One of tonight's marquee matchups was the No. 1 Contenders match for the NXT Women's Championship, which featured Shozti Blackheart taking on Candice LeRae for a chance to take on Io Shirai at Halloween Havoc. Both stars charged at each other after the bell rang, and while LeRae got off to a good start, things shifted in Blackheart's favor with some innovative offense, though it wasn't enough for the pin. LeRae managed to ground Blackheart for a bit, but she managed to kick out of two pins in a row. After all was said and done though it was LeRae who locked in the chance to take on Shirai at Halloween Havoc.
LeRae then tried a different method, locking in a hold on Blackheart and grounding her speed and agility, and when she almost recovered she kicked her in the stomach and then locked in another hold, ratcheting the head and neck.
LeRae then broke the rules and hit Blackheart's eyes, but was able to keep it out of the referee's sight. She kept the attack on Blackheart, kicking her in the corner, but Blackheart was able to recover. Unfortunately, LeRae was ready for her and managed to throw Blackheart into the turnbuckle and then slam her on the ring apron, sending her to the ground.
Then it was all Blackheart though, who took out all her aggression on LeRae and got the upper hand for a while, though LeRae countered and almost got the pin. It wasn't enough, however, so LeRae tried to lock in another hold, but Blackheart fought out. She then almost had a pin locked in but LeRae kicked out. LeRae would hit Blackheart with the Backstabber and then try for the pin but Blackheart kicked out once more.
Blackheart went for a pin but didn't get it, so she then locked in a crazy submission that almost had the win for her but LeRae got to the ropes. Blackheart knocked out LeRae with a kick to the face but she recovered and hit Blackheart before she could launch from the top rope. Blackheart fought LeRae off and hit LeRae straight on, but before she could hit her again LeRae rolled out of the ring.
When she rolled out of the ring, Indi Hartwell was there and slipped her something, which LeRae hid by her arm. When Blackheart came to grab LeRae, LeRae hit her with what turned out to be brass knuckles, knocking her out and sending her backward.
That paved the way for LeRae to get the pin and the win and with it another shot at Shirai at Halloween Havoc.
You can find the official description for tonight's NXT below.
Damian Priest will defend the North American Title tonight against Dexter Lumis, who was originally scheduled to compete in the Ladder Match that Priest won to become champion. Plus, two more No. 1 Contenders will be determined as Shotzi Blackheart clashes with Candice LeRae and Danny Burch & Oney Lorcan face Roderick Strong & Bobby Fish.
Here's is what is on deck for tonight's episode:
NXT North American Champion Damian Priest vs Dexter Lumis (Championship Match)
Shotzi Blackheart vs Candice LeRae (NXT Women's Title Shot at Halloween Havoc)
Danny Burch and Oney Lorcan vs Roderick Strong and Bobby Fish (NXT Tag Team No. 1 Contender's Match)
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Johnny Gargano vs Austin Theory
What did you think of the match? Let us know in the comments or as always you can talk all things NXT with me on Twitter @MattAguilarCB!