NXT has returned with a new episode which has officially finalized the card for the upcoming NXT Takeover event in Houston. The match for the NXT Championship has been confirmed, as has a match in the middle of the card which should prove to be some fun, and a match that has never been seen in WWE before will be taking place at Takeover as well. More on that later on though. The show opened with NXT Women’s Championship contender Nikki Cross taking on Taynara Conti.
Nikki Cross vs. Taynara Conti –
Fresh off of her win in a battle royal against several other women in NXT, which placed her in the Fatal 4-Way match for the NXT women’s title at Takeover, Nikki Cross returned to get her revenge on Taynara. Conti nearly cost Cross an opportunity to be in the match at Takeover at the request of The Undisputed Era. Though she got some revenge last week when she eliminated Conti from the battle royal, Nikki was through with her just yet.
Immediately after the bell rung, Cross charged after Conti and would not let up her onslaught of punches and kicks. Nikki slammed Conti around for a brief amount of time before she retaliated. Conti attempted to work over Nikki’s arm so that she could lock her in a submission, but Nikki was able to fight her off every time. Cross eventually hit the swinging neckbreaker to pick up a quick victory.
Winner: NIkki Cross
Backstage, Mercedes Martinez said that she was disappointed that she will not be fighting for the title, but she has competed all over the world, and she knows what kind of competitor she is. When asked to predict who would win the title, Martinez instead predicted that Ember Moon would not win the match.
Johnny Gargano vs. Fabian Aichner –
The match started off with a drop toe hold and continued on with some grappling on the mat. The continued to do mat-based wrestling for a while, then Gargano got Aichner up for some basic chops and punches. Gargano charged after Aichner with a standing dropkick to get the match started.
Aichner was sent out of the ring for a bit until Gargano shot himself over the ropes and attempted to land on Aichner. The new NXT wrestler caught Gargano and slammed him onto a ringside guardrail. This is when the match began to swing more in Aichner’s favor.
Back in the ring, Fabian had Gargano locked in a bear hug until Johnny forearmed him, got him down on the mat, and then promptly delivered a stiff rolling kick to the face. After staying down for a while, Gargano made a comeback by hitting some tackles, much like John Cena does, but then he hit a slingshot spear. Surprisingly, this only got him a two-count against Aichner.
Not much longer after this, Aichner made a comeback of his own, then he attempted to bounced off of the ropes onto Gargano, but he missed the mark. Johnny Gargano then hit a slingshot DDT, but this also was not enough to nab him the win. He sent Fabian into the corner of the ring and lit him up with a chop. He went for a lawn dart but Aichner was able to dodge the move. Aichner caught Johnny Gargano from the top rope and delivered a huge powerbomb for a near fall. Aichner then hit a backbreaker on Gargano. He attempted to spring off of the ropes again, but Gargano got his knees up in time.
Gargano got back into the match and tried to lock in the Garga-No Escape, but AIchner somehow found a way to get out of it. He turned the tables in a big way when he rolled up Johnny Gargano to get his first win in NXT. The announcers put over how much of an upset this victory was. Gargano was stunned at first, but that shock soon turned into a look of sadness.
Winner: Fabian Aichner
Backstage, Drew McIntyre met with William Regal and signed a contract for an NXT Championship match against Andrade “Cien” Almas at Takeover: Houston. He then left after signing his contract and went down to the ring for a… contract signing? For the exact match he just signed up for? Alright then.
Aleister Black appeared in a taped video package surrounded by candles. He provided a voice over narration revealing that if The Velveteen Dream really wanted his attention, then he has got it now. He said that he will face him at Takeover. A graphic after the video package showed that Black vs. The Velveteen Dream is now official for Takeover.
The Street Profits appeared outside of Full Sail University during the day, and the two showed off a Maserati. They promised that anyone can own a car like the one they displayed if they worked hard enough for it. Tino Sabbatelli and Riddick Moss then showed up and spoiled the fun. They eventually left while the Profits continued to boast about their new vehicle.
Drew McIntyre appeared on the stage to come down for a contract signing. He had the contract that he had already signed in his hands. Before he could even walk down the ramp, Andrade “Cien” Almas ambushed McIntyre while Zelina Vega cheered him on. Almas grabbed the contract and signed it before taking Zelina’s gum and using it to stick the contract onto Drew hapless body. Though he did not ask for the match face to face like Drew wanted, it looks like the match has been made official for Takeover.
Peyton Royce and Billie Kay appeared together backstage and talked about how angry they were that Nikki Cross cost Billie Kay a chance to fight alongside Peyton Royce in the upcoming Fatal 4-Way match for the vacant women’s title at Takeover. Kairi Sane eventually walked by, pointed at her elbow, and saluted at Royce. A match between Royce and Sane will be taking place on next week’s show.
The Authors of Pain vs. SAnitY (Eric Young & Alexander Wolfe) for the NXT Tag Team Championships –
The match starts off in the favor of the tag team champions as Wolfe and Young hit a number of moves on both Akam and Rezar. Akam eventually delivered some punches and kicks on Wolfe, which slowed down SAnitY’s momentum for a while.
Akam locked Wolfe in a chinlock for a while until Rezar tagged in and hooked on a front-facelock on Wolfe. For several minutes, the two giants tagged in and out of the match and beat down Wolfe as he desperately tried to tag in Eric Young the whole time. Each time that he came closer towards him, one of the Authors would prevent the tag from being made. Rezar lifted Wolfe into the air as Akam splashed down onto him from the post in the corner.
Eventually, Rezar tagged into the match and ended up eating huge boot from Wolfe, which sent both Rezar and himself down to the canvas. Finally, Wolfe is able to get to the other side of the ring and tag in Young, but Rezar managed to tag Akam back in at the same time.
Like the madman that he is, Eric Young goes on a rampage in the ring and lays waste to both members of the Authors of Pain before outright landing the neckbreaker on Akam. Rezar tries to charge after Young in the ring, but Wolfe ran back in just in time to hit a suplex on him. Eric Young went up top and hit an enormous elbow drop on Akam for a near fall.
Wolfe tagged himself back into the match and violently slammed Akam down. Young tagged himself back into the match and delivered a belly to back suplex on Akam. The two SAnitY members tagged each other in and out for a while as they continued attacking the Authors of Pain.
Everything started to change once Rezar clotheslined Alexander Wolfe. Akam also managed to lay out Eric Young. For a moment, it definitely looked as though The Authors of Pain would begin a new undefeated streak and win back the NXT Tag Team Championships all in the same night. They hit the Super Collider on Wolfe and Young before also connecting with the Last Chapter on Young. Before the two could secure a potential pinfall victory, The Undisputed Era ran in from the crowd and interfered in the match.
Winner: No Contest
Chaos erupts as Adam Cole, Bobby Fish, and Kyle O’Reilly attack everybody involved in the match. Killian Dain ran down to the ring to help his SAnitY team members, but the Undisputed Era was able top overwhelm him.
On last week’s show, Roderick Strong was handed an Undisputed Era armband by Adam Cole. He did not answer whether or not he would join their stable or not, but Strong did come out in the middle of the Undisputed Era’s attack. Strong teased joining the group, and he eventually put on the armband. However, he revealed that it was all a ruse, and then he began to attack Cole, Fish, and O’Reilly (which the Full Sail crowd actually booed.)
The Undisputed Era goes to leave, but then William Regal comes out and promises that all of these men will get a chance to compete against each other. However, this will be no ordinary match; this match will be contested in a WarGames match for the first time in NXT history.
Strong and the Authors of Pain will now team up to take on SAnitY, as well as The Undisputed Era in a WarGames match at Takeover! How on earth will WWE’s take on the WarGames match from WCW appear? Well, Regal announced that the teams will fight in two rings under one cage. The match is going to be an absolute spectacle, and at the very least, something much different from the expected. Who knows what else will happen between now and the WarGames match at Takeover. We’ll find out more next week. I’ll see you NXT time!