Last night’s NXT was a rather tasty show that featured not one, but two firsts. It was Charlotte Flair’s first match in NXT since 2015 and Candice LeRae‘s first match since she declared that she would no longer put others before herself.
We didn’t have to wait long to see LeRae’s dark side as her match with Kacy Catanzaro was the first women’s match of the night.
Before that match started we got to see and hear Candice’s new “Poisned Pixie” entrance theme complete with Johnny Gargano introduction.
The match started with the two competitors jostling for position until Catanzaro was able to take control by using her gymnastic style to catch LeRae with a head-scissor takedown, LeRae would answer back with a snap mare but was then caught by a leg sweep and a somersault senton over the ropes for a 2 count.
The two would tussle in the centre of the ring with Catanzaro ground LeRae and attempting a twisting splash but LaRae would counter with her knees and go for the cover. LaRae would remain in control and hot a huge sideslam for another 2 count.
LeRae kept the pressure on Catanzaro by grinding her down with agressive holds until Kacy would attempt a cradle pinfall, which angered LeRae who retaliated with a barrage of visious chops and strikes to regain control of the match once more.
LeRae would end the match in brutal fashion with the a new move called the Wicked Stepsister. The brutality wouldn’t there as LeRea added insult to injury and applied the Gragano Escape to the prone Catanzaro.
This was a good match that existed only to showcase LeRae’s new, nasty, no f**ks given attitude, which is exactly what it did.
Next up we got the return of ‘The Queen’ who was back in NXT to take on Mia Yim. Yim was chosen by Charlotte to be her first opponent as the two have history. Mia Yim was Charlotte Flair’s first-ever dark match opponent in NXT Yim was Charlotte’s first opponent in NXT and it seemed only fitting that she would be her opponent upon her return to the brand in which she made her name.
The match would start with the two testing each other’s strength. With confidence exuding and the taunts bellowing, Charlotte would get the upper hand early on until Yim would dodge a big boot and lay in the strikes to Charlotte before hitting a cannonball into the corner followed by a tornado DDT.
Charlotte would come back with a back elbow and whip Yim into the ropes but Yim would mock Charlotte with the tranquillo in the ropes. Charlotte would miss her attack and get dumped outside but would counter Yim’s sucide dive through the ropes with a nice elbow strike.
Back in the ring Charlotte would bring the aggression and stomp and choke Yim in the rope. Yim counters out of the corner with kicks leading into the Tarantula. After the rope break, Yim would try and continue but Charlotte would grab her hair.
Yim would hit Charlotte with Soul Food sending her stumbling into the corner. Yim would charge at Charlotte but suffer a backbreaker into a face plant to the buckles for her effort. Charlotte would try to go up top but Yim drags her off and hits a Code Red for a 2 count.
Yim would get to her feet first and smash Charlotte with a barrage of stiff kicks. Charlotte would recover and counter into a Walls of Jericho style Boston Crab. Yim would struggle free into a cradle for another 2 count. Straight out of the kick out Yim would eat a big boot for a 2 count. Yim would counter a Figure of Four attempt into a Small Package for a 2 count. Yim would hit an STO and go for Protect Ya Neck but Charlotte counters into the Figure Eight for the submission victory.
After the match, Charlotte’s celebrations were cut short by Io Shirai who would come out and challenge Charlotte for the NXT Women’s Championship next week.
This was a really good and competitive match. Charlotte would get to show how dominant she is controlling most of the match while Mia Yim would show her toughness and that she can hang with the best.
We would then get a backstage segment with Catanzaro being checked on by medics and would be interupted by Candice LeRae, who would say that “its a new NXT.”
It was annouonced later on in the show that the match between Charlotte and Io Sharai had been made offical and will take place next week.
Winner: Candice LeRae
Candice LeRae has taken to her new role like a duck to water. Complete with darker hair colour and lipstick she now has the attitude and move set to go with it. The NXT women’s division needs a new heel now that Baszler and Belair have both left for pastures new. This is the perfect opportunity for LeRae to become the top heel on that brand and become the performer that we know she can be from her time on the indies.
Loser: Kacy Catanzaro
Kacy Catanzaro has the potential to be a break out performer. Her out of this world athletisicm allows her to be one of the most innovative and exciting talents. Yet she wasn’t able to showcase much of that as she was bascially canon fodder for LeRae. Hopefully Catanzaro can break through into the next level soon.
A good show with two good matches. One established a character shift and new venomous attitude. The other showed that the NXT Women’s Champion is a force to be reckoned with.
It still seems strange to see Charlotte back in NXT and as the champion. While the potential matchups that lay ahead are exciting it remains unclear and illogical as to why that decision was made in the first place. If it is to rack her titles wins to rival her fathers then there are years, even decades to do that in. If it is to elevate the NXT women’s division there was no need to as that division was easily the best in the world way before her return. Rhea Ripley was the right person for that job and after all that hype, all the push, it still perplexes as to why she lost the title at WrestleMania.
There can be little doubt that Charlotte loses the title next week, therefore showing that RAW is better than NXT, also having Io Shirai lose another title match proves that does it not? Hopefully, Io Shirai wins the title next week elevating her as the one who conquered ‘The Queen’ and she goes into a feud with Candice, who then wins it from Shirai and a returning Ripley dominates to recapture her prize.
A bit of fantasy booking there but that is the way Charlotte’s involvement makes sense to me.
What did you make of the show and the direction of the division now that Charlotte is at the helm? Let us know in the comments below and as always stay tuned to Diva Dirt for all of NXT news, reviews and updates.