Hi guys! Welcome to this week’s edition of NXT. I again apologize for the delay in getting this post out. I am in the process of moving so it’s a little hectic. Enough about my lameness though, let’s jump into the show!

This week, Dakota Kai and Aliyah faced each other in one on one action. With no number one contender established in the division as of right now, both women looked to use tonight’s matchup as a way to build their case as to why they deserve to be Kairi Sane‘s first challenger. Speaking of the new champion, we found out tonight when Sane is returning to NXT television. Additionally, we saw a confrontation between Nikki Cross and the EST of NXT, Bianca Belair.

Dakota and Aliyah started the match off with a lockup. Following a “break,” Aliyah grabbed Kai by the hair and took her down to the mat with a headlock. Dakota countered with a headscissors. Although Aliyah escaped the headscissors, Dakota retaliated by kipping up and hitting Aliyah with a dropkick. Kai would follow up with a running kick and a double stomp for a one fall. Dakota would continue to implement offense until missing another dropkick attempt.

After Kai missed the dropkick, Aliyah would take advantage and work on Dakota. Aliyah hit Kai with some clubs on the back. Aliyah then whipped Kai into the corner and hit her with a running reverse elbow in the corner. Aliyah would then go to whip Dakota into the opposite corner. Kai countered, but Aliyah countered herself with a lou thesz press and a near fall.

Aliyah continued to work over Dakota with a body scissors submission. Kai eventually got to her feet and rammed Aliyah’s back into the corner two times. Aliyah grabbed Dakota by the hair, but Kai was able to take Aliyah down. Kai then hit Aliyah with a standing kick, followed by her signature facewash maneuver. Aliyah was able to regain control of the match momentarily. However, rather than capitalizing on the momentum, Aliyah played to the crowd. This allowed Dakota to trip up Aliyah, hit her finishing move, and pick up the victory.

A little later on, Nikki Cross was shown being interviewed by William Regal regarding the attack on Aleister Black. When asked if she could explain what she saw while being on the rooftop, Nikki said that she saw the incident and that it was beautiful. She then claimed to have known who the mystery assailant was. Rather than give Regal a name, however, Cross opted to play around with a nearby phone and lay on William’s desk, repeatedly saying she knew a secret.

As Regal asked Cross what she knew, Bianca Belair came in, asking if Nikki’s antics is what was delaying her meeting. Cross made an attempt to touch Belair’s hair, which Belair stopped immediately. Bianca, who would be consistently interrupted by Nikki, told William that he needed to stop playing around and put his focus where it belongs.

Bianca went on to say how she proved she was healthy with her win over Deonna last week, and that she deserved a title shot over everyone else. After hearing Belair’s sentiments, Cross asked Belair if they could play together. Bianca shrugged off Nikki’s request, telling Regal that when he was done playing with his “pet,” he should think about making the right decision. Once Bianca left, Nikki rolled off the desk and asked if Regal had any more questions for her.

Prior to the main event, it was also announced that Kairi Sane would return to NXT television next week to show off her new “treasure,” the NXT women’s title.

Thoughts: For the most part, the match between Dakota and Aliyah was fine. Definitely not bad. It just didn’t feel like there was anything necessarily memorable. I loved the way Aliyah was booked throughout the match, however. She showed off a lot more aggression and was able to get a good amount of offense in. If this is what we’re going to be seeing from Aliyah going forward, I am all for it.

I also thought it was interesting that during Aliyah’s entrance, the announcers talked about Aliyah coming from money. They mentioned that she was cut off once she got to America. But to my knowledge, that kind of backstory has never been mentioned for Aliyah. If I am wrong I apologize. Maybe this is the writers trying a new character out for Aliyah. Which I personally think would benefit Aliyah. Unfortunately, I don’t see having the Cat’s Meow character or moniker benefiting Aliyah one bit. If the writers choose to stick Aliyah with a rich girl gimmick, I’d be interested in seeing how she can pull it off.

I enjoyed the backstage segment between Bianca, Nikki, and William. I enjoy seeing Nikki being crazy and being all over the place. Additionally, I enjoy seeing Bianca’s personality shine through. She didn’t come across too cocky to me, but her attitude was still on point. Based on the interactions between Nikki and Bianca during the interrogation, I feel that we will see a match between the two competitors soon. On paper, for some reason, I don’t see Bianca and Nikki’s styles clashing well. But I am all for being proven wrong. And if those two have a match, I hope they do a great job.

With Kairi returning to television next week, I think we may get a clear picture of who will be first in line for a shot at the championship. My personal guess is that Shayna Baszler will invoke her rematch clause. But I have no clue. That being said, I’m interested in finding out what direction, if any, the championship scene will have at the end of next week. There are so many possibilities within the division. So I’m looking forward to seeing what direction the writers go in moving forward.

What did you guys think of the match between Dakota and Aliyah? What do you think of Cross and Belair possibly squaring off in the future? What do you think Kairi will say next week? Let us know in the comments below!