This week’s NXT started off with Imperium members Fabien Aichner and Marcel Barthel, who were defending their recently won NXT Tag Team Championships against Tyler Breeze and Fandango aka Breezango. Breezango completely mocked Imperium’s entrance by pretty much imitating it. This was quality entertainment.
Imperium (c) vs. Breezango for the NXT Tag Team Championships
The match started off with Breeze and Barthel, who locked up and grappled briefly before Aichner quickly tagged himself into the match. Breeze took the fight outside of the ring, which was a mistake as Barthel jumped Breeze from behind, giving Imperium the momentary advantage. The match made its way back into the ring, where Barthel had tagged himself into the match and was in full control of Breeze. At this point, Breeze was desperate for a tag to his partner. Breeze crawled to his corner and successfully tagged in Fandango. Fandango cleared the ring and in doing so he wiped out Imperium single-handed. When NXT returned from commercial, Breeze was bringing the attack to Barthel. Once again, Aichner inserted himself into the match.
Fandango managed to get the tag seconds later. Fandango was clearly worn at this point but was not going to give up. Fandango shot up to the top rope and delivering his signature move, ‘The Last Dance’, to Aichner. On the outside of the ring, we saw that Malcolm Bivens was walking down the ramp alongside Reku and Surav, who were jumped by Oney Lorcan and Danny Burch. This was enough of a distraction for Imperium to look away. Fandango got caught up on the wrong side of all of this and was hit with a European upper-cut by Imperium and sent flying to the floor outside of the ring. Breeze had somehow tagged himself into the match in the midst of this Tag Team pandemonium and attempted a roll-up on Barthel. Aichner (who was the legal man in this match) hit Breeze with a DDT and picked up the pinfall victory. Imperium retained the NXT Tag Team Championships.
Winners: Imperium (c)
Damien Priest vs Killian Dain
Priest and Dain started this match with a display of the equal strength that both athletes possess. A strong lockup acted as the foundation to this hard-hitting match. Dain sent Priest into the ropes with a powerful Irish whip early into the match. Priest attempted to counter an inevitable strike with a jumping leapfrog but actually seemed to tweak a muscle in his lower back. Dain responded as a shark would to blood in the water, as he was on the attack instantly. Dain delivered a mighty dropkick to the chest of Priest who was driven into the corner turnbuckle and was seen holding the small of his back all the while. Priest managed to counter an on-going attack from Dain, gaining a small advantage, but his back was clearly injured as he kept pressing his hands on his lower back after every move his delivered. Dain was well aware of the injury and planned to take advantage.
Dain quickly hit Priest with a guillotine leg drop from the turnbuckle, forcing Priest back into the ring. Dain rolled Priest onto his stomach and started laying forearms directly into the small of Priest’s back followed by a cross-face submission move while driving his knee into Priest’s injured back at the same time. Dain delivered a number of belly to back suplexes to Priest in hopes of bringing an end to the match. Perhaps being too cocky, Dain attempted another belly to back suplex but Priest managed to counter into a cross body slam down to the mat. That reversal gave Priest enough time to make it to his feet just in time to brawl it out with Killian Dain. Priest and Dain traded right arms to the face of one another, with counters right and left from Killian Dain. Priest continued delivering forearms to the face of Dain and also pulled out a series of kicks to the body of the Belfast Brawler. Dain somehow managed to stay on his feet throughout this whole attack up until Priest delivered what I could imagine would be a J.B.L approved clothesline from hell. Priest was quick to continue his attack while he could, delivering running uppercuts to the head of Dain. Dain somehow just got a second wind and charged into a running cross-body slam to Priest. It looked like Dain was going to pick up the win right there but the resilient Damien Priest kicked out at two. In a split second, Priest made his way back to his feet to deliver his signature move, ‘The Reckoning’, to pick up the pinfall victory in this singles match.
Winner: Damien Priest
Xia Li vs Aliyah
This match started off with Aliyah, who has been desperate in recent weeks for the approval of Robert Stone. Stone has fallen apart since the departure of Chelsea Green from the Robert Stone Brand. Aliyah guided Stone to the ring, showing that she is desperate to make use of his services. Li started this match off strong, bringing the offence to Aliyah by driving her into the corner turnbuckle in the opening moments of this match. Li propped Aliyah atop the turnbuckle and delivered a number of powerful strikes to the torso of Aliyah. Li continued the fight with an attempted super-plex from the top rope, which Aliyah, very impressively, countered into a northern lights suplex, slamming Li’s back into the canvas and quickly positioning into the pinfall. Li kicked out at one. Li attempted to get back into the driver’s seat of this match by quickly hitting Aliyah with a standing dropkick that instantly shot Aliyah to the mat. Meanwhile, Robert Stone had lifted himself up to the apron; bear in mind, he was a mess!
I’m talking about a man who is always dressed to the nines with slicked-back hair. Stone’s shirt was hanging on by one, maybe two buttons, his hair was all over the place and he had a decent bit of lock-down stubble going on. Stone didn’t even look like he knew where he was but he caused a distraction to Xia Li. Li walked over to Stone as if to say ‘get the hell out of here’. Then, this happened. The usually stylish, dignified, Robert Stone, projectile vomited in Xia Li’s direction. Aliyah had no shame in taking advantage with a roll-up to steal the pinfall victory. Sort yourself out Stone!
Kayden Carter vs Dakota Kai
Carter was accompanied to the ring by Kacy Catanzaro for this match and Kai was accompanied by Raquel Gonzalez. Carter started off the match by gaining the advantage on the New Zealand native, Dakota Kai. Carter continued the offence up until the point that Kai managed to gain a momentary upper hand and simply slapped Carter right in the face – the ultimate sign of disrespect. Obviously, this disrespect angered Carter, who actually looked like she was asking for more, before clobbering Kai with a right hand to the cheekbone, dazing Kai.
Carter was clearly building momentum with a series of forearms to the face of Kai, followed by a swift drop-kick, which directly impacted the chest of her opponent. Carter was looking to finish up but Kai hit her with an Irish whip to the ropes followed by a roll-up pinfall attempt in hopes of picking up the victory. An altercation emerged outside of the ring between Kacy Catanzaro and Raquel Gonzalez, with Catanzaro leaping through the air from the steel steps onto Gonzalez, who caught Catanzaro mid-air and slammed her into the steel structure of the side of the ring. This caused a distraction for the two competitors in the ring. Dakota Kai took advantage of a distracted Kayden Carter and locked in a submission move, causing Carter to tap out.
Winner: Dakota Kai
Bronson Reed vs Leon Ruff
The 300lb Reed may have literally squashed Ruff in this match. As soon as the bell rang, Reed charged towards Ruff, completely flattening him. Reed followed up with a running senton, which looked like it deflated Ruff’s chest. Reed must have had lock-down dinner plans at home because he launched himself to the rope, crashed down upon Ruff with a heavy hard-hitting slam to Ruff’s helpless frame. One-Two-Three!
Winner: Bronson Reed
Bayley and Sasha Banks (c) vs Shotzi Blackheart and Tegan Nox for the WWE Womens Tag Team Championships
Bayley and Banks, who have years of history within NXT, returned this week for a cross branded match to defend their Tag Team Championship against Shotzi Blackheart and Tegan Nox. The Legit Boss and Bayley Dos Straps were overconfident coming into this match but could they retain their Championship on NXT? The match officially began with Sasha Banks squaring off with Tegan Nox. There was a lot of chain wrestling here, which was really cool to see, between Banks and Nox. It seemed Banks under-estimated Nox at first, but you should never under-estimate Lady-Kane. Banks and Nox grappled to stage left of the ring, where Blackheart tagged herself into the match. Blackheart ignited all fuses in this match, riling up Banks. Banks clearly didn’t want anything to do with Shotzi Blackheart as she retreated to her partner to tag out of the match. Blackheart surprised Bayley with many reversals and multiple small-package pinfall attempts. Not only is Bayley one half of the WWE Women’s Tag Team Champions but she is also the SmackDown Women’s Champion: imagine what a pinfall over Bayley would do for either Nox or Blackheart, besides becoming Women’s Tag Team Champions. Blackheart managed to go for a third small-package pinfall attempt but Bayley kicked out at two. Blackheart’s resilience seems to really get under Bayley’s skin. Bayley responded with a rapid knee to the face of Blackheart. That should do it.
When NXT returned from commercial, Bayley was fully in charge of the match and had Tegan Nox in a head-lock. Soon enough, both women managed to tag in their partners simultaneously. Blackheart ducked under the arm of the incoming Sasha Banks and charged into Bayley who was stood on the apron. Bayley was sent flying to the floor on the outside. Blackheart was on fire! She knew this was her opportunity to win gold here at NXT. Blackheart served up a running bulldog, slamming Banks face-first into the mat. Blackheart was on a roll and momentum was on her side.
Blackheart continued with a series of spinning kicks to the face of Banks followed by a thunderous belly to back suplex. There was a buzz in the air. Blackheart positioned into the pin as quickly as humanly possible. Somehow, Sasha Banks kicked out at two! Blackheart was not going to let this slow her down. As Banks was stood next to the ropes closest to the ramp, Blackheart charged towards her opponent but Banks slid to left, causing Blackheart to fall out of the ring feet first through the middle rope. Blackheart landed on her feet, so not all hope was lost. Sasha Banks promptly made her way to the apron a delivered a running meteora (jumping double knee) to the face of Blackheart. Banks rolled Blackheart into the ring immediately and covered her but Blackheart kicked out at two! Banks then dragged Blackheart to the corner of the ring where Bayley was stood, to keep the upper-hand. Banks tagged Bayley in, Bayley delivered a few strikes to Blackheart, then charged across the ring to knock Tegan Nox off the apron.
Just when to match looked to be one-sided, Blackheart’s passion gave her the strength to slam Bayley into Banks, who had not left the ring yet, into the corner turnbuckle, leaving Banks out of it, laid in the corner. Blackheart then performed a standing hurricanrana, driving Bayley’s face into the second turnbuckle pad in the corner, horizontal from the corner that Banks had been left laying in.
Tegan Nox had made her way back to the apron during this time. Blackheart tagged Nox back into the match and the two looked at both Bayley and Banks, who were laid up in two separate corners of the ring. Nox and Shotzi Blackheart charged at both Bayley and Banks simultaneously, hitting their opponents with running sentons. Blackheart followed up by throwing Bayley out of the ring. Nox then picked up Sasha Banks and choke-slammed Banks out of the ring and on to Bayley. Lady-Kane had arrived! Nox then tagged Shotzi Blackheart back into the match. Blackheart leapt upon the corner turnbuckle as Bayley and Banks barely made it up to their feet. Blackheart then took them both out with a diving cross-body to the outside. It looked like the end was near for the former Boss & Hug Connection.
All competitors in this match eventually made their way back into the ring. Tegan Nox and Sasha Banks were now the two legal women in the match. Nox quickly tagged Shotzi Blackheart, who once again leapt to the top of the ropes and hit Banks with a missile drop-kick. Shotzi Blackheart followed up with submission attack and it was clear that Banks was seconds away from tapping out! That was why Bayley rolled into the ring with a steel chair in hand. Nox was not having any of this as she swiped the steel chair from Bayley’s hands, which left the referee to attend to Nox. With the referee distracted, Bayley lifted Banks out of the submission by Shotzi Blackheart, which led Banks to lock in her own submission in the ‘Bank Statement’. The referee turned around immediately and Bayley proceeded to take out Tegan Nox. Shotzi Blackheart was forced to tap out to Sasha Banks in what was a stolen victory.
After the match had ended, NXT Womens Champion Io Shirai shot down to ring like the speed of light and took out both Sasha Banks and Bayley with a number of strikes to the heads of both Banks and Bayley. Io delivered dropkicks to the chest of Banks and Bayley before throwing them both out of the ring. Io made the statement that NXT belongs to the Champion, Io Shirai.
Winners: Bayley and Sasha Banks (c)