Clever character development and some strong in-ring performances? Before Vince gets his hands on them, it’s time once again to check in and see what happened this week on NXT…

As always, we’re welcomed to Full Sail University for this week’s edition of NXT. Let’s gather round and see what happened…

Tomasso Ciampa enters to Johnny Gargano’s theme for story time with Tommy Entertainment. Dick. Ciampa proclaims that although Johnny may have won a battle, he’ll always win the war. He’s broken Johnny’s mind, body and spirit… Johnny Wrestling is gone. Out comes Candice LeRae to have a word with Ciampa. Candice asks just who Ciampa is, she used to know who he was but doesn’t recognise who he is now. Candice proclaims that it’s Ciampa that’s broken as he mocks her. Candice won’t shed any more tears for him as he’s not the man that she knew but a monster. Candice knows one thing still, that Johnny is better than him. Ciampa suggests that whilst maybe Johnny was better, at least he’s not half the man he is. He lived with Candice and Johnny for two years, and Candice was always more of a man than Johnny. Ciampa talks some more sh*t and Candice snaps, slapping Ciampa. Tommasso slinks off like the condescending, evil prick he is. A strong opener to the show.

Lacey Evans vs. Brandi Lauren

Simple, short squash match for Lacey to feed into her feud with Kairi Sane. Evans attacks straight out of the gates, putting boots to Lauren, and nails the slingshot elbow drop. The KO shot is followed by the pin for the three count in under two minutes. I’m still not sold on Evans, but she seems to be taking some kind of direction even if it is with a horrendous All-American I was in the army once look at me gimmick.

Kairi runs to the ring after the match, taking out Lacey. Sane goes for the InSane elbow, but Evans bails out at the last second, escaping.

Aleister Black up next for an interview. Black knows he’s a target, but gives us a reminder that he already beat Velveteen Dream. As for Ricochet, he’d like to see if he really is the one and only…

Dakota Kai up next, talking about Baszler and Cross. She’s unsure of them, then lo and behold Nikki arrives asking when she’ll scrap with Shayna. Poor Dakota goes all deer in the headlights again, but Nikki says that with fear comes opportunity, Kai should fight.

Ricochet vs. Velveteen Dream

Back and forth to start things out, until Ricochet grounds things. Dream battles back, Ricochet countering into a head scissors. Both back up until Ricochet takes it back to the ground, working over Dreams arm. Ricochet takes advantage of the situation keeping the pressure on Dream, until Dream counters sending him to the floor. Dream teases with a dive, Ricochet cuts him off and dropkicks Dream to the floor. Ricochet teases with a dive of his own. Dream goes for Ricochet and they both go down.

The real story of this however was the end of the match. Lars Sullivan came out and attacked both Ricochet and Dream for the no contest finish. A shame to see both guys taken out as I feel something more creative than big lad comes in and takes the smaller guy down rinse and repeat, but it works to further Lars as a real danger to Black come takeover.

Kona Reeves vs. Raul Mendoza

Nothing of note in this match other than they’re still pushing Velveteen Dream Kona Reeves. Short match that saw Kona finish things with the Hawaiian Drop. I still don’t understand why you’ve got the likes of Axel Dieter Jr (Marcel Barthel) backstage and yet you’re pushing a guy that doesn’t know who he is, let alone what his gimmick is meant to be. Yawn.

Dream & Ricochet both want to kick the living you-know-what out of Lars for the attack earlier on. They’re going to have a word with William Regal about it…

Earlier on, TM61 and Heavy Machinery had something of a conversation, and a match between the two teams is set for next week’s show.

Pete Dunne, Oney Lorcan, & Danny Burch vs. Undisputed Era (Cole, Strong, O’Reilly)

And now for your main event of the evening. I’d write a lengthy paragraph about it, but this is one of those television matches that deserve your attention, a whole lot of it at that. This is basically a strong style, kick the fu*k out of everyone and anyone scrapfest featuring six guys who have got everything to prove.

Out of this, it looks like Oney and Lorcan will be getting their rightful title shot against O’Reilly and Strong – count me in for that one. Takeover needs some bolstering, and a match between some of NXT’s most effective strikers would boost the event considerably.  Dunne looked like the Bruiserweight we know and love throughout, could we potentially see him versus Cole at Takeover? With the second annual UK tournament just around the corner, it seems logical that the self-professed leader of NXT versus Britwres’s finest should be in order for a good old fashioned bragging rights match, title or not.

Like I said, go out and watch it.

And that’s it.

Until next week…


Joshua White – Steelchair Magazine 2018.

(All photos courtesy