WWE NXT 04/25/18 is another potentially stacked show. Newly crowned NXT North American Champ, Adam Cole (Bay Bay), will be defending against Oney Lorcan. Also, it was implied at the end of last week’s show that Aleister Black will put the NXT Championship on the line against Johnny Gargano. Part of me thinks that the match either is actually taking place at a later date OR Ciampa will intervene and prevent the match from happening. We shall see. Let’s get to the recap!
WWE NXT 04/25/18 Recap
WWE. Then. Now. Forever. I’m just going to preface this whole thing by saying this is one of the strangest WWE NXT episodes I’ve ever seen.
Standard NXT opening credits and we’re taped (originally taped 04/11/18) from Full Sail. Mauro welcomes us to the show and Percy reminds us that Black will be defending his newly won strap against Gargano in tonight’s main event. Still no Nigel because he’s on paternity leave.
Undisputed Era’s music hits and the original three are out… and then there’s Roderick Strong wearing one of the NXT Tag Team Championship straps. The quartet head to the ring, do the deal, and O’Reilly plays guitar with the belt.
We get an extended promo as each guy gets to speak. Cole begins by saying them holding so much gold is what happens when they’re pushed into a corner. NXT did everything they could to prevent this from happening, yet here the Undisputed Era stand.
Fish is up next and he states they were “thrown to the wolves” at War Games and again in New Orleans. But, they remain one step ahead. If you need proof, look at the Era dripping in NXT Championship gold.
Roddy’s turn. He says he joined them because he finally did something for himself. At TakeOver he made the best decision of his career when he realized, apparently mid-match, that Dunne would eventually turn on him – well, he’s not wrong there. So, he decided to join the Era because he’s seen them take a bullet for each other time after time. He says that together, the Undisputed Era will “take over” NXT.
Kyle continues by saying they are done with being backed into a corner. Times are changing and they’re leaving everyone else in the dust.
Cole gets the mic back and states he’s putting his North American Championship on the line right now against Oney Lorcan. He tells the other three to head to the back, he can do this alone – he doesn’t need help beating Oney Lorcan. The other three head to the back.
Lorcan’s music hits and he’s out.
Match #1: Adam Cole (c) vs. Oney Lorcan (NXT North American Championship Match)
Match of the week. Not that it really had competition, but we’ll get to that later on. Cole is still selling the ribs from TakeOver, so Lorcan zeroes in on that and targets them. Somewhat predictably, Lorcan goes on a run with a bunch of two counts and looks like he might actually go over. However, Cole is dumped to the outside and O’Reilly and Strong are out with a trainer. O’Reilly even calls for the “dreaded x” and this whole spectacle draws the ref’s attention. Meanwhile, on the other side of the ring Strong dumps Lorcan back first onto the apron. Cole is magically revived just in time to slide back in the ring and hit Lorcan with the Last Shot to get the win.
Verdict: Thumbs In The Middle – Extremely predictable from the moment that Cole sent the rest of UE to the back. Lorcan put up a good fight and I see how this whole thing could easily explode into a faction war with the British contingent before long.
Post-match, Strong and O’Reilly immediately beat Lorcan down. Danny Burch is out to make the safe, but he’s eventually overwhelmed, and eats a superkick from Cole. Undisputed Era (sans Fish) pose over Burch and Lorcan to end the segment.
Next, we get a Shayna Baszler hype video.
Back from break, we see footage from last week’s main event.
Next week? Candice LeRae vs. Bianca Belair.
After that, we get a Bianca Belair hype video.
Next, a Make A Wish promo airs.
See how weird this is already?
Next, Heavy Machinery are out. Sabbatelli & Moss are out next. Mauro says this is their “rubber match” since the match taped at TakeOver got crashed by War Raiders. This still feels like we’re in a “Best of 7” series that has spun out of a bad parking job.
Match #2: Heavy Machinery vs. Tino Sabbatelli & Riddick Moss
Heavy Machinery gets the win, but it’s at the cost of the break up of Sabbatelli & Moss. Granted, the Riddick / Tino break up has been teased in the past – but it felt final this time. Right when Moss could hot tag Tino, Sabbatelli leaves him hanging and heads to the back. I was hoping since they were working together again they’d be heaters for EC3, but alas. After Tino bails, Heavy Machinery easily handle Moss with a Compactor to get the win.
Verdict: Thumbs In The Middle – I’m somewhat interested in seeing what happens to Moss & Sabbatelli if this break up sticks. The match itself was okay and I honestly didn’t see the Tino turn coming.
Post-match, Heavy Machinery call out War Raiders by saying Otis and Tucker are going raid all the buffets and take all of the steaks – all while raiding all of the gym and lifting all of the weights. Heavy Machinery is coming for WAR!
Next, we see a video package on possible contenders for Shayna’s women’s championship.
After that, Cathy Kelley is with Dakota Kai “earlier today”. Kai looks distant and weird and refuses to answer any questions from Cathy. Baszler shows up and cuts a promo at Kai saying that a Shayna run women’s division is Kai’s worst nightmare. Shayna is dead on as a bully heel, but this whole thing felt weird and awkward.
Up next? The main event!
Meanwhile, a hype video for Kona “The Finest” Reeves airs. He’ll be in action next week!
After that? Another video package on possible contenders for Shayna.
Next week? TM61 vs. Street Profits.
Also, next week? Pete Dunne vs. Roderick Strong.
Meanwhile, Gargano’s music hits and he’s out. Seconds later he’s immediately attacked by Ciampa (clad in a Johnny Wrestling t-shirt). The ensuing brawl involves Gargano’s head getting kneed through a LED board on the stage and Ciampa putting Gargano through a table off the stage. Trainers and Candice are out and Johnny is stretchered outside. Kassius Ohno makes a cameo and Johnny is loaded into an ambulance that drives off. While Gargano is getting loaded in, we see Aleister Black (who apparently was just hanging out in the parking lot moments before a title match). The last shot outside is of Ciampa standing on top of a production truck waving goodbye to Johnny’s ambulance.
Back in the arena, Aleister Black has stormed out to the ring and gets a mic. He attempts to call out Ciampa and is immediately interrupted by SAnitY? Okay. SAnitY (sans Nikki Cross – telegraphing the loss) are out and EY cuts a promo asking for a match which gets a “let’s do this” response from Black. Is it a title match? Mauro doesn’t know. Regal is mysteriously absent during all of this and it feels so haphazard and thrown together I don’t even know anymore.
Match #3: Aleister Black (c) vs. Eric Young (w/ Killian Dain & Alexander Wolfe) (NXT Championship Match?)
Young loses because it’s a SAnitY match without Nikki Cross at ringside. Enough said. For a thrown together match with no build and no reason to happen – it’s okay. Wolfe tries to get involved at one point, which makes me think SAnitY will tip back towards the heel side of things on the main roster. Black retains (?) after EY slides into the ring under Black’s legs and Black turns and nails him with a Black Mass out of nowhere.
Verdict: Thumbs In The Middle – I like Young, don’t get me wrong, but this just felt awkward and weird as the main event.
Post-match, Dain and Wolfe rush the ring and eat Black Mass kicks for their troubles. I guess this is one way to send SAnitY to the main roster.
We go off the air on Black posing over the fallen faction.