An unhinged act of theft and a superhero come to life highlighted episode #451 of NXT.
Nikki Cross stole the title belt from NXT Women’s Champion Shayna Baszler in an angle that followed a title defense against Dakota Kai in the main event. Elsewhere on the show, Ricochet looked like he leapt off the pages of a comic book — doing a stunt that left Velveteen Dream speechless.
The show began with a recap of last week’s cliffhanger involving the feud between Tommaso Ciampa and Johnny Gargano. An angle on the previous episode saw Candice LeRae become collateral damage.
Gargano and Ciampa are set for a Chicago street fight at TakeOver. In storyline, both just needed to sign the contract to make the match official. A tweet from LeRae showed her displeasure with the direction of the feud, and she is proverbially washing her hands of the whole thing as she feared her husband was turning into the same character he once despised.
NXT Champion Aleister Black opened the show with a promo. He talked about only needing one shot to knock out his opponents as they “Fade to Black.” Before he could say more, the entrance of Lars Sullivan interrupted him.
Sullivan said he would be Black’s first challenger, and Sullivan added that Black has never faced anyone like him. Sullivan vowed to be the next NXT Champion, adding that Black could do nothing about it.
Sullivan grabbed Black by the throat, then Black tried to counter with a kick. Sullivan blocked the Fade to Black, before delivering a Freak Accident to lay out Black. The segment concluded with Sullivan posing with the NXT Championship belt.
War Raiders defeated George Hickson & Cody Vincent
Hanson scored the pinfall on Vincent after a guillotine leg drop. This was a one-sided squash match where Hanson and Rowe mauled their prey. The crowd chanted “Raiders” during the match.
Lacey Evans cut a promo on Kairi Sane saying she had a “woman’s right” for Sane — meaning her right fist. Evans and Sane are set for another upcoming match on NXT TV.
EC3 defeated Fabian Aichner
EC3 pinned Aichner with the One Percenter. Early on, EC3 dashed a hope spot when he shoved Aichner off the top rope to the floor. Gargano suddenly marched to ringside to show everyone he had signed his contract for TakeOver. A distracted EC3 was hit with a springboard crossbody by Aichner. Back in the ring, EC3 cut off Aichner to finish him with a fireman’s carry into a cutter.
A vignette about Bianca Belair detailed her family history and talked about her path to NXT.
Ricochet defeated Chris Dijak
Ricochet pinned Dijak after hitting a 630 splash. This was Dijak’s NXT TV debut. The quick match started with a slugfest before Ricochet exploded into his unique offense. Dijak caught Ricochet on a dive to the outside, and then he chokeslammed Ricochet on the apron.
Back in the ring, Dijak covered Ricochet for a near fall. Dijak went for a springboard moonsault — only there was no water in the pool. Ricochet executed a deadlift suplex to set up the 630 splash for the pinfall.
After the match, Ricochet cut a promo on Velveteen Dream where “spotlight” became a buzzword. Ricochet at first put over Dream by saying Dream deserved the spotlight. Dream interrupted the promo, claiming that “anything you can do, the Dream can do better.”
Ricochet challenged him to a fight right then. Dream teased getting into the ring to confront Ricochet, but he backpedaled to say he would see Ricochet in Chicago for TakeOver. Dream once again claimed anything Ricochet could do, the Dream could do it better.
In a stunt that would make Spiderman jealous, Ricochet leapt over the ropes into a somersault flip where he landed on his feet outside the ring. Words do not do it justice. The flip was incredible. Dream stood with his mouth agape in disbelief at the feat of athleticism. Ricochet got face-to-face with his TakeOver opponent, with Dream remaining frozen in a state of shock.
NXT Women’s Champion Shayna Baszler defeated Dakota Kai to retain her title
Baszler submitted Kai in dominating fashion. She bullied Kai at the outset. After first targeting a shoulder, Baszler transitioned into working over a leg. Baszler tortured Kai with an ankle lock.
Eventually, Kai fired up into a comeback with a series of kicks. Kai attempted some sort of pop-up headscissors, but Baszler countered into a rear naked choke for the submission.
Not finished being a bully, Baszler again applied a choke after the match. Nikki Cross ran in to make the save. Cross had s staredown with Baszler. As the champion turned to leave, Cross darted out of the ring to steal the title belt. Baszler demanded she return the championship. Cross placed the belt in the ring like she was drawing a line in the sand. When Baszler went to retrieve her title, Cross snatched it away and laughed maniacally. Cross wanted an impromptu title match and appointed Kai as referee.
Cross surprised Baszler with a swinging fisherman’s buster, then she covered her. Kai made a three count and Cross celebrated like she won the title. Cross left with Baszler’s championship belt as the show closed.