by James Toal
It’s that time once again NXT Universe, time to see what went down this week on everyone’s favourite weekly WWE network show… No, not Table for 3! We have the decider between The Authors of Pain vs The Street Profits to determine who will go on to face The Undisputed Era for the Tag Team Titles. What happens before all of that? Let’s take a look.
Heavy Machinery vs Tino Sabbatelli & Riddick Moss
Heavy Machinery were on fire in this match. They were funny but also took time in demonstrating their mat wrestling skills. Not to mention using their incredible strength to do away with any threat that Sabbatelli and Moss may have posed. While Otis and Tucker ran rings around their opponents, even leading to tributes to the tag team The Bush Whackers and Scotty 2 Hotty, they lost thanks to Moss using the ropes to pin Heavy Machinery and steal the win. A fun opening to the show while also continuing the feud between these two teams.
– The Undisputed Era insulted their upcoming challenges for NXT TakeOver. Adam Cole didn’t seem fazed by the Extreme Rules stipulation, and the tag title holders, Bobby Fish & Kyle O’Reilly warned both AOP and Street Profits about what they’re up against if they win.
– Aleister Black responded to Adam Cole by saying that he has trained his body to be an extension of his strength, rather than needing weapons. But he’ll do what he must in order to make Adam Cole fade to black.
– TM61 reappeared (Yay!) in a backstage segment (Boo!) acting natural and talking about their past, upbringing, and their journey to the WWE. We should be seeing more of them very soon.
– No Way Jose danced and bragged that 2018 will be his year. He’ll be back next week.
– Johnny Gargano responded to Zelina’s doubts about his win. Johnny was done being looked down on and no one was going to stop him. He put his opportunity on the line against Velveteen Dream. A fired up Gargano may silence all the doubters, but will he come out victorious?
Rodrick Strong vs Fabian Aichner
If you’re aware of the skill that both Strong and Aichner have, then you know you were going to get something interesting at the least. A back and forth matchup saw both men one-upping the other to gain an advantage, and while I would’ve liked to have seen them go on for longer, what we got in the end was good enough. Strong finally turned the tide and managed to make Aichner tap out in a harsh Boston Crab.
Strong took to the microphone, echoing words that Lars Sullivan stated last week. Strong wants to take on Sullivan, but will he be able to beat him?
Aliyah vs Lacey Evans
Something was off about this match. Maybe it was when Aliyah didn’t seem to sell the pain of having her face scraped along the rope, or that Lacey won with a knockout punch. Either way, this felt lacking in areas and ultimately comes across as a match to kill time. This did at least lead to Lacey cutting a decent promo on Aliyah and the other women in the division.
Shayna Baszler came down, seemingly to shut Lacey up, but turns out she came to take down Aliyah and knock her out. Ember Moon ran down for support, but Baszler got out in time. Ember called her out and wanted to fight her right there and then. Name a place? Name a time? How about NXT TakeOver?
William Regal made it official, and now we have a women’s title match at NXT TakeOver.
Street Profits vs Authors of Pain w/ Paul Ellering
It almost seemed too good to be true that the Street Profits would be getting a title shot this early. You’d be right, it wasn’t true. While they did get a good build up as the underdog team, the AOP took advantage and dominated the match. Just when the Street Profits gained a whimper of momentum, the AOP finished them off with a supercollider and then their patented Last Chapter. The AOP will be facing Undisputed Era at NXT TakeOver, now it’ll be up to Bobby Fish and Kyle O’Reilly to see if they can put an end to the tyranny of Akam and Rezar.