WWE NXT Review - April 25, 2018
Undisputed Era Addressed the Audience
Roderick Strong has never been the best on the mic, but this was easily one of his better promos in recent memory, if only because he felt more comfortable as a heel than he ever did as a babyface and his logic for joining the faction was sound (he felt Pete Dunne would likely turn on him first and that it was pointless to fight the world by himself if he was always fell short). Everyone else did well with their promos as well. Undisputed Era has a ton of momentum right now and they were the right stars to start off the night.
NXT North American Champion Adam Cole def. Oney Lorcan
Everyone already assumed Lorcan wasn't winning in Cole's first title defense, so Cole outright saying he didn't need Undisputed Era's help to win (only for them to aid him to victory anyway) was odd. I realize that was designed to put more heat on the faction, which it did, but Cole should in fact have been able to beat Lorcan by himself. Nevertheless, this was a nice little match for as long as it lasted.
Heavy Machinery def. Riddick Moss and Tino Sabbatelli
NXT usually does a good job of not doing most matches more than once on TV, but we have seen these two tandems clash three times prior to this point and this marked their fourth encounter. It would be one thing if their matches were lighting the world on fire, but they have been average at best, so why keep going back to it? That said, this was designed to cement the split between Moss and Sabbatelli with Sabbatelli officially turning on Moss. Please let this be the end and not another tease. Meanwhile, Heavy Machinery called out War Raiders afterward, so that match should be a blast.
Tomasso Ciampa Attacked Johnny Gargano
Gargano was originally scheduled to contend for the NXT Championship against Aleister Black on this show, but he was brutally attacked by Ciampa while he was making his way to the ring. Obviously, that keeps their feud alive despite it seemingly being blown off in New Orleans. I don't know how they're going to top that instant classic, but if it's going to be a Triple Threat for the title in Chicago, then I'm all for it. This was a strong angle to allow Ciampa to keep his heat and rekindle their rivalry.
NXT Champion Aleister Black def. Eric Young
With Gargano not being able to compete, Young took his place. It was a rather random choice, sure, but as a match, this was pretty decent. It has been evident for a while now that SAnitY (sans Nikki Cross) were SmackDown Live bound, so this effectively wrote them off the program because not only did Young lose decisively, Black hit Black Mass on Killian Dain on Alexander Wolfe as well.
While I found last week's edition of NXT to be a bit more exciting, this was still a solid show as well. I would assume this marked SAnitY's final appearance on NXT programming, not to mention Gargano vs. Ciampa resumed and Cole successfully defended his North American title. Sabbatelli also betrayed Moss, so it was a semi-newsworthy night on the whole. Next week, it will be TM61 vs. Street Profits, Pete Dunne vs. Strong, and Candice LeRae vs. Bianca Belair, in addition to the return of Kona Reeves.
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