The champ is here. Following weeks of seclusion after retaining the NXT Championship at NXT TakeOver: Brooklyn IV, Tommaso Ciampa finally returns to Full Sail, to face the NXT Universe live and in person.
Danny Burch & Oney Lorcan def. Cezar Bononi & Adrian Jaoude
But before Ciampa speaks his piece, as promised a couple of weeks ago, Oney Lorcan and Danny Burch are back in action! And the Full Sail crowd has clearly missed them, as they chant “ONE-TWO” for the returning, heavy-hitting team. On the other side of the ring is the untested Brazilian duo of Cezar Bononi & Adrian Jaoude, who unfortunately are made examples of—proof that neither Burch nor Lorcan have anything resembling ring rust. In fact, Burch and Lorcan’s return is a return to the dynamic, crisp tag team action they’ve become known for. It’s definitely a statement.
And now for the champion’s statement. Tomasso Ciampa is finally back in Full Sail with new entrance music (featuring the lyrics “No one is safe now / NO ONE WILL SURVIVE”) and tron video (letting everyone know, in case they refused to listen to Ciampa, “THIS IS MY MOMENT”). Mauro Ranallo says it best: “New music, new gear, same old sadistic NXT champion.”
Ciampa immediately addresses the NXT Universe with an immense amount of criticism, first letting them know that his new music is a “personal message” to all them; it’s his “polite” way of telling them all to “SHUT. UP.” Not just when it comes to booing him but when it comes to pointing fingers and suggesting that he is the one who attacked Aleister Black. Ciampa claims to tell it to ‘em straight: While he certainly planned to attack Black prior to the triple threat match in Brooklyn, someone else got there before him. And whoever it was? Ciampa would love to “pat him—or her—on the back.”
Now with that out of the way, Ciampa can continue on his way as the “Champion of Champions”—King Booker might have something to say about that, but alright—and “the greatest success story in the history of NXT.”
Later, despite no one asking them to do so, Heavy Machinery reveal they are on the case of Black’s mystery attacker; and even after his words earlier in the show, Ciampa is still their #1 suspect. Unluckily for them, Ciampa hears this and wants them to put some respect on his name. Otis Dozovic, however, is ready to rumble right then and then in the parking lot—something William Regal prevents from happening so he can finally speak with the NXT Champion.
Shayna Baszler def. Violet Payne
Oh, poor Violet Payne. This is technically a great opportunity for her, but she’s definitely in the wrong place at the wrong time here. A “very angry” Shayna Baszler in her first match post-NXT Women’s Championship loss doesn’t exactly have something to prove, but now she clearly has something to destroy. And destroy she does, immediately going to ground and pound Payne (oh, the irony) before just plain attempting to break her opponent’s arm. Props to Payne for holding on as long as she can, even when commentary screams for her to save herself and tap out. Because instead of doing that, she slaps Baszler, only making the former champion angry. Well, angry. The match doesn’t last much longer after that ill-advised choice, with a Kirifuda Clutch that lasts a little too long to end the massacre.
Actually, while the match ends, Baszler clearly doesn’t feel like she’s made her point. She heads to the back for a moment before returning to Payne in the Clutch again, perhaps making sure Payne can’t leave Full Sail consciously. Obviously, her point is proven here. But then she does it again. And again. Her point is more than made, but does it really matter when you factor in she has yet to beat Kairi Sane in big match situations? Um, don’t let her know I said that.
A few important points:
- Roderick Strong always beats his very young son at “hide and seek,” which he treats as more of a victory than it really is.
- Kyle O’Reilly thinks the War Raiders should be called the “Sneak Attack Raiders,” which… is definitely an alternate nickname.
- Next week’s Champion vs. Champion match between Pete Dunne and Ricochet might as well be called a “Loser vs. Loser” (much more clever than “Sneak Attack Raiders”) match. Or better yet, “The Adam Cole Invitational,” as whoever wins is going to just end up losing their titles to Adam Cole anyway. TUE will be scouting this match.
As for the losers’… er… champions’ thoughts on the match, Pete Dunne says he’s not letting his personal issues with Ricochet affect his mindset going into the match. Especially since he knows it’s Ricochet’s fault they lost their tag team match against TUE the other week. The only thing he blames himself for is getting involved in Ricochet’s business with TUE in the first place.
After hearing Dunne’s comments, Ricochet says he’s going to prove him wrong. Especially Dunne’s point about Ricochet only being a champion for all of “five minutes.” He’s going to prove him wrong and become the “one and only dual champion” in NXT.
Lars Sullivan def. Raul Mendoza
Raul Mendoza tries to stick and move early on, using his speed as an advantage. And you know what? It actually works! Until Lars Sullivan just goes ahead and blocks one of Mendoza’s kicks with his forearms. Then he just starts throwing the kid around, for fun. He asks Mendoza if he wants more when he realizes the kid won’t just stay down and play dead—and then he gives him more, knowing he’ll have to put him
While it looks like this will be an upset win for Mendoza, eventually his comebacks just upset Sullivan enough to the point where he knocks him out and then hits the Freak Accident.
Apparently Dakota Kai and Aliyah’s issues with each other have continued outside the ring, with Lacey Evans of course backing up Aliyah and Deonna Purrazzo coming to the aid of “The Captain of Team KICK.”
Kassius Ohno (rocking the Cesaro/Tyson Kidd shirt) is probably the only NXT Superstar who wants to give testimony on the Aleister Black situation, but continuing his pattern of being unable to catch a break, Regal apparently doesn’t need to talk to him about it. Actually, it’s not that deep—Kairi Sane actually provided Ohno’s alibi beforehand.
But this does again bring up Ohno’s current frustration with NXT’s “hottest free agent” situation. He even asks if he should sit in front row of a TakeOver—in a suit!—to get back on Regal’s radar. Regal, unfortunately, has no real answer for him, so Ohno just goes on his way with a parting comment: “When your new shiny toy gets here, you let me know. And I’ll take care of him… BRO.” Hmm.
Bianca Belair vs. Nikki Cross went to a No Contest
Oh boy, Nikki Cross is gonna have some fun with Bianca Belair. The Full Sail crowd is completely behind her… Actually, they love the “EST” to… but, “NIKKI’S GONNA KILL YOU.” Belair wants Nikki to fight her, but Nikki really just wants to play.
“How do you prepare for Nikki Cross?” Do you? Is it even really possible. The match itself is Belair’s strength vs. Cross’, um, unorthodox—but still quite seasoned—style, with Belair at least being able to cause damage to Cross’ midsection when she’s able to keep her in one place. But Belair eventually has to resort to her patented hair-based offense—on Nikki’s already damaged midsection—in an act of desperation. However, this doesn’t turn the tide as much as she would hope, and soon after, both women are unable to get from the ramp back to the ring—resultiing in a double countout.
Once Belair is able to get back up, she takes her frustration out on Cross. And Cross has no problem giving it right back, leading to a fight all around the venue. NXT referees try to stop the fighting and fail, with Cross ultimately making her way to the top of the announce table and
You can watch this week’s NXT on the WWE Network.