Date: July 18, 2018
Location: Full Sail University, Winter Park, Florida
Commentators: Nigel McGuinness, Mauro Ranallo, Percy Watson
Tonight we get to see one of NXT’s best features in action. The main event of this week’s show is a triple threat match for the #1 contendership to the Women’s Title. Around here, that’s something that can headline a show without blinking an eye. On any other show, such a thing would be insane. Let’s get to it.
Dakota Kai vs. Lacey Evans
Evans mocks Kai’s kicking to start so Kai rolls her up and rides her on the mat, freaking the heck out of Evans in the process. A shot to the ribs cuts Kai off though and Evans puts her in the Tree of Woe. That means more shots to the ribs, even after Evans uses the strings from Kai’s boot to tie her in the corner. Kai falls out of the corner so Evans kicks and stomps away, with Kai selling the heck out of it.
We hit a double arm crank with a knee in Kai’s back until Evans misses a moonsault. Rapid fire kicks to the face set up some running face wash kicks in the corner for two as Nigel screams about how you can’t hit Evans in the face. A pumphandle slam gets Evans out of trouble and the Woman’s Right is good for the pin on Kai at 8:58.
Rating: C+. This got better in the second half but the first part of this with all of the kicks and stomps to the ribs took away a lot of energy. I’m not sure if I like Evans or not as she has a character that can draw some good heat but I’m having issues getting past the right hand finisher and her not great in-ring skills. There’s something awkward about her and it’s a little much at times.
Ricochet is ready to come after the Undisputed Era because he’s going to eventually get his hands on Adam Cole and the North American Title.
The Street Profits are playing basketball and talking about getting even with The Mighty.
EC3 didn’t mean to show up Velveteen Dream when he interrupted him. After stopping for a picture and giving away a shirt, EC3 runs into Kona Reeves, who talks about the finest. A match is set up as Reeves doesn’t show me anything talking either.
Video on Tommaso Ciampa vs. Aleister Black before their title match next week. The idea is both of them can dip down into the darkness but Ciampa claims to only need one second to become the champion.
Kassius Ohno vs. Rick Ramirez
Discus forearm for the pin in 40 seconds.
The Undisputed Era brags about getting their titles back and calls Ricochet a joke who thinks he’ll get a title shot. These guys are really starting to find their groove.
Video on the War Raiders, including their history as a team. They met in a tournament (the Ring of Honor Top Prospect Tournament I believe) and beat each other so hard that they decided to hit opponents together just as hard. They’re modern day vikings and know that no one can stop them. Then Rowe had a serious motorcycle wreck in 2014 and was lucky to survive. If that can’t stop them, how could any tag team? Rowe is the smaller of the team but he’s the powerhouse while Hanson is the bigger one who flies. Nothing can stop them.
Video on Velveteen Dream and all of his experiences. The next experience in Brooklyn may be the greatest.
Nikki Cross vs. Candice LeRae vs. Kairi Sane
The winner gets a title shot at Takeover and Women’s Champion Shayna Baszler comes out for commentary (with Nikki waving at her in that crazy way). They exchange rollups to start as the fans are split between Kairi and Cross. LeRae gets knocked to the floor as Baszler says all three are bodies, meaning they’re submissions waiting to happen. That’s a great line. LeRae pulls Cross to the floor but the suicide dive is blocked with an elbow.
Back in and Cross grabs something like a Rings of Saturn before tying her in the Tree of Woe for some stompings. Sane comes back in with a spear to Cross and a double stomp for two on LeRae. Cross breaks up the Anchor but LeRae pops back up to take them both down. A Cannonball off the apron drops Sane but Cross plants LeRae with a reverse DDT on the ramp. Not to be outdone, Sane hits a suicide elbow to Cross and they’re all down on the floor.
Baszler isn’t impressed because the winner gets to face her, and that’s not really winning. Back in and Sane gets the worst of a Tower of Doom so it’s time for a slugout from their knees. LeRae takes over with a Downward Spiral/DDT combination, followed by a Lionsault for two on Sane.
Cross hits a hanging swinging neckbreaker onto the floor so Nigel asks if Baszler learned anything from her first match with Nikki. Baszler: “Yeah. That I can beat her.” Three straight belly to back suplexes knock Sane silly but LeRae is back in with a small package to slow Cross down. Another Lionsault hits Cross, only to have Sane drop the Insane Elbow for the save and the pin on LeRae at 10:30.
Rating: B-. The action was good but Baszler was the most impressive to me here with some outstanding lines that made her come off like a star. She’s so condescending and such a jerk that you want to see anyone beat the heck out of her and take the title. That’s an art that takes time to develop and she’s done it in such a short amount of time. Sane was the best choice here as Baszler has beaten Cross and LeRae feels like a longer term title project.
The staredown ends the show.
Overall Rating: C+. This is one of the most entertaining times in NXT: the night when you can see the next Takeover card taking form. You can pretty much guess what’s coming based on the last week or two of television and, as usual, that looks quite good from here. The next taping cycle can firmly establish everything so this is kind of the final preview, which has me wanting to see what we’re getting at one of the biggest shows of the year. In other words, everything is looking good around here, as usual.
Lacey Evans b. Dakota Kai – Woman’s Right
Kassius Ohno b. Rick Ramirez – Discus elbow
Kairi Sane b. Nikki Cross and Candice LeRae – Insane Elbow to LeRae
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