It’s a new era, the era of Rhea Ripley and she started off the first NXT of the year. Ripley headed to the ring to start the show and as she enters the ring, the arena fills with the “you deserve it” chants. Ripley isn’t able to say much before Toni Storm interrupts.
Storm would enter the ring and congratulate Ripley. She would proudly remind the new champ that she had beaten her not once, but twice and in fact was the one to dethrone her as the NXT UK Champion. Storm continues by making a huge statement and challenge.
She intends on winning the NXT UK Championship back. A Triple-Threat Match is quickly approaching for NXT UK TakeOver: Blackpool II that takes place on Jan. 12 involving Storm vs. Piper Niven vs. Kay Lee Ray (c). Once she wins the UK Title back she lays down the challenge to Ripley for a match at Worlds Collide on Jan. 25 with the NXT Women’s Championship on the line. Ripley would accept just before Ray would interrupt the two.
Following Ray would be Io Shirai, Bianca Belair, and Candice LeRae all seemingly throwing their names in the fold. This would lead to the six woman tag team match. Ripley, Storm, and LeRae faced Ray, Belair, and Shirai.
The lengthy match was a great way to start the show off and highlight each woman. Highlights of the match were definitely moments delivered by LeRae and Belair. It culminated in Ripley picking up the win as she delivered Riptide to Belair. After the match both Storm and LeRae would make it known that they haven’t forgotten that they want the NXT Women’s Championship for themselves.
The second match of the night was between Mia Yim vs. Kayden Carter. Carter continues to impress and the two had a solid match. Yim would pick up the win and the two would embrace after the match showing good sportsmanship. The embrace wouldn’t last long as Chelsea Green would attack them from behind.
This would be her first appearance on NXT television since the show debuted in September. She most recently was seen on RAW facing Charlotte Flair and both Sarah Logan and Natalya on Main Event. Green is announced as a signee for the Robert Stone Brand and Stone declares to take over NXT.
Let’s get to the Winners & Losers of the week.
WINNER: Toni Storm
Storm was a big winner this week. She would not only show up to challenge Ripley, she would receive a title shot at Worlds Collide. If she does win the NXT UK Women’s Title back at TakeOver on Sunday, she has a possibility of becoming a double champ. She would be on the winning team on this weeks show as well although she was not the one to get the pin.
WINNER: Chelsea Green
Chelsea making her debut was a big win for her. Personally, I would have much rather seen her moved to RAW as I feel that brand in particular needs some more/fresh faces. However, her debut and being put with a manager seems to be a step towards a long-awaited push. It does bring up
WINNERS: Candice LeRae and Bianca Belair
From a match point of view, these two stole the show. It is always weird to put someone that eats the pin as a winner but Belair’s loss wasn’t seen as weak. Between Belair’s hard-hitting style and the way she cut the ring off preventing LeRae to tag in her partners makes her a winner this week. LeRae did a great job just not in the ring but also with her storytelling. Her friendship with Ripley plus her drive to become champion is endearing.
LOSER: Kay Lee Ray
It was a big week that focused on many women, but the NXT UK Women’s Champion may have just been the one to show up on the losing end. For starters, she was featured heavily during the match, but her feud with Storm seemed to be an afterthought. The commentators would mention the upcoming title match at TakeOver but this six-woman tag team match was definitely more for Rhea Ripley’s advantage.
LOSER: Kayden Carter
Carter definitely has great talent and is putting on quality matches. The problem lays in the fact that she isn’t picking up any televised wins. She continues to be praised by commentary and rightfully so, but it would be nice to see her get some wins. Pairing her with opponents such as Mia Yim and Bianca Belair isn’t going to put her over just yet.
What were your thoughts on this week’s NXT? Who were your Winners & Losers? Leave your thoughts in the comment section below!