On tonight’s show we find out who will become the number one contender for Shinsuke Nakamura’s NXT Championship. And Daria Berenato faces Billie Kay, after telling her and Peyton Royce last week that she wanted to hurt one of them in retaliation for abandoning her in the six-woman tag match the week before. Regardless of what else happens on this episode, it should be a good show.
Billie Kay def Daria Berenato
Authors of Pain vs Anthony Bowens and Jon Ortagun
Bobby Roode def Tye Dillinger, Roderick Strong and Andrade ‘Cien’ Almas – to become number one contender to the NXT Championship
Billie Kay vs Daria Berenato
The advertised women’s match kicked off the show. Billie Kay was accompanied, as ever, by Peyton Royce. Berenato’s entrance paid homage to her MMA background, as did the padded gloves she wore. It suits her and you get a strong impression of her character immediately.
Peyton Royce became a factor early on, when she tried to grab Daria Berenato’s leg from outside. Billie Kay took advantage of the distraction to deliver a suplex. The advantage didn’t last long.
Berenato removed the gloves and boxed Kay into the corner. Royce dragged Kay out of the ring and they started to walk away but Berenato went after them. She floored Royce, and dragged Billie Kay back to the ring. While the ref was talking to Billie Kay, Peyton Royce slammed Daria Berenato, back first, into the edge of the ring and threw her back in, just in time for the big boot finisher from Billie Kay, and the three count.
After the match Royce and Kay threw Berenato bodily from the ring, and said that the rest of the women’s division would face the same fate if they cross them. They then called out Asuka. Apparently, they will be waiting to teach Asuka who calls the shots in the women’s division, just as soon as she finds the guts to face them.
Disappointing, but predictable, finish to the match. It would have been much nicer for someone, anyone, to come out of it looking strong.
Authors of Pain vs Anthony Bowens and Jon Ortagun
Akam and Rezar now have their names mentioned individually during their entrance and commentary frequently point out which is which (Akam is the one with tattoos). This match was super-short, largely because one of their opponents was legitimately injured during the move where Authors of Pain smash their opponents together then slam one on top of the other. On this occasion, Anthony Bowens was left with a concussion and the ref stopped the match. I’m a little surprised they showed it, but they did.
After the ‘match’ Ellering said that Authors of Pain are on a seek and destroy mission, and it doesn’t matter whether they face DIY of The Revival.
Asuka responded to Billie Kay and Peyton Royce’s statement, in a backstage interview, by saying, ‘those girls are no competition for me and they need to be careful’. The camera panned round to show Nikki Cross watching the interview. She walked off laughing and Asuka smiled.
I’m pleased about the way this is headed. I’d much rather see Asuka vs Nikki Cross, than either Billie Kay or Peyton Royce.
After a thorough recap of the first round matches of the number one contender’s tournament, complete with interview clips from the winners of each match, the fatal four-way began.
Bobby Roode vs Andrade ‘Cien’ Almas vs Tye Dillinger vs Roderick Strong – Fatal Four-way elimination match to become number one contender to the NXT Championship.
I thought it was a bit strange they were starting the main event with 40-minutes left of the episode, but I forgot to account for the entrances. After almost 10-minutes everyone had finally made it to the ring, and the bell rang.
There was a brief stand-off in the centre of the ring before Bobby Roode took himself outside to let the other three fight it out. Dillinger and Strong followed him and slapped him back and forth a bit before Almas flew through the ropes to join them.
Ten chants abounded every time Dillinger did something. I can see how it would get annoying, but it was just an indication that the crowd was completely behind him. The match played out with two or three in the ring at one time, rather than everyone piling in (apart from the obligatory ‘tower of doom’ style spot), but there was plenty going on and it was an entertaining match.
The first elimination took almost ten minutes. Andrade ‘Cien’ Almas, pinned by Roderick Strong after a massive kick. Strong was next out courtesy of a Tye-Breaker from Dillinger. So we were down to Tye Dillinger and Bobby Roode. I guess it made sense for the only two with a legitimate feud to be the final two.
After a bit of back and forth, Roode brought a chair into the ring, raised it to hit Dillinger, and got hit with a superkick. Sadly, that only produced a two count (yes, I’m biased – huge Dillinger fan, not sorry). A Tye-Breaker a minute or so later also only kept Roode down for two.
They fought it out for a few more minutes, then Roode dropped Dillinger crotch first onto the top turnbuckle, and DDT’d him after he fell down, to pick the win.
Bobby Roode will now face Shinsuke Nakamura at NXT TakeOver San Antonio for the NXT Championship.
As much as I wanted Dillinger to win, Roode vs Nakamura will be a great match. It may also contain the most posturing and theatrics of any NXT match ever.
Unusually, I was a little disappointed with tonight’s NXT, maybe my expectations were too high. It’s fine building Peyton Royce and Billie Kay as the big heels of the NXT women’s division, but it does nothing for them to consistently have them have to help each other in order to win. Occasional interference to build heat – yes, can’t win without help – no.
Authors of Pain are monsters, we get it. But I don’t want to see someone get concussed in pursuit of their art. Happily Bowens is ok now, but it’s uncomfortable viewing.
Roode as number one contender makes a lot of sense, even if it wasn’t the result I wanted. But we now have to wonder what will be next for Tye Dillinger.
Have a happy Christmas everyone.