WWE NXT 10/25/17 kicks off what should be the final set of tapings leading into TakeOver: War Games in November. The highlight tonight is a women’s battle royal with the winner getting the final spot in the Fatal Four Way match to crown a new Queen of NXT. WWE social media is also hyping up a match between Roderick Strong and Andrade “Cien” Almas for tonight. Let’s get to the recap!
WWE NXT 10/25/17 Recap
WWE. Then. Now. Forever. Cold open on William Regal in his office. Regal has granted Nikki Cross another shot at the Fatal Four Way by allowing her compete in tonight’s Battle Royal. Furthermore, Regal has spoken with the Authors of Pain, SAnitY, and the Undisputed Era after last week’s main event. Next week, SAnitY will defend the NXT tag titles against AoP and the third member of SAnitY is banned from ring side.
Standard NXT open and we’re taped (originally taped 10/04/17) from Full Sail. Mauro welcomes us to the show (maybe) but is drowned out by Oney Lorcan’s entrance theme. Maybe it was just me, but the commentators were mixed way too low in comparison to the entrance music on this week’s episode so you could only hear them during the matches.
Oney isn’t out alone – Danny Burch is out to join him in tag team action. Sabbatelli and Moss are out next.
Match #1: Oney Lorcan & Danny Burch vs. Tino Sabbatelli & Riddick Moss
Wow, this match was incredibly similar to the one I watched last night on NXT Catch-Up. Sub in Lorcan and Burch for Dallas and Bateman and you get the same essential story. Lorcan and Burch look okay in their debut as a team, but the story being told here is that they’re still new and Tino and Riddick have been tagging for a while. It seemed kind of shocking to have Burch and Lorcan eat a loss in their debut match, but after thinking about it a bit – it does make sense if they’re telling the story I think they are. Putting over Moss and Sabbatelli, especially by them hitting a tandem offense finisher, goes a long way towards building those guys up. All of the emphasis on tag teams lately makes me believe we may be getting a Dusty Classic tournament again in 2018. Either way, after isolating Burch for most of the match, Tino and Riddick are able to drop Burch off the apron and hit Lorcan with their finisher.
Verdict: Thumbs In The Middle – I’d have liked to see Burch and Lorcan pick up the win, but I’m also not upset to see Moss and Sabbatelli get a little shine. They were superb as smug heels at the live event I went to this Summer so it’ll be nice to see that aspect of them on TV.
Post-match, Burch and Lorcan shrug off their loss and Mauro says some stuff I can’t hear because the audio mix on this week’s show is garbage.
Two weeks ago, Nikki Cross lost her shot at the Fatal Four Way due to Taynara Conti and the Undisputed Era.
Meanwhile, Mike Rome is in the ring to announce the Women’s Battle Royal to determine the fourth entrant in the Fatal Four Way. Women begin entering with little fanfare – Vanessa Borne, Bianca Belair, Sage Beckett, and Mercedes Martinez. We head to break, and when we come back Candice LaRae and Billie Kay (w/ Peyton Royce) enter. Nikki Cross enters last and via a random aisle in the crowd. We get the awesome visual of the entire field staring down Nikki as she slowly heads to ring side. Nikki rushes the ring to attack Taynara Conti and we’re on!
Match #2: Battle Royal to Determine the Fourth Entrant in the Fatal Four Way Match to Crown a New NXT Women’s Champion
It’s a Battle Royal, people get tossed over the rope. Notable spots involve Nikki Cross constantly going out of the ring under the ropes, so as not to be eliminated. Nice touch since she is chaos and I’d expect nothing less. Bianca Belair’s hair comes into play and Billie Kay literally uses the braid as a lifeline to avoid getting eliminated from the apron. Of course, that comes back on her when Bianca whips the crap out of her with the hair not long after. Also, a bold elimination choice was having Bianca eliminate Full Sail favorite Candice LaRae.
Elimination order (up to Final Four): Taynara Conti, Rhea Ripley, Zeda, Dakota Kai, Aliyah, Vanessa Borne, Sage Beckett, Santana Garrett, Abbey Laith, Sarah Logan, Lacey Evans, Candice LaRae
Final four: Mercedes Martinez, Bianca Belair, Billie Kay, Nikki Cross
Cross ends up winning it by rushing the ring and knocking a brawling Bianca Belair and Mercedes Martinez off the apron. Nikki was a beast in the match with easily the most eliminations. A brief sequence on the apron allows Cross to hang up Billie on the ropes and dump her to the outside to go to TakeOver: War Games.
Verdict: Thumbs Up – I’m quite happy to see Nikki Cross get the win and end up in the Fatal Four Way match. Not bad at all for a random battle royal and I enjoyed the “hanging on by the braid” spot. Good stuff.
Post-match, Regal hits the ring with the belt and Nikki and Peyton start verbally sparring. This brings out Ember Moon. Which in turn, brings out Kairi Sane. We get a brief shot of Regal holding the belt while the field for the Fatal Four Way stare each other down.
Later tonight? Strong vs. Almas.
Up next? Aleister Black!
“Earlier this week”? Drew McIntyre is leaving the Performance Center and is greeted by “international press”. Before he can really say anything, Zelina Vega shows up and wants to know where the contract is for Andrade’s title match. Drew says he’ll tell them “thrice”, if Almas wants a match, he must face Drew man to man, like Roderick Strong did, and ask for a title match. Drew leaves and Zelina blows off the “press” who want a comment from her.
Aleister Black’s music hits next. He heads to the ring and at the bottom of the ramp, Velveteen Dream pops up from behind him. They brawl into the ring and Dream gets Aleister tied up in the ropes. Dream keeps demanding that Aleister say his name. After some slaps and more “say my name” badgering, Aleister frees himself and narrowly misses hitting Dream with a Black Mass. Dream escapes up the ramp.
Meanwhile, Roderick Strong is backstage getting ready for his title match. It’s up next!
Next week? SAnitY vs. Authors of Pain with the NXT Tag Team Championship on the line!
Andrade “Cien” Almas (w/ Zelina Vega) is out next. Zelina gets a mic as they hit the ring and she cuts a promo on McIntyre for ducking Almas. She accuses Drew of not being able to “breathe the rarefied air of a champion” and throws shade on him for his previous WWE run. Strong’s music hits and he’s out next.
Match #3: Andrade “Cien” Almas (w/ Zelina Vega) vs. Roderick Strong
Okay, I figured that Strong was losing here since they seem to really be pushing Almas right now, but wow, not like this. So, we get the standard “pretty, pretty good” NXT main event. Roddy works the back by dropping Almas on the apron back first a few times to soften him up for some backbreakers. Almas counters about half of Roddy’s offense and puts on a good show here as well. Things come to a head when Roddy sends Almas out of the ring and follows up with a wrecking ball dropkick that sends him sliding to the outside. Vega gets up on the apron and while the ref’s back is turned, hits Strong with a jumping headscissors that rams him head first into the ring steps. WOW. Almas comes to, pulls Roddy into the ring, and hits the Hammerlock DDT to pick up the win.
Verdict: Thumbs Up – If it wasn’t obvious yet, Zelina Vega is the missing puzzle piece that has completed Almas as a top level heel at NXT. A really solid main event and the post-match angles include some compelling moments too. Well done.
Post-match, Vega and Almas head over to commentary. Vega grabs Mauro’s headset, calls out McIntyre, and says that Almas will meet him face to face next week. Almas grabs Mauro’s headset and cuts a brief promo in Spanish and they head to the back.
But, that’s not all. We linger on Roddy in the ring and Undisputed Era’s music hits. O’Reilly, Fish, and Cole head to the ring. Cole tells Strong that he’s “not a loser” and he needs to “join” them. Bobby Fish tells Strong that they know Roddy and what Cole is saying is right. Cole offers Strong an Undisputed Era arm band. Strong considers it for a moment and takes it.
We go off the air with Undisputed Era heading to the back and Roddy still in the ring.