Here we are, two days before NXT TakeOver: New York, I’m Scott Hammond and this is NXT!
War Raiders (Hanson & Rowe) vs ?
So imagine this. The War Raiders, current NXT Tag Team Champions going into this match with two guys that they didn’t even have name graphics for. Commentary didn’t mention them by name once. The unnamed team beat the War Raiders two days before they defend their titles at the biggest show of the year. Make sense? Me either. Rowe started by obliterating both men with clotheslines, Hanson then made his tag in and hit a knee strike on one of the poor guys. Both War Raiders then hit a flapjack into a powerslam for the quick pinfall victory.
Winners: War Raiders
The Raiders then got on the mic and demanded another team. Thankfully a team with graphics (Adrian Jaoude & Cezar Bononi) answered the call. I don’t think these guys are going to fare much better.
War Raiders vs Adrian Jaoude & Cezar Bononi
I was right. Hanson started quickly and hit a handspring clothesline on Bononi, followed by Rowe tagging in and hitting a knee strike to the face. Hanson then assisted Rowe in lifting both Jaoude and Bononi up for a powerslam/powerbomb combination. The War Raiders then set up Bononi for the back body drop into a top rope leg drop for the pinfall victory.
Winners: War Raiders
This was followed by an amazing promo video highlighting Pete Dunne and WALTER in preparation for their title match at NXTTakeover: New York. Anyone who didn’t watch NXT UK will know the back story to this feud now. An incredible 685 days as UK Champion for Dunne.
Candice LeRae was filmed outside of Full Sail but was quickly interrupted by Aliyah and Vanessa Bourne. Bourne said LeRae would never be a Champion and a failure like her husband. Bourne said she had deemed her a ‘lower’. What kind of insult is that? LeRae said both women knew a lot about failure (burn) and is going to start her ascent by knocking Aliyah on her ass.
Oney Lorcan vs Jaxon Ryker
Both men started strong with strikes, and Ryker hit a suplex into the corner. Lorcan worked his way to the top rope and tried to jump off the top but missed, and Ryker hit him with a gut buster. Ryker followed up with a running knee to the stomach of Lorcan. Lorcan came off the ropes and attempted a sunset flip, but Ryker powered him up into a bear hug. Lorcan fought out and started his comeback with multiple European uppercuts, but was cut off with a massive axe handle from Ryker, who then hit his sit down powerbomb for the pinfall victory. The pacing of this match was way off. Very strange match.
Winner: Jaxon Ryker
A second incredible video package next detailing Tommaso Ciampa’s injury, leading into the story between Johnny Gargano and Adam Cole and their two out of three falls match for the NXT title at NXT TakeOver: New York. Really great work with so little time to build any heat.
This was followed up with the story so far between Matt Riddle and Velveteen Dream before their match for the North American title at NXT TakeOver: New York.
We then cut to highlights from Keith Lee vs Dominik Dijakovic from five weeks ago. Lee is then seen standing outside the Performance Centre with lots of fake reporters. He says that his match that was scheduled with Dijakovic a few weeks back was bumped. He said he turned up to put an end to the conflict. He mentioned that he wasn’t a chosen one, but he was an event and he went to William Regal and he vs Dijakovic will happen in two weeks on NXT.
Kairi Sane vs Bianca Belair
I’m such a sucker for Sane’s gimmick. Pirate’s are awesome. It won’t be when she hits the ‘main’ roster, as Vince won’t get it, but its a fun gimmick in a company full of serious characters. Belair has really grown on me in the last few weeks. The match started with Belair showing her strength, before Sane hit a big stinging strike, knocking her to the floor. Sane then taunted Belair with her own signature braid spin which popped me. Belair retreated to the outside, but Sane met her with a Kabuki elbow from the top rope.
Sane got Belair back in the ring and applied a cross-legged crab, but this didn’t last long as Belair powered out and hit Sane with a tilt-a-whirl powerslam. This led into another rest hold, with Belair putting Sane in an abdominal stretch, but then lifted her into the air and dropped her into a backbreaker. Good offence from Belair. After a suplex by Belair, Sane recovered and put her in an Octopus stretch, before ascending to the top. She attempted a cross body, but Belair caught her and performed a fallaway slam. Belair then went for a suplex, but Sane reversed into a spike DDT, followed up by another Kabuki elbow in the corner. Belair recovered long enough to hit a suplex/standing moonsault combination, but before she could do anything else, Shayna Basler, Duke and Shafir attacked both women for the no contest.
After the match, Io Shirai rushed to the ring to assist her two former partners, but the Horsewomen got the advantage. Then, the women’s locker room emptied and beat down the Horsewomen to the outside (conveniently in dropzone territory), with Belair following out after them. Io Shirai ascended to the top rope and hit a moonsault to all of the women on the outside, and I’m not sure that anyone caught her. Shirai recovered and took the NXT Women’s title and posed in the ring as the show went off the air, almost confirming that she won’t be winning the title at NXT TakeOver: New York.
A really strange go home episode of NXT here. Pacing on the last two matches were really off, and never really got the crowd invested. But the build-up videos were great, and all matched on the card are for titles, so it has shaped up to be a great show, and it has 11 matches less than WrestleMania. Let that sink in.
All photos and videos courtesy of WWE.com