Tonight on NXT, Mae Young Classic Competitors Lacey Evans and Dakota Kai squared off in one on one action.

Lacey lived up to her promise from last week, targeting the arm that was previously injured by Shayna Baszler two months ago. Despite this, Kai was able to pick up the win.

Following the match, Shayna Baszler appeared, looking once again to brutalize Kai. Before this could occur, Ember Moon made her return to NXT television. Ember laid out a challenge for NXT Takeover: New Orleans to Shayna, which then led to a brawl between the two ladies. Eventually, Ember ended up hitting the Eclipse on Baszler, thanks to an assist from Kai. The confrontation ended with Ember standing tall over Shayna, who was laid out in the ring.

Earlier in the show, Nikki Cross accompanied SAnitY members Eric Young and Alexander Wolfe to the ring for their first round match in the Dusty Rhodes Classic. Nikki would make her presence felt, diving off the apron onto Riddick Moss.

Zelina Vega was also present on tonight’s episode, representing Andrade Cien Almas for the contract signing with Aleister Black. However, unknown to Vega, Black had recruited the services of Candice LeRae to counteract Vega. LeRae would come out and attack Vega, leaving her laying in the middle of the ring to end the show.

Thoughts: My feelings towards NXT’s women’s division as a whole are very similar to the ones that Stephanie outlined in last week’s post. There is so much ring potential among members of the roster, including Bianca Belair, Lacey Evans, Dakota Kai and others. Additionally, established stars of the division such as Moon, Peyton Royce, Billie Kay and Nikki Cross add to the depth of the roster. However, the story telling of the division over the past year has unfortunately been lacking.

Another area that has been lacking is the length of matches on NXT. Over the past year there have been some notable and great exceptions, including the one on one match between Ruby Riott and Moon, the two battle royals, and the recent match up between Baszler and Kairi Sane. However, as seen with the recent matches of Bianca Belair and tonight’s match, the girls in recent weeks haven’t gotten the most air time. Hopefully that can change in the upcoming weeks.

That being said, I did enjoy tonight’s episode. I am a huge fan of pull apart brawls. Unsanctioned and impromptu fights always add a nice depth to a feud. In this case, the fight helped progress the story of hatred between Moon and Baszler. And it was nice seeing Dakota Kai get a measure of revenge on Baszler by stopping her attack on Ember.

I am not entirely thrilled at the thought of a rematch between Moon and Baslzer for Takeover. Mostly because I haven’t seen enough of Baszler’s work to be excited. I love Baszler’s character. To me, she carries the cocky and unconcerned demeanor perfectly. But ring wise, I am not entirely sold yet. However, I am all for being proven wrong. And if Moon vs. Baszler is the match that happens on Takeover, I hope Moon and Baslzer tear the house down.

I also find it very interesting that Candice LeRae got involved with the contract signing. That was not something I was expecting. I was a little hopeful that when Candice became part of NXT, she would be introduced to the women’s division. However, I do like the idea of her and Vega having their own side story. The two women have wrestled each other in mixed tag team matches on house shows. And I would to see how far Vega has come from her days at Impact Wrestling. If the continued brawls lead to a match between the two then I am all for it.

What did you guys think of tonight’s show? Are you excited to see a rematch between Ember Moon and Shanya Baszler? What do you think will happen at TakeOver: New Orleans? Let us know in the comments below!