Friday, August 7, 2020

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Winners & Losers: NXT 05.27.20

Tensions are at an all-time high as an important Triple Threat match is looming for the NXT Women’s Championship. A week from Sunday on June 7 a potential show-stealing match between the champion Charlotte Flair, Io Shirai, and Rhea Ripley will undoubtedly be a match of the night contender.

We received a small preview tonight as all three women would be in a match. Shirai and Ripley teamed up to face Flair and a mystery opponent of her choosing. We will get to that in a moment. Let’s discuss the women that were on this week’s show prior to that tag team match.

Candice LeRae and Mia Yim continued their exchange of words. It reached a climax last week as Johnny Gargano tried to get involved in his wife’s affairs. This prompted NXT North American Champion Keith Lee to come even the odds for Yim. This week Yim and Lee decided to have a little fun and mock the Garganos after Johnny’s match.

For weeks LeRae and Gargano have been doing at home vignettes where they have be menacingly targeting the likes of Yim. This time it was Yim and Lee at home being “menacing” themselves as they pretended to be both LeRae and Gargano.

Yim portraying LeRae states that she is an angry little pixie who doesn’t know how to tone her hair, she is 4 foot 7, and she has been in NXT for 25 years without any titles to show for it. She loves living in the shadow of her husband.

Tegan Nox makes an appearance in the segment to deliver food. It was a pizza from Gargano’s Pizza, well what left of it. Nox exited with a slice for herself which left just one for Yim and Lee. The segment ends with Lee talking about how Gargano shouldn’t have put his hands on Yim. Yim ends the segment with a toast and says it isn’t about the Gargano way, it is about making them pay.

LeRae vows that she will see Yim next week and that Nox should be ashamed of herself.

The first of two women’s matches of this week was a one-on-one match between Shotzi Blackheart and Raquel Gonzalez. This is a pick of from a feud from a few weeks ago where Tegan Nox and Blackheart paired on to face Gonzalez and Dakota Kai. This match was an enjoyable one to watch as Blackheart’s athleticism continues to show with a good mix of Gonzalez’s strength.

Throughout the bout, Blackheart did a great job of keeping one step ahead of her opponent. She was often able to counter and maneuver the match to her benefit. That is until she was distracted enough by Kai. Kai would hop into Blackheart’s tank and started tearing it apart. This allowed Gonzalez to gain control of the match. She focused on the back of Blackheart throughout.

Nox appeared, of course after delivering the pizza slice to Yim and Keith, to even the odds and attacked Kai from behind. Late into the match, Blackheart hid a running senton in the corner of the ring. This drove her opponent to the outside of where Kai was to regroup, only they didn’t have much time to do that. Blackheart climbs to the top as she hits a trust fall on top of both of them. Nox came over to assist her friend back up but LeRae ran down to the ring to get into Nox’s face. She wasn’t pleased with Nox being with Yim earlier.

This was enough of a distraction for Nox to take her eye off of helping Blackheart and Gonzalez slammed her into the mat and picked up the win.

Now we get into the second and advertised match of the night. A nice preview for the Triple Threat at TakeOver: In Your House. Io Shirai and Rhea Ripley had to somehow coexist as a team as they faced Charlotte Flair and a partner of her choosing. Flair has been working on all three brands and hasn’t made many friends in the process. So it was hard to guess who she was going to find. Surprisingly it was Chelsea Green.

The match started between Ripley and Green, and it was obvious that Ripley only wanted Flair. She was definitely more concerned about the woman who took her title from her at WrestleMania over whatever the Robert Stone Brand representative had for her. After a bit of back and forth, Shirai would tag herself into the match and dominate Green. This was until the Joshi Judas went for the Tiger Feint Kick and found herself pushed to the outside. Shirai wouldn’t stay down long as she took it to Green and the two would battle it out on the outside and they both would use the barricade to their advantage.

After wearing down Shirai, Flair would tag in and try to pick at what was left. It was clear that Flair and Ripley were being kept apart throughout most of the match. Flair would interject herself to break up a two count after Ripley went for a pin on Green after delivering an electric chair into a face plant. Flair blind tags herself in and goes for the Figure Eight on Ripley but Shirai was able to stop it with a running knee.

After finally connecting with the Tiger Feint Kick, Shirai goes to launch herself on Flair but Green pushes her teammate out of the way to take the bullet. Shirai tries to follow up by going after Flair but after a side step, Shirai actually hits Ripley off the apron by accident. Flair then rolls up Shirai and uses the ropes as leverage with her feet and gets the pin.

Shirai is left shocked, Ripley is seething, and Green and Flair celebrate at the bottom of the ramp.

Scarlett also made an appearance as she followed Tommaso Ciampa to the ring for his match. She stood at ring side watching him. As he picked up a quick win, Karrion Kross appeared on the screen and delivered a message for their upcoming match at TakeOver. Scarlett would smile at the top of the ramp while looking back at Ciampa.

Let’s get into the Winners & Losers of the week:

Before I get into my choices of the week, both matches were really well done this week. I was very entertained by both as well as the promo between Yim/Lee and the Garganos. I can’t possibly make everyone a winner (or can I?) but I will pick the ones who were elevated this week.

WINNER: Raquel Gonzalez

I must say I am starting to become a Raquel fan. It isn’t that I wasn’t before, but I like the way she handles herself. She is being billed as a monster but at the same time, she is believable. I think she just sells really well to her Shotzi which makes me enjoy the matches they have had. It isn’t just one-sided.

WINNER: Mia Yim

Personally, this was probably the best promo work I have seen from her. She doesn’t have a lot of time on the mic usually, so I enjoyed seeing her do what she did. The promo itself was done really well. It was funny, it was meaningful, and it hit as a whole. It makes sense that she is comfortable with Keith as they are together in real life, so maybe that will bring more of her character out. I wasn’t sure how I felt about a couple vs. couple dynamic, however, I am enjoying it.

WINNER: Chelsea Green

Being a big fan of Chelsea prior to signing with WWE and excited by the now-defunct VXT, I haven’t been liking the Robert Stone Brand. It has been a slow build, she lost her debut match a few months ago, and even though she has been winning since then – meh. I don’t know what it is but it isn’t fully clicking. Tonight was way better. She was an integral part of this match and saving Flair at the end was great from a storyline perspective. It was very random that she was chosen as Flair’s partner, however, I enjoyed it.

LOSER: Tegan Nox

Not sure what it is, but she is getting lost in the shuffle. She is currently in two storylines and neither one of them is fully doing her justice. I do enjoy her as a team with Shotzi, but I wish the tag titles would make more of an appearance on the NXT brand. There should be no excuse now for them not to be as they are all performing at the same location. I think Tegan and Dakota need to go their separate ways at this time.

What were your thoughts on this week’s NXT? Who were your Winners & Losers? Leave what you thought in the comment section below.

Check back in with Diva Dirt for further Winners & Losers articles as well as a lead up to TakeOver: In Your House. Hopefully, we will get more than one women’s match at that event.

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