5 Ups & 1 Down From Last Night's WWE NXT (Apr 25)

Black hearts reign once more.

Tommaso Ciampa Truck

NXT is an open playing field at the moment.

While top champion Aleister Black was billed to face Johnny Gargano last night, things didn't quite go to plan. He's now left without a top contender, and with obvious candidates like Adam Cole tied up in their own business, spoiler-averse viewers have been left playing a guessing game.

Speaking of Cole, him and the Undisputed Era have established complete midcard dominance. Roderick Strong will face Pete Dunne next week, but who knows where they'll head after? It's a similar situation in the women's division, where Shayna Baszler will soon meet Dakota Kai, though there's no indication as to whether or not this will end on a throwaway weekly episode or if they're building to a TakeOver showdown.

In short, it's an incredibly exciting time to be following WWE's developmental brand. The shows aren't perfect, but their hit ratio is as high as it has ever been, and last night's slotted perfectly along the line of best fit. Black, Cole, Baszler, Ciampa: each delivered a big time performance, but only the 'Blackheart' has an obvious opponent for the next TakeOver, and that match scored a perfect ***** rating last time around...

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