Kairi Sane made short work of Shazza McKenzie, dismantling the Australian Superstar with an explosive array of maneuvers, capped off by her spectacular InSane Elbow.
Despite her dominant performance, The Pirate Princess had the wind taken out of her sails when Lacey Evans made her way to the ring. The Lady of NXT, who lost to Sane three weeks ago, said she was wrong to suggest that Sane doesn’t belong in NXT, and she offered an apology and a handshake. Sane was suspicious of the supposed truce, and as she contemplated whether to accept the olive branch, Evans slugged her in the face. Sane’s troubles with the Evans appear to be far from over
TM61 might be mighty, but they’re not above taking shortcuts to get ahead in NXT’s competitive Tag Team division. Shane Thorne & Nick Miller proved that much in their showdown with Angelo Dawkins & Montez Ford.
With both teams plagued by recent setbacks and hungry to score a meaningful win, the battle was hotly contested from the opening bell. Innovative double-team moves were in high supply, as were hard knockdowns. Late in the match, Ford flew into a sunset flip on Thorne, but Thorne reversed it into his own matchbook-pin attempt. Thorne illegally put his feet on the ropes for added leverage, and Miller held them there, outside of the referee’s line of vision. The tactic worked and TM61 scored the win, but they might have lost the respect of the Profits, if not some members of the NXT Universe, in the process.
After weeks of anticipation, the arrival of the black-and-yellow brand’s self-proclaimed “Finest” Superstar did not disappoint. Sporting a fresh look and a pompous new attitude, Kona Reeves made a triumphant return to action, trouncing Patrick Scott in short order.
Reeves angrily clubbed and stomped Scott, only taking breaks to remind everyone that he is “The Finest.” When Scott tried to mount some offense, Reeves seemed to take it as a personal affront, growing wide-eyed with rage as he ramped up his attack. He punished Scott with a gut-wrench suplex and an elbow drop before finishing him off with the Hawaiian Drop, a devastating modified version of the Samoan Drop.
Still reeling from Tommaso Ciampa’s vicious assault on her husband Johnny Gargano last week, Candice LeRae appeared to be less than completely focused on her opposition, the ever-impressive Bianca Belair.
Looking to exploit LeRae’s distractedness, Belair overpowered LeRae in the early going, even dropping her with an awe-inspiring deadlift press slam. LeRae endured, and instead of compartmentalizing her grief, she rechanneled it as fury, firing off a series of forearm strikes against Belair. Candice Wrestling also hit a missile dropkick, but the scary-strong Belair shook off a subsequent tornado DDT attempt. The EST of NXT then sent LeRae crashing to the mat with her Alley-Oop fallaway powerbomb, giving Belair the biggest win of her young NXT career.
Whether the result can be chalked up to LeRae’s state of mind didn’t matter to Belair; The EST of NXT savored her milestone victory all the same, while LeRae was left more crestfallen than before.
It didn’t take long for the ill will between WWE United Kingdom Champion Pete Dunne and NXT Tag Team Champion Roderick Strong to come to the surface in their bitter grudge match. With the events of TakeOver: New Orleans still fresh in their minds, The BruiserWeight and The Messiah of the Backbreaker unleashed a galaxy of big strikes and nasty slams on one another.
The turning point in the hard-hitting showdown came when Strong prepared to hit one of his trademark chops (the same move that turned Daniel Bryan’s chest beet-red in the 50-Man Greatest Royal Rumble Match). Though Strong had wisely avoided giving up his hand to the digit-mangling Englishman throughout the match, his luck ran out here. Dunne prevented the chop, caught Strong’s hand and bent his fingers in all the wrong directions. The WWE U.K. Champion then barraged Strong with a German suplex and the Bitter End, but before the referee could count to three, Undisputed ERA’s Adam Cole & Kyle O’Reilly ran in and broke up the pin.
As Strong, Cole & O’Reilly continued beating down the outnumbered Dunne, a cavalry arrived in the form of Oney Lorcan & Danny Burch. After their run-in with Undisputed ERA last week, the gritty Brit-Am alliance was all too happy to even the odds and help send the nefarious faction scrambling from the ring. Dunne was denied the satisfaction of pinning his betrayer, but he can at least find solace in the fact he is no longer fighting this battle alone.
- Numbers in parentheses indicate the length of the match.
- (c) refers to the champion(s) heading into the match.
- Kairi Sane defeated Shazza McKenzie (1:49)
- TM-61 (Nick Miller & Shane Thorne) defeated Street Profits (Angelo Dawkins & Montez Ford) (3:11)
- Kona Reeves defeated Patrick Scott (2:01)
- Bianca Belair defeated Candice LeRae (3:30)
- Pete Dunne defeated Roderick Strong (w/ Adam Cole & Kyle O'Reilly) by disqualification (9:04)
Other on-screen talent