NXT North American Champion Adam Cole def. Sean Matula and Undisputed Era is put on notice
What Happened: Perhaps lost in all the excitement of the NXT Tag Team Championship match two weeks ago is that the leader of the Undisputed Era Adam Cole is still the NXT North American Champion, and after trouncing Cruiserweight Classic standout Sean Matula, the Panama City Playboy sought to remind everyone of that fact, a decision he may soon regret. Ricochet, who has been after the North American title ever since his inception, called out Cole and challenged him to a championship match at Takeover: Brooklyn 4. Rather than accept the challenge, Cole elected to make his departure, only hanging back when Roderick Strong and Kyle O’Reilly arrived as backup. Everything was fine and dandy as far as the Undisputed Era was concerned for a three-on-one assault against the One and Only, until the War Raiders came a-calling, clearly looking for some gold of their own. With the numbers advantage no longer in play, Cole, Strong, and O’Reilly decided to retreat through the NXT Universe, only to be confronted by Moustache Mountain, who clearly still had revenge on their mind. Despite a 5-on-3 disadvantage, the Undisputed Era managed to escape, but not without a few blows from Bate and Seven as parting gifts.
My Opinion: As a unit, Undisputed Era hasn’t had a worthwhile storyline since WarGames, which very well may be due to Bobby Fish’s injury. But with three big NXT names (or five if you want to get technical) now set to go after them and what I consider to be NXT’s Wrestlemania on the horizon, things are going to get interesting for them once again.
Shayna Baszler and Kairi Sane signed their Takeover: Brooklyn 4 Contract
What Happened: After securing a championship match against Shayna Baszler by defeating Nikki Cross and Candice LeRae last week, Kairi Sane put pen to pape rto make the match official. With NXT General Manager William Regal presiding over the ceremony, the two antagonists didn’t come to blows, though some harsh words were exchanged. Baszler urged Sane to get out of the past (namely her victory over the champion in the Mae Young Classic Finals) because her lack of “killer instinct” would be her downfall. Sane calmly responded by simply stating that it is already known that the Pirate Princess can defeat the Queen of Spades.
My Opinion: The buildup to Brooklyn 4, as well as the match itself, will really be an indicator as to how much Sane and Baszler have developed since the Mae Young Classic Finals. It is an ideal gimmick matchup, pitting Baszler’s brashness and arrogance against Sane’s calmness and modesty.
Lacey Evans def. Tenilla Price
What Happened: If there is one thing that we have learned about Lacey Evans in recent weeks, it’s that she is anything but ladylike in the ring. After defeating a very game Dakota Kai last week, the Lady of NXT added to her winning streak again when she knocked out the lights of one Tenilla Price with the Women’s Right.
My Opinion: While Lacey Evans is starting to grow onto to me, I would like to see her tke on higher caliber opponents to see exactly how she holds up in an extended match.
Tommaso Ciampa def. Aleister Black (c) (NXT Championship)
What Happened: For well over a year now, Tommaso Ciampa has tormented Johnny Gargo both inside and outside the ring. And now he has made his former friend’s worst nightmare come true by capturing the NXT Championship. Ironically though, the Blackheart can thank Gargano for an assist. Aleister Black was as on par as ever, not letting Ciampa gain any ground toward gaining his title. But in a series of wild events, Ciampas tactics grew more and more underhanded. First, he shoved the defending champion in a member of the ringside crew before using the same crutch that nearly ended Johnny Gargano’s NXT career for good to nail the Dutch Destroyer behind the official’s back. When that didn’t work, Ciampa tried take advantage of the ref himself being taken out by loading up an attack with the championship belt. But that’s when the Rebel Heart rushed the ring to stop him, kicking his arch rival square on the jaw and yanking the belt from his hands. Surely, Aleister Black was thankful for Gargano’s actions, at least until he got whacked with the belt anyway off Gargano’s backswing. With the official starting to revive, Ciampa made his move quickly, disposing of Gargano and planting Black face-first into the mat to capture the NXT Championship.
My Opinion: Tommaso Ciampa is easily the hottest heel in all of WWE right now. Unfortunately, Johnny Gargano is no longer the top face in the company. Because of that, this stroyline loses some of its intrigue. With that said, there is no doubt that Black will be after Gargano’s blood, especially since he specifically warned Gargano to not be concerned with the title match.
The buildup to NXT Takeover: Brooklyn 4 is off to a hot start. It is absolutely imperative that Triple H continues to keep up the pressure on the NXT Superstars, as Brooklyn is quickly becoming one of the NXT capitals.
Overall Rating: 7/10
Segemnt of the Night: By far, the NXT Title match takes the cake. With Ciampa as NXT Champion, there is bound to be chaos and heat that not even the Undisputed Era can match.