NXT – April 11, 2018

Date: April 11, 2018
Location: Smoothie King Center, New Orleans, Louisiana
Commentators: Nigel McGuinness, Mauro Ranallo, Percy Watson

This is one of those slow walking shows with the two matches taped before this weekend’s Takeover and a bunch of highlight packages in between. It’s not clear how many of these stories will actually see advancement but things will really pick up next week. This show is more about taking a breather from last Saturday’s masterpiece. Let’s get to it.

I was in the arena for this show, sitting in the lower arena with the Titantron and hard cameras on my left.

We open with a long recap of Takeover in all its glory.

Opening sequence.

Kairi Sane vs. Lacey Evans

I could listen to that YO HO song for at least a few minutes straight. Evans is rather disliked here, which isn’t the biggest surprise in the world. Lacey grabs Sane by the waist to start before switching over to a wristlock. Evans sends her into the ropes but Sane stands on the middle rope and drops back down, just because she can. The pace quickens with Sane getting two off a dropkick but a slingshot elbow gives Evans the same.

We hit the cobra clutch to keep Sane down and a chinlock actually gets two on Sane. Back from a break with Evans hitting a slingshot Bronco Buster but Sane comes back with some chops. We go old school with a shoulder breaker on Sane until she spears the heck out of Evans. Sane’s running Blockbuster sets up a top rope clothesline, followed by the Insane Elbow for the pin at 11:49.

Rating: C. Evans is growing on me and is a very hateable character so having her go toe to toe with Sane until the loss makes sense. Sane is likely getting a pretty fast shot against Shayna Baszler (they certainly have the history together) and it’s a good idea to give her a win here. If nothing else we get the pirate music one more time.

Video on the insane ladder match.

Stills of the Tag Team Title match.

After the match, the Undisputed Era was very smug about their win. Roderick Strong whispered something to Adam Cole and no explanation was forthcoming.

Clip of the Authors of Pain arriving on Raw and leaving Paul Ellering.

The Authors, who can speak English, don’t want to talk about Ellering. Paul comes in and asks what they’re doing. He developed the strategy but Rezar says Paul’s chapter has ended.

Long video on Johnny Gargano vs. Tommaso Ciampa. What a performance.

Video on Shayna Baszler winning the Women’s Title.

Baszler is sure she’ll get congratulated but doesn’t want people jumping on her war wagon. She knows who has been here since the beginning. To people like her and Ronda Rousey, this is just another weekend because winning is what they do.

Quick look at Ember Moon debuting on Raw.

Moon and Nia Jax are ready to start something new.

Video on Aleister Black becoming NXT Champion when Zelina Vega interfered once too often.

Heavy Machinery vs. Tino Sabbatelli/Riddick Moss

Knight throws Sabbatelli around to start and it’s time for some laughing. It’s off to Moss for an early staredown and everything breaks down in a hurry. We get a little Bushwhackers from Heavy Machinery and Sabbatelli’s head gets crushed between the bellies. Sabbatelli decks Knight from behind though and we take a break. Back with Moss hitting an impressive fall away slam on Moss and handing it off to Sabbatelli for two.

The slow double teaming continues with Knight taking more of a beating, including a front facelock. Knight finally sends them into each other though and rolls over for the hot tag to Dozovic. Some running splashes in the corner rock Sabbtelli and Moss and the Worm into an elbow gets two on Tino. Knight and Moss clothesline each other and cue the WAR RAIDERS (War Machine) for the no contest at 9:36.

Rating: C. This was actually a pretty nice tag match but the ending is what matters here. The War Raiders (not wild on that name) are going to be a big deal in no time as they have everything you might need to become a top level tag team, especially with the Authors of Pain gone. Good match here though, which is kind of shocking.

The War Raiders destroy all four, including Fallout to Moss.

Overall Rating: C+. There’s only so much you can get out of the dark matches and a bunch of video packages, but at least the War Raiders debut was good. It’s really hard to complain about a show like this though, especially when the Takeover was so awesome. This was an easy week compared to everything else and we can get back to the good stuff next week. Nothing wrong with that.


Kairi Sane b. Lacey Evans – Insane Elbow

Heavy Machinery vs. Tino Sabbatelli/Riddick Moss went to a no contest when the War Raiders interfered

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