NXT wrestler Adam Cole looks on in shock

Remember last week when we had sixteen women in a battle royal for a title shot? Remember when Taynara Conti made this face at Billie Kay’s entrance?

I remember. It was amazing. All four contenders (Kairi Sane, Nikki Cross, Ember Moon, and Peyton Royce) met in the ring after the battle royal for a fleeting moment, but where does the women’s division go from here? All this and maybe some stuff involving the dudes, up next in last night’s Rogues Portal recap of NXT.

Taynara Conti vs. Nikki Cross (Winner)

Every week it sounds like they add more ambient unsettling noises to Nikki Cross’s entrance and I’m extremely into it. Nikki’s out for revenge and blood after Taynara’s interference in her recent matches and wastes no time taking Conti to the mat.

Conti is a great match for Cross. She doesn’t treat Nikki as a weird novelty, but as the nasty little murderbeast Nikki actually is. Hopefully, Tanyara gets development as more than yet another of NXT’s “shoot fighters.” She’s charismatic and talented and would be a great fit as a regular addition to the Undisputed Era. Unfortunately for her, she’s also Nikki’s next victim. Nikki Cross gets a decisive win after a surprisingly short match.

Mercedes Martinez vs. Eye Contact vs. Ember Moon

Mercedes Martinez cuts a solid promo about her loss in last week’s battle royal. It’s brought down mostly by her focus on middle distance until the very last moments. The etiquette of WWE backstage promos is weird and inconsistent though, so it’s not entirely on her. She does tease a match with her former indie rival Ember Moon though — maybe they’ll meet in a WWE ring in Houston?

Johnny Gargano’s Broken Heart vs. Fabian Aichner (Winner)

Johnny Gargano being too heartbroken to win anymore is the best storyline of 2017, don’t @ me. He’s looking to move on from Tommaso Ciampa with a win over Fabian Aichner tonight. Though Aichner has bulked up a bit since his Cruiserweight Classic run, he’s still got enough speed and agility in him to match Gargano’s high-flying offense hit for hit. Despite incredible moments like a slingshot DDT, my favorite moment in this match is Johnny outrunning Fabian to a corner. I’m a simple man.

By the final moments, this match gets into an absolutely ridiculous sequence of Johnny Gargano getting thrown around like a feather pillow. His broken heart costs him the win yet again in a “big loss,” as Nigel McGuinness calls it. Tommaso needs to get back soon to get beat up by Johnny and let Johnny Wrestling drag himself out of this slump.

Aleister Black Doesn’t Say the Name

Aleister Black is officially facing the Velveteen Dream at TakeOver: Houston. This package is good, and the only spooky action we’ll get on NXT tonight. They should have shown the live show rumble.


Andrade “Cien” Almas Almost Ruins Zelina Vega’s Hard Work

Man, she worked so hard to get you this contract. Drew McIntyre comes out for the contract signing, and Cien immediately attacks him from behind. What if William gave your title shot to someone else? You gotta wait until after you sign the paper to beat the hell out of someone.

Peyton Royce is Such A Good Friend

Peyton is so offended on behalf of Billie Kay. I wholeheartedly agree, Peyton, Billie did deserve to be in that match with you. They spend a few minutes mocking Kairi Sane’s rad aesthetic when the Pirate Princess herself sails in to issue the wordless threat of an elbow drop. Kairi and Billie Kay will face off on next week’s show; expect some iconic shenanigans.

Authors of Pain vs. Sanity (Alexander Wolfe and E-Y Edition)

Eric Young’s arrow trunks are both weirder and still better than his original Sanity gear. Paul Ellering has finally secured the Authors of Pain their TakeOver: Brooklyn rematch, and while their absence is unexplained, it’s refreshing to have such a long, uninterrupted title reign. It’s also been a great opportunity to let you see the slowly expanding tag division wrestle multiple matches before there’s even a title shot up for grabs.

Sanity sends Eric Young and Alexander Wolfe to the ring to defend their titles. With no interference allowed by the rest of the Sanity crew, it’s just four beefy boys throwing each other around, which is to say: awesome. Sanity has made Wolfe one of my favorite performers on the roster and the air two guys as solid as Wolfe and Young can get is absolutely incredible.

Unsurprisingly the Undisputed Era ruin everyone’s fun, snatching defeat from the jaws of victory for AOP. They cause bedlam even when Killian Dane comes out to even the odds. Roddy $trong appears to tease the final evolution of CFO into CFO$, but it was a trap: with AOP, he dispatches a heartbroken Adam Cole (bay bay), and War Games is finally made official when William Regal comes out to calm things down. Undisputed Era vs. Sanity vs. Authors of Pain (and also Roddy) … get ready for Houston.

NXT wrestler Adam Cole looks on in shock
CK Stewart

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