WWE NXT recap/review: July 18, 2018



A new #1 contender for Shayna Baszler’s NXT Women’s Championship is decided, Lacey Evans vs. Dakota Kai and more.

Howdy y’all. I’m back for more party time. I’m really f-----g stoked for NXT after watching Extreme Rules, or should I call it Extremely Disappointing? I was on the AiPT’s Poor Taste Wrestling podcast last week after watching and reviewing NXT. As a result of spending an hour and half shooting the s--t with my buddies and making predictions, I felt particularly invested in watching the PPV. It wasn’t terribly good and even though it ended just before 11 and I technically didn’t start watching it till 8pm anyways, it was still long and uneventful.

More importantly, of all the s--t I saw on wrestling TV this week the only thing that is BURNED in my f-----g mind is Randy F-----g Orton putting his finger through Jeff Hardy’s gauged ear and trying to f-----g rip his ear off. I’m squirming right now typing about it and thats all I’ll say because it was gross and I hated it and good job Randy and also f--k off with that s--t. I like my wrestling old school, not f-----g blurring kayfabe and getting “real.” F--k that. Let’s get to NXT, shall we?

Starts with a tribute to Masa Saito. I will admit that he doesn’t ring a bell but I will surely investigate him as WWE only pays tributes to “The Greats”. (I investigated and I do vaguely remember him but after perusing his Wikipedia, he certainly deserves the nod.)

NXT kicks off with MY GIRL, Dakota Kai! I know I say this every week but she is such a bright and bubbly spirit and I like her so much. Out comes her opponent, the lovely Lacey Evans. She toes the line of sex appeal and brutal f-----g badass. Her “Woman’s Right” is an awesome finish. Kai seems almost frail next to Evans but she is FAST and her kicks are f-----g brutal and on point. Lacey Evans misses the facewash and ties Kai up in the corner, tree of woe style, and then wraps the tag rope around her foot! Pretty clever use of the ring. Lacey Evans is doing some quality s--t talking and arrogant gestures. Evans is basically manhandling Dakota Kai and sadistically wearing her down. Geez, this is a pretty stiff match. Dakota Kai seems like she is made of rubber the way that Lacey Evans is bending and smashing her. This is almost a little bit gross at this point.

Kai counters, while having her arms almost pulled off, into a 2 count pin attempt. I really like the two of these wrestlers. Lacey Evans is barely breaking a sweat while she is dismantling Dakota Kai. I can’t possibly imagine a comeback at this point. As I wrote that, Evans did a moonsault and Kai rolled out of the way, giving her a chance to turn it around, Hulk up a little and start kicking the f--k out of Lacey Evans. Dakota Kai looks like a gazelle the way she runs around the ring and throws kicks and then runs again and throws more kicks. Lacey Evans just took a pretty equal f-----g beating. Out of nowhere Evans throws the Woman’s Right and it’s over. That punch looks mean so I’m fine with this finish. These two rule. I don’t want them to wrestle again any time soon, though, because I want to root for them in other feuds instead of feeling conflicted by the fact that I like them both equally. That was a great match. Lacey Evans is an a-----e. After the match, while her music plays, she is chewing out Dakota Kai a la Stone Cold to Vince. Good grief!

Cut backstage to Cathy talking to Ricochet. I like this dude a lot and he usually sounds somewhere between fine and good on the mic but this whole segment feels super over-scripted and well rehearsed. He calls out Adam Cole for a shot at the North American Championship.

Mauro mentions that Bianca Belair is not medically cleared for the Fatal Four Way and thats why it will be a triple threat. I thought someone else was in that match. Anyways, teaser for an Aleister Black vs Tommaso hiampa video package and I am very excited to see how well that story has progressed in video package form. I’m just remembering last weeks attack.

Street Profits s----y video spot of them being awesome and playing basketball, doing pushups on a basketball, and s--t talking “TM61.” That rules. I hope that they are being ignorant to the name change and that this wasn’t recorded before their name change, because that would be even funnier.

EC3 getting interviewed about whatever s--t from the UK Tournament and he gets stopped by three marks out back, each putting him over in such a markish way but then, here we go: Kona Reeves. F-----g YES. This will be the right thing for them both. EC3 is the top 1% and Kona is the Finest. EC3 is f-----g cutting Reeves down in such a vicious way “…those dead creepy eyes” EC3 rules. He calls for Kona to “FIGHTMEFIGHTMEFIGHTME”. Kona brushes him off and then, after EC3 walks away, agrees to the match, saying “We could have been Finest Friends…too bad”. Thats gonna rule for them both. I’m pumped.

It’s worth noting that WWE knows how to make video packages and the one on this episode of NXT regarding Black and Ciampa is absolutely no exception. The way that Ciampa waves “bye bye” is possibly the realest thing he does. Just wait till the one that plays at TakeOver: Brooklyn. It’s gonna be even better. I do find myself waning in interest for Aleister as champ and I’m less a fan of him speaking. The package just reminded me that the match is in fact next week. F-----g yes. It DOES feel like it would be a great TakeOver match, though, doesn’t it?

Out comes Kassius Ohno! Awesome, except, he is having a squash match with a local enhancement talent, Rick Ramirez. Well, after an attempted waist lock, KO tussles a little and then throws a rolling elbow and the dude is out! Well, that was that. That was realistically a 28 second match. Probably 17 seconds.

Backstage promo with Undisputed Era! Hell yes. Dudes are just s--t talking Mustache Mountain with the theme wailing away in the background. Adam Cole is calling out Ricochet, and I feel like essentially agreeing to a match. Those dudes rule and that song rules. I don’t care what they do or say, they just need to “be.”.

Up next is a War Raiders video package and this s--t rules. Their theme song rules, they look cool as f--k and they are the sort of physical shape that you can’t become, you just ARE. Oh, weird, the package shows no paint backstage interviews with them. It’s weird when they break kayfabe like this, but it can be pretty awesome. There is some cool footage of them in Progress Wrestling and they look like BEASTS. Also, the longer their song plays, the more I need to have it on my phone. They start talking about how they “had to become modern day vikings” and I’m kinda losing interest. Side story about a motorcycle accident that almost killed the leaner of the two War Raiders and I’m right back in! Yikes. Brutal pictures. Breaking kayfabe. “Rowe is the smaller of the two, but he is a powerhouse. Hanson will fly.” Right on, dudes. I think I just need them to go to the main roster, though. They are already ready and in a rare instance, NXT might really hold them back from maximizing their potential.

Backstage cut to Velveteen Dream who snaps his finger and everything goes black but him. Then some weird s--t starts floating around him, purple smoke…I think this is a music video. Holy s--t, I love this dude so much! It’s pretty chill funk music under Dream talking about what’s next for him by first talking about what he has accomplished. This is so f-----g awesome. He is running through his greatest hits! I’m gonna buy some of this dude’s merch. This is one of the most unique video packages I have ever seen that only a character like this dude could pull off. DREAM OVER.

Time for tonights main event: The triple threat to determine the #1 contender for the Women Title. Aw s--t, maybe the last time I will get to hear this music: Nikki Cross. Her glasses and bandana over her mouth and hood and vest combo is so f-----g freaky to me. Sanity HAD the vibe that they were thugs that worked for Heath Ledger’s Joker. She definitely added to that dynamic. Her frantic energy when the others seemed more focused was perfect. I think they are losing out without her and she seems less believable without them. Candice Wrestling comes out and I’m pretty sure I s--t on her theme song last week but it’s a perfect song for her upbeat vibe so I take it back. Good tune for Candace, CFO$. Well, apparently I just loaded up a Final Fantasy game, because out comes Kairi Sane. She is awesome. This match is gonna f-----g rule. Too bad that The EST couldn’t make it but I somehow think this will be an even better outing. Just as the match is about to start the lights flicker and out comes Shayna Baszler, belt over her shoulder. Maybe she is coming to sit in on commentary. Nikki F-----g Cross is smiling and waving at Shayna as if she is seeing her best friend! What a f-----g NUT.

A pretty messy, “frenetic start” according to Mauro. Shayna Baszler does not belong on commentary. She doesn’t sound like she is a natural bully and her voice REALLY sounds like an 11 year old boy. The camera cuts to Baszler and she is sitting with her feet on the desk and that rules so I’ll shut up about her. The crowd is split for Candice and Nikki. LETS GO CANDICE/NIKKI CROSS. Candice can take a good stretching but Nikki Cross is a f-----g brute. Kairi comes back after a little nap and smashes Nikki and then Candace for a two count. Kairi Sane puts The Anchor on Candice Wrestling and just as she locked it in, Nikki breaks it up. That f-----g submission looks AWESOME. LeRae is so f-----g fluid in the ring and makes everyone else look so much better. I’m just now realizing that women’s wrestling is the best part of NXT right now, tied only with anything Ciampa is doing. Superplex powerbomb as Nikki tries to suplex Kairi and Candice powerbobmbs the whole f-----g crew! The crowd is chanting MAMA-MIA. F-----g smarks. It’s hard to even describe this match because it’s so busy and nonstop and it is every single bit as awesome as you could hope or expect. Cross hits Candice with a spinning neckbreaker to the outside to put her out! Nikki bends Sane in half with a belly to back suplex, and then another, and then ANOTHER. Candice does a beautiful Lionsault and I swear she could win! HOLY S--T Kairi Sane with the Insane Elbow off the top to Candice Wrestling who was PINNING Nikki Cross!!! And that’s it. Kairi Sane will face Shayna Baszler at TakeOver in a few weeks. Wow. I really wanted Candice to win that. I don’t see Kairi beating Shayna but it will be a good match. I hate that Mauro just referred to it as the rubber match three times. Ah well. That ruled. I didn’t love the result but I loved the finish and the match deserves a high star rating from people who do those ratings.

That ruled. I’m starting the process of moving out of the apartment that I have lived in for over five years and raised a child in and into a house. I have so much s--t going on in the real world and I was able to forget about all of it and totally and completely enjoy one hour of wrestling programming. I am really pumped for the next few weeks of NXT as they build towards TakeOver in five weeks, especially considering there being some sort of a focus on Velveteen Dream and even some of the fresher faces like EC3 and Kona Reeves. I am always hoping for the best with all of these characters because at this point in my wrestling fandom I am aware that things that I vehemently hate can possibly become not only tolerable, but in some cases, completely f-----g awesome. There is hope for everyone and every thing.

Wrestling Rules. F--k The World. Party Hard.

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