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NXT: 4/25/18 – Looking ahead

Hi guys! Welcome to this week’s review of NXT. On last week’s episode, we saw Candice Lerae and Zelina Vega make their NXT television in-ring debuts, with Candice securing the win. On this week’s episode, we found out who Candice’s next opponent will be, as well as who future opponents for Shayna Baslzer could be.

A video package was aired that highlighted current NXT women’s champion Shayna Baszler. Baszler talks about how she came to NXT with an aura surrounding her. Moreover, Baszler talked about how quickly she set herself apart from every other woman in the locker room. Baszler also mentioned how members of the NXT women’s division settled for being taking second place.

Video packages were then aired that highlighted potential challengers for Shayna Baszler: Nikki Cross, Aliyah, Kairi Sane, Lacey Evans, Vanessa Borne and Candice LeRae. Each woman, with the exception of Nikki Cross, had their own particular comments to say to put down Baszler and make it known that they were coming for the NXT women’s championship.

One woman that was not mentioned in a video package was Dakota Kai. Footage aired of an interview that took place between Cathy Kelly and Dakota Kai earlier in the day. Cathy tried getting comments from Dakota regarding the standoff her and Baslzer had last week. However, Kai was reluctant to address what happened. Before Kai could leave the interview, Shayna appeared. Shayna asked Kai how it felt knowing that her dream of coming to the performance center had turned into a nightmare with Baszler being the champion. Baszler walked off, leaving Kai looking intimidated.

After a recap of Candice’s win over Zelina Vega last week, the announcers informed us that on next week’s program, Candice LeRae will go one on one with Bianca Belair. Following that announcement, a video package aired that highlighted why Bianca Belair refers to herself as the “est of NXT.”

Candice LeRae also appeared at the side of Johnny Gargano following an attack by Tomasso Ciampa. Gargano had to be taken to a nearby hospital, with Candice riding along to make sure he was okay.

Thoughts: I am very glad that they are continuing the story between Shayna Baszler and Dakota Kai. I know I’m repeating myself, but I am all for a full-fledged story between those two. This program has the potential to build Dakota Kai up as a strong underdog babyface. Someone who was able to overcome their fears and topple their bully. It would be a great story to see unfold. I thought her and Shayna performed really well in the segment tonight. Hopefully, NXT keeps the ball rolling with this storyline.

The placement of the video packages that highlighted members of the NXT women’s division was a little awkward. But it was a nice touch to showcase some of the talent that the NXT women’s division has. I remember NXT using a similar format about a year ago when the women discussed Asuka‘s reign. It makes it seem harder to predict who will be the first woman to challenge Baszler, which is something I really enjoy.

In particular, I’m glad that Aliyah got a mention. That girl has been working hard for a while down at the Performance Center. Her recent match with Ember Moon was enjoyable, albeit short. I’m hoping that she gets the chance to perform and shine in upcoming weeks.

I am looking forward to Candice LeRae and Bianca Belair to face off next week. Bianca has really impressed me ever since I watched the Mae Young Classic. I think that girl is going to be a huge star one day. My hope for this match is that we get a match that has a decent amount of length. That’s one of the things that hasn’t happened as of late for women’s division matches on NXT. To me, one of the best ways to build up the division again is to have those lengthier, back and fourth matches. At the risk of sounding like a broken record, lengthier television matches are what made the NXT women’s division three years ago a lot of fun to watch. Those girls got a platform and the time to showcase their skills. There is a lot of talent within NXT’s women division currently. And hopefully moving forward, that talent is showcased through longer matches.

What did you guys think of this week’s episode? Who do you think will be the first to challenge Shayna Baszler? Do you think Dakota Kai will stand up to Baszler? Let us know in the comments below!

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