Monday, July 15, 2024

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NXT: 09/19/18 – Up in the Air

Hey everyone! Welcome to this week’s review of NXT. On last week’s episode, an altercation between Dakota Kai and Aliyah aired. As the two bickered over their match from three weeks ago, Lacey Evans and Deonna Purrazzo quickly joined in on the conversation. The argument that transpired between these four athletes led to tonight’s match up, which saw Kai and Purrazzo go up against Evans and Aliyah in tag team action.

Additionally, we heard Bianca Belair discuss the chaotic end to her match with Nikki Cross seven days ago. Furthermore, we also heard Candice LeRae give her testimony to William Regal regarding who may have been responsible for attacking Aleister Black.

The tag bout started off with some technical wrestling between Lacey and Deonna. A cheap shot by Evans allowed Aliyah to come in and hit Purrazzo with some kicks, mocking Kai. As Aliyah went to throw another kick, Purrazzo caught Aliyah’s leg, and threw her to the mat face first. Aliyah would then receive a kick to her left arm from Deonna, and a kick to the chest from Kai. A quick tag between Dakota and Purrazzo allowed them to maintain control over Aliyah temporarily. Yet Aliyah would bounce back by forcing Deonna into the corner, which gave her the chance to tag in Lacey. Evans put Deonna into a headlock, which Purrazzo escaped quickly. After an exchange of shots, Deonna looked to lock in her signature armbar submission hold. Lacey was able to shove Purrazzo off though and hit her in the back. This move allowed Evans and Aliyah to take control of the match.

Evans would rub insult into injury by wiping Deonna’s face with a tissue as Aliyah was choking Purrazzo with the ropes. Aliyah would then take down Deonna with a snapmare and keep control with a submission. Purrazzo was able to escape the hold, and eventually make the tag to Dakota. Kai came in and hit Aliyah with a flurry of forearms and kicks. After hitting Aliyah with her facewash maneuver, Dakota went for the pin. However, that attempt was broken by Lacey. The end of the match saw Dakota attempt to roll up Aliyah. However, unknown to Kai, Aliyah had managed to tag in Lacey. This led to Evans coming in and hitting Dakota with the Woman’s Right. That move was enough to secure a win for Aliyah and the First Lady of NXT.

Later on in the evening, we saw a recap of what went down between Nikki Cross and Bianca Belair last week. Following the recap, a post match interview with Bianca Belair aired. When asked to explain what happened, Bianca said that Nikki was crazy and brought things to a level that she wasn’t expecting. Belair went on to say that she wasn’t backing down, and that going forward she plans on showing up and showing Nikki out. Bianca ended the interview by reminding everyone that she is the EST of NXT and, more importantly, that she is undefeated.

A little later on in the program, Candice LeRae was shown being interviewed by William Regal in regards to who may have attacked Aleister Black. LeRae reaffirmed that she was with Kairi Sane and Kassius Ohno when the attack happened, and that none of them saw anything. However, LeRae let Regal know that based on the details of the attack, she believed it was Tomasso Ciampa.

Regal assured Candice that it couldn’t have been Ciampa, and then asked Candice where her husband Johnny Gargano was when Aleister was assaulted. LeRae stated that her and Gargano are trying to keep their personal and professional lives separate at this point. However, LeRae told Regal that following the announcement of the triple threat match that was supposed to happen at TakeOver, Gargano found her and told her to sit tight until he was finished. Then, once he was done with his stuff, Johnny found her and they left. William thanked her for her time and then told her if he needed to ask her any other questions, he would at a later date.

Thoughts: I enjoyed this week’s tag team match. There wasn’t necessarily anything memorable from the match for me. But it was a solid encounter. And the amount of time that was given to the match was really great. The one thing that kind of took away from the match for me was the audience. However, at the point that this match was taped, I’m guessing the audience had already sat through a lot and may have been a tad tired. Which is very understandable.

I’m not necessarily sure where any of the four women involved in this match go from here. I may be reading too much into subtle things, but based on tonight’s match up, it looked like Lacey was calling the shots during the tag match. Maybe going forward, Lacey and Aliyah’s partnership will be one where Lacey bosses Aliyah around and uses her. That could definitely be an interesting story that would play out. Regardless of what may happen in the future, tonight’s win served as a nice way to give both Evans and Aliyah a little bit of momentum.

Similarly, I’m not sure where the program between Bianca and Nikki is heading. I really enjoyed their match last week. And based on how everything ended, I’m guessing we’re going to see those two square off at least one more time. Whether it will be a stipulation match or not, I’m also guessing the intensity will be turned up for the second encounter. Which I am all here for. There isn’t necessarily something solid in place yet for how this feud will continue. But I am looking forward to seeing it progress.

After two solid showings in the triple threat match and her recent match with Shayna Baszler, I was a little bummed that Candice returned to television only to talk about the attack on Aleister. Additionally, the vague details she gave on Johnny’s whereabouts makes me think that he may have been involved with the sneak attack on Aleister. At this point, I do kind of wish that Candice could break away from being involved with Johnny’s storylines. However, I totally understand why they always go back to having her involved in Johnny’s stories, since presumably she would be the person who knows Gargano the best. Hopefully going forward, when we see Candice on television, she’ll be wrestling as opposed to being questioned about her husband.

What did you guys think of the match? Where do you think the feud between Cross and Belair will go from here? Do you think Candice will be involved in the Aleister Black storyline in the next few weeks? Let us know in the comments below!

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