WWE NXT RESULTS: Double In Ring Encounters….But One Ends Not So Classy (May, 2nd 2018)

Last week on NXT, we got a glimpse on who could be evolving in the post Ember Moon era in the NXT Women’s Division. While our champion, Shayna Baszler, is missing this week, some of the faces featured last week try to make a mark this week. Two women’s matches see Kairi Sane face Shazza McKenzie with a rival waiting in the wings and Candice LeRae tries to regroup after another incident between her husband and Tommasso Ciampa to try and overcome the RoughEST and the ToughEST Bianca Belair. Plus Dakota Kai faces a slightly different encounter to most weeks.

NXT Opens with women’s action, in order of my last paragraph as Kairi and Shazza’s encounter comes first. Out for the match first is NXTs Pirate Princess, Kairi Sane, who has yet to step back in the ring with Shayna Baszler since their last encounter post Takeover Philadelphia. Out second is Shazza McKenzie for her second overall NXT visit. Shazza is a former Heart of Shimmer Champion, hailing from Australia, the home country of current WWE talents Billie Kay and Peyton Royce, and former talent Tenille (Emma) Dashwood.

Kairi and Shazza start things off respectfully with a handshake. Shazza also gives Kairi a heart throwing gesture, which Kairi returns before in ring action kick-starts. Kairi goes after Shazza right away, attempting a roll up to try and end things early, which Shazza kicks out of at one. Shazza gives Kairi a single forearm then sends her to the ropes. Kairi runs the ropes and elevates herself upon hitting the ropes at stage side, caught by Shazza, who gets caught in Kairi’s countering tilt-a-whirl headscissor. Kairi looks to do more but takes offense from Shazza before retaliating with her own. Kairi spears Shazza, gathers some momentum then connects with a sliding elbow to Shazza in a far corner. Kairi heads to the top turnbuckle after and hits her flying kabuki elbow and after an additional Alabama Slam, she finishes Shazza with her diving elbow. Kairi wins the match.

Post match, a far from trusting Lacey Evans emerges and heads to the ring. She displays a smile on her face and says to Kairi that a true lady with class always has the courage to admit when they are wrong. Lacey says shes sorry to Kairi, because from her Mae Young Classic performance to her overcoming Shazza tonight, she has proven to her that she belongs in NXT. From one legitimate lady to another, Lacey can only hope Kairi has it in her to accept her apology and begins to extend her hand to the Pirate Princess. Kairi finds this odd and the crowd are dead against her accepting Lacey’s hand shake. Kairi doesn’t even go in to accept and gets hit with a huge fist from Lacey, proving definite trickery from the Lady of NXT.

From one women’s segment to another, we next see Candice LeRae in the back with Cathy Kelley. Cathy tries to get an update from Candice on the condition of Johnny Gargano, who was brutally assaulted by former ally Tommasso Ciampa just as he looked to contend for Aleister Blacks NXT Title. Candice responds that she was optimistic upon finally being in WWE, but it hasn’t been their year. She reflects on Tommasso hurting Johnny and she tries to piece together who this person is that is now Tommasso Ciampa, a man both looked at as family. Things keep going up and down for them. They truly thought they were done with Ciampa, and her emotions kick in more as she reflects on watching Johnny being stretchered out last week. Candice starts crying, and is in no clearly great state to compete, though will do regardless, against Bianca Belair.

Before we get to Bianca’s newest match, we get a segment featuring Dakota Kai being surrounded by various media. Kai gets to comment on the ongoing women’s revolution in WWE, also referencing the main roster debuts of Billie, Peyton and Ember. With the latter gone, more opportunities are opened in NXT, so with the said gone, Dakota wants to make her mark sooner or later in NXT. Dakota gets asked about Shayna Baszler, which rattles her. She doesn’t wish to talk about her and Shayna anymore and in steps Vanessa Borne. Vanessa has something to say, and its about how Dakota has been when Shayna is in her face. She calls it truly pathetic, adding that Dakota Kai has Scaredy Cat written all over her face, while if it had been her, she would have slapped Shayna. Shes not scared of Dakota nor Shayna. Dakota notes again that she has recognized issues with Shayna, but shes certainly not scared of Vanessa. Vanessa, after silencing the media who are intrigued by Dakota’s sure challenge, asks Dakota if she has issues with her, and after a silent Ok, she walks away. Dakota then comments to the media crew that she can take Vanessa on. A Sure match is heading their way.

And with that encounter out of the way, topic wise its back to the ring for the second and last women’s match of the show as Candice LeRae takes on Bianca Belair. Out first is Candice by her lonesome, trying to maintain focus after the events of the past week, followed by the entrance of a pink clad Bianca Belair, with a new entrance theme nicely in sync with her entrance.

Bianca takes over early with a waistlock into a take-down. Candice gets herself off the mat as the crowd shows itself to be 50/50 for Bianca and the babyface competitor. Candice and Bianca lock up and Bianca takes control quickly again, this time with a side headlock. Candice sends Bianca in the direction of the ropes but Bianca bounces back and takes down Candice with a running shoulder block. Bianca readies a slam but Candice slips free, then pushing Bianca to the ropes. Candice follows suit and tries to take charge after a flying headscissor. Candice ducks under Bianca’s clothesline attempt moments later and rolls over the professed EST of NXT, getting a near fall in the first try.

Candice tries to keep herself matched up against Bianca, knocking off attack attempts with a back elbow. Candice goes for a crossbody out of the same corner shes positioned against, but gets caught by Bianca. Bianca slams Candice against the mat, scoring a near fall in her follow up pin attempt. Bianca then literally lifts Candice all the way off the mat and into the air into a military press hold, dropping her against a nearby corners top turnbuckle. Bianca seizes a groggy Candice and places her in a torture rack. Candice elbows Bianca and eventually finds her way out, then meeting Bianca in the earlier corner she crashed against, unloading with forearms and chops as she fires up. Candice back elbows Bianca against the corner then takes herself to the apron, bringing herself to the top turnbuckle before she connects with a missile dropkick. Candice goes for a tornado DDT, trying to utilize the opposite corner upon doing so but is tossed midway by Bianca. Bianca connects with her reverse powerbomb and gets the upset win over Mrs Gargano herself. Bianca wins the match.

(Shazza McKenzie vs Kairi Sane feat Lacey Evans)

(Candice LeRae Backstage Segment; Vanessa Borne and Dakota Kai Segment; Candice LeRae vs Bianca Belair)

Thoughts On:
Shazza/Kairi: The match was more shorter than i expected it to be, and a lack of offense from Shazza which was surprising, though maybe not surprising considering even some of the best talents known outside of the WWE do appear as enhancement, whether for a long match or to be utterly squashed. I Was more interested in the post match developments if anything, and pleased to see Lacey not only getting to do mic work in front of a live audience but to have a hopeful long term storyline that doesnt end with her disappearing off TV again.

Candice/Bianca: The more stronger performance definitely came out of Candice’s match with Bianca this week, and as far as i can recall, its Candice’s first match with a female powerhouse in a WWE ring. Though i do understand it was due to storyline purposes, im glad Bianca won as its more or less considered an upset and it also helps Bianca follow up her message in last weeks promo, in gathering momentum to go after the NXT Women’s Championship. It wasn’t the predictable affair it would have looked like on paper, considering Shayna, Kairi and Candice could be considered the top three babyfaces of the division right now, with Dakota slowly creeping up. My only gripe this week was Dakota and Vanessa’s segment. Vanessa did fantastic, but after sympathizing with Dakota over the weeks, her delivery came across too cocky when making her challenge to Vanessa. It could have done with less of the mimicky facial expressions and more seriousness and emotion in my opinion that Vanessa could have been taken aback by.

– Catherine

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