WWE NXT 06/20/18 is your standard post-TakeOver NXT episode. We get the two TakeOver dark matches (Dakota Kai vs. Bianca Belair & War Raiders vs. The Mighty), TakeOver fallout and recap videos, and maybe a hint of what to expect from the next round of tapings. Not sure if this episode will address the “spoilers” from the UK tournament tapings and/or address the formation of NXT UK – but I suspect it might. Let’s get to the recap!
WWE NXT 06/20/18 Recap
In Memory of Leon “Vader” White.
WWE. Then. Now. Forever. WWE runs a bottom third text crawl with an image of Vader and R.I.P. tweets from WWE personnel. I can’t remember them ever really doing this before. Wow.
We open with the requisite NXT TakeOver Chicago recap video package.
Standard NXT opening credits and we’re taped (originally taped right before TakeOver) from Chicago. Vic Joseph welcomes us and he’s joined by Nigel and Percy. We learn Mauro returns to us next week.
Dakota Kai’s music hits and she’s out. Bianca Belair is out next.
Match #1: Dakota Kai vs. Bianca Belair
There a lot of similarities between this match and the main event. Just flip the heel and face roles. In this match, Belair has been unstoppable up to this point, but also (besides Candice who NXT hasn’t really used for anything yet) hasn’t beaten anyone of real substance. Kai gets in a bunch of offense here and exploits Belair’s “showing off” which only serves to grow Bianca’s character. Solid stuff. I loved Bianca attempting to hold Kai into a vertical suplex position and bounce her off the ropes on all four sides, but getting too cocky going for that fourth side and Kai countering out of it. Kai hits her running kick in the corner, but Belair kicks out and from there you know how this will go down. Kai dodges a hair whip, but eats a forearm. From there, Belair hits her new “Torture Rack into sitout slam” finisher and gets the win. For emphasis she rubs her forearm over Kai’s face while getting the pin.
Verdict: Thumbs Up – Kai has been built up on TV lately, so it was nice to see Belair beat someone who matters on TV. Bianca has to be on the short list of people to challenge Baszler in the near future.
Next, we get a video package on the Ricochet vs. Velveteen Dream match from TakeOver.
After that, we get a TakeOver Fallout video with Ricochet.
And, then a TakeOver Fallout video with Velveteen Dream.
Later tonight? Some Ciampa vs. Gargano Street Fight highlights.
Up next? Some NXT Championship match highlights.
Back from break, nevermind. Here’s some NXT Women’s Championship match highlights.
Next, we get a Fallout video with Shayna Baszler (w/ Jessamyn Duke & Marina Shafir)
After that, here’s the promised NXT Championship match highlight video.
Next, we get a Fallout video with Aleister Black.
Later tonight? War Raiders vs. The Mighty.
Up next? Street Fight highlights!
Back from break, true to form – it’s not Street Fight highlights but NXT Tag Team Championship match highlights. No UK spoilers (despite WWE already spoiling it), but we get a Fallout video with Burch and Lorcan.
After that? There’s the Street Fight video package.
Up next? The main event.
Next week? Aleister Black will be at Full Sail… and he’ll… be Live (to tape)!
“Earlier today”? EC3 showed up at the Performance Center and spoke with the “press”. He put over NXT and TakeOver but said it was lacking the top 1%. EC3 vows that going forward the top 1% will be on 100% of TakeOvers. He’s here to make a proclamation and will dropkick down William Regal’s door and call his shot. When EC3 calls a shot – he doesn’t miss. A member of the “press” asks EC3 who he wants to face and as he leaves he yells “EVERYBODY!”
Back in Chicago, the War Raiders are out. The Mighty (w/ new tights and wearing black trenchcoats) are out last.
Match #2: War Raiders vs. The Mighty
Just like in the opener, we’re here to watch the War Raiders go over on a team that may give them more of a challenge. The Mighty are transitioning into heels and getting their feet wet with a new name and tweaked look. Much like with the Belair and Kai match, the War Raiders eventually go over with their finish, but they have to work a bit to do it. The Mighty try their double team tactics and Thorne tries the “foot on the ropes” heel move that allowed them to get their early wins since turning – but that doesn’t fly here. Before long, Hanson is going on a run that culminates with a dive to the outside. Thorne is easily dispatched by Fallout and the War Raiders get the win.
Verdict: Thumbs Up – The TakeOver dark matches tend to feel like showcases for new talent that NXT is about to strap the rocket pack to. Considering the reaction that War Raiders have gotten since debuting I see them factoring into the Tag Title scene very soon.
We go off the air on the War Raiders celebrating in the ring.