WWE NXT 05/30/18 features Shayna Baszler defending the NXT Women’s Championship against Dakota Kai. Will Nikki Cross get involved? I sure hope so! Also on tap for tonight? Roddy Strong vs. Danny Burch, EC3 in action, and Aleister Black “is live”. We’re less than a month out from the next TakeOver now, so things will likely begin to get interesting soon. Let’s get to the recap!
WWE NXT 05/30/18 Recap
WWE. Then. Now. Forever. Cold open on a video package highlighting last week’s Gargano / Ciampa nonsense. Via a Mauro voice over we learn that both Ciampa and Gargano have been sent home by Regal but a Street Fight has been booked for TakeOver Chicago. Finally, Regal steps in and does something!
No standard opening credits, we’re sent directly to NXT Champion Aleister Black’s entrance, and we’re taped (originally taped 05/09/18) from Full Sail. Mauro and Nigel discuss Black as champion as Aleister makes his way to the ring.
Black cuts a promo saying that winning the NXT Championship has been life changing. He discusses there is a dispute over who he will face at TakeOver Chicago, but he only needs one shot to make whoever his opponent will be fade to black. Lars’ music hits and he’s out. Lars cuts a promo saying that the dispute is over, as Regal has named him as Black’s challenger at TakeOver. Lars will hand it to Black, every one of his opponents has faded to black, but he’s never faced anyone like Lars. Sullivan proceeds to put himself over saying there is no one like him – cutting this promo as if Braun Strowman doesn’t exist. Regardless, Lars vows to take everything from Black at TakeOver and leave NXT champ. Lars says there’s nothing that Black can do about it, drops the mic, and then catches a Black Mass. That’s right, he “catches” the kick and blocks it. Aleister looks stunned and Lars hits him with the Freak Accident. After the required “challenger poses with the title” spot, the segment ends.
Back from break? Aleister Black vs. Lars Sullivan for the NXT Championship is official for TakeOver.
Also official for TakeOver? Johnny Gargano vs. Tommaso Ciampa in a street fight.
By way of Tweet, we see that Candice won’t support Johnny in the street fight.
Next, the War Raiders music hits and they’re out. Already at ring side? Two guys.
Match #1: War Raiders vs. “George Hixon” & “Cody Vincent”
I mean, I guess those are the two guys’ names. It’s hard to tell since they don’t get a chyron and Mauro is super excited (and a bit hard to understand) putting over the War Raiders offense in this squash match. After destroying the two “local talents” for a while, War Raiders hit their Fallout finisher.
Verdict: Thumbs In The Middle – “New tag team gets squash victories” always feels like it goes on for too long at NXT for my tastes. We’re at that point with War Raiders I feel.
Later tonight? Shayna Baszler defends the NXT Championship against Dakota Kai.
Next, we get a promo video hyping up the main event women’s title match.
“Earlier today”? EC3 shows up for work at Full Sail. He’s up next!
Back from break, we get a Cathy Kelley led interview backstage with Lacey Evans. The rubber match between Evans and Kairi Sane is confirmed for next week. Evans isn’t worried because even though Kairi won the Mae Young Classic, Evans has a right… a Women’s Right… with Kairi’s name on it.
EC3’s music hits and he’s out a good reaction. Fabian Aichner’s music hits next and he’s out.
Match #2: EC3 vs. Fabian Aichner
This match is interrupted by Johnny Gargano coming out through the crowd, getting a mic from commentary, and announcing he has a signed contract for the Street Fight at TakeOver. I guess this is one way to avoid doing a contract signing? Anyway, up to this point, EC3 has Aichner in his sights, but gets distracted as Gargano leaves. Aichner hits a cross body to the outside and manages a two count on EC3. From there, EC3 quickly puts Aichner away with the One Percenter.
Verdict: Thumbs In The Middle – I’m on board with EC3 at NXT. However, this match suffered a bit from the Gargano interruption. Aichner has been great in previous outings, but the distraction sub-angle here made him look like a regular enhancement guy. I’d have rather seen EC3 have to get a hard fought victory over Aichner. Either way, EC3 has “it” and should be a top heel for the yellow brand soon.
Up next? Ricochet vs. the debuting Chris Dijak
But first, here’s the promised “Who is Bianca Belair?” promo video.
Next, Ricochet’s music hits and he’s out. Dijak’s music hits next and he’s out.
Match #3: Ricochet vs. Chris Dijak
Dijak looks great here and already feels like a more convincing “big man of NXT” than Lars does. Of course, Ricochet goes over here, but it was nice to see them allow Dijak to toss a guy much smaller than him around in his first TV match. After Dijak misses a moonsault, Ricochet goes on a run with a suplex into a second vertical suplex to set up the 630.
Verdict: Thumbs Up – Ricochet keeps his steam and Dijak gets to show up the power and athleticism he posses. Good stuff.
Post-match, Ricochet cuts a promo on Velveteen Dream. He puts Dream over as one of the most entertaining superstars ever at NXT. Ricochet says that the spotlight shows off your talents, but also shows your flaws. Last week, the spotlight showed that Velveteen Dream is nothing more than a punk. Ricochets starts to issue a challenge for TakeOver when Dream’s music hits.
Dream is out and initially takes issue with being called a “punk” but says that’s fair because tonight is Ricochet’s spotlight. Last week was “our” spotlight, and while Ricochet showed everyone how incredible he is – the Dream showed that anything that Ricochet can do – well, the Dream can do it better. Ricochet calls Dream out for standing up on the stage like a coward. Dream heads down to ringside but stops before entering the ring. He says “as epic as you and me would be – the Dream can only think of one spotlight big enough to contain both of them. The Dream will see you in Chicago.” The Dream leaves, but stops and adds that when the spotlight hits Ricochet’s “beautiful face”, he will truly know that anything Ricochet can do, the Dream can do better. Ricochet runs at the ropes, does a flip, and lands in front of Dream. Ricochet says “then show me”. Dream’s mouth is wide open in shock as he slowly backs away from Ricochet. I swear, if Velveteen Dream has an airbrushed Prince Puma mask on his TakeOver Chicago tights…
After that, we see a split screen of Dakota and Shayna doing their last-minute preparations. The women’s title match is up next!
Next week? This week’s promised Danny Burch vs. Roddy Strong match will allegedly happen.
Meanwhile, Dakota Kai’s music hits and she’s out. The champ enters last.
Match #4: Shayna Baszler (c) vs. Dakota Kai (NXT Women’s Championship Match)
So, this match isn’t very good. Kai is super meek and Shayna essentially has her way with her for almost the entire match. I mean, don’t get me wrong, I love Baszler destroying people but this just didn’t feel like a “main event” until the post-match segment. Shayna works over Kai’s leg and ankle – primarily with a pair of ankle lock submissions. Kai mounts a brief comeback and hits her signature kicks, but it’s not enough to put Shayna away. Shayna counters an awkward looking attack by Dakota into the Kirafuda Clutch. Kai taps.
Verdict: Thumbs In The Middle – Not a whole lot to comment on here. Shayna has already shown us several times she can dissect a body part. I loved the post-match stuff though.
Post-match, Shayna slaps the Kirafuda back onto Kai. Nikki Cross runs out to make the save. After a weird face off between Cross and Baszler, Shayna slowly leaves to the back. But wait, Cross runs up behind her, steals the NXT Women’s Championship belt, and heads back into the ring. After banging the title around like her jacket (seriously, after just one week the NXT Women’s Championship would look like the Hardcore Title if Nikki ever wins it), she lays it down in the ring. Shayna gets back in the ring, and it sounds like Cross is either demanding a title match at TakeOver… or tonight? It’s hard to make out since Nikki is in full on crazy mode. Cross hands the title to Kai and raises her hand in victory. Shayna advances on Kai and this allows Nikki to hit her finisher on Shayna. Nikki has Kai count a three count and Cross declares herself the next NXT Women’s Champion. Nikki’s music plays and everything. The actual ref of the title match tries to explain this isn’t a title change but Nikki leaves with the belt and celebrates with the fans at ring side. The only way this could have been better was if Regal wandered out and exclaimed “I’ll allow it!” and the title change counted.
Considering that SAnitY is still yet to debut on SmackDown, I think Nikki got a better deal by not getting called up with them since she could be either be doing nothing – or likely getting a TakeOver title match in a few weeks.
We go off the air on Nikki Cross celebrating this bizarre segment, which can only mean she’ll be Shayna’s challenger at TakeOver.