The returning Ember Moon was supposed to start off the show this week. That didn’t happen, as she was pushed to the second segment. What she did end up getting was the main event spot. And what a main event it was.
Moon started her segment with a mic in the center of the ring. She talks about how she has been away for 14-months in isolation and how so much has changed in that time. The introduction and theory of Ember’s Law was brought to light. She defines it as the mantra that nobody is going to walk over her or tell her what to do. Following up on this statement, she declares that she wants some gold.
She didn’t get any further on that discussion before the NXT Women’s Champion Io Shirai‘s music hit. The Joshi Judas then made her way to the ring and asked for a microphone to address Moon’s demand. Shirai couldn’t even get one word out however before Rhea Ripley‘s music hit.
Ripley made her way out on the stage and commended the new attitude she sees in Moon. As she goes on to say that she feels that Moon does deserve a title shot just before she is jumped from behind. Dakota Kai & Raquel Gonzalez take the fight to Ripley on the stage as it spills down the ramp. Moon races to the aide of Ripley to help her with the numbers game. Io Shirai? She wasn’t bothered by this and didn’t get involved.
General Manager William Regal would then book a tag team match for the main event of this week’s show. It was Kai & Gonzalez vs. Moon & Ripley. Shirai was asked after the segment why she didn’t get involved to help Ripley. She said that Ember Moon was not her problem. Rhea Ripley is also not her problem. The NXT Women’s Title is her only problem.
Before we get into that main event tag team match, let’s talk about the other moments involving the women this week. Candice LeRae and her husband Johnny Gargano were still seething over their respective losses from TakeOver.
They were outside walking their dog before returning home to a present. On their front porch was a new plasma TV. On it was a note from Indi Hartwell. Gargano at first mocked Hartwell, before realizing the present was from her. He then praised her. If you remember, the Gargano’s TV was destroyed by Tegan Nox a few weeks ago.
Later on in the night after installing his new TV, Gargano was seen watching the Battle Royal match that LeRae won several weeks ago. That match gave her the shot at the NXT Women’s Title at TakeOver. He pointed out how Hartwell seemed to be helping LeRae through the match, making sure she never got eliminated. Hartwell herself made it pretty far in that match as well. Gargano continues to sing the praises of her which makes LeRae agree as well. They agree that she has a bright future.
Hartwell responded on Twitter as to why she bought them a new TV:
The first women’s match was right before the main event of the night. It was a short match as it involved the upcoming host of the returning Halloween Havoc event, Shotzi Blackheart taking on Xia Li. Blackheart made her way to the ring in her tank, but it was decorated for Halloween.
Li hasn’t been very happy as of late as she has been resorted to losing match after match. Her anger mounted last week after she lost to Kayden Carter, shoving Carter down and not wanting any pity from both her and Kacy Catanzaro.
Li came out this week still with a smile on her face. This I found a little odd at first seeing as it was clear that her notion was to be angry as well as a heel. The match was very short and had Blackheart go over on Li. It wouldn’t have made sense for Blackheart to lose this match, but what is going on with Li?
After her loss, she found herself in the corner of the ring, much like she did last week. This time, Boa appeared with a letter. He handed her the letter which she quickly read. She would then seem to agree to whatever the letter said as she would roll herself out of the ring and head to the back with Boa.
Ember Moon wasn’t the only return at TakeOver. Toni Storm also showed up on the big screen to declare that she is back and in NXT. Although she hasn’t physically shown back on, we saw a vignette on what she has been up to.
She says that three weeks ago she was in Cancun, Mexico getting focused and having some time alone. She says that she is preparing and most definitely wants to reclaim her greatness. This is the longest of a hiatus that she has ever been out of a wrestling ring.
Storm recalls her Mae Young Classic win and her NXT UK Women’s Title win. However, what she is concerned about now is that she had all of these accomplishments and now look where she is at. She wonders when was the last time anyone even heard about her.
It is clear that Storm is ready to come back with a vengeance.
Now we can get to the main event of the night. Ember Moon’s return to the ring in tag team action. Moon is the last to come to the ring (as she should be). She has new music along with a new tron and graphics. It was to be expected that with her comeback this was going to happen. Her old music and theme held a special place in my heart, but I did enjoy her new music as well. It will just be something to get used to.
The match starts with Moon and Dakota Kai. Although Kai and Raquel Gonzalez would tag in and out before Rhea Ripley would ever get the tag in. Once Ripley is tagged in, she does suffer from some dominance from the opposing team.
Gonzalez did a great job of wearing down Ripley. She keeps her all tied up and facing away from her corner so she couldn’t tag in Moon for help. Once Ripley is finally broken from Gonzalez, Kai does a nice job keeping Ripley isolated as well.
Once Moon is able to get the tag, she unloads on both women. A Uranage to Gonzalez and a double knees to Kai gets her a two-count. With Ripley back in as the legal competitor, she stays on Kai, and the two trade a couple of near falls. Moon back in hits a discus clothesline on Kai and goes for the pin to which Gonzalez breaks up just in the nick of time.
Gonzalez and Ripley both end up out of the ring as Ripley knocks Gonzalez to the floor and Kai follows it up with giving Ripley the same fate. This left Moon and Kai in the ring. Moon catches Kai with a powerbomb, but it was awkward and botched (commentary saying that Moon didn’t catch all of it). Moon then goes to the top to attempt the Eclipse, but Gonzalez stops her which hangs her up for a moment.
Ripley then gets Gonzalez up on the outside and attempts to powerbomb her on the floor. Kai would then assist from the ring to try and help Gonzalez. This leads to both Ripley and Gonzalez being launched over the announce table. Moon would then hit the Eclipse on Kai and get the win in her returning match for her team.
Post match, Moon and Ripley would be in the ring together. They celebrated but Moon was letting her know that she was heading directly for Io Shirai and the championship gold.
Let’s get into the Winners & Losers of the week:
WINNER: Ember Moon
I must admit, I was worried at first. She was moved from the opening spot as advertised, she didn’t get her entrance before she talked in the ring….but by the end of the show I was okay with it all. She could have still opened the show, not sure why that was altered but her being in the main event, being showcased, and picking up the win is the most important things.
Without lying, I was hoping she would attack Rhea after the win. As of right now she is still acting like a babyface, when I think she should be a heel. Maybe this will change in the next week or so. Hopefully they keep this momentum and she stays on TV weekly. We need Ember vs. Io. Add in Rhea and Toni if need be. The opportunities with those four are endless.
WINNER: Rhea Ripley
A strong showing and she knows how to put people over. She helped with getting Raquel and Dakota over in that match, she helped make sure that Ember was showcased as well. I have been skeptical of Rhea sticking around NXT. I have felt that she can move on and does she really need another title shot. With the additions to Toni and Ember, I think she needs to be right in that mix. I am still waiting for the big one-on-one with Raquel though.
WINNER: Raquel Gonzalez
When Raquel had Rhea in that dominating hold, I was here for it. The strength in Raquel is still great to me and it is believable on top of it. Sometimes when they try to push someone as a “monster” I don’t buy into it. With her, it works.
LOSER: Xia Li
Not sure if there are any other losers that were actually on the show this week. Although I am interested to see where this thing with Boa goes (assuming he will be her mouthpiece?), she did encounter another loss.
I would have liked to see Kayden and Kacy on the show again this week as they are building them up nicely. I can see them feuding soon with what I would assume may be Candice and Indi?
A good promo from Toni as well this week. I am going to hold off on putting her in the winner section until perhaps she physically returns, but I am optimistic.
I am very excited to see if we are getting a Fatal 4-way a Triple Threat or what for the title. Regardless, the match(es) is going to be awesome.
What did you think of this week’s NXT? Who were your Winners & Losers? Leave your thoughts in the comment section below!!