Hi everyone! Welcome to this week’s review of NXT. One week ago, Kairi Sane defeated Candice LeRae and Nikki Cross in a fantastic triple threat match. As a result of that victory, Sane earned the chance to fight Shayna Baszler at TakeOver: Brooklyn IV for the NXT Women’s Championship. On tonight’s program, the two competitors made their match for August 18th official with a contract signing, held by William Regal.

On top of the contract signing, we heard from the EST of NXT regarding her inability to compete in last week’s match up. We also saw Candice LeRae confront Shayna Baszler due to Baszler’s past comments about LeRae. And Lacey Evans competed in one on one action with a newcomer to the NXT women’s division, Tenilla Price.

Commissioner of NXT William Regal oversaw the contract signing between Shayna Baszler and Kairi Sane. After Regal referred to the upcoming bout in Brooklyn as a rematch from the Mae Young Classic, Baszler quickly chimed in to remind Regal and Sane that Baszler had beaten Sane since last year. Baszler went on to say that she is nowhere near the person she was a year ago, that she has a killer instinct, and that Kairi hasn’t done anything since winning the Mae Young Classic. Kairi’s response to Shayna was simply “I know it, you know it, I can beat you.”

Baszler went on to say that Sane pretends to be a pirate, something she’s not. She compared Sane to Dakota Kai, who tries to be tough, and Candice LeRae, who tries to be a competitor rather than a housewife. Baszler also told Sane that she didn’t have to listen now, but she would have to hear Baszler being announced victorious in Brooklyn. Sane, however, repeated the same line she had said before. Sane’s response agitated Baszler, who signed the contract and left the room. The segment ended with Sane once more repeating the same sentence to Regal.

A little later on in the evening, Lacey Evans competed in one on one action. Her opponent this week was the debuting Tenilla Price. Evans dominated the majority of the match, using her signature bronco buster and slingshot elbow drop maneuvers. Evans even resorted to tying Price’s hair to the ring ropes at one point to inflict more damage. There was a moment in the match where Evans lost control, as Price was able to get her knees up to block a handstand moonsault that Evans attempted. However, when Price went for a cartwheel attack on Evans in the corner, Evans countered Price’s offense with the Woman’s Right. The punch from Evans was enough to secure an emphatic victory over Tenilla. Post-match, Evans pulled out a tissue, wiped away a little sweat, and dropped the tissue on Tenilla.

After Evans’ victory, we heard from Bianca Belair so that she could address missing last week’s number one contender’s matchup. Belair stated that she didn’t have to explain herself to anyone, other than that she was injured and couldn’t compete. Despite being annoyed with her competition, Belair stated that she would just focus on herself, rehab and work on getting better. Belair then confidently stated that when she returns, she would get what is rightfully hers. Belair then when on to repeat numerous times that she was undefeated, even as she walked off the set.

A confrontation between Shayna Baszler and Candice LeRae aired following Belair’s segment. Baszler was asked about Kairi’s words during the contract signing. Before Baszler could fully elaborate, LeRae came storming up, asking Baszler to repeat the things she had said about her in the past. Shayna dared Candice to slap her again. However, Serena Deeb restrained LeRae from starting another brawl with Baszler. Instead, Candice promised Shayna that she would find the time to take care of her.

Thoughts: I was pleasantly surprised by the number of women’s segments that aired tonight. The preview on WWE.com for tonight’s show only focused on two things: the NXT Championship match, and Adam Cole‘s response to Ricochet’s challenge. Based on that, I wasn’t expecting a whole lot from tonight’s show. But there was still a good amount of stuff that happened tonight.

The contract signing was fine for what it was. I feel like we have seen so many of those segments over the last couple of years. That being said, I was impressed with Shayna during the signing. She seemed a little more comfortable talking. And her dialogue to me came across a lot better than when she was on commentary last week. Again it’s hard to expect Sane to say a lot with the language barrier. But once again she didn’t have to use a lot of words to get her point across.

There’s not a whole lot to say about the match between Evans and Price. The in-ring action was good for a squash match. Evans just continues to be on point with her character and in-ring presence all around. The tissue at the end of the match was a nice way for Evans to further mock Price. It was cool too because the audience at one point seemed to be behind Price. Which is definitely neat to see since this was Price’s first appearance on NXT television.

It’s been really nice to see Evans’ development since the beginning of the year when she called out the NXT Women’s division. She has been steadily improving all around since January, and it shows each time she gets into the ring. I think Evans is more than ready to start competing seriously for the NXT Women’s Championship.

Belair’s promo was short but effective. Even in a little amount of time, her personality shined well. Like I said last week, it is unfortunate that Belair didn’t get the chance to participate in such a high stake matchup. However, similar to Evans, I feel that Belair is more than ready to compete at that high level. When the time comes that she is healthy and back in the ring, I hope that she too gets to compete for the title.

The segment with LeRae and Baszler was interesting. Truthfully, based on the segment that aired two weeks ago between Candice and Shayna, I figured LeRae was going to win last week. Yet even though Baszler and LeRae aren’t competing at Brooklyn, a feud is still being furthered between the two. Which is something I really like. Because regardless of if Shayna wins at Brooklyn or not, it already seems like post TakeOver, she has a story and a feud waiting for her in Candice LeRae. That type of long-term booking is something I am all for and love seeing.

My only gripe with this is that I feel like the program between Kai and Baszler wasn’t fully finished. However, at the same time, it is a feud that would be pretty easy to pick back up on if the writers choose to focus on Kai and Baszler’s backstory again.

What did you guys of Lacey and Tenilla’s match? Did you enjoy the contract signing? Are you looking forward to Baszler and Sane’s upcoming match in Brooklyn? Let us know in the comments below!