WWE NXT RESULTS: Mrs LeRae Seeks Much Awaited Revenge (April, 18th 2018)

Greetings and welcome to the new NXT episode report, one that indicates the beginning of the recent tapings and the beginning of the new storyline developments post NXT Takeover New Orleans. As part of the show, we see one women’s match, in fact the main event, as both Candice LeRae and Zelina Vega make their NXT TV in ring debuts as opponents, plus we begin to see the impact Shayna Baszler is having on frowning members of the NXT Women’s Division.

Out first on the show is the celebratory couple of Candice and Johnny, celebratory appropriately because of Johnny’s triumph over Tommasso Ciampa back at New Orleans that in turn allows him to be reinstated to NXT. Johnny is elated, happy to be home, going over the effects Tommasso Ciampa’s betrayal had on him and how his match at New Orleans was the most intense 37 minutes ever spent for him inside the Professional Wrestling ring. Regardless, he is back in NXT and he thanks the fans for their support of him, for shoving fan signs in Ciampa’s face, for having his back. However there’s just one other he wants to thank and he switches attention to Candice. He recognizes how the past few months have been tough for both of them, but he couldn’t have got through it without her and they embrace. He then breaks away from the mushy business, reminds everyone he is back again in NXT and that there’s some unfinished business left for he and Candice.

Candice takes the mic for her first and brief in ring promo, addressing the unfinished business. She says tonight will see her get in the ring against Zelina Vega. Johnny knows Andrade could get involved on Vegas behalf, and should he do so, he will drop him like his name is Tommasso Ciampa. Once they are moved on from Almas and Vega, Johnny will seek the NXT Championship, considering there is a new champion. He declares himself as Blacks first challenger.

Sometime later we see Shayna Baszler stepping around backstage. Apparently the new NXT Women’s Champion is late to a meeting but it doesn’t bother her, she isn’t one to follow rules. She walks into the women’s locker room where Serena Deeb is talking with the likes of Zeda, Vanessa Borne, Rhea Ripley, Dakota Kai, Reina Gonzalez, Jessie Elaban, Aliyah, Kavita Devi, Taynara Conti, Xia Li and others. Shayna strips Embers name of the locker, replacing it with a spade card to signify her presence. She demands everyone to get in line behind her or she will run over them. Dakota Kai attempts to leave the whole situation and gets confronted by Shayna but she manages to step away unhurt.

From there, we later go to the main event and Candice and Zelina’s in ring debuts on NXT. Candice is out alone as is Zelina, to the music of her associate, the former NXT Champion Andrade Cien Almas. Zelina shows her fiery attitude right on the bell, also shoving at the fellow superstar. Candice doesn’t take long to shove back, hard enough to send the small Zelina to the mat, and Zelina shows little happiness over the retaliation. Zelina gets herself up and attempts a boot to Candice but Candice blocks and lifts her into the air, connecting after with a knee to the chest after sending her downward. Candice moves to the top rope but before she can do anything more, screams are let out from the crowd as Almas emerges on the apron to distract. It does its work and Zelina paces over to Candice, taking her off the top rope. Zelina then chucks Candice to the ringside floor and Johnny is heading down to the side of his wife, made aware of the actions of Cien Almas not too long before. She takes Candice away from Johnny and smacks her against the apron before taking her back into the ring, quickly taunting Johnny before hitting the ring herself to try and pin Candice, though only getting a near fall in the first attempt.

Zelina gets Candice in a dragon sleeper but Candice, far from fading, manages to scoop Zelina off the mat, having her on her back and she rams her back first into a corner. Three knocks manage to release Zelina from Candice, though Candice’s follow up attack in the same corner to Zelina misses after. Zelina delivers a high kick to Candice then seems to gather some momentum and motivation from Almas before channeling her inner Taya Valkyrie with running double knees to Candice against the same corner. Zelina immediately attempts to pin Candice but again she gets a near fall on Mrs Gargano.

Zelina sets up for her clients famed hammerlock DDT, but Candice reverses into a roll up which both escape at the count of two. Candice continues to fight against Zelina, blocking forearm strikes while throwing her own at her. Candice uses chops alongside the forearms before pummeling Zelina in a close corner, having to let go her frustrations however before a potential count out. Candice back elbows Zelina once she returns to the same corner and instantly begins to ascend to the top rope after. From there, Candice connects with a missile dropkick, sold insanely by Zelina, though not enough to put out Almas manager as she kicks out of the follow up pin attempt of Candice at two.

Both get back to their feet, with Zelina the first to throw a forearm. Zelina tries to hit another after directing Candice to the ropes but misses, caught in a flying headscissor afterward. Once Zelina hits the mat, Candice takes advantage to try to lock in the Gargano Escape submission. Almas darts to the ring but soon gets caught in his own chaos, having the submission applied to him too by Johnny. Almas isn’t shown to tap, however Zelina caves in and does. Candice wins the match.

Post match, Candice embraces the crowds celebration of her victory while Almas has to help a soured and beaten Zelina away. Johnny praises his wife on the awesome work done then reminds the crowd how now that the unfinished business is complete, the new story unfolds, calling out Aleister. Out comes Aleister Black, the new NXT Champion, without barely any hesitation. Suited up on the stage, Aleister declares to a confident Johnny that if he wants it, next week hes got it. Aleister vs Johnny for the NXT Championship.

(Candice LeRae and Johnny Gargano Segment 00.00 – 06.39)

(Shayna Baszler, Serena Deeb and the NXT Womens Division Backstage Segment)

(Candice LeRae vs Zelina Vega feat Andrade Cien Almas, Johnny Gargano and Aleister Black)

Thoughts On This Match:
I Honestly wish the other content hadn’t taken some time from this match because it could have been longer and a little more heated. I Get they also appear to be transitioning into Johnny vs Aleister with Tommasso getting involved but based on how they have time over the next tapings, the tapings could have been used to build to the Candice vs Zelina match rather than do it on the first episode. Sure it coordinates with Zelina’s main roster transition timing wise, but i do wish it could have been done in a time slot where more time was assured and with a little more hostility and reasoning behind it. Maybe have Zelina and Almas utterly furious at the Garganos calling them out, adding on their fury at losing the top gold in NXT thus getting a little over their head and proposing they leave NXT if they lose to the Garganos or if Zelina loses to Candice. Despite that, the match was solid, with no slip ups from Zelina despite rarely competing in NXT, showing she has definitely been putting in work not only since stepping away from IMPACT Wrestling, but in the Indies and in the PC beyond then. Based on the story also, it is fitting for the babyfaces to have their long awaited happy ending by completing their unfinished business victorious and im glad how Almas wasn’t tapping (or wasn’t shown tapping) as after the moves and submissions hes survived when going one on one with Gargano before, it wouldn’t feel believable to me. Regardless, its onward and upwards for Zelina and Andrade to the main roster, and i honestly hold onto hope that Creative and the uppers of the main roster have seen everything the two have been putting in work wise for NXT and know what to do with them so we don’t end up with another Ascension or Adam Rose blunder.

– Catherine


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