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Credit: WWE.com

With no major show to build to in the immediate future, NXT continued to build and position the men and women who will be at the forefront of the brand Wednesday night as it hit the WWE Network airwaves.

Tommaso Ciampa addressed the attack on Aleister Black that left the former NXT champion lying, Shayna Baszler returned to action, Lars Sullivan obliterated another unfortunate soul and Nikki Cross battled Bianca Belair in the main event.

Find out how each match and segment turned out with this recap of the September 12 episode.

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Oney Lorcan and Danny Burch kicked off Wednesday’s broadcast, the first appearance of Lorcan on NXT television since he suffered an injury in Chicago. Their opponents, Adrian Jaoude and Cezar Bononi, were teaming for the first time.

It showed.

Lorcan and Burch dominated early, but the size and strength of the new team earned them a brief advantage.

The hot tag to Lorcan sparked the babyfaces’ comeback, which culminated with a double-team DDT that earned the hard-hitting fan favorites their first win in months.

Result

Lorcan and Burch defeated Bononi and Jaoude

Grade

A

Analysis

There was not much to the match, but the dominant nature of the win suggests Lorcan and Burch are not going away anytime soon. Once the punching bags of the tag team division, they have gained a cult following and could wear tag team gold sooner than later.

This was a great reintroduction to the tag team.

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NXT champion Tommaso Ciampa made his way to the ring, the fans raining down on him with the same chorus of boos fans have greeted him with in arenas across the country.

He said the new entrance music that accompanied him to the ring was a message to his opponents. He continued, denying he attacked Aleister Black because if he wanted to beat up on someone, he would do it on the biggest stage imaginable.

Ciampa says the other Superstars should follow his lead if they want to be successful.

Grade

B

Analysis

In comparison to the rest of the Ciampa promos over the last six months or so, this was rather pedestrian. What it did, though, was remove suspicion from the braggadocios villain.

Unfortunately, it did not give us a taste of what is to come for Ciampa.

Who will step up to challenge him next? Is the never-ending rivalry between him and Johnny Gargano on the back burner for now?

We are left in the dark in regard to those answers.

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Credit: WWE.com

Shayna Baszler, still reeling after losing the NXT Women’s Championship to Kairi Sane at TakeOver: Brooklyn, returned to action as she battled Violet Payne.

Baszler pummeled her unknown opponent, beating her down and targeting her arm.

From there, she trapped her in the rear-naked choke hold and scored the win.

After the match, Baszler reapplied the hold again until she passed out. Baszler dumped her to end the segment.

Grade

A

Analysis

Professional disappointment does different things to different people. After losing a title she worked so hard to win, Baszler is more dangerous and vicious than ever before. That spells bad things for everyone else.

And great things for fans looking for the edgy villain they first were engaged in a year ago.

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Credit: WWE.com

Lars Sullivan returned to NXT television by obliterating Raul Mendoza two weeks ago.

Wednesday, Mendoza unwisely set foot inside the squared circle with The Freak for a sanctioned match.

Mendoza showed great fight, catching Sullivan off guard and attempting a comeback. The ferocity and strength of Sullivan proved too much, though, and he finished his smaller opponent off with the Freak Accident.

Result

Sullivan defeated Mendoza

Grade

A

Analysis

Sullivan as the unstoppable monster and only real threat not named Aleister Black or Johnny Gargano to Tommaso Ciampa’s title at this point is a great use of the big man.

Re-establishing Sullivan as a force atop the brand is a must for the creative team.

So far, so good.

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Bianca Belair entered the week undefeated in NXT TV action. Her greatest test to date, though, came Wednesday night as she battled Nikki Cross in the main event.

The unpredictable Cross proved problematic for the egotistical Belair, frustrating her early. Belair’s raw athleticism, though, proved the difference midway through the bout as she delivered a big backbreaker and scored a bear hug.

As Belair proved more and more unable to put Cross away, frustration set in, and she let it show, pounding away at her opponent. Cross tripped Belair up and pounded away at her, using the ring apron to her advantage.

Belair answered, sending her opponent into the steps and delivering her trademark hair whip.

The referee’s count continued as the fight raged, and a double count-out was declared.

As the brawl continued, Cross launched herself from the announce table, laying her opponent and several referees out with a cross body block to close out the show.

Result

Cross and Belair fought to double count-out

Grade

A

Analysis

Raise your hand if you expected that kind of action out of this main event.

Liar.

Cross and Belair ignited a rivalry Wednesday night in what was hopefully the first of several intense wars.

Not only is Cross a superb performer, she also brought an aggression out of Belair we have not seen yet. The match was solid, the angle spectacular and the desire to see them work together again undeniable.

A great way to close out the show.

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