The identity of Aleister Black’s attacker is finally known while the long-awaited debut of the King of Bros, Matt Riddle, takes place this upcoming week on NXT!
A vignette for Mia Yim’s debut was broadcasted showcasing her journey to NXT. The ‘Blasian Baddie’ would face NXT’s own Aliyah in her debut. Aliyah would come out to the ring and Vic Joseph would deliver a great line about the heel during her entrance, saying “Aliyah told me the greatest pain of her life is never being able to see herself perform live.”
Mia Yim, fresh off her quarter-final exit in the second Mae Young Classic tournament, came out to a good reception from the crowd. Aliyah would get some offense in but this was not a lot more than a squash match with Mia showcasing her moveset to the NXT crowd. A cannonball followed up by a facebreaker kick, a finisher last used in WWE by Enzo Amore. Apparently, they are calling her finisher ‘Seoul Food’.
Right after this match, a backstage segment with Bianca Belair and William Regal was shown as Bianca demanded a title shot since she is “un-de-fea-ted”. Bianca Belair, rightfully, gets a lot of love from fans from her ring skills and undoubted natural athletic ability but her promo skills can be extremely cringe-worthy at times.
A video package about the “Lady of NXT”, Lacey Evans, was also broadcasted, showcasing her personality and character. Great vignette, it has to be said. Presented her as a ruthless heel with a purpose to strive for – teaching all the other ‘classless’ women of NXT a thing or two about manners and giving NXT fans a new role model.
Undisputed Era at Full Strength
The first segment of the show was the Undisputed Era coming out to a raucous reception from the NXT faithful. An Undisputed Era which now counts four men as its members with the return of Bobby Fish from injury last week. There were ‘Bobby’ chants as the quartet stood in the middle of the ring before Adam Cole’s promo.
Cole talked about how, with the Era now better than ever, they would make people fear NXT – because the Undisputed Era is NXT. That was a great line. Cole would then look to address the NXT North American champion, Ricochet, but he would be interrupted by EC3. There were ‘NX3’ signs in the Full Sail crowd. EC3 is clearly going down well as a babyface, judging by the warm reception he was given here.
EC3 produced a solid and, at times, hilarious promo on the Undisputed Era with excellent facial expressions. The new babyface would tell Adam Cole that he was not worthy of an NXT North American title rematch which would prompt Cole to tell him to shut up. Cole would then call for a referee to be sent out and challenged EC3 to a match right then and there.
EC3 vs Adam Cole
A good match with some hilariously audible ringside commentary from Bobby Fish at times. Not sure if we have ever seen Fish cut a promo all by himself in NXT but the way he was shouting encouragements at Cole during this match made you wonder how a run as a manager for Bobby Fish would look like.
A match, obviously, marred with constant distractions and heel-spots from the Undisputed Era culminated with EC3 knocking all three members of the Era from the ring apron before rolling up its leader for the shock win. The ‘NX3’ signs were out in full force after the pinfall.
However, as soon as EC3 would get out of the ring and look to head to the back, Roderick Strong and Kyle O’Reilly would hit a double-team combo move on his on the outside, laying out the one-percenter. They would then drag EC3 to the entrance ramp where Adam Cole would deliver his shining wizard finisher maneuver to the back of EC3’s prone head.
One person who wasn’t done here though. Bobby Fish, and the aggressive, hardcore side of Fish that we saw last week, took over. Even Cole, O’Reilly and Strong looked caught off guard with what their partner was doing. Fish grabbed a chair and smashed it against EC3’s knee. His teammates’ reactions could be seen as going from shock to glee. It is very interesting to see the creative team adding this layer to Bobby Fish’s personality.
Justin Xavier made his NXT TV debut this past week, going up against a focused Kassius Ohno. Ohno was all business here, making quick work of Xavier who, it must be added, came out to some extremely unique electro-techno music. A very rare audible in wrestling.
Kassius was very different in this match, compared to his usual style, employing some heelish tendencies. Dismissive of his opponent, he even remarked to having not even seen him after Xavier tried to shoulder tackle him before slapping the taste out of the newcomer’s mouth. Before finishing Xavier off, Kassius could be heard shouting “this ain’t what I asked for, Regal”.
However, the night wasn’t over here for Kassius Ohno. Nikki Cross would come out and stand at the entrance ramp after his match. Nikki would laugh while pointing at Kassius while the crowd chanted ‘Nikki’s got a secret’. Nikki would say ‘he’s coming, I know what you did, he’s coming’ before returning to the back.
It looks like Kassius will be playing the heel to the debuting Matt Riddle on NXT.
A Matt Riddle promo package was shown with the former UFC competitor set to debut on NXT TV next week!
The Undisputed Era interruption of General Manager William Regal’s interview with Cathy Kelley the past week led to Regal making a tag-team match for next week with Adam Cole and Bobby Fish teaming up to take on the War Raiders. The facial expressions of Bobby Fish and Kyle O’Reilly in this segment were absolute money.
A touching Roman Reigns tribute was also broadcast on the show, recapping the video footage of the NXT alum’s announcement from the previous RAW.
There was no main event match on the past week’s NXT, instead NXT GM William Regal stood in the ring. As Regal started speaking about the upcoming TakeOver War Games and the no.1 contender to the NXT Championship, he was interrupted by NXT Champion Tommaso Ciampa.
Ciampa would clutch his precious title to his chest as he made his way to the ring. The champ would tell Regal (respectfully) to wipe the smug look off his face and to hurry up with the announcement. However, the duo would then be interrupted by the Velveteen Dream’s music. The eccentric one would come out, looking to get a piece of the action. However, as soon as the Dream would get in the ring, Lars Sullivan’s music would hit and NXT’s resident ‘Freak’ would make his way out with a mic in his hand.
Sullivan would come out and tell the Velveteen Dream to mind his surroundings because he stood in Lars Sullivan territory. The Man Mountain wants the NXT championship.
The Dream would try to poke a joke at Sullivan’s expense which would result in the latter grabbing him by the neck as he stood on the ring apron. However, Nikki Cross would make her way out to ringside, shrieking “he’s coming, he’s coming!” excitedly before sliding into the ring.
Aleister Black: Build-up
Throughout the night, the focus of the show had been on one man – Aleister Black. NXT this past week even started with a great opening line from Vic Joseph, who was filling in for Mauro Ranallo. Joseph said General Manager Regal is going to great lengths to secure his brand from Aleister Black’s vengeance. That set the tone for the entire show. Percy Watson went on to add that if Black was to show up, he would burn Full Sail to the ground. Great way to put over the former NXT champion.
Nikki Cross was also seen throughout the show, mocking the security team that was shown to be placed outside the arena, keeping a lookout for Aleister Black. Cross would shout “he’s coming” to the security team before running off, laughing maniacally. The best-handled character in the entire WWE.
After a backstage segment with Bianca BelAir, General Manager William Regal was interviewed by Cathy Kelley, asking whether he had any idea what name was given to Aleister Black by Nikki Cross as his attacker. Regal said he didn’t but he did know that Aleister was going to raise hell whenever he arrived.
Aleister Black: Arrival
After Nikki Cross’ appearance in the final segment of the show, Aleister Black would be shown outside the arena, laying out the security put outside. Black would hurriedly make his way into the arena, knocking out everyone who came in his way, including innocent security staff and cameramen. Shades of Shawn Michaels‘ super-kicking Tye Dillinger (fka Stan) in 2006.
As Black appeared in the arena, NXT Champion Tommaso Ciampa would make a run for it. Aleister would get in the ring and immediately deliver the Black Mass to Lars Sullivan who was trying to enter the ring. The former NXT Champion would then grab William Regal by his coat, push him into a corner and shout “where is he?!”. As Black would turn around, however, there stood Johnny Wrestling, Johnny Gargano himself.
Aleister Black meets his Attacker
Johnny Gargano, dressed in all-black, which appears to be the colour-of-choice when turning heel in WWE, decked Aleister with a super-kick of his own before standing over his fallen victim and uttering the words “I’m right here”.
For the first time in NXT history, the show ended with Johnny Gargano receiving thunderous boos.