WWE NXT 09/12/18 features the return of Oney Lorcan from injury, Lars Sullivan vs. Raul Mendoza, and in a real “Sophie’s Choice” match for me – Bianca Belair vs. Nikki Cross. I mean, thanks a lot Yellow Brand. Make me choose between my two favorite women on the current NXT roster! The things I put up with. Just kidding, but seriously this should be a great match and with the expected Bianca victory will hopefully position her as a potential opponent for Kairi Sane at the next TakeOver. It’s time for this week’s show!
WWE NXT 09/12/18 Recap
WWE. Then. Now. Forever. Cold open on Tommaso Ciampa arriving at the building. The cameraman tries, and fails, to get a statement out of Ciampa.
Standard NXT opening credits and we’re taped (originally taped 8/23/18) from Full Sail. Mauro welcomes us to the show and tells us that we’re going to hear from Ciampa tonight.
Oney Lorcan & Danny Burch’s music hits and they’re out. I’m glad Lorcan’s injury wasn’t too serious. I’ve missed these guys. Adrian Jaoude and Cezar Bononi are out next to boos.
Match #1: Oney Lorcan & Danny Burch vs. Adrian Jaoude & Cezar Bononi
It’s nice to see Lorcan and Burch back in the same slot they were in before Lorcan’s injury. They pick up the win here with their double team DDT finisher. The tag division is really deep at NXT now so I had feared these two would get lost in the shuffle going forward, but a convincing win here makes me feel like they’ll be around (unless they get shipped off to NXT UK). Jaoude and Bononi are still growing as a team – even though NXT has teased their Brazilian faction for a while now (including Taynara in the group on the live events). It’ll be interesting to see where NXT goes with Bononi and Jaoude since they have an interesting combo of styles – but, again, the tag division is really deep with talent right now.
Verdict: Thumbs Up – Lorcan looks like he’s 100% and Jaoude and Bononi get some TV time. No complaints.
Later tonight? Nikki Cross vs. Bianca Belair.
Also, later tonight? Shayna Baszler will be in action.
Back from break, some music hits and it’s Ciampa’s new entrance theme. I was a huge fan of him coming out to nothing but the boos of Full Sail. Hopefully this theme grows on me a bit since I’m sort of “meh” on it right now. Though, if we’re truly moving away from the Gargano program this is likely a needed change.
Ciampa is here to gloat about how great he is and declare his innocence in the “who attacked Aleister Black” scenario. Ciampa likes to confront people in front of an audience and attack them on the largest stage possible with all eyes on him. Therefore, he is not the one who took out Aleister. While he did intend to attack Black before Takeover, someone beat him to it. He (or she – yeah, Ciampa goes there to pique the interest of anyone still holding onto the “Candice did it” theory) would receive a pat on the back for a “job well done” from Ciampa if he knew who did it. But, he does not. Ciampa continues to gloat about how great of a champion he is and to drop his new “follow the lead of Tommaso Ciampa” catchphrase. While leaving to the back, Ciampa grabs a “Ciampa Sucks” sign from a fan in the front row. Ciampa: killing it week after week as the best pure heel WWE has seen in years.
Up next? Baszler returns to NXT TV.
Back from break, Violet Payne is finishing her entrance. Yeah, I don’t know either. Shayna Baszler is out next. Uh oh.
Match #2: Violet Payne vs. Shayna Baszler
This is an absolute mugging. Baszler hits some strikes, nearly breaks Payne’s arm, and then puts her in the Kirafuda Clutch. Payne taps.
Verdict: Thumbs Up – “Psycho killer” Baszler is a fun Baszler.
Post-match, Baszler won’t release the Kirafuda until Payne passes out. Baszler eventually leaves, after slapping Payne, but heads back as Payne gets to her feet. Payne then endures two more Kirafuda Clutches as refs try, in vain, to pull Baszler off. Eventually, Shayna tires of making Payne go to sleep and heads to the back.
Up next? Raul Mendoza vs. Lars Sullivan.
Meanwhile, Nigel says there was a confrontation outside. We’re sent to a video shot by Heavy Machinery where they’re saying they don’t believe Ciampa’s claim that he’s innocent of the Aleister Black attack. Ciampa appears behind them and says they need to say his name with respect. This ends up in a verbal altercation between Ciampa and Otis – complete with Otis calling Ciampa “dumpling”. Regal appears and prevents it from turning physical and says he wants Ciampa in his office – now!
Backstage? Nikki Cross is crawling on a lighting rig and Bianca Belair is doing push ups. They’re our main event tonight!
Back from break, we get an Undisputed Era promo. We learn that Roderick Strong can beat his kid at Hide and Seek, Kyle O’Reilly is too famous to go grocery shopping, and the Era think the War Raiders are a bunch of punks who are a “few hundred years short of making a fashion statement”. Cole adds that next week’s Dunne vs. Ricochet match won’t matter because Cole will get his rematch and beat either of them.
Next, Lars’ music hits and he’s out. Raul Mendoza is out next.
Match #3: Lars Sullivan vs. Raul Mendoza
Well, it’s better than their “non-match” from two weeks ago, but that’s not saying much. Mendoza gets in just enough offense to make me feel slightly bad for calling this a “Lars squash” but it’s… a Lars squash.
Verdict: Thumbs Down – I imagine we’re spinning our wheels until EC3 is cleared, but still… Lars squash is something we’ve seen so many times already.
Two weeks ago? Dunne and Ricochet teamed up and lost to the Undisputed Era.
Earlier today? Dunne arrives at the arena and is asked about his “champion vs. champion” match next week. Dunne isn’t worried about Ricochet who has “only been champion for 5 minutes”. All Dunne has to worry about it how to fit two title belts in his mouth.
Backstage? Cathy Kelley is with Ricochet who responds to Dunne’s “five minutes” barb and says it’s been more like a month. Ricochet mentions his 15 year career prior to coming to NXT and that he thrives in high pressure situations. Dunne is just another mountain he has to climb. Next week, he’ll retain and become NXT’s “one and only” dual champion.
Next week? Pete Dunne vs. Ricochet in a “Champion vs. Champion” match.
During the break? A Forgotten Sons hype video airs.
Back from break? We see a cameraman talking to “fans” when a verbal altercation breaks out behind the camera between Dakota Kai and Aliyah. Lacey Evans shows up to back up Aliyah and Deonna Purrazzo comes to back up Dakota Kai.
Next week? Dakota Kai & Deonna Purrazzo vs. Lacey Evans & Aliyah.
In Regal’s office? Kairi Sane is finishing up her “did you attack Aleister Black” interview. Ohno knocks and enters. Regal says he doesn’t need to talk to Ohno and Ohno takes offense. Ohno mentions that Regal talked to Lars and Heavy Machinery and he was also there that night. Regal says that Kairi gave Ohno an alibi, but Ohno did look “perturbed” in the video footage. Ohno cuts a promo on Regal saying that he came in as the hot, new free agent and now he’s been pushed to the back of the line. Ohno wonder is he has to put on a suit, buy ticket to TakeOver, and sit in the front row to get on Regal’s radar? When Regal’s “new shiny toy” arrives, let Ohno know, and he’ll take care of him… bro. Oh boy!
Back in the arena? Bianca is out first for the main event. Nikki Cross is out next.
Match #4: Bianca Belair vs. Nikki Cross
Well, turns out the match isn’t that important but the finish and post-match sure are. After some back and forth, Nikki and Bianca end up outside the ring. Nikki climbs on Bianca’s back and slaps on a sleeper. Bianca counters by falling back on the ramp. Neither woman can beat the ref’s count so it’s a no contest.
Verdict: Thumbs Up – Time to buckle up for a full on feud between these two!
Post-match, Bianca starts brawling with Nikki. Refs spill out to do a pull apart between them, but they break free over by the announce table. Bianca tosses Nikki onto the table and turns to leave. Nikki dives off the table and takes out Bianca and several refs.
We go off the air on Nikki Cross smiling on the ground with chaos all around her. Like the wrestling gods intended.