For a second week in a row, Nikki Cross showed that she's not only unafraid of NXT Women's Champion Shayna Baszler, but that she may be much more of a threat to Baszler's title reign than The Queen of Spades bargained for.
After being embarrassed by her “loss” to Cross last week, Baszler fell back on her intimidation tactics this week, telling the unpredictable Scottish Superstar that if she ever got in her face again, Baszler would put her to sleep in no time. Cross welcomed the fight, repeatedly telling the champion to “do it,” and then she made the world-beater Baszler flinch when she feinted an attack. The enraged Queen of Spades shoved Cross and the fight was on, and Cross again overwhelmed Baszler, bloodying the champion's mouth and causing Baszler to recoil.
Later in the night, it was confirmed that Cross will challenge for the NXT Women's Title at TakeOver: Chicago. If Baszler didn't take NXT's twisted sister seriously before, she will now.
Shane Thorne & Nick Miller's nasty new attitude continued to result in victory, as the audacious Aussies aggressively dismantled Mike Hughley & Robbie Grand. After using a variety of underhanded maneuvers, including fishhooks and illegal blows, Thorne & Miller scored the win when Miller pushed Grand back-first into a sucker punch by Thorne.
Following the dominant display, Thorne & Miller crowed about their recent success, called out several of the black-and-yellow brand's top duos (including War Raiders, Oney Lorcan & Danny Burch and NXT Tag Team Champions Undisputed ERA), and said that all other teams should kneel before them and call them “The Mighty.”
With his and Oney Lorcan's NXT Tag Team Title Match against Undisputed ERA at TakeOver: Chicago fast approaching, Danny Burch sought to score an important momentum-builder against NXT Tag Team Champion Roderick Strong in singles competition. The encounter was every bit as hard-hitting as one would expect, and The Messiah of the Backbreaker controlled much of the action, snuffing out Burch's flurries of offense throughout the contest.
The Brit rallied, eventually nailing Strong with a humongous lariat, at which point Undisputed ERA members Adam Cole & Kyle O’Reilly jumped on the apron to distract him. That brought out Lorcan and WWE U.K. Champion Pete Dunne, who engaged Cole & O’Reilly in a brawl on the floor.
Moments later, Burch locked in a crossface, but he released the hold to clobber Cole when The Panama City Playboy – after running Lorcan into the steel ring steps – again climbed onto the apron. By the time he turned his attention back to his opponent, Strong was waiting for him, and he tossed Burch into a backbreaker to pick up the controversial win.
Post-match, Dunne walloped Strong and went for the Bitter End, but O’Reilly used his NXT Tag Team Title to attack The BruiserWeight's leg. Strong blasted him with the End of Heartache, and Undisputed ERA was left standing tall as Burch, Lorcan & Dunne were laid out in and around the ring.
Lacey Evans offered what was likely an insincere handshake to Kairi Sane as the bell rang for their rubber match, but The Pirate Princess — who had been blindsided by Evans once before — knew better than to accept the gesture. Despite Sane's wise rejection, Evans nonetheless took an early lead in the match. The Lady of NXT ruggedly brutalized the Japanese Superstar, slugging Sane in the stomach, grinding her fist into Sane's face during a pin attempt and wearing down the winner of the inaugural Mae Young Classic with a suffocating Cobra clutch.
The turning point came when Evans missed a highlight reel-worthy moonsault from the top rope. The Pirate Princess then punished Evans with a trifecta of Interceptor spears, followed by the Sliding D forearm smash and the flying kabuki elbow. Evans kicked out at two and mounted a brief comeback, but the ever-resilient Sane refused to go down. She grounded Evans with an Alabama Slam and landed the Insane Elbow to win the match. With the emphatic win, has Sane finally put her troubles with Evans in the rear-view mirror?
Johnny Gargano snapped, unleashing a savage attack on Tommaso Ciampa after Ciampa vowed to end the “Gargano fairytale” at TakeOver: Chicago
Like a menacing gargoyle, Tommaso Ciampa perched himself on the top turnbuckle as he began recounting his recent run-ins with arch-rival Johnny Gargano, including the harrowing row that entangled Gargnao's wife, Candice LeRae. Describing Gargano's delivery of their Street Fight match contract as “adorable,” The Blackheart claimed Johnny Wrestling was trying to divert attention from the fact that it was Gargano who collided into LeRae two weeks ago. Ciampa placed all the blame on Gargano, saying it was his fault that LeRae was felled during that horrific scene. He then warned Johnny Wrestling to not show up for their lawless Street Fight at TakeOver: Chicago.
Fed up, Gargano charged the ring, fighting off security guards who tried to keep him at bay. Gargano barraged Ciampa, and the fight spilled over the guardrails before returning to the ring, where Ciampa snared Gargano in his own signature move, the Gargano Escape. Referees pulled him off, but the duel didn't end there, as Gargano attacked Ciampa again on the entrance ramp. Johnny Wrestling ran Ciampa head-first into the LED boards (much like Ciampa had done to his former best friend a year ago at TakeOver: Chicago), causing a laceration on Ciampa's forehead.
Like a shark that smelled blood in the water, Gargano locked in the Gargano Escape. Ciampa furiously tapped out and officials desperately tried to pry Gargano from him as NXT went off the air.
Will The Blackheart be able to escape Johnny Wrestling's wrath when they collide at TakeOver: Chicago?
- Numbers in parentheses indicate the length of the match.
- (c) refers to the champion(s) heading into the match.
- Dark Match: Lio Rush defeats Marcel Barthel NXT North American Championship No. 1 Contendership Match
- Dark Match: Vanessa Borne defeats Steffanie Newell
- Dark Match: Kassius Ohno defeats Chad Lail
- TM-61 (Nick Miller & Shane Thorne) defeat Mike Hughley & Robbie Grand (2:13)
- Info: This match was taped on May 10, 2018.
- Info: This match was taped on May 10, 2018.
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