It’s a new beginning for NXT with War Games now in the rear-view mirror. We have new champions on the shapes of Andrade Cien Almas and Ember Moon. Drew McIntyre is out injured, and several female stars have been called up to the main roster. The Undisputed Era survived War Games to establish themselves as the top faction on the developmental brand. We will have to wait, however, to find out what happens to those guys next as this episode, taped at the Aztec Theatre in San Antonio, Texas, will feature rising stars on the undercard.
The Street Profits v. Riddick Moss & Tino Sabbatelli
This rivalry has been building for a few weeks with verbal exchanges in a variety of backstage settings and one previous match which the Street Profits won, so it will be interesting to see who comes out on top here. The fun-loving Street Profits control the early exchanges popping the crowd with their antics. Moss and Sabbatelli are finding it hard to get any momentum going as we head into the break. A cheap shot from Sabbatelli to Ford finally puts the heels in control. They slow the pace down to a grind and spend some time riling up the crowd with taunts and trash talk. A hot tag returns momentum to the Street Profits who almost pin Sabbatelli but Moss makes the save. Sabbatelli then goes for a pin with Moss holding Dawkins’ legs down but the ref sees him. He then gets wiped out at ringside by Ford, and The Street Profits hit Sabbatelli with their pop-up powerbomb/splash combo for the win. Winners: The Street Profits
A strong showing from the Street Profits playing off some solid heel work by Moss and Sabbatelli. The Street Profits seem set to rise up the ranks in the NXT tag division. Not sure where that leaves their opponents though…
Kairi Sane v. Peyton Royce
The Pirate Princess starts off the match giving Royce the run around with her quick escapes and counters. Billie Kay on the outside soon comes into play, momentarily distracting Sane and allowing Peyton to hit a spinning heel kick for a near fall. The Iconic Duo draw heat from the crowd as Sane struggles to get back into the match until she hits a sudden spear to start a comeback. A blockbuster and a sliding elbow to the corner seem to be building to the Insane Elbow. Royce gets up, however, and lands a near fall off a knee strike. Frustration then kicks in as the Aussie wastes time getting in her opponent’s face. Sane does her full comeback this time, stomping Royce into the mat, barging Kay off the apron, and sailing through the air to land her elbow drop for the pin. Winner: Kairi Sane
A decent match with both women looking strong. A win for Sane was the only choice at this early stage in her NXT run, and Royce will no doubt stay in the title picture for the foreseeable future.
Tyler Bate & Trent Seven v. Pete Dunne & Mark Andrews
This match was set up following a backstage challenge from Bate and Seven to Dunne last week. Mark Andrews is surprisingly the UK Champ’s partner, revealing in an interview that he has been promised a title match if his team wins tonight. Bate and Seven come out in Moustache Mountain jackets to a decent pop, Andrews get a much more muted reaction, but it is clearly Pete Dunne that the San Antonio crowd want to see welcoming him with chants of ‘Bruiserweight!’
Dunne and Andrews have the upper hand early on as the audience trade chants of ‘Moustache Mountain’ and ‘Bruiserweight!’ Dunne performs his usual acts of joint manipulation of Seven until he gets hits with a couple of chops. He ducks a third only to get hit by a DDT in a great piece of comic timing from Seven. An interesting contrast of Mark Andrews’ high flying style and Pete Dunne’s brawling carries us through the next portion of the match until they start to disfunction through forced tags. A huge clothesline from Trent Seven to Dunne creates the chance for Tyler Bate to get the hot tag. An exploder suplex and a standing shooting star press almost get Bate the pin, but Dunne is then able to tag out. Mark Andrews hots a double stomp and a standing corkscrew splash, drawing a ‘this is awesome!’ chant from the crowd.
An amazing combo of a Frankensteiner from Andrews into a powerbomb from Dunne nearly puts Bate down for the three-count. He kicks out though and after flooring the Bruiserweight with Bip and Bop, he and Seven hit some double team moves for another near fall, with Andrews making the save. The pace really picks up now with all four guys hitting signature moves. Dizzy after an airplane spin, Bate accidentally allows Dunne to tag back in. That works in his favour though as a strike off the ropes and a Tyler Driver ’97 later, his team emerge victorious. Unsurprisingly, an irate UK Champ lays out Andrews after the match. Winners: Bate and Seven
The UK guys never fail to deliver, and this match was no exception. Bate pinning Dunne was an intriguing choice to end the bout – is he going to get back into the title picture?
This was a standard NXT episode, but as NXT standards are high, it was still better than either main roster show. We got three fun matches, but little in the way of storyline development. Street Profits, Kairi Sane, and Tyler Bate moved up the ladder in their respective divisions, and having the UK guys appear for their traditional post-Takeover tag match made for the clash of the night.