WWE NXT Results: Winners, Grades, Reaction and Highlights from May 30
Shayna Baszler's road to the NXT Women's Championship was paved with broken bones and torn ligaments, including the arm of Dakota Kai.
The Queen of Spades' ruthless assault halted the Kiwi's run in NXT, and Wednesday night, Kai sought vengeance as she challenged for the top prize in the brand's women's division.
The match capped off another episode of NXT television that progressed rivalries while simultaneously continuing to introduce fans to the new faces that figure to be the foundation of the show for months to come.
Relive every match and promo from Wednesday's show with this recap of the WWE Network broadcast.
Aleister Black Promo
NXT champion Aleister Black kicked off this week's show and admitted he was confused as to whom he would be defending his title against at TakeOver: Chicago on June 16.
That confusion was resolved moments later when Lars Sullivan made his way to the ring. The big man applauded everything Black has accomplished but also claimed he has never met a man like him.
Black shoved off a choke from Sullivan, tried for his Black Mass finisher but ate the Freak Accident as Sullivan was the last man standing, the NXT title raised overhead.
Sullivan has been on a roll of late, defeating and dispatching Killian Dain and then knocking off Ricochet and Velveteen Dream in a Handicap match. Whether that is enough to justify him being the No. 1 contender is up to your interpretation, but that is the direction the brand is heading.
Black is simply phenomenal and will likely get a great match out of the big man. The story leading into it, though, feels flat and will take some work from management to connect with audiences.
The War Raiders in Action
George Hixon and Cody Vincent showed up to wrestle The War Raiders' Hanson and Rowe.
They probably should not have.
The heels dominated with their raw athleticism, and Hanson delivered a top-rope leg drop to score the victory.
The War Raiders defeated George Hixon and Cody Vincent
The War Raiders destroying fools will never not be entertaining.
While it would be nice to see them showcased in a more competitive setting, this will do for now.
Fabian Aichner vs. EC3
EC3 sought to continue his winning ways as he squared off with former rugby player Fabian Aichner in singles competition.
The former TNA world champion controlled a majority of the match, but the arrival of Johnny Gargano, who walked to the announce table and produced a signed contract for his upcoming Street Fight with Tommaso Ciampa, nearly cost him.
Aichner flattened him with a cross-body to the floor, but it was for naught as EC3 recovered and delivered the Top One Percent for the pinfall victory.
EC3 defeated Fabian Aichner
This was some spectacular foreshadowing on the part of the NXT creative team, if that is what was intended.
EC3 taking exception to Johnny Gargano's disruption not only fits his character but also hints at a rivalry between the two of them in the wake of the TakeOver event.
Aichner was impressive, as he usually is in these short matches, to the point that one hopes he one day gets a chance to shine in an extended television match.
Ricochet vs. Chris Dijak
The energetic and high-flying Ricochet looked to earn a big victory over Chris Dijak, who was making his first NXT TV appearance.
Ricochet attempted a suicide dive early in the match, but his larger opponent grabbed him on the floor and delivered a chokeslam on the ring apron.
Dijak tried for what would have been an impressive moonsault, but Ricochet rolled out of the way, delivered a combo of strikes that ended with a deadlift suplex and finished with his 630 splash for the victory.
After the match, Ricochet cut a promo on Velveteen Dream, referring to him as a punk. Dream took exception, interrupting the post-match promo and setting up a match between the two in Chicago.
Dream insisted anything Ricochet can do, he can do better, to which the beloved babyface soared through the air, landing on his feet in front of Dream. "Then show me," he insisted, leaving Dream's jaw dropped.
Ricochet defeated Chris Dijak
Not only was Ricochet vs. Dijak a really fun sprint of a squash match, the post-match involving the aerial assailant and Velveteen Dream was phenomenal.
Everything Dream touches seems to turn to gold, and Ricochet is among the most talented wrestlers in the world. There are a wealth of Superstars on the NXT roster who will compete in Chicago, and every one of them will shake in their boots at the idea of following Ricochet and Dream.
Their match will be that good, and strong build such as this will only enhance it.
NXT Women's Championship Match: Dakota Kai vs. Shayna Baszler
Dakota Kai was faced with the unenviable task of knocking off Shayna Baszler, the woman who injured her months earlier, if she was to leave Wednesday's show with the NXT Women's Championship.
Baszler wasted little time targeting the legs of her opponent, working them over and leaving the already-timid Kai reeling in pain. She stomped the ankle and applied an ankle lock, but the gutsy Kai refused to quit.
She fought back, unloading on Baszler with strikes and a series of kicks. She set up her finisher, but Baszler simply countered and locked her in the rear-naked choke to force the tapout and retain her title.
After the match, Baszler reapplied the choke hold, but Nikki Cross made the save. She stole the title and egged Baszler into entering the ring, where she pinned her while Kai counted the fall. Cross celebrated as if she had won the title while Baszler insisted it was not a real, legitimate defeat.
Shayna Baszler defeated Dakota Kai
Baszler overwhelmed a scared Kai, as she should have, but the meat of the segment was Cross' interjection into the women's title picture.
Where she came from, why she wants the title and what beef she has with Baszler remains to be seen. Though she is awesome and totally should be in the title hunt, this stinks of lazy writing.
Whether it gets better from here is the most significant question as NXT nears its Chicago show.