Monday, July 22, 2024

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NXT: 5/16/18 – Retribution and Encouragement

Hey guys! Welcome to this week’s NXT review. On this week’s episode, we have Lacey Evans going one on one with Brandi Lauren. In addition to that, we see the reappearance of Candice LeRae, as well as Nikki Cross trying to give some motivation to Dakota Kai.

To open up this week’s program, Tomasso Ciampa came out to Johnny Gargano‘s entrance music in an attempt to continue the mocking of his former partner. Ciampa would go on to brag that he always wins the war and that now Gargano is a broken man. Before he could proceed, Candice LeRae came down to the ring. Candice stressed that she no longer recognized the man that Ciampa has become and that Tomasso is the one that’s truly broken. She went on to say that Ciampa will know that Gargano was always the better man of the two. Ciampa responded by insulting Gargano’s manhood, which led to LeRae slapping Tomasso before heading to the back. Ciampa remained in the ring, smiling and waving at LeRae as she left.

A little later on, Lacey Evans battled Brandi Lauren in singles action. Evans dominated the majority of the match, using her signatures maneuvers such as the springboard elbow drop and a second rope moonsault. Although Evans could have ended the match sooner, she opted to finish Lauren off with her finishing move “The Women’s Right.” Following the match, Kairi Sane appeared and attacked Evans. Sane had Evans set up for the InSane Elbow Drop. However, Evans was able to move out of the way before Kairi connected.

Also featured tonight was an interview that took place earlier in the day with Dakota Kai and members of the NXT press. When asked about Nikki Cross, Kai stated that she wasn’t sure what that situation entailed. As Kai mentioned that she was focusing on strength and conditioning, Nikki Cross suddenly appeared. Cross asked Kai when she was going to face Shayna Baszler. Nikki then went on to tell Dakota that with fear comes great opportunity. Nikki grabbed Dakota by the back of the head, told her one more time to face her fear, and then left as Dakota was left confused and somewhat frightened.

Thoughts: I think it’s a great idea to use Candice LeRae to further the feud between Ciampa and Johnny Gargano. That particular feud is the longest running program that NXT currently has, and using Candice’s marriage to Gargano is a perfect way to keep it going. That being said, I am looking forward to when Candice can fully transition to being a member of the women’s division. I think she has so much more to offer than just being Johnny Gargano’s wife. So far she hasn’t had a breakout match on NXT perse. But I know she has the capability to do so. Hopefully, once the feud ends between Gargano and Ciampa, Candice can get more involved with wrestling.

I am digging the side feud between Lacey Evans and Kairi Sane. I was so worried that the match between Sane and Evans a month ago would just be a one-off like Lacey’s other matches with Dakota and Nikki Cross. However, for the time being, it looks like Sane and Evans will still be in a program. Which is great side feud that doesn’t focus on the NXT women’s championship is always awesome to have. The last time that I can remember a second program occurring within the women’s division was when Ruby Riott was at odds with Iconic Duo (if I am wrong I apologize.) The more feuds the better.

I’m interested to see what transpires between Nikki Cross, Dakota Kai, and Shayna Baszler. Maybe a triple threat match will happen, or maybe Cross will try and be a mentor for Kai. The latter sounds like it would be an absolute trip to watch. But as of right now I am not sure where this is going. Based on last week’s segment, I figured that Cross would step up and challenge Baszler. But that doesn’t look like it’s the direction that they’re going towards yet. Again, time will tell, especially since it seems too soon to say for sure. But I’m definitely intrigued.

What do you guys think of Candice’s involvement in the Gargano/Ciampa feud? Are you enjoying the feud between Sane and Evans? Where do you see the story of Cross, Baszler, and Kai going? Let us know in the comments below!

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