This week’s NXT show continued the feud between Andrade “Cien” Almas and Drew McIntyre, and it appears that a match between the two will be contested at NXT Takeover: WarGames for the NXT Championship soon enough. The titular WarGames match still has yet to be announced, and the Authors of Pain/SAnitY angle from last week was not followed up on, but another SAnitY member got some retribution on this show.
William Regal appeared in his office backstage to announced that Nikki Cross will be receiving another shot to get into the Fatal 4-Way match for the NXT Women’s Championship at Takeover by competing in a battle royal during the show. Her previous opportunity was thwarted by Taynara Conti, who wasn’t in the match. The Authors of Painwill also get their rematch for the NXT Tag Team Championships against SAnitY next week, and the SAnitY member not involved in the match will be banned from ringside.
Danny Burch & Oney Lorcan vs. Tino Sabbatelli & Riddick Moss –
Burch and Lorcan teamed up together for the first time during this match against Tino and Riddick, two men who recently put in some decent performances against Johnny Gargano.
Oney and Danny worked together quite well and they could definitely be a great team going forward on NXT, but Tino and Riddick were able to distract them a few times during this match in order to take advantage. After some of the stiff kicks and shots you’d probably expect from Burch and Lorcan, Moss and Sabbatelli regained control and dominated the match. For some reason, Burch and Lorcan were defeated in this match. Tino and Riddick have now gained a win, but Burch and Lorcan could definitely be a team to watch out for on this show.
Winners: Tino Sabbatelli & Riddick Moss
Battle Royal for the Final Spot in the Fatal 4-Way match at Takeover for NXT Women’s Championship –
This was the match that determined the final challenger for the vacant women’s title at Takeover next month. As mentioned earlier, Nikki Cross was entered into the match. Several women from the Performance Center and the Mae Young Classic entered the ring. Nikki arrived through the crowd and rushed into the ring before immediately going to work on Taynara Conti.
Nikki almost immediately eliminated Conti, but she retaliated by pulling her out of the ring from under the bottom rope and throwing her into the guardrail. Peyton Royce, who was on the outside supporting Billie Kay in this match, also took a shot at Nikki by throwing her into the ringside steps.
Very little wrestling took place in this match as most of the women teamed up to throw somebody out of the ring. Bianca Belair first eliminated Rhea Ripley and Zeda back to back. Sage Beckett was able to toss out Dakota Kai and Aliyah, but the latter was just able to grab hold of the ropes before being eliminated. It didn’t make much of a difference because Aliyah was tossed out by Beckett anyway just moments later. During the melee, the announcers mentioned that Santana Garrett eliminated somebody, but they did not mention who that person was.
Nikki Cross took control by doing a plancha onto nearly every single woman in the ring. She went wild and started punching and taking down every single woman who came after her. She threw Vanessa Borne out of the ring, Sage Beckett then charged after her and fell out of the ring after Cross ducked her. Nikki then ran towards Santana Garrett for another elimination. Abbey Laith attempted to go after Cross next, but she also was dumped out.
Finally, Billie Kay stopped Nikki’s onslaught by delivering some kicks. Meanwhile, Mercedes Martinez eliminated Sarah Logan, and Candice LeRae eliminated Lacey Evans by tripping her. Bianca Belair then demonstrated her strength by lifting LeRae high into the air and she tossed her outside onto Beckett and Logan, both of whom were still outside of the ring. Bianca nearly eliminated Billie Kay, but Kay grabbed onto her long ponytail in order to stay in the match. Billie shoved her and got back into the ring, but she was soon met by some vicious whips from Bianca’s long braid.
Mercedes went after Belair with some punches. Billie Kay and Nikki Cross battled each other until they fell through the middle rope. Bianca then got Martinez then and proceeded to tie her hair up. She lifted her up, but Martinez fought out of it. Finally, they battled on the apron for a bit.
Suddenly, Nikki ran back into the ring, charged after the two women, and eliminated them both from the match. Billie Kay then dumped Nikki over the top rope, but unbeknownst to her, Cross held onto the rope. She celebrated as if she won the match, but when she realized that Cross wasn’t finished yet, she ran after her. Cross dodged Kay and she fell onto the floor, giving Nikki the win.
Winner: Nikki Cross
After the match, William Regal entered the ring with the NXT Women’s Championship. Nikki and Peyton Royce began to argue in the ring. Ember Moon and Kairi Sane then came down to the ring, and the four women had a staredown.
Drew McIntyre is being interviewed about being NXT Champion when Zelina Vega interrupts him. She asks him why William Regal still has not granted Andrade “Cien” Almas” a title shot yet. Drew repeats exactly what he told her last week: if Almas wants a title shot, then he has to ask Drew for the match face to face. Drew leaves while Vega is visibly upset.
Aleister Black made his way down to the ring, but his match never got started because The Velveteen Dream literally rose up from behind him and threw him into the steel steps. Black got tied up in the ropes. Mauro Ranallo said that this was the most vulnerable Black has ever been… for the Velveteen Dream. Dream demanded that Black say his name while he delivered some stiff slaps to Black, who seemed to be on the verge of giving in. Dream charged after Black but good ol’ Al kicked him and freed himself from the ropes. He went for the Black Mass kicked, but the Dream left and ran away. it was mentioned by the announcers that this was the first time that Black missed the Black Mass kick. Again, for the Velveteen Dream.
Andrade “Cien” Almas vs. Roderick Strong –
Before the match began, Zelina Vega grabbed a mic and once again asked why Almas had not been granted a title shot against Drew McIntyre yet. She reminded Drew McIntyre that he is on top of the mountain, but just as he found out during his last WWE run, the higher up on the mountain you are, the higher it is to breath. She vowed that Almas would defeated Roderick Strong and then face Drew for the NXT Championship.
The match itself saw the two wrestler have an outstanding back and fourth battle, with plenty of stiff shots and unique moves being delivered. At one point, Strong delivered a backbreaker to Almas on the ring apron. The two were very evenly matched during this fight. Roddy had the match won towards the end, but the turning point came in spectacular fashion when Vega hit a hurricanrana on Strong, sending him into the ring steps. This allowed Almas to capitalize on Strong by hitting a few big moves before finally scoring the win with a Hammerlock DDT.
Winner: Andrade “Cien” Almas
After the match, Vega and Almas walked towards the announcer’s table. Vega grabbed hold of Mauro Ranallo’s headset and warned Drew McIntyre that Almas will indeed meet him face to face next week until he grants him a shot for the NXT Championship. Almas then speaks in Spanish, essentially telling Drew McIntyre that he knows he is afraid of him. The two then walked to the back before disappearing.
In the ring, Roderick Strong sits and thinks about the loss he just suffered. Suddenly, The Undisputed Era arrives and comes down to the ring. Adam Cole audibly can be heard telling Strong that he is not a loser and that he belongs in his group. He invited him to join the group while the crowd erupted in “yes” chants. Strong never gave an answer, but Cole removed an Undisputed Era armband that he had been wearing and handed it to Strong, which he accepted. The group left as Strong stayed in the ring contemplated his next move.
Takeover in Houston is definitely beginning to take shape. It appears that Andrade “Cien” Almas vs. Drew McIntyre for the title is going to be announced sooner rather than later. The women’s match is finally set as well. Now all that is left is the announcement of the biggest event on the show: the Johnny Gargano vs. Shawn Michaels “ab-off!” Oh, and WarGames might be announced next week too. I’ll see you NXT time!