Io Shirai & Dakota Kai def. Marina Shafir & Jessamyn Duke
What Happened:Wherever you see NXT Women’s Champion nowadays, you’re likely to find Marina Shafir and Jessamyn Duke. That’s something Io Shirai and Dakota Kai have keyed in on, and tonight they looked to do something about it. Kai suffered greatly for the majority of the match, but the damage Shafir and Duke dealt over the course of the match was nothing compared to the damage Shirai dealt in a matter of moments. After she got the tag, the Genius of the Sky laid waste to Marina Shafir while the Captain of Team Kick recovered enough to bat cleanup, wiping out Jessamyn Duke with a running boot to the outside. One Asai Moonsault later, and the match was done.
Analysis: After the match, it was announced that Shirai will join Bianca Belair, Lacey Evans, and Mia Yim in a Fatal 4-Way Number One Contender’s match. The work of two Mae Young Classics is starting to culminate.
Johnny Gargano def. Aleister Black (Steel Cage Match)
What Happened: Last week, NXT Champion Tommaso Ciampa manipulated Johnny Gargano and Aleister Black into agreeing to face each other in a Steel Cage Match. There is no doubt that such a maneuver was a means to an end, but exactly what that end is remains in even deeper question than before. The Rebel Heart and the Dutch Destroyer tore into each other with such ferocity it was almost as if their match at WarGames 2 never happened. In fact, on several occasions, both men aborted escape attempts simply so that could inflict more punishment on their opponent. This backfired on Gargano in the climax moments when he was intercepted with Black Mass. Exhausted and war-torn, Gargano scaled the cage while Black headed for the door. But as Black reached the door, Ciampa rushed in and slammed the cage door into his face. Seeing what the Blackheart had done, Johnny Wrestling returned to the ring. He shared a tense moment with Ciampa, but in that moment came… something. Perhaps a meeting of the minds that led to Meeting in the Middle, giving Gargano the pinfall victory.
Analysis: Just as I expected. #DIY is getting back together to kick off 2019. Here. We. Go.