developments sprinkled throughout the middle of the show. There were also two NXT returns this week, and Nikki Cross continues to shine as well. As promised, The Undisputed Era put their tag team titles on the line in a match against The War Raiders after feuding with the new NXT team for a number of weeks.
The War Raiders vs. The Undisputed Era for the NXT Tag Team Championships –
This match has been brewing for a while now, and Rowe & Hanson finally received the chance to take on Roderick Strong and Kyle O’Reilly for their championships on this episode. The match started off with Rowe and Strong locking up in the ring, but it did not take much for the bout to get completely out of control.
After Strong was worn out, Kyle was tagged in but quickly got ran over by Rowe. Hanson came into the ring next but ended up on the receiving end of double team maneuvers from The Undisputed Era members. Rowe was tagged back in next and sent Strong and O’Reilly outside for a brief moment to regroup.
Eventually, The Undisputed Era seemed to agree on a strategy to keep Rowe away from Hanson and to go after his leg, because Strong and O’Reilly did just that and constantly kept tagging each other in and out of the match throughout its length. O’Reilly came in and charged after Rowe’s leg , but Rowe slammed him down to the canvas hard. Kyle quickly then made the tag over to Roddy. Strong tried to stop a gutwrench slam but was unsuccessful. Hanson in next for just a brief moment as Rowe picked up his huge partner and plopped him directly down onto the defending champion.
Roddy then went for the leg of Rowe once again. Although he was shaken off, he did still manage to hit a knee. Kyle came back in and took advantage of this by laying in some boot shots. That was then followed up by a knee drop from Strong. Right back into the fray, O’Reilly kicked Rowe in the corner of the ring. He then implemented a leg sweep to keep his much larger opponent grounded for a two count. Both O’Reilly and Strong come into the ring next and are able to double team Rowe once more by getting some shots in on his legs.
Strong wasn’t able to get Rowe down for a pinfall, but he stayed on him with a flurry of punches. In their corner of the ring, The Undisputed Era members each took turns kicking Rowe. Each time that it seemed as if Rowe had managed to fight off one of the NXT Tag Team Champions, they were able to run to the corner and tag each other in. Kyle hit another kick and slowed down the match by wearing down Rowe. He once again focused on targeting the leg and keeping him down. When Strong came back in, Rowe was able to fight back until the former was able to tag in O’Reilly once again.
Kyle dragged Rowe toward the center of the ring as he was just inches away from finally making the tag to Hanson. Despite this, Rowe was finally able to hit a slam on Kyle O’Reilly. Kyle was able to roll over until he was able to reach and tag Roderick Strong, so Rowe quickly had to make a decision about his next move. Fortunately, he was able to make the tag to Hanson.
Hanson came back into the ring and delivered a back bodydrop to Strong. Both Undisputed Era members tried to take him down, but Hanson was able to dodge every move that they had and shoo away the duo. Following a huge clothesline to Roderick Strong, Hanson sent him into the corner and bolted after him with a Bronco Buster.
O’Reilly leapt onto Hanson’s back and tried to wear him down, but the War Raider was able to lumber over to his side of the ring so that Rowe could make the tag. With O’Reilly now in the corner of the ring, Rowe speared his own partner into the tag team titleholder. Strong came back in and was met with a slam. The Raiders sent O’Reilly outside, making it seem like this was there chance to win the titles. Rowe held Strong up while Hanson came down with a springboard clothesline.
Before a pin could be made, Adam Cole ran into the ring and confronted the War Raiders in an attempt to distract them. Roderick Strong sneakily applied an Olympic Slam on Hanson, but that was still not enough to score them the win. He and O’Reilly took turns going after Rowe again for a bit, and Kyle locked him in a Heel Hook with the goal of gaining a submission victory. Ultimately, Hanson came back in and dropped Roddy onto Kyle in order to break up the maneuver.
Kyle slapped Hanson repeatedly until the War Raiders caught him with a popup powerslam. Hanson then immediately executed a dive onto Cole and Strong outside of the ring. After that, he ran back into the ring and hit a leg drop on O’Reilly as Rowe held him up. The announcers and audience thought that perhaps this would be the moment when The War Raiders captured the Tag Team Championships, but the match ended abruptly when Bobby Fish made his return by running down to the ring and attacking both Hanson and Rowe with a chair. After the match, Fish and the rest of the Undisputed Era members celebrated in the ring.
Winners: The War Raiders via Disqualification
Nikki Cross was shown in a hallway somewhere scribbling “EST” on a piece of paper over and over again prior to her match against Bianca Belair. She also reminded everybody watching that she knows who attacked Aleister Black.
Shayna Baszler vs. Britt Baker –
Baker returns to NXT for a match against the former NXT Women’s Champion and member of the Four Horsewomen of MMA. As one might expect, this did not end well for the prominent independent wrestler. Baszler was able to win the match in short order and damage another woman’s arm in the process.
Following a Fireman’s Carry right out of the gate, Baszler went after Baker’s arm. She twisted and turned it until she plopped her hand down onto the matter and stomped right on the elbow. Baker instantly began screaming out in pain and retreated into the corner. After that, the referee decided that she could not longer compete and gave the victory to Shayna Baszler. The announcer mentioned that they have never seen Baszler more focused and dominant, so perhaps this could lead to Shayna defeating Kairi Sane to win the women’s title for a second time.
Winner: Shayna Baszler
NXT General Manager William Regal was in his office before he was asked about the Aleister Black investigation. Regal knew that Black was on his way back to the ring but still does not have any answers on who attacked him. He promised to speak with Nikki Cross after her match against Bianca Belair.
Oney Lorcan & Danny Burch vs. Tian Bing & Rocky –
After returning from a facial injury, NXT is in the process of reestablishing Oney Lorcan and Danny Burch as a top tag team on the roster. They received the chance to shine here against two Chinese WWE Performance Center recruits.
Lorcan and Bing began the match together, but Burch quickly came in and backed Bing away. Rocky entered the ring next and locked Lorcan in a Full Nelson. After laying out Rocky with a huge clothesline, Burch came back in and attacked him again. He beat down Tian Bing until Oney Lorcan was tagged back. Together, the two Strong Style wrestlers got the win with an Implant DDT.
Winners: Oney Lorcan & Danny Burch
William Regal will be making an announcement regarding the NXT Championship match at NXT Takeover: WarGames on next week’s show.
Bianca Belair vs. Nikki Cross –
The second match between these two top NXT women’s wrestlers here was brought on after the great reception that their first match received a while back. Nikki has wanted to face Bianca again ever since then while Belair is still undefeated in her short NXT career.
Nikki was able to take Bianca down as they rolled out to the outside of the ring. Cross tossed Bianca into the steel ring steps afterwards and got her back into the ring for an early pin attempt. Belair kept the undefeated streak alive there. A monkey flip and a dropkick go Belair followed shortly thereafter. Nikki then tried to go after the young rising NXT Superstar with a crossbody, but Belair was able to catch her and slam her down to the canvas for a two count.
Belair was able to show off her talents after connecting with some kicks to Nikki Cross. The former SAnitY member hit a hurricanrana. She was then sent right into the corner of the ring courtesy of a dropkick from Bianca Belair. She hit a standing moonsault to get another close near fall.
Back on their feet, Cross and Belair continued to go after each other with some shots. Belair’s powerlifting background was on display as she picked up Cross, but the Scottish superstar fought out of the maneuver. Bianca made her way over to the the corner and climbed up to the top of one of the ring posts for a high-risk move. Nikki was able to stop her just in time, and she then got some boots in on her while she was still caught in the corner.
Cross then went up to the top next and hit a crossbody on Bianca for a two-count. Cross continued to beat down her opponent, but Bianca fought back by landing a spear on her. Bianca just simply wasn’t able to keep Cross down for the count, which shocked and bewildered the “EST of NXT.” Once again, Bianca went to lift up Nikki Cross but was able to powerbomb her successfully this time around. Now intent on doing whatever she can to win, Bianca put her hair up and went after Cross in the corner of the ring. She picked up Nikki again, but Cross countered with a sleeper hold.
Nikki herself was not able to pick up the win over Belair either. Instead, she went up to the top once more, but Belair sent her crashing back down after using her long hair braid on Cross in mid-flight. Nikki and Belair continued to fight, but neither could gain an advantage of the other. With both women now down in the ring, the lights went out. The crowd was mystified by what was happening, but suddenly, Aleister Black’s music began to play.
Winner: No Contest
When the lights came back on, Black was sitting in the middle of the ring. Bianca Belair had vanished and a winner for the match was never announced. Cross, however, was still in the ring. The crowd chanted “Nikki’s got a secret” before Black told Cross to come closer towards him. The Full Sail crowd shushed each other until there was nearly complete silence in the building. Black simply wanted Cross to tell him who attacked him. Cross did not mention who it was out loud, but she whispered a response in Black’s ear. Black began to shake with rage as the show concluded.
Who could have possibly been the one to attack Aleister Black. Now that he has returned, the answer should hopefully be revealed soon. Bobby Fish is also back and is sticking with The Undisputed Era. With NXT Takeover WarGames on the horizon now, it will definitely be interesting to see how these returns factor into the upcoming event. What is known is that next week’s show will see William Regal announce plans for the NXT Championship at the next Takeover show. The buildup all begins in just a few more days. I’ll see you NXT time!