NXT (April 11, 2018)

NXT 2017 Logo

We kick things off with a highlight video of the outstanding NXT TakeOver: New Orleans event which you should probably watch if you haven’t already. After that and the standard NXT opening video, Mauro & Co. welcome us back to the Smoothie King Center in New Orleans for TakeOver fallout!

Match 1: Kairi Sane vs. Lacey Evans

Last week on NXT, Evans called out pretty much the entire women’s division so I guess this match has come about because of that.

Evans looks to overpower Sane early on, but Sane uses her speed to escape and get the better of Evans. Evans gets whipped into the ropes and floats over onto the apron. She then takes control of the match by slamming Sane’s head into the turnbuckles as she charges Evans.

Evans follows with a slingshot elbow drop for two. Evans follows up with kicks and lariats before working over Sane’s neck with a Cobra Clutch. She transitions it into a pin attempt but only gets a two count. Evans then unloads on Sane with forearms and chops in the corner that knock Sane’s extension out of her hair before going back to the Cobra Clutch as we go to commercial. TAPE MACHINES ARE ROLLING!

We return from break to find Evans still in control. She hits an impressive looking handstand bronco buster in the corner.

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Sane fires back with chops but Evans cuts her off with a shoulder breaker for a near fall. Evans follows with chops, but Sane catches her arm and fires back with a forearm.

Evans shoves Sane off but Sane hits the ropes and levels her with the interceptor spear. Sane sells her neck and shoulder for a bit after that allowing Evans a chance to recover. Sane hits a running blockbuster for two but Evans kicks out.

Evans gets to the corner to recover, but Kairi marches to the opposite corner and hits the Sliding D. She then heads up top and connects with a flying forearm (or “Kabuki Elbow” according to Mauro) for two. Sane follows up with a modified Boston Crab but Evans powers out and gets back to her feet only to be leveled by a spinning backfist.

Sane calls for the elbow and heads up to the top rope. The Insane Elbow connects and Kairi Sane picks up the win.

Winner: Kairi Sane

Sane picks up another win. With Moon moving on to the main roster it makes sense to build up Sane as the first challenger for Baszler’s championship. For the most part Evans looked pretty decent here. There were a couple moments early on when she and Sane seemed to be on different pages but they got it together pretty quickly. With Peyton Royce and Billie Kay also moving up to the main roster NXT needs a midcard heel for faces in the women’s division to feud with on TV and I think Lacey Evans could serve that role nicely. [**]

Highlights for Children!

We get highlights from NXT TakeOver: New Orleans of the ladder match for the new North American Championship as well as the finals to the Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic where Undisputed Era retained the Tag Team titles thanks to a heel turn from Roderick Strong.

Meanwhile Backstage…

Some lady is standing by with Undisputed Era for an interview. She talks about how Cole won the North American title and how they successfully retained the Tag Team titles but said the thing everyone was talking about was Roderick Strong joining them. She asks Cole why Strong joined in spite Strong being right there.

Strong put his hand over the mic to prevent Cole from answering and said, “I got this.” He then whispered something to Cole and all four members of Undisputed Era left without saying another word.

Meanwhile on Raw…

The Authors of Pain make their Raw debut and split with Paul Ellering. When then get a backstage interview where Ellering asks them what’s going on. They tell him that this wasn’t about Paul and his chapter ended in NXT. They then walk off without Ellering.

Highlights for Children!

We are then shown highlights of the amazing match between Gargano and Ciampa from TakeOver. Awesome highlight reel from an awesome match. Gargano will be back on NXT next week.

Highlights for Children!

We are next shown highlights on Shayna Baszler beating Ember Moon for the NXT Women’s Championship.

Meanwhile Backstage…

Kayla congratulates Baszler on becoming the NXT Women’s Champion but Baszler says this isn’t a bandwagon it’s a war wagon. People don’t get to hop on just because she has the belt. She knows who was with her from the beginning and who wasn’t.

Kayla asks her about Ronda Rousey’s then upcoming match but Baszler says that to them, this was just another weekend since this is where they’ve lived and breathed the entire time they’d known each other. She then said that the NXT Women’s Division was going to change. It wasn’t going to be about compliments and hair but rather about wrestling.

Meanwhile on Raw…

We are shown Ember Moon’s Raw debut where she teamed with Nia Jax to take on Mickie James and Alexa Bliss. We then get a post-match interview with Ember Moon and Nia.

Ember says that her biggest regret is leaving a monster (Shayna Baszler) with the rest of the NXT Women’s Division, but she says that she knows they are strong enough to dethrone Baszler. Nia then welcomes her to Raw and tells her, “C’mon let’s go party,” and they leave together.

Highlights for Children!

We get highlights of Aleister Black beating Andrade “Cien” Almas for the NXT Championship at TakeOver.

Meanwhile on Raw…

No Way Jose debuted on Raw as Adam Rose 2.0.

Meanwhile on SmackDown…

Peyton Royce and Billie Kay make their debut on SmackDown as IIconics or some such nonsense.

Match 2: Heavy Machinery vs. Tino Sabbatelli & Riddick Moss

FUCK YES! I legit love Heavy Machinery and their matches with the Sports Car Douchebags earlier this year have been pretty fun.

Tucker and Sabbatelli start off and the crowd beings with the “Tino sucks!” chants almost immediately. They work some back and forth but things quickly break into a fourway during which Heavy Machinery take control and do the Bushwhacker stomp.

Dozovic heads back out and Knight goes to attack Moss in the corner but ends up getting blindsided by Sabbatelli as we go to commercial. TAPE MACHINES ARE ROLLING!

We return from break to find the Sports Car Douchebags in control. Moss gets a two count before Sabbatelli tags in. They isolate Knight in their corner, cutting off the ring and wearing him down. Moss tags back in and gets another two count before grounding things.

Knight fights back and tries to get to his corner but Moss cuts off the tag. Moss then misses a charge and Knights rolls to his corner to make the HOT TAG to Dozovic who comes in and runs wild. Dozovic chucks dudes about and hits a series of Stinger Splashes before doing “The Caterpillar” and dropping an elbow on Sabbatelli.

He covers but Moss breaks up the pin. Things once again break down into a fourway with both teams wailing on each other. Some music hits and War Machine (now known as War Raiders) make their NXT debuts.

Rowe and Hanson hit the ring and wreck house on everyone before they wreck extra house on Sabbatelli. Hanson blasts him with a spin kick and Rowe kills him with a knee strike before the hit the Fallout on him much to the delight of the crowd who is chanting “War Machine!” at them as the show ends.

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Winner: No Contest

Thank you Triple H for giving me the exact battle I wanted to see when I heard that War Machine was coming to NXT. I hope that War Machine and Heavy Machine feud going forward because I want nothing more than to see those four big fuckers just wail on each other.

As for the match prior to the run-in it served its purpose. Heavy Machinery hit their big moves and Moss and Sabbatelli might not be breaking up anymore, but maybe they are. I don’t know. [**]

Final Thoughts

The debut of War Machine made this slightly more important than the average post-TakeOver episode of NXT, but it was still very much a post-TakeOver episode of NXT, consisting primarily of recaps, backstage interviews, and a couple of otherwise unimportant wrestling matches. The War Machine debut’s on YouTube, which is really the only thing that you need to see if you already watched TakeOver: New Orleans.

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