Tuesday 27 April 2021

WWE NXT Highlights 27 April 2021


WWE NxT Live 4/27/21 April 27th 2021

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WWE NXT Results: Winners, Grades, Reaction and Highlights from April 27

Sana Ejaz Khan

    Credit: WWE.com

    The fallout from NXT TakeOver: Stand & Deliver has not stopped. That event reshaped NXT to the point that we are still experiencing the aftermath. The April 27 edition included plenty of fresh moments and matches as NXT refocuses on the future.

    Adam Cole was set to sit down with Arash Markazi to address his brutal match with Kyle O'Reilly. This was the first time we would hear from Cole since he had to be taken to a local medical facility by stretcher.

    Legado del Fantasma has lost its stranglehold over NXT's cruiserweight division. Kushida defeated Santos Escobar to become NXT cruiserweight champion, and MSK has gotten in the way of any attempted retribution. Fans would get to see these six men battle in a tag match.

    Mercedes Martinez laid her claim to the NXT Women's Championship, but she has felt ignored by Raquel Gonzalez. To get the champion's attention, she challenged her best friend Dakota Kai to a match.

    The Way may continue to hold control of NXT through the NXT North American Championship, but Johnny Gargano fears Bronson Reed. Unfortunately for him, Austin Theory challenged The Colossal to a match where Reed would get another title shot if he won.

    Robert Stone has been itching for a chance to solidify his brand. He managed to convince William Regal to let Aliyah and Jessi Kamea challenge Ember Moon and Shotzi Blackheart to a non-title match that could lead to a championship opportunity down the line.

    This show promised many important matches that could re-establish the hierarchy in NXT. Who would step up? Who would be knocked down?

Mercedes Martinez vs. Dakota Kai

1 OF 7

    Credit: WWE.com

    Mercedes Martinez tried to take a dominant first step in this match, but Dakota Kai answered with a DDT and corner running low boot.The two went back and forth in a competitive clash where The Captain of Team Kick sent her opponent to the floor with a corner kaio kick.

    Kai could not keep Martinez down, answering back with an emphatic discus forearm. She sent The Captain of Team Kick outside where Martinez and Raquel Gonzalez met face to face. A brawl broke out that led to the NXT women's champion booting her potential challenger in the face, causing a disqualification.

    The champion continued the onslaught on Martinez to make a point about her place at the top of the division. She threw her face-first into the barricade screen.



    Martinez def. Kai by DQ.






    Before the non-finish, this was an excellent physical opener where both women shined. Kai looked like the more dominant force throughout, forcing her opponent to fight from underneath. This emphasized that Martinez will be the face in this rivalry with Gonzalez going forward.

    The disqualification was completely unnecessary, but it was only emphasized by the fact that Martinez supposedly almost won clean with so little offense mounted. There should have been a few more minutes to get to that moment.

    Gonzalez vs. Martinez is interesting, though the heel champion facing a face challenger may take some getting used to as Martinez has mostly played the dominant force in her rivalries to date.

Grizzled Young Veterans Meet Tommaso Ciampa and Timothy Thatcher

2 OF 7

    Cameron Grimes went to a special store to buy the biggest and most expensive watch possible. Ted DiBiase made fun of The Technical Savage's watch, telling him he had the true million dollar watch.

    The Grizzled Young Veterans demanded MSK give them their one-on-one title match for the NXT Tag Team Championships. Tommaso Ciampa interrupted with the returning Timothy Thatcher. Ciampa and Thatcher started a brawl, standing tall over Zack Gibson and James Drake.

    Xia Li spoke in Mandarin about the dominance of Tian Shi before the mystery leader of the group covers the screen in smoke. Isaiah "Swerve" Scott told Leon Ruff he was proud of him and wanted to end him in a Falls Count Anywhere match.






    The smartest thing that NXT could do here was to let this feud build slowly. If this was Monday Night Raw or even Friday Night SmackDown, it is likely GYV would gave fought Ciampa and Thatcher on the same night. It is important to wait for the right moment on this Dusty Rhodes Classic rematch.

    MSK is preoccupied with Legado del Fantasma, but one of these two teams should be the next to compete against the champions at TakeOver. Ciampa and Thatcher have a chance to truly find their next gear as a tag team against GYV.

Toni Storm vs. Zayda Ramier

3 OF 7

    Toni Storm told Zoey Stark to watch closely as she punished a rookie in her place. The former NXT UK women's champion had this match in the bag since the opening bell. Instead of winning with the Storm Zero, she tried to inflict more punishment on the top rope.

    Stark arrived to distract Storm, allowing Ramier to knock Storm off the top rope. Ramier hit a shooting star press for a shocking upset victory.



    Ramier def. Storm by pinfall.






    This was not much of a match from Ramier, but it was an important moment in her early career. Thanks to the woman that has been at the head of the next generation of NXT talent, Ramier picked up a surprise win over one of NXT's absolute best female wrestlers.

    Storm will get her win back, potentially getting one over on Stark as well. However, the moment was enough to put Ramier in the conversation. She now has a chance to start competing as more than enhancement talent, potentially forming an alliance with Stark if Sarray is focusing on singles gold.

    NXT's women's division is already great, but the depth continues to impress no matter who leaves for greener pastures.

To Earn an NXT NA Title Match: Bronson Reed vs. Austin Theory

4 OF 7

    Credit: WWE.com

    Johnny Gargano and Candice LeRae glared at Bronson Reed on his way to the stage. Indi Hartwell was clearly sulking when she walked out with The Way. Austin Theory was far too confident early, but after a superkick outside by Gargano, Theory hit a diving crossbody outside to take an emphatic advantage.

    The Colossal fought back with his pure power, nearly taking the win with a powerful chokeslam. Theory answered back, leaving both laid out. Dexter Lumis arrived to try and get close to Indi Hartwell, who seemed uncertain of him.

    Chaos ensued where Lumis took a hard elbow from Theory after pushing Hartwell out of the way. The Colossal ended it with the Tsunami.



    Reed def. Theory by pinfall to become the new No. 1 contender to the NXT North American Championship.






    Reed vs. Theory was a fine but overbooked match. With so many stories happening in parallel, the main match was lost in the shuffle. There were far too many points late where both wrestlers were lying around waiting for other wrestlers to take action.

    Ind-Dex has developed strangely. To the story's credit through, NXT has made it interesting. Every week is an unknown. The fact that Lumis cannot talk only makes the story more fascinating. Every miscommunication is easy.

Killian Dain and Drake Maverick vs. Imperium

5 OF 7

    Credit: WWE.com

    Drake Maverick made clear that he did not trust Killian Dain going into this surprise match. He felt like The Beast of Belfast would turn against him.

    Dain started to ease Maverick's concerns. However, as with most of their matches, Maverick tagged in and got dominated by the heels. Imperium kept him away from his partner repeatedly then knocked The Beast of Belfast off the apron at the key moment.

    The smaller member of the team almost lost his hope, but Dain ran into the ring to make the save. Marcel Bartel demanded that Alexander Wolfe hit Dain with a steel chair. Wolfe held back due to their history, and the action broke down.

    Maverick had too much in this contest, diving into the arms of Fabian Aichner. Imperium finished him off with the elevated spinning uppercut. The Beast of Belfast looked over his injured friend.



    Imperium def. Drake and Maverick by pinfall.






    The layers of solid storytelling in this match elevated it. Maverick went in ready to be betrayed. Instead, Dain fought his absolute hardest to protect his friend. It was a heartwarming scene, even in a loss.

    The man that showed some hesitation was Wolfe. He and Dain have history dating back to Sanity. It seems WWE is using that history to add more depth to the man that has often felt the most out of sorts in Imperium. Could Wolfe choose an old friend over his current allies?

    While recent angles have given some story to this tag team match-up, the battle between them tonight solidified this as a story to watch. A few more matches between these teams need to happen.

Moon and Blackheart vs. Aliyah and Jessi Kamea; Adam Cole Interview

6 OF 7

    Credit: WWE.com

    Ember Moon and Shotzi Blackheart received flowers. Franky Monet said they were from Dexter Lumis, which cause the two champions to argue over who they were truly sent for.

    This would lead to Candice LeRae and Indi Hartwell attacking the NXT women's tag team champions from behind as they headed to the ring. The brutal attack left Moon and Blackheart unable to compete. Aliyah and Jessi Kamea celebrated in the ring like they had won.

    William Regal announced later in the night Moon and Blackheart would put their titles on the line against The Way in a street fight.

    Arash Markazi tried to interview Adam Cole, who was preoccupied. He was not bothered about his loss to Kyle O'Reilly. He saw himself as the face of NXT, and he laughed at the idea that O'Reilly or Karrion Kross could take his spot. The camera showed O'Reilly watching the interview, shaking his head.






    The two segments back to back here enforced the status quo of NXT. The Way continue to demand more opportunities against Moon and Blackheart, but LeRae and Hartwell cannot put it away. While this was the best The Way has looked against the champion, it was a segment not a match.

    Cole was the biggest star in NXT. He will likely remain on the black-and-gold brand for another year at least. However, it is time to stop considering him the biggest star on the show. This heel persona is the same man he was, just without back-up.

    Cole vs. O'Reilly went so long the first time it felt like two matches, but it is very likely that the two will have a legitimate rematch soon. Hopefully, that will allow O'Reilly to move on.

MSKushida vs. Legado Del Fantasma

7 OF 7

    MSK showed their appreciation to Kushida for helping them transition easily in NXT. Legado del Fantasma promised to get their revenge together before they claimed the titles that would be theirs.

    MSKushida looked like a well-oiled machine of a trio early. They pushed Legado del Fantasma out of the ring, standing tall together. However, Santos Escobar had a plan to divide and conquer. That plan was completed when Escobar powerbombed Kushida through the announce table.

    Wes Lee was left alone in the ring, taking a three-on-one beating. Only Nash Carter could make the save, returning to the corner in time to save Lee. However, the action broke down after that. Kushida took a Phantom Driver when he tried to help.

    Finally, Raul Mendoza and Joaquin Wilde hit a Russian leg sweep/running dropkick on Carter to win. Legado del Fantasma stood tall with all the gold.



    Legado del Fantasma def. MSKushida by pinfall.






    The show moved along at a steady pace throughout the night, but this was absolutely the highlight. MSK can make every match spectacular. Kushida is working at his best level right now. Together, they gave Legado del Fantasma their biggest challenge yet.

    Despite that, Escobar, Mendoza and Wilde remained dominant. It was unreal how good they made the faces look without ever losing control of this match. This was a fun war to watch unfold.

    Legado del Fantasma earned another shot at MSK. Escobar solidified his claim to a rematch with Kushida. This was everything it needed to be with a memorable image to close the night.

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