REGAL MAKES SOME ANNOUNCEMENTS-
1. Because Nikki Cross got screwed in her qualifier two weeks ago, she is getting inserted into tonight’s battle royale. Hooray for logic!
2. SAnitY will defend the tag titles next week against the Authors of Pain, who will finally get their rematch, and the member of SAnitY who isn’t wrestling (I guess they’re using the Freebird Rule now?) will be barred from ringside. Regal also made sure to note that he had lectured SAnitY, the AOP, and the Undisputed Era about “proper conduct.”
RIDDICK MOSS & TINO SABBATELLI vs. DANNY BURCH & ONEY LORCAN- 5.5/10
That BRUTAL chop from Lorcan to Moss to start things off was PERFECT. It took a completely cold match and started it off hot, but more than that, Moss and Sabbatelli are just the kind of big Johnny Ace bodybuilder types who you just want to see get the sh*t chopped out of them. That being said, Moss & Sabbatelli actually looked pretty good this week. I really liked them getting the win, too, as it gives them some much-needed credibility while giving the team of Burch & Lorcan something to work towards rather than just giving them a win right away.
NXT WOMEN’S TITLE MATCH QUALIFIER BATTLE ROYALE- 7/10
As far as giant battle royales go, this was pretty great. The field was the usual NXT crowd plus a lot of Mae Young Classic competitors. Nikki Cross came out last and charged right for Taynara Conti and eliminated her first, but Conti pulled Cross out under the bottom rope and slammed her into the stairs, which put Cross out for a while. Everything they did at the end with Bianca’s hair was awesome, I loved all of the booking, and they gave some of the less established women (particularly Mercedes Martinez and Bianca Belair) time to shine.
After the match we got a very forced-feeling stare-down between the four competitors in the title match, with Regal in the ring holding the belt as well, feeling equally forced. I’m sorry, but this dumb sailor gimmick makes it really hard for me to take Kairi Sane seriously. When she’s wrestling she’s awesome, but the rest of the time she looks like she accidentally wandered in from some sort of convention.
ZELENA VEGA BOTHERS DREW MCINTYRE AT A PRESS CONFERENCE- she wants to know why Almas hasn’t received the paperwork for his title shot yet. Drew told her the same thing he told her last week: he’ll give Almas a title shot if Almas is man enough to walk up to him and ask for it himself.
ALEISTER BLACK/VELVETEEN DREAM ANGLE- GREAT!
Dream jumped Black on his way to the ring for a match and tied him up in the ropes. He then demanded that Black say his name and kept slapping him in the face every time he refused… until Black broke free and almost nailed him with Black Mass but Dream just narrowly avoided it. Mauro pointed out that this was the first time that anyone has been able to avoid Black Mass.
ZELENA VEGA PROMO- she’s trying to push Drew’s buttons. The promo was pretty good, but that thick Brooklyn accent sticking out of her Hispanic accent makes her sound goofy as hell every time she has to say a word that ends in an “r.”
RODERICK STRONG vs. ANDRADE “CIEN” ALMAS (w/Zelena Vega)- 8/10
Almas puts on an awesome main event for the second week in a row. This match was very intense and had lots of interesting twists and turns, but the thing everyone is going to remember is the finish. Major props to NXT: they saved Zelena Vega’s first real spot for something big and this was sure a big spot. After the match Vega cut a promo saying that Almas would meet Drew face-to-face next week, and Almas cut a promo claiming Drew is scared of them.
UNDISPUTED ERA CONFRONT RODERICK STRONG- They tell Roddy that he should join them so he can make his family proud. Cole hands him an arm-band with the Undisputed Era’s logo on it. Roddy held it questioningly, and Undisputed Era left. Well… at least this seems to be a sign that there will be some movement in this angle soon.
Another AWESOME episode of NXT, with just about everything aside from the main event over-delivering, and that’s only because you expect awesomeness with guys like Roderick Strong and Andrade “Cien” Almas facing off.
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