History has its eyes on you, NXT. For the first time in NXT history, two women went head to head in a grudge match that pushed both women to their limits. Io Shirai and Shayna Baszler duked it out in a cage match which ending truly shocked this writer. What happened? Well, let’s take a look.
NXT Breakout Tournament: Joaquin Wilde vs. Angel Garza
The Breakout Tournament began this week as Joaquin Wilde (Joaquin Tall? Joaquin Dead? This names a Gold mine) squared off with Angel Garza (think Eddie Guerrero but with less charm). A nice touch was personality profiles that introduced the competitors to the audience. Their in-ring work did the rest of the talking for them.
A fairly standard match with one moment of Garza ripping his tights off leading this to be an entertaining bout (Steph, aka our French Nygma, says it is…). Wilde downed Garza at ringside with a big dive. Garza recovered and answered with an impressive Spanish Fly from the top rope that only scored a two-count. Wilde tried a last-gasp roll-up but ate a big kick to the face. Garza finished him with an underhook jawbreaker for the win.
What happened in between though?
Let me simplify this for you guys:
• Aliyah and Vanessa Borne continued being the absolute worst to Mia Yim
• Damien Priest has THE voice that could make any promo sound good.
• And KUSHIDA smiles, plus he’s really happy to be in WWE. Reaaaaaaally happy.
The Street Profits vs. The Forgotten Sons
NXT Tag Team Champions The Street Profits arrived to a thunderous ovation. They cut a promo on The Forgotten Sons, who hit the ring and said they could beat Angelo Dawkins and Montez Ford if the titles were on the line, something to which the new champions agreed.
After the match, The Forgotten Sons triple-teamed Dawkins until Oney Lorcan and Danny Burch made the save. With the heels cleared out of the squared circle, Lorcan and Burch held the titles in their grasps and stared down Ford and Dawkins.
They handed the titles over to the champions before reminding them they owe the hard-hitting tandem one.
Keith Lee vs. Nykos Rios
Oh, it’s squash match time baby. You could smell the squash all the way to Wimbledon. Honestly, this was a fun time as Rios tried hard to get into it, but he and the bin liner he’d been shoved into ended up flat on the floor for the 3-count.
A fun moment for Keith Lee as he builds his reputation in NXT and makes him a foe to be contended with.
Steel Cage Match for the NXT Women’s Championship: Io Shirai vs. Shayna Baszler
The first Women’s Steel Cage match in NXT history served as the perfect conclusion to the rivalry between Shayna Baszler and Io Shirai. This was a sight to behold so I encourage every reader to check this match out RIGHT NOW.
Shirai found herself on the receiving end of the champion’s relentless assault early. Baszler sent her into the cage both face- and back-first as she tried to overwhelm her with her power advantage. Shirai mustered a weak comeback, but The Queen of Spades brought her back down.
Two straight dropkicks by Shirai sent Baszler into the cage and sparked a more sustained comeback. She delivered double knees to her opponent’s back and then a German suplex, but she could only get a two-count.
Shirai scaled the cage, but Shafir met her up top. Candice LeRae made the save, wiped out Duke and kicked Shafir off the cage. Shirai delivered a breathtaking moonsault from the top of the cage and wiped out Baszler. Just as she inched closer and closer to the door, Baszler grabbed her foot. She twice applied the choke out, but Shirai answered by slamming her aggressor’s head into the door. Unfortunately for the challenger, the champion fell out the door and to the floor, retaining the title.
After the match, a frustrated Shirai attacked LeRae, beating her with a steel chair and flattening her with a suplex. She ended the show by walking out to a chorus of boos.
My. GOD. An impressive feat to fit all that storytelling in one segment. But they pulled it off. I’d tip my hat if I hadn’t already removed it in respect of LeRae’s back. That had to hurt.
All pics and videos courtesy of WWE