Here are our takeaways from the first live 2-hour episode of NXT:
6Candice LeRae Earned A Shot At The NXT Women’s Championship
Triple H hyped up the NXT crowd at Full Sail University to begin the show.
Io Shirai, Bianca Belair, Mia Yim, and Candice LeRae faced in a Fatal 4-Way match to determine the #1 contender for the NXT Women’s Championship. The match started out with a brawl with Bianca Belair getting the better of the exchange. Belair connected with a Moonsault on Candice but Mia Yim broke up the cover.
Belair hit Yim with a Suplex and went for the cover but Io broke it up. Shirai hit a 619 on Yim and followed it up with a Springboard Dropkick on Belair for a near fall. Yim booted Io to the canvas and planted Belair with a Tornado DDT but LeRae broke up the cover.
LeRae beat Yim down in the corner and then planted Io with a Facebuster on the apron. Belair planted LeRae with a Fallaway Slam and turned around into a Suicide Dive from Mia Yim. Shirai climbed to the top rope and took out Yim and Belair with a Moonsault as NXT went to a commercial break.
When NXT returned, all four superstars crashed to the canvas with a Tower of Doom in the corner of the ring. LeRae planted Io with a German Suplex but was then slammed face-first into the turnbuckle by Belair. Yim connected with Code Blue on Belair but Io was able to break up the cover at the last second.
Belair leveled Io and Mia with a Spear and then planted LeRae with the KOD. Bianca went for the cover but Yim broke it up at two. Yim connected with Protect Ya Neck on Belair but Bianca rolled out of the ring before Mia could attempt a cover. Shirai hit Candice with Double Knees and made her way up to the top rope.
Yim hopped on the apron and shoved Io off the turnbuckle and Shirai went flying into Belair outside the ring. Yim lifted LeRae up in the Electric Chair but Candice countered into a Reverse Hurricanrana. Candice quickly followed it up with a Moonsault on Yim for the pinfall victory. Candice LeRae is the #1 contender for the NXT Women’s Championship.
After the match, NXT Women’s Champion Shayna Baszler, Jessamyn Duke, and Marina Shafir surrounded LeRae on the entrance ramp. Shayna raised the title in Candice’s face and the two started trash-talking with each other to conclude the segment. It was later announced that the match will take place on October 2nd live on the USA Network.
NXT made its debut on the USA Network with a hell of a match. If you haven’t watched NXT before tonight, one of the first things you will notice is that the commentary team actually calls the action in the ring instead of bickering with each other. Nigel McGuinness got in a subtle shot at AEW at the beginning of the broadcast by referring to NXT as “the true alternative”. Baszler has essentially run through the entire NXT women’s division, so LeRae has a tall task in front of her if she wants to capture the title.