This week on NXT, there appears to be some trouble in paradise for the Undisputed Era while the Street Profits take centre stage in a heroic showing against the NXT Tag-Team champions.
The enforcer of the Forgotten Sons, Jaxson Ryker, faced off against Humberto Carrillo in the opening match on the show. Ryker was accompanied to the ring by Steve Cutler and Wesley Blake.
Carrillo is the same size as Ryker and possesses greater speed. He used that speed to get on the ascendency early on with some high-flying offence. However, Jaxson Ryker took control after a brutal-looking hip toss into the corner. The silent assassin of the Forgotten Sons then finished Carrillo off with the Widow Maker but refused to go for the pin.
Ryker would take his opponent out of the ring before pummelling him against the guardrail. Carrillo would then get thrown into the crowd as Ryker went up a notch on the brutality with vicious knees to the face of a prone Carrillo against the Guardrail.
Luckily for Humberto Carrillo, help was on the way as Danny Burch and Oney Lorcan made the save, throwing Ryker back into the ringside area. The Brit-American duo then grabbed a couple of chairs and dared Cutler and Blaek to make a move. Things are heating up between these two teams.
Also in the tag division, we saw the Street Profits face off against the reigning NXT Tag Team Champions, the War Raiders, in non-title action. With NXT being pre-taped, the champions still came out to and were referred to with their old name.
This was a very different match. The young upstart team of Montez Ford and Angelo Dawkins tried to get the jump on the grizzled veterans by attacking them during their entrance. Ford produced a jaw-dropping aerial offence to the outside on top of Hanson and Rowe during their entrance.
The Street Profits’ plan almost worked to perfection as they brought Rowe into the ring, Dawkins delivered a spear before Ford produced a massive splash from the top rope. However, Rowe managed to kick out at two-and-a-half. The crowd was pleasantly surprised by the very different than usual pacing of this match and lapping it all up.
Short and Sweet
The match only lasted a little more than five minutes but the action more than made up for it. The champs soon took control with Hanson producing some scintillating offence of his own. The exchange between Hanson and Ford was intense. Ford used Dawkins for leverage at one point to deliver a sliced bread move on Hanson.
However, the experience and explosiveness of Hanson and Rowe’s offence became too much. Hanson delivered a springboard clothesline into a German suplex to Dawkins who was held up by Rowe. The NXT Tag-Team champions would then finish off the youngsters with the Thor’s Hammer on Dawkins. A picture was worth a thousand words after the pinfall as the Street Profits appeared despondent sitting on the entrance ramp.
Friction in the Undisputed Era
It appeared last week that all internal problems were solved and the Undisputed Era was on the same page again. However, things didn’t seem as rosy when Adam Cole, in a backstage interview, stated that he thought Johnny Gargano would be man enough to face “the leader of the Undisputed Era”. Cole is clearly not high on his faction mate, Roderick Strong.
The short interview with Adam Cole would be interrupted as Cole got distracted by the presence of Matt Riddle nearby. Cole asked him what he was doing there with Riddle responding that he had never seen someone so jealous. Cole talked down to the former UFC fighter before storming off saying he had bigger things to worry about.
Aliyah and Vanessa Borne took on Candice LeRae and Kacy Catanzaro in tag-team action this week. The heels worked over Kacy early on with some good double-team offences. Catanzaro eventually managed to get the tag in to Candice LeRae after countering another suplex attempt into a neckbreaker.
Candice, the most experienced of four women, produced some extremely crisp offence after coming in. From missile drop kicks to a springboard jawbreaker, which saw some really good selling by Vanessa Borne, the veteran performed every move to perfection.
LeRae finished Borne off with a picture-perfect springboard moonsault from the second rope. The babyface team of Kacy Catanzaro and Candice LeRae pick up the win.
Io Shirai and the Horsewomen
Io Shirai, was asked in a backstage interview about the attack on her best friend Kairi Sane by Shayna Baszler and her cronies last week. However, before Shirai could express her sentiments properly, Jessamyn Duke and Marina Shafir appeared out of nowhere, attacking Shirai from behind.
The tyrannical NXT Women’s champion soon joined the assault, delivering a big kick to the face as the three women left the genius of the sky laying.
Also in the Women’s division, Mia Yim was asked backstage about the constant attacks by Shayna Baszler on Io Shirai and Kairi Sane. Yim also commented on Bianca BelAir and looks set to be involved in the drama surrounding the NXT Women’s championship.
KUSHIDA and the Gatekeeper
General Manager William Regal was interviewed in his office and asked about the impending debut of KUSHIDA next week. Regal talked about how much hard work went into making this debut possible but he was soon interrupted by one Kassius Ohno.
Ohno is nowadays seen on NXT UK TV, making enemies wherever he goes. Regal and Ohno greeted each other like old chums as Ohno congratulated the GM on the signing of KUSHIDA. Kassius implied that he, as always, wanted first bite at Mr. Regal’s shiny new toy and Regal liked the idea.
After the knockout artist left the office, Regal made the match official for next week.
NXT Champion Johnny Gargano took on Roderick Strong, who came out alone, in the main event this week.
This match was as crisp as you’d expect with Johnny Wrestling and the Messiah of the backbreaker, Roderick Strong. Gargano’s back was hurting throughout the match after a backbreaking clinic from Strong but he looked to have things in control as he tried to lock on the Gargano escape late into the match.
However, Adam Cole would make his way out, causing enough distraction for Gargano to break the hold. As O’Reilly and Fish looked to join the fray as well, Matt Riddle appeared out of nowhere and took out those two. In the confusion, Adam Cole accidentally kicked Roderick Strong before Gargano took Cole out with a suicide dive to the outside.
Gargano delivered one last slingshot DDT on Strong to pick up the pin. Gargano and Riddle celebrated together on the entrance ramp.
Undisputed Era as ‘Strong’ as Ever?
The big story here was the angle that creative is selling. Strong looked angry with Cole’s involvement and left the ringside area on his own, without his stable mates. Mauro Ranallo remarked perfectly when he said the Undisputed Era may have just shocked their own system.
KUSHIDA will make his NXT TV debut next week against the gatekeeper of NXT, or so it seems, Kassius Ohno. This match could very well steal the show.