Hey guys! Welcome to this week’s review of NXT. On last night’s episode, we were treated to a one on one match between Candice LeRae and Zelina Vega. This match comes as a result of various run-ins the two ladies have had since NXT TakeOver: Philadelphia.
— WWE Universe (@WWEUniverse) April 19, 2018
To open this week’s program, Candice LeRae accompanied her husband Johnny Gargano to the ring as he addressed the WWE NXT Universe. Johnny thanked them for their support while he was away from NXT. Johnny went on to discuss how glad he was to be done with Tomasso Ciampa. Johnny then thanked Candice for her support as well and stated that after tonight, they would be done with Zelina and Andrade Cien Almas. Candice reaffirmed those remarks, excitedly discussing the chance she had to go one on one with Zelina. Johnny then took back the microphone and challenged Aleister Black to end the segment.
— WWE Universe (@WWEUniverse) April 19, 2018
Later on in the program, footage was shown of Shayna Baszler showing up to the performance center for a meeting with the rest of the NXT women’s division. Upon realizing that Ember Moon‘s name was taped to a locker, Shayna took off the tape and placed a Queen of Spades card in the vacant spot. Baszler went on to state that the women on the roster could either get behind her or get taken out. At one point during Baszler’s speech, Dakota Kai got up to get some water. While Baszler did get in her face, no physical altercation took place between the two.
After a video package aired that highlighted the history between Vega and Candice, it was time for our main event. Candice took early control of the match. However, Andrade came out through the crowd, distracting Candice and giving Zelina the opportunity to take control. Despite Andrade’s distraction, Candice was able to gain back momentum against Zelina. The end of the match saw Candice and Johnny lock in simultaneous Gargano locks on Zelina and Andrade, which led to Zelina tapping out. Post-match, Johnny Gargano once again stated his claim to challenge Aleister Black for the NXT title, which led to Black coming out and telling Johnny he would get his match next week.
Thoughts: This match served as a very nice way to end the feud between Zelina and Candice, especially in light of the news that Zelina and Andrade are on their way to Smackdown. More so, it was really cool that the ladies got the chance to the main event tonight. My only complaint about the match was that it was relatively short for the main event match. While I do wish the match could have been longer, I am glad that we got the chance to see Zelina and Candice go one on one.
I was not expecting Zelina and Andrade to come to the main roster so soon. I figured since they didn’t debut on the Raw or Smackdown after Mania, they would be down in NXT for a bit longer. That being said, I am very pumped for those two to make an impact on Smackdown. They make such a great pair. I get Melina vibes when Zelina is managing Andrade. She is a great asset to Andrade’s overall presentation. Eventually, I would like to see Zelina transition to a full-time wrestling role. But for the time being, having her as Andrade’s manager works out very well.
Speaking of the Superstar Shake up, I am bummed that Nikki Cross is not being moved to the main roster with the rest of Sanity. Sanity just doesn’t look complete without Nikki Cross. She completes that package and compliments that group so well. But, I remember thinking that it was a shame that Carmella didn’t get to go with Enzo and Cass to the main roster after Wrestlemania 32. Needless to say that things have worked out pretty well for Carmella since her main roster arrival. While it is a bummer that Nikki doesn’t seem to be joining the rest of Sanity, I hope this means that there are still great things in store for her. And that similarly to Carmella, Nikki will have the chance to break out on her own.
The segment with Shayna and members of the NXT women’s division was short but still effective. At times Shayna’s delivery during promos seems a bit shaky. But I know she’s still working and improving on that stuff. I did like that her and Dakota Kai had a miniature interaction. They already have a backstory from when Baszler stomped on Kai’s arm. I think it would be really cool if they could develop an underdog story between Kai and Baszler, where Kai eventually faces her fear and beats Shayna. Only time will tell though.
Speaking of Shayna, I would like to say one thing about some of the comments I’ve seen. I usually read the comments on my post in case anyone has a critique or helpful suggestion as to how they feel I should write these reviews. I have seen the comments where Shayna is being compared to Baron Corbin and the ones that say that Shayna looks like she just got out of rehab. In no way can I control what people say, nor do I intend to try to control what comments are posted. I wholeheartedly believe in free speech. That being said, I feel that as a community of women’s wrestling fans, there are ways to express your dislike for a competitor in a respectful way.
I can understand why people aren’t behind Shayna, especially since I’m still not completely sold on her myself. But to compare Shayna to a man or say that she looks like she’s fresh out of rehab is a bit extreme. This site serves to create an empowering, supportive environment for women’s wrestling fans. But by making those kinds of comments, I feel like that goal of a positive environment is not achieved.
Ultimately, you guys are going to say whatever you wish to. And while I may not like it, I won’t delete the comments or anything like that. I just think we can be better about expressing our dislike towards the wrestlers. If you disagree or think I’m being over sensitive I completely understand. Only thing I ask is that you remember these are my personal thoughts, and these are thoughts that don’t necessarily reflect anyone else who contributes to this website.
What did you guys think about the match between Candice and Zelina? Who do you think will be the first to challenge Shayna? Let us know in the comments below!