Street Fight: Dakota Kai vs. Tegan Nox
Kai in a sneak attack jumped Nox during her enrtance. They brawled to the ring and the weapons came out early on from underneath the ring. Trash cans, lids, tables, chairs, a cricket bat, and more would be used as they fought in and out of the ring. They took some crazy bumps in this match. Kai took a German suplex onto a trash can.
Nox with a chokeslam off the top in honor of Kane, and then she did a Molly Go Round in honor of Molly Holly. Kai fired up on Nox, and she kicked a chair in the face of Nox. Kai duck taped Nox to the ring post, and then measured her for several kicks. Nox blocked one attempt, and then targeted the knee brace on Kai. She hit her in the leg with a lap top.
Nox then got chain from underneath the ring, and used it on the knee. Nox took a chair and Pillmanized the leg. She delivered a Shining Wizard, and then Nox set up a table in the ring. Nox laid Kai on the table and put her neck in a chair, and she teased jumping off the top on to the table. Suddenly, Raquel Gonzalez ran in to attack Nox. Gonzalez threw Nox backwards off the top on to the table — which didn’t break. Kai rolled over to cover Nox for the pinfall.
Winner: Dakota Kai
After the match, Gonzalez walked towards Kai and lifted her up, showing signs of a potential alliance.
Thoughts: A very physical match with some innovative spots. They used the stipulation well and I liked the teasing of a table spot early on, as well as several chair spots. The ending was surprising with Raquel’s official debut, although I wish the table spot had went through successfully. I wish they had more history on TV for me to be fully invested in the feud. Overall, a really good match.
NXT Women’s Championship: Bianca Belair vs. Rhea Ripley
Belair was aggressive from the start, and Ripley soon fired up too. Ripley hit Belair with a series of chops. Belair herself returned fire and looked to punish Ripley. Belair with a standing moonsault. They appeared to twice try a vertical suplex of some sort — maybe delayed. Belair turned it into a brainbuster and the match went on.
Ripley with a sit-out facebuster for a two count. Ripley then applied her standing leglock submission hold, but Belair escaped to get a roll-up for two. A spingbuster netted Belair another two. They traded hard slaps, and Belair hit Ripley with her hair braid. Belair with a gorilla press slam, and then she did a handspring into a moonsaullt. Ripley got her knees up. and Ripley blocked a KOD.
After a double down, they traded strikes and kicks. Belair with a high backdrop sent Ripley over the ropes to the floor. Belair followed with a running flip dive to the outside. Ripley at ringside sent Belair into the steps. They were fighting on the turnbuckles when Ripley was able to execute Riptide to score the pinfall.
Winner: Rhea Ripley (c)
After the match, Charlotte Flair jumped Ripley after the match. Charlotte got a microphone and said she accepted Ripley’s challenge to a match at WrestleMania. Flair grabbed the NXT title belt and posed with it before leaving the ring. On her way out Flair also attacked Belair, and she sent her into the ring steps.
Thoughts: Battle of the powerhouses, this was very physical and I particularly thought Bianca Belair shined all the way through. Bianca’s Tope Con Hilo was the highlight of the match. The finish was abrupt for my liking and I wish Bianca didn’t lose clean so she could find her way to WrestleMania, but it put over Rhea as the reigning queen of the division. Let’s see how Charlotte vs. Rhea will be.