Top 3 Performers of NXT (January 30, 2019)
This week's episode of NXT was split into two halves, with the first half recapping the events of Takeover: Phoenix, starting with Ricochet and Johnny Gargano for the Noth American title.
Gargano won his first singles title in NXT after coming up short several times for the NXT title in 2018. Gargano would defeat Ricochet after hitting a slingshot DDT for the win.
Meanwhile, the undefeated Bianca Belair went against the NXT women's champion Shayna Baszler. Belair fought off interference from fellow 4 Horsewomen Jessamyn Duke and Marina Shafir to almost pull off the win. However, after going for a high-risk maneuver, Baszler caught Belair and locked her in the Kirafuda Clutch, forcing Belair to pass out.
Takeover: Phoenix also saw the Undisputed Era defending their tag team titles against the War Raiders. While Undisputed Era had been dominant in the Tag Team division, they were unseated by their challenger, ending the Era's second reign with the belt.
Matt Riddle had a victory over Kassius Ohno, who had been tormenting Riddle since his arrival to NXT. This was their third encounter, and the fight seemed to be the final match between the pair for now as Riddle got another victory.
Finally, it was the NXT title match at Takeover: Phoenix between Tommaso Ciampa and his opponent Aleister Black. Ciampa intentionally targetted Black's left leg, which played into the ending. Takeover ended with heel #DIY standing tall with their respective championships, but the action would continue after the event.
Shawn Michaels would announce that a match between #DIY and Adam Cole would take on the mishmash team of Ricochet, Velveteen Dream and Aleister Black. The match is set to take place at half time of the Superbowl.
In the other part of the episode saw a tag team match between the Japanese duo of Io Shirai and Kairi Sane going up against 2 of the 4 Horsewomen of MMA, Marina Shafir and Jessamyn Duke. Sane and Shirai teamed together during last week's episode, picking up the win against Amber Nova and Tanea Brooks.
The Sky Pirates were in for tougher competition this time around. Sane and Shirai are already familiar with Duke and Shafir, as the two of them cost Sane her title against another Horsewoman and current NXT Women's champion, Shayna Baszler.
Shafir, wearing a protective face mask, would start in the match against Io Shirai. The two exchanged chain maneuvers before tagging in their respective partners in Duke and Sane. Sane and Shirai used their speed against the bigger former MMA fighters.
Duke and Shafir had Shirai locked in the ring before the Queen of the Sky managed to get the hot tag to Sane. The Sky Pirates would then hit a quick combination, with Sane hitting her pop up In Sane elbow, before Shirai hit Duke with a Tope Suicida, leading to Sane climbing the turnbuckle and finishing the fight with an Insane Elbow from the top rope for the pinfall.
The main event of the episode of NXT saw Street Profits against the Forgotten Sons. The Street Profits were able to get the wood over The Mighty. However, in recent weeks they appear to have been leapfrogged by the Forgotten Sons trio of Wesley Blake, Jaxson Ryker, and Steve Cutler. Blake previously had a run with the Tag Team title alongside current Cruiserweight champion Buddy Murphy.
Here are the best performers of the week.
#3 Forgotten Sons
The Forgotten Sons appear to be a collection of underused and underutilized wrestlers and seem to mainly be a vehicle to push Jaxson Ryker. However, with the trio including former Tag Team Champion Wesley Blake, they could potentially become a player in the tag team division. To date, the trio has mainly had victories against development and enhancement talents.
This match against the Street Profits marked their first major fight against a fellow team, with some history behind it. The crowd was dead for the majority of the match, despite the fact that at Full Sail the Street Profits are a hugely popular team. The Takeover: Phoenix preshow crowd seemed to be uninterested for the majority of the match.
This changed towards the end as Jaxson Ryker interfered in the fray, taking out Montez Ford while the referee was distracted. Ryker's distraction allowed for Blake and Cutler to take advantage and defeat Ford and Dawkins.