Friday, July 1, 2022

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Winners & Losers: NXT 08.26.20

In a tag team match that brewed as a result of TakeOver this past Saturday, the unlikely team of Rhea Ripley & Io Shirai took on Raquel Gonzalez and Dakota Kai. Ripley would help Shirai from a post-match beating over the weekend that led to a face-to-face stare down between her and Gonzalez.

Before we get into that advertised tag match, let’s talk about the first match which was originally supposed to be between Mia Yim and Mercedes Martinez. After Yim made her way into the ring, Robert Stone with his grandpa glasses and Aliyah made their way out to the ramp. Stone laughed at the fact that Yim really thought that he was going to allow Martinez to face her after she was laid out by Rhea Ripley last week.

He wasn’t able to get many words out before he was ran over by Shotzi Blackheart in her tank. For the third time. Aliyah did nothing as always to help him or even attack Blackheart for her actions. Several referees hauled out Stone as the match is underway between now Blackheart and Yim.

The match between the two was very faced paced and the two complimented each other well. Blackheart would go over in the end after delivering a senton. This would be a huge win for Blackheart to defeat someone of Yim’s veteran status. Her win/loss record as of late has been more-so on the losing end, at least for her singles record. She has had only one singles win since March and that was against Aliyah.

A video promo was played for Candice LeRae as she talks about her history with Tegan Nox. Their history dates back through the indies. She feels like she has always been there for Nox, but Nox hasn’t always had her back.

If Nox doesn’t want to be on the path of success then LeRae feels like that is her fault. However, she needs to stay out of her way.

Now onto the main event of the night which was the women’s tag match. Prior to the match, Ripley was interviewed about what happened when she came out to “save” Shirai at TakeOver from a post-match attack by Raquel Gonzalez. Ripley cleared the air, she didn’t come to save Shirai, she came to send a message to Gonzalez and Dakota Kai that Shirai was hers next. She has the title still in her eyesight, but she won’t let the phase her during the match tonight.

The match starts off between Ripley and Kai. Ripley overpowered Kai quickly and tossed her back into the corner demanding Gonzalez to tag in. The two powerhouses then lock up, twice. Ripley with a huge headbutt but it didn’t even phase Gonzalez as she shoved Ripley clearly from the middle of the ring to the corner. This caused a blind tag by Shirai much to the chagrin of Ripley.

Later on we have Shirai and Kai in the ring. The champion delivers a double stomp before tagging in her opponent. Ripley goes right for Gonzalez knocking her off the ring apron before taking it to Kai. One Gonzalez is able to get back up on the ring apron, she tags herself in. Her and Kai double team Ripley in the ropes – dumping her over the top rope as she comes crashing down to the floor on the outside.

Back in the ring, Gonzalez is very much in control. Even when Ripley tries to fight back, Gonzalez doesn’t let it last for long before tagging in Kai to take over. Kai keeps Ripley on the mat as The Nightmare is reaching for a tag, however, she is far from Shirai.

Several minutes later as the match approaches its conclusion, Ripley gets tagged in by Shirai, but the referee never sees it. So he pushes Ripley back out of the ring.

Martinez comes running out from the back as she pulls Ripley down from the ring apron and comes crashing down on the steel steps. Shirai has no idea at this point that Ripley is no longer an option to tag in. Gonzalez gets a super close near fall on the champion!

Ripley does get back up on the apron and she pushes Shirai out of the way to save her. She then tags in. Gonzalez shows just how powerful she is as she lifts Ripley up before slamming her down to the mat to get the three count for the win!

Let’s get into the Winners & Losers of the week for NXT.

WINNER: Shotzi Blackheart

A huge win for Shotzi this week. Despite what some may think of Mia Yim, getting a pin on her is a big deal for someone at Shotzi’s level. Shotzi is used a lot, she gets great opportunity to showcase herself, but she hasn’t had a big win over loss record lately.

Personally, I think it is time for Mia to go to RAW, and not just because Keith Lee is there. I feel that she isn’t going to ever become champion in NXT and has had her chances and has done a lot on this brand. I would love to see her mix it up with someone we haven’t seen.

WINNER: Raquel Gonzalez

What a HUGE win for Raquel. Sure, it was in tag team action, but pinning Rhea Ripley is a huge pat on the back for her. Granted, if she would have pinned Io, that would have put her right up there…but this is great also.

I want to see so much. I want Mercedes vs. Rhea, I want Raquel vs. Rhea, I want to see Rhea as champion again (because she should have retained at WrestleMania). Give me all of it.

LOSER: Aliyah

I feel so bad for Aliyah. I really do. Is she is a better position then she used to be? Perhaps…but with that whole one singles win under her belt she isn’t exactly being pushed to the moon. I remember watching her on the show Breaking Ground (which was a great show) back in 2015 when she first started with the company.

She has come so far and in my opinion, has grown a lot. I think it is finally time to give her some more wins and allow her to do more. When Robert Stone gets run over for the third time (which it isn’t that funny anymore) she continues to just stand there! Do something….please.

What did you think of this week’s NXT? Who were your Winners & Losers? Leave your thoughts in the comment section below.

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