by James Toal
It’s that time once again, time to check out what NXT has in store for us this week! The surprise return of the Authors of Pain has reopened their claim to the Tag Team titles, will they be able to regain their lost belts? (I bloody hope not). How will the feud between Aleister Black and The Velveteen Dream continue to build? There’s only one way to find out! Let’s take a look.
We open the episode with the most exciting way to present a championship match announcement… Tweets. Andrade ‘Cien’ Almas will take on Drew McIntyre for his NXT Championship at NXT TakeOver: War Games, which for most fans must have been a huge collection of people shouting “Finally!”. Almas has slowly built his character back up thanks to being paired with Zelina Vega and is being rewarded with what may be his first title match in the WWE.
Taynara Conti vs Nikki Cross
Before Nikki goes into the title match at NXT TakeOver, she still had a score to settle with Conti. Cross wasted no time in taking over the match, while Conti ran for the hills. It was clear that Cross wasn’t going to pull any punches, even as Conti tried to gain the advantage with some kicks, Nikki just kept that amused smile on her face. It all ended with the Fisherman’s Neckbreaker from Nikki and this little conflict was over.
I appreciate the need to build Conti’s character up by telling us her fighting experience. But, when we don’t see any of that Brazilian Juijitsu in action, it comes across like it doesn’t matter as we just saw Conti impersonate a rag doll with the number of times she got tossed around. I’m sure it’s just a stepping stone to develop her character, but let’s not get too carried away and leave her as just the resident punching bag.
Via WWE.com, Mercedes Martinez was depressed about not being able to get to go to TakeOver. She also stated that she knew one person who wasn’t going to win at the PPV, and that was Ember Moon. Oh dear, is this telegraphing an Ember Moon loss so she can go straight into a programme with Martinez? We are all thinking that Kairi Sane is going to win the match anyway, but I at the very least wanted to entertain the idea of Moon winning the championship.
Aleister Black will face The Velveteen Dream at NXT Takeover. You can bet that this will be the one to keep your eyes on, it may just be the match of the night.
Street Profits admired a sports car, which turned out to be owned by Riddick Moss & Tino Sabbotelli. Why they both own that car is curious, but the heel team developed their characters by coming across as upper-class snobs. This is great because it was better than literally having no personality to begin with.
Drew McIntyre made his way to the ring but was assaulted by Andrade ‘Cien’ Almas. The contract was signed by Almas and to add more disrespect was stuck back onto McIntyre via Vega’s chewing gum. No guys! You have to do your contract signing in the ring, how else are you going to do the staring contest that everyone seems to do in that scenario.
Peyton Royce & Billie Kay were annoyed how Nikki Cross stole a spot from them. They then moved the insults onto Kairi Sane, but the Pirate Princess showed up and intimidated them just by showing them her elbow. I love how she just walks off nonchalantly afterward, like she’s enjoying every second she spends in NXT.
Johnny Gargano vs Fabien Aichner
A strong technical start from Gargano and Aichner, which was then followed by fast-paced athleticism and impressive strength from both men. Aichner managed to showcase his move set very well by combining the agility of a cruiserweight and the strength of a heavyweight, almost like Tony Nese but interesting to watch. Both men appeared to be evenly matched, even going as far to say that if Aichner was given the right character, these two could work for an awesome matchup down the line. The resilience from both of them could lead to an intense twenty-minute match, whether we get that in the future is another story.
Back and forth the match went with plenty of exhilarating high-flying moves, but surprisingly Aichner win with an abdominal stretch roll-up pin. Story-wise this again leads to Gargano questioning himself, but outside of that, it doesn’t hurt Gargano to take the loss. Aichner was presented to look exceptional and I believe they succeeded in doing so. Where Johnny wrestling will go from here though is going to be looming over us as we wait until Ciampa returns.
MAIN EVENT: Sanity vs Authors of Pain – NXT Tag Team Championships
As a side note, I swear you could pause on Alexander Wolfe’s face and you’d find an endless of reaction faces to entertain you. The guy has got range is all I’m saying. Anyway, the match initiated with the Authors of Pain taking the offense while Sanity played catch-up. Once Sanity took control, they ran wild. Both Wolfe and Young seemed energized and raring to go, sadly AOP acted the part of a brick wall to put a brake on any momentum Sanity had gained.
The teamwork that made Akam and Rezar so fearful in the past was definitely back, the hiatus they had been on was worth it as they came out looking refreshed and even seem to have more chemistry. We’re always welcome to improvement here at Steel Chair Magazine. Sanity continued to dominate for a considerable amount of time thanks to their own tag team skills, but the AOP resisted through brute strength. We thought it was all over when we saw The Last Chapter, however, the Undisputed Era came down to break up the tag. Presumably, because they’d rather face the lesser of two evils, but this led to an all-out brawl.
Even the mighty Killian Dane wasn’t able to bring order, The Undisputed Era stood tall and a smiling Rodrick Strong came down to the ring. Strong pulled out the armband given to him last week and showed he was fully in on the dominating team… all until he sucker-punched Adam Cole from behind as it was all a ruse. Then to end all the Chaos, William Regal came out to announce that all of them would be facing each other in a WAR GAMES match… Now you can breathe.
Well, this all ended in utter chaos. Overall it wasn’t a bad episode, but I was disappointed that Rodrick Strong didn’t join the Undisputed Era. All in all, it was a harmless episode that builds well to the next PPV. Here’s me hoping that this one tops them all.