11/21 NXT TV REPORT: Nikki Cross vs. Candice LaRae, beginning of a heel turn, Keith Lee and Lars Sullivan featured in squash matches

By Justin James, PWTorch contributor


NOVEMBER 21, 2018

Announcers: Vic Joseph, Nigel McGuiness, Percy Watson

[Q1] Pre-credits package recaps all of the matches from Takeover: War Games last week. Lars Sullivan (who is getting main roster vignettes now) is advertised as in action, as well as Nikki Cross facing Candice LaRae. Keith Lee starts the night. He is facing Fidel Bravo, who we have never seen on NXT before.


Lee and Bravo manage to not take the heel or the face corners. The smaller Bravo locks up and goes into the corner. The crowd has a song about basking in glory, and Bravo shoves Lee as he sniffs the air. Lee has a big double chest slap in the corner. He does the Shaq shoulder shimmy. Crossbody takes out Bravo as he hits the ropes. Lee poses again, then a fireman’s carry into a jackhammer for the win (the Supernova).

WINNER: Keith Lee at 1:55. Fine squash to show more of Lee’s moveset. A concern I am having with NXT lately, is that it seems like every big man is wrestling a “very agile for their size” style, so it makes it hard for them to stand out when they do it. The more we see 300+ lb. wrestlers comfortable on the top rope and flying around, the harder it is to beleive that a smaller wrestler can beat them, as well as making it harder for smaller wrestlers to use their moveset to stand out.

Recap of Shayna Baszler defending the NXT Women’s Championship against Kairi Sane.

Backstage at Takeover: War Games with Shayna Baszler, quick interview to put herself over. Marina Shafir does a great job at being annoying without opening her mouth.

[Q2] Video package starting with the Takeover kick off where Kassius Ohno got all over Matt Riddle’s case, then a repeat of Riddle’s promo, Ohno’s interruption, and their five second match.

Backstage with Riddle after War Games. He says “debutt” again. He’s happy about his victory.


Quick squash for Sullivan.

WINNER: Lars Sullivan at 0:25.

Post-match, Sullivan gets a microphone. He says that he will keep destroying people until he gets an NXT Championship match. He gently puts the mic down and beats up Murray a bit more. Keith Lee makes the save, sending Sullivan out of the ring.

Lengthy package on the match betwen Aleister Black and Johnny Gargano.

[Q3] Post-match interview with Black. He won’t answer questions, but bumps into Candice LaRae. They stare at each other for a bit and move on.

Backstage, an encounter between Lee and Sullivan. Refs and producers keep them apart, and they are booked to face each other next week.

War Games recap.

LaRae comes out for her match in white, all smiles, no black lipstick. Let’s see if she fights heel or not.


Cross sits in the corner a bit, then they lockup with LaRae being forced into the corner. Cross gloats so LaRae comes out of the corner with pushes. LaRae takes Cross down, Cross whiffs a crossbody, but trips LaRae on the apron then traps her in the wing skirt. Cross rolls LaRae onto the aprons but LaRae uses the momentum to kick Cross, then hit a springboard knee to the face. Backslide gets Cross two. Belly-to-back suplex buys Cross the room to reset. LaRae shoves off a bulldog and hits a blockbuster. LaRae whiffs a springboard moonsault. The Purge from Cross but LaRae kicks out, the announcers make a big deal of it. Cross sets LaRae on the turnbuckle then climbs up too. LaRae tries a sunset flip powerbomb, Cross blocks, LaRae jumps up to hit a German suplex for two. Cross laughs at LaRae, who chops her into the corner. The ref has to pry LaRae off, she goes back to the attack. Ranallo compares LaRae’s new aggression to Gargano’s. LaRae holds Cross’ head up and stomps her head into the mat, then applies the Gargano Escape. Cross gets feet on the ropes, then trips LaRae into the ropes, twisting neckbreaker with LaRae on the top rope for the win.

WINNER: Nikki Cross at 7:05. Both LaRae and Cross (assuming she stays in NXT) both desperately needed a win tonight. With LaRae showing heel tendencies here, the presumption is that we will see a story where her frustration leads to a full heel turn for her as well.

FINAL THOUGHTS: Typical post-Takeover show with a minumum of wrestling. The only interesting thing is a confirmation that Candice LaRae is starting a heel turn of her own.

NOW CHECK OUT LAST WEEK’S REPORT: 11/14 NXT TV REPORT: Final Takeover War Games hype, Kyle O’Reilly vs. Hanson, Matt Riddle interview, plus Bianca Belair, Lacey Evans

1 Comment on 11/21 NXT TV REPORT: Nikki Cross vs. Candice LaRae, beginning of a heel turn, Keith Lee and Lars Sullivan featured in squash matches

  1. I also thought the black lipstick and dark attitude a coupl’a weeks ago were signaling a heel turn; not to mention replacing the cute poppy theme song; now not so sure. I didn’t see anything heelish in her demeanor in this match.

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