NXT – AUG 8
Kelani Jordan (with Dana Brooke) v Blair Davenport
Earlier in the week, Kelani took Dana's advice to call someone out as it'll help her find that killer instinct they have been discussing. Kelani takes to Social Media to call out Blair Davenport.
"I know a lot of you guys know that Dana told me to call out and find my killer instinct and I've been thinking about her advice over and over again. So why not take it? I'm calling out the most feared woman in NXT - Blair Davenport. Yeah, you may underestimate me but if you judge me now, you're judging me prematurely because I haven't even exposed all the tricks up my sleeve yet."
Early on, Kelani is able to reverse Blair's moves, keeping her momentum with her quickness, and being able to show a lot of her gymnastics background. Blair slides off, Kelani pulls her in, and Blair is able to throw Kelani to a turnbuckle. Blair gains control, throwing Kelani onto the mat, keeping her in a submission. Kelani gains confidence as she's able to break up from the submission, then hits Blair with several takedowns followed by a back elbow. Blair also sets up for a suplex, but Kelani is able to avoid it, Blair lands on the turnbuckle, and Kelani comes with a shot but Blair is able to drop her on the apron. Blair also hits her with a double stomp and a knee strike for the win.
After the win, Dana is in the ring with her belt in hand, going after Blair. Davenport is able to avoid it by running and going in the ring and out right away. Dana turns around with belt in hand, almost hitting Kelani, took her a moment to realize it was her. Dana argues with Kelani about her loss.
Later in the night, Kelani is in the locker room, Dana asks, "What the hell was that tonight? I understand you were trying but I was waiting for that killer instinct and you just seem so nervous out there. I mean, Kelani, this business is going to eat you up alive, look it did me too. These people out there, they are making fun of you, joking about you, ridiculing you, look at me, it happened to me. They go on Social Media, they make negative comments, I don't want that for you." Kelani says, "Dana, I get it. I know what you're trying to say but that was only my third match and I don't even know what my killer instinct looks like yet. I'm trying to find it." Dana says, "Listen, I get it. I just want what's best for you and I can't want it more than you do so I'm going to go in that ring and I'm going to show you what your killer instinct needs to look like next week when I face Blair Davenport, sorry." Kelani replies, "It's fine."
I like how Kelani was able to do a lot during this match even when I knew Blair would win it. It was also interesting how Dana came so close to Kelani as she was attempting to hit Blair. I did like their backstage interaction later on and I'm looking forward to how it'll be between Dana and Blair next week.
Rey Mysterio, Thea Hail & Roxanne Perez Backstage
Rey is chatting with Roxanne, "I saw a whole new side to Roxanne at the Great American Bash, now that was a statement victory." Roxanne says, "Thank you, coming from you that means so much to me." Rey replies, "Now, you know what's next, right?" Roxanne agrees, "I definitely do," He excuses himself as he sees Thea Hail there too. They introduce themselves, Rey says, "I just want to say, I know what it feels like to be the ultimate underdog and I know you've been struggling recently but I truly can see the heart displayed inside that ring every single time you step in there. You truly believe you'll be a champion one day, just be patient with yourself and believe in yourself as well." She asks about his relationship with Dominik, and Rey encourages her. Duke and Andre tell her Rey Mysterio was just talking to her and she tells Andre, "unlike you, he wouldn't throw in the towel."
I loved this interaction between Rey and Roxanne and Rey with Thea especially when he has this interaction with two young women in the roster. I really liked his words of encouragement, it's nice to see him doing this.
Lyra confronts Rhea & Dom backstage
Lyra asks if she's interrupting a moment between them but Rhea allows her to continue. Lyra says, "I did exactly what you said, I beat Jacy Jayne. No, I did exactly what you wanted, you know I know what you're doing. You manipulate people, use them," as she looks towards Dom who looks back and so does Rhea. "Every chance you get, you help Dominik hold on to that title." Dom interrupts, "You don't know who you're talking about." Rhea agrees, "Dom doesn't need my help, he's already gonna go down as the greatest NXT North American Champion ever." Lyra interrupts, "If you really believe that then practice what you preach tonight or will Mami have to come to the rescue again."
Later on, during Dragon Lee v Dom, Rhea tries to not assist Dom during the match but in the end, she does. She distracts the referee and helps him win, Rey is with Dragon Lee when Rhea and Dom enter the ring. Rhea confronts Rey, and Lyra arrives to beat her down. Lyra is standing tall alongside Rey Mysterio and Dragon Lee as Dom and Rhea retreat.
I was not expecting Lyra to turn it around on Rhea this way when she called her a manipulator and user and how she assists Dom during his matches. It was good that later on Rhea would be thinking about this during Dom's match as she wanted to assist him but hesitated due to Lyra's words but still did at the end. Based on the ending, I am hoping we get Dragon Lee & Lyra Valkyria v Dom & Rhea sometime soon. I liked having Lyra come in as Rhea is facing Rey after the match.
Ivy Nile v Kiana James
There's a video from Kiana during her entrance, she says, "Gigi failed at trying to expose my wild past but trust me, I can tap into it whenever I need it. Ivy Nile, you'll be the first of many to experience a different side of Kiana James."
Kiana throws her bag at Ivy's face and calls for the bell to ring. Kiana is in control, sending Ivy to a turnbuckle, they got a back and forth, and Ivy throws Kiana outside, Kiana is quickly able to pull Ivy down as well. Ivy carries Kiana who is able to wiggle out and push Ivy to the post. Kiana focusing on Ivy's arm throws it on the floor.
Kiana has Ivy who is able to reverse Kiana into her submission hold, and Kiana reverses it too. Schism arrives to watch the match, their followers surround the ring. The followers begin to slam their hands on the mat as the match continues. Kiana keeps focusing on Ivy's arm. Ivy begins to gain momentum with strikes and head scissors. Kiana is able to hit her with a spinebuster followed by submission.
Ivy is trying to not be distracted, Ivy sets up her submission, and Ava holds her leg from the bottom rope causing Ivy to break up the submission. Ava's distraction helps Kiana get the victory. Kiana leaves the ring as the Schism has an opening for her to exit, Schism enters the ring, and Ivy is surrounded and defenseless, they're interrogating her about the Creeds when Tony and Stacks arrive with crowbars to assist. Schism leaves the ring as they arrive.
The part of having Schism and their followers surrounding the ring, hitting the mat in unison was a nice visual there. I do wonder if we'll get Ava v Ivy to continue what happened this week or perhaps Ava and Dyad v Ivy, Tony, and Stacks after they saved her.
Tiffany Stratton Interview
Backstage, Mckenzie Mitchell caught up with Tiffany Stratton and asked her what was next for her after her victory at the Great American Bash.
Even though this was a very on-character Tiffany interview, I did not like that it was to talk all about fashion and clothes. I would have liked to have her give out names in the women's division to make us think about who is really next.