This week’s NXT is all about making a statement before NXT TakeOver: New York this coming Friday. It’s a massive show taking place during WrestleMania weekend, and it’s also the first of its kind for a lot of the talent on the card. So, coming out of tonight’s episode with a win in hand or some form of momentum isn’t a bad thing at all. That means we get Bianca Belair and Kairi Sane—two of the women competing in a Fatal 4-Way for the NXT Women’s Championship—squaring off, as well as the NXT Tag Team Champions War Raiders returning to the ring in the hopes of sending a message to the Dusty Rhodes Classic winners Ricochet and Aleister Black.
The night kicks off with the guttural war calls of the War Raiders. They make their way to the ring, the NXT Tag Team Championships slung over their shoulders, clearly prepared to keep those titles right where they are through TakeOver. Then, their opponents are revealed: two very small men who aren’t even given names. You know what happens next. You’ve seen it before. Hanson and Rowe simply demolish the two men. It takes all of 30 seconds to trounce these guys, so hey, why not get on a mic and ask for more. They demand another team, and Cezar Bononi and Adrian Jaoude answer the call. They don’t fare much better, failing to get any offense in whatsoever, and lose after two double team moves, one a very impressive combination powerslam and
Look, it’s an impressive statement, taking out two teams in a row, but let’s not get it twisted: Neither of these teams is Ricochet and Aleister Black. Those two men have been running roughshod over every team they’ve encountered, both in the Dusty Rhodes Classic and on SmackDown and RAW. They’ve pinned tag team champions and made their name on the main roster in a hurry. War Raiders have been incredibly dominant since arriving in NXT, but they’re about to encounter their toughest opponents yet.
After we get a quick video package outlining the epic clash between Pete Dunne and Walter set to take place at TakeOver, and a little run-in between Candice LeRae, Aliyah, and Vanessa Borne, we’re off to a
This match is a brawl from the start. Ryker goes right after Lorcan with a flurry of fists, and Lorcan fires back with his signature chops. They don’t seem to have much of an effect though, as Ryker takes control early. He puts Lorcan on the top rope and clubs him in the back a few times, then delivers a gutbuster that gives Ryker the match’s first near fall. Ryker is relentless, staying on top of Lorcan, keeping him on the ground and pummeling him with knees and punches. Lorcan just can’t get anything going. Ryker has an answer for everything.
It’s during a bear hug that Lorcan finds his opening. He fights out of the grip with some shots to the face, and then follows it up with a ton of nasty chops, slaps, and a few running uppercuts. Lorcan doesn’t stop moving, running all around the ring and hitting Ryker with one move after another. It’s a short-lived burst though, as Ryker lays him out with No Remorse, snagging a win after the Forgotten Sons couldn’t get it done in the finals of the Dusty Rhodes Classic.
Finally, it’s time for the main event, as Kairi Sane and Bianca Belair try to get a win just two days before their title shot at NXT TakeOver: New York. Belair uses her strength advantage early, locking up Sane before throwing her down with a suplex. Sane, of course, has her own fight though. She slaps Belair in the chest and then mocks her by twirling her hair. That joke masks her intensity, as she spears Belair, sends her to the outside, and then slams into her with a diving elbow off the apron.
Back in the ring, Sane tries to keep Belair grounded with a submission, but “The EST” powers out and slams Sane into the corner. She beats her down with kicks, fists, and forearms to the back. Then she wears Sane out with a particularly nasty abdominal
Things are just getting heated up when—and stop me if you’ve heard this story before—Shayna Baszler, Jessamyn Duke, and Marina Shafir come to the ring to lay a beating on Belair and Sane. That brings out Io Shirai too, and then suddenly, the entire NXT women’s locker room, everyone having
You can watch this week’s NXT on the WWE Network.
And don’t forget: You’ve got until April 10th to cop this new LIMITED EDITION Ronda Rousey shirt.