NXT OCTOBER 25TH 2017
Regal opened the show in his office, announcing that Nikki Cross would be in the battle royal tonight since her first chance to qualify for Takeover was ruined, as well as The Authors Of Pain versus Sanity for the Tag Titles next week, with the member of Sanity not in the match being banned from ringside.
Oney Lorcan and Danny Burch vs. Riddick Moss and Tino Sabbatelli
So after being teased for a while, this was Lorcan and Burch’s debut as a team. Crowd were behind them and even if they hadn’t have been, Lorcan’s ring work is so dynamic and hard hitting, he would get one anyway at this point. Moss and Sabbatelli isolated Burch briefly, before Lorcan got the tag and fought off both opponents until taking a fallaway slam into the turnbuckles from Moss. Sabbatelli and Moss then hit a combination Gory Bomb/facecrusher for the win. It’s a bit odd that after building them up for so long you’d have Lorcan and Burch lose in their first match, but there’s ways to weave it into their story and Moss and Sabbatelli have been ready for a win to get them going for a while too.
Recap of Taynara Conti costing Nikki Cross on Undisputed Era’s orders two weeks ago.
WOMEN’S TITLE FOURWAY QUALIFYING BATTLE ROYAL
Vanessa Borne, Bianca Belair, Sage Beckett, Mercedes Martinez, Sarah Logan, Dakota Kai, Zeda, Lacey Evans, Aliyah, Taynara Conti, Abbey Laith, Santana Garrett, Rhea Ripley, Reina Gonzalez, Candice LeRae, Billie Kay, Nikki Cross
I was all set to compliment NXT on giving everyone their own introduction for a women’s battle royal for a change and make it seem like it was more than stars and scrubs. Not to mention saving me the job of having to pause and try to figure out who was actually in it. Then, four introductions in, they went to commercial and came back with half the field in. Cross went straight for Conti to start the match and eliminated her first. Conti then threw Cross into the barricade and Peyton pushed her into the steps, leaving Cross hurt on the floor. Eliminations were fairly spread out. Belair eliminated Ripley and Zeda in quick succession. Dakota was eliminated by Beckett, although whether that was planned or not looked unsure. Beckett then eliminated Aliyah before Cross came back in with a crossbody onto a pile of opponents and fought off everyone. Cross got rid of Borne, Beckett, Garrett and Laith. Mercedes eliminated Logan to leave six. Candice got rid of Evans with a leg sweep, but got pressed out by Belair not long after.
Final four were Billie, Belair, Mercedes and Nikki. They did a spot with Kay using Belair’s ponytail to avoid elimination, causing Belair to flip out and whip Kay with the ponytail repeatedly. Kay and Cross fell through the ropes to leave Mercedes and Belair to fight it out in the ring. Both ended up on the apron for elimination by Cross, with Billie trying to immediately eliminate Cross for the win. Cross hung on though and got rid of Billie to qualify for Takeover. This had some awkward moments, but got better by the time they reached the last four, as many battle royals tend to do. Belair probably came out of this looking the best of anyone.
Regal came to the ring with the title after the match, sparking an arguement between Cross and Peyton. Ember and Sane came out as well to give the visual of the four contenders and the belt together.
Footage was shown from the Performance Center earlier in the week, with Drew being interviewed by the sea of arms. Zelina interjected asking why she hadn’t heard about a title shot from Regal yet and Drew told her again, all Almas had to do was ask him man to man.
Aleister Black was scheduled for a match, but as he made his entrance, Velveteen Dream appeared behind him and attacked him. He tied Black in the ropes and told Black to say his name, slapping him repeatedly when he didn’t. Black then got a foot up on a Dream charge and tried to hit Black Mass, but Dream got out of the dodge and Mauro sold it that Dream was the first person to avoid it.
Roderick Strong vs. Andrade “Cien” Almas w/Zelina Vega
Zelina cut a promo before the match, saying you didn’t become as successful as her by being patient and they still had no contract for a match with Drew. She claimed Drew was ducking Almas because he wasn’t man enough to breathe the rarefied air of a champion. This was a good match, as you’d expect. I imagine they’ve got better in them, but for a TV main event, this was just fine. The fact both guys can work so well, so quickly stood out at points when they really got going. After a back and forth match the finish saw Zelina come off the apron with a hurricanrana that sent Strong into the steel steps, which popped the crowd. Almas then rolled Strong back in and hit the hammerlock DDT for the win.
After the match, Zelina took the headset from Mauro and told Drew that Almas would meet him face to face next week, to see if he was a man of his word, with Almas claiming Drew was scared. Undisputed Era then came out so Cole could talk with Strong, telling Strong he wasn’t a loser and he needed to join them. Cole offered Strong his armband, which Strong took, but didn’t put on.
RECOMMENDED VIEWING: Strong versus Almas was a fun main event and the opening tag was solid as well. For the battle royal, you can probably skip to the final six or final four and see the best of it. The Dream/Black segment was another well done escalation of the feud as well. All things considered, this was certainly an important show, with so many things being furthered or set up.
NXT WEEK: Sanity versus The Authors Of Pain for the NXT Tag Team Titles.