Before the show, WWE NXT paid respects to the late great Joe Laurinaitis, AKA Road Warrior Animal, who sadly passed away early this morning with an in memoriam graphic. He was just sixty years old. Animal had recently been working with our own Chris Featherstone, reviewing Monday Night RAW.
Tonight's episode of NXT was about setting up for NXT TakeOver on October 4th. Two NXT Champions would learn of their next challengers tonight, while Breezango set the table for their No. 1 contenders tonight.
We started the night off with the NXT Women's No. 1 Contender Battle Royal. Before the show, Candice LeRae attacked Tegan Nox, re-injuring her knee in the process. An equipment box driven into Nox's leg finished the job.
This match didn't just feature the NXT Superstars shown on the graphic last week, as many PC performers were also competing. Though, they weren't around for long.
No. 1 Contender Battle Royal for NXT Women's Championship
The field was quickly reduced by Ripley and Gonzalez, with Shotzi Blackheart, Aliyah, Candice LeRae, Xia Li, Kacy Catanzaro, Kayden Carter, Dakota Kai, and Indi Hartwell left after the smoke settled. Aliyah attempted to eliminate Catanzaro, but the Ninja Warrior was able to pull herself through the ropes following an impressive handstand.
During the break, Catanzaro was launched into the barricade but still survived. Indi Hartwell tried to knock her off but failed. Carter was sent out by Gonzalez, but she offered safe passage for Catanzaro before leaving. Xia Li and Aliyah were eliminated during the break.
Ripley and Gonzalez brawled over the ropes, eliminating one another. Dakota Kai was stunned as her bodyguard was taken out of the equation. At this point, Kai, Blackheart, Hartwell, Catanzaro, and LeRae remained.
Blackheart tried to dump the Poison Pixie while Catanzaro launched Hartwell over the ropes with a hurricanrana. Kai and LeRae teamed up on Catanzaro, leading to her elimination. Blackheart avoided the boot in the corner and upended Kai for the elimination, leaving just Blackheart and LeRae.
LeRae was planted with a reverse sling blade, but fought back from the apron. Blackheart missed her running senton in the ropes, allowing LeRae to spike her with an elevated neck breaker. They made their way to the top of the turnbuckle where both women tumbled to the apron.
Eventually, LeRae was able to toss Blackheart off the stairs and win the match to become the new No.1 Contender for the NXT Women's Championship.
Results: Candice LeRae won the NXT Women's No. 1 Contenders Battle Royal.
NXT Triple Crown winner and No.1 Contender for the North American Title, Johnny Gargano, celebrated with his wife in the ring. Could the IT Couple of NXT walk out of NXT TakeOver with two titles?