Oh, home sweet NXT! I originally gave up this blog because of Queen’s scheduling limitations but I just couldn’t do it anymore. I hated to give it up to begin with and asked to get it back. Thankfully, she obliged and here I am once again writing my beautiful blog once more. Thank you, Queen, for letting me have it back. I am most grateful.
Okay, on with the show. Please note: I am writing this as it’s happening as I feel this will give the blog a bit more urgency.
In-ring segment – The OC (AJ Styles, Luke Gallows, & Karl Anderson), Tommaso Ciampa, Keith Lee, & Matt Riddle
Ooh, it is on! What a great segment. AJ as a heel is so much more fun than him as a face. He delivered on the mic for sure. Ciampa was epochal as always. Keith & Matt came out and we had ourselves a problem. What really impresses me is that AJ has absolutely zero reason to do this and he’s doing this anyway to make it exciting. The main event is on and I’m excited!
Pete Dunne vs. Damian Priest
As an aside, Damian has the scariest baritone voice I’ve heard in a long time. He uses it to cut a most unsettling promo and he should do them constantly. Okay, the match…
What’s grosser than gross? Pete Dunne’s joint manipulation – that’s what. He uses it to tell a great story but dag! Damian sells it better than just about anyone so it really works. He really sells just about everything incredibly well and really gets that aspect of the ring work. Dunne jamming Priest’s hand into the turnbuckle bolt was just..AAAAH! This is just complete viciousness. They gave each other no quarter and it was great. The ending was just…AAAAHHHH! Pete Dunne did something you shouldn’t do a guy and then more joint stuff while Priest was in the cross arm breaker. Priest went low in the last match and Dunne did it here. Again, enough can’t be said of Priest’s selling. If it weren’t as good as it is, the match wouldn’t have looked as good as it did.
Loved watching Priest and Killian Dane fight over Dunne. Of course, Killian Dane is fresh and he wasn’t going to lose. The NXT audience chanting “shave your back” was cruel but fun.
Taynara vs. Santana Garrett
The newest ref recruit, Stephon Smith, is in the ring! I am thrilled for him. I’ve been watching him since he was a wrestler at NWA Fusion years ago. He’s worked in the UK as well and was trained as a wrestler by Steve Corino. He even spent time in OVW and looked really good there. He’s one heck of a wrestler who can really go but he didn’t make the next move until he transitioned into a ref. I’m happy that he’s made it to the WWE and that he made it into the ring so fast.
As for the match, this was pretty good! Taynara is just plain vicious. She didn’t used to be…but she definitely is now. Santana was somewhat here for this too and the match was fine. I was waiting for Santana to really start looking good in there and I’ll have to keep waiting. She was a bit of a mess in there and entirely slow. Maybe someday. Oh well. I really like Taynara’s finisher. The sudden-ness and viciousness of it is everything you want in a great finisher.
Dakota Kai vs. Shayna Baszler
Wow! Shayna went in on Dakota’s ankle/knee…the same one with the brace on it. I cringe everlastingly! Dakota started going after Shayna and she was equally scary. Don’t see a Gut Wrench Superplex often but they gave us one here. Love how they went toe-to-toe with strikes. Dakota used to be intimidated by Shayna but she isn’t anymore. Great story. Of course, Shayna doesn’t lose matches…ever…so she took it.
The rest of the women from the War Games match came out and it was chaos. Mia Yim went absolutely buck wild with a kendo stick – hitting everything in sight.
Backstage segment – Tommaso Ciampa, Keith Lee, & Matt Riddle
Nice and quick. It did its job and Ciampa and the boys are focused.
Tony Nese vs. Angel Garza
I hate that Nese has gone back to the counting abs thing again. It made him so relentlessly boring and he’s gone right back to that. Still, when it comes to ring work, Nese is all there. Garza, on the other hand, has “it”. His breakaway pants gimmick is a riot. He also adds great ring work and speed. This was a really fun match. Garza took it with his Wing Clipper and so ended the match. Great stuff.
The exchange between Lio Rush & Angel was fun too.
Backstage segment – Rhea Ripley, Candice LeRae, Tegan Nox, Mia Yim, and Dakota Kai
Man, poor Dakota. I knew Mia would be chosen as the final member of Rhea’s team so that meant Dakota had to be kicked to the curb. I’m wondering if Shayna won’t pick Dakota for her team though. She did put up one heck of a fight.
Isaiah “Swerve” Scott vs. Dominik Dijacovic
Swerve has been used to death lately…and I love it. He has silos full of “it” and he can work like a maniac. The former Shane Strickland has been showing out ever since he showed up in WWE. The interaction between the two of them when Dijacovic was setting up the chokeslam that didn’t happen was a riot. Dijacovic took this with Feast your Eyes but they both came out of this looking pretty good, really. Great match all around
The OC (AJ Styles, Luke Gallows, & Karl Anderson) vs. Matt Riddle, Keith Lee, & Tommaso Ciampa
That DDT tho! Ciampa NAILED Styles with a DDT that looked absolutely vile. Dag! Riddle had a bit of a botch with his dive towards the end of his match and he couldn’t take off quite like he wanted to. This match was just incredible amounts of fun from beginning to end. Keith was, of course, his usual amazing self in there, doing things no one his size should be doing. All of the OC came to play too and they made this even more fun. Bálor came down to the ring and attacked Matt Riddle. Then, when it looked like AJ was about to take it via a Styles Clash, Cole came and attacked AJ and then attacked Ciampa. The twists and turns here are quite interesting. No clue what this means yet but I’m sure we’ll find out.
I am so happy to have my NXT blog back! When does this show ever disappoint? I deeply love it and now, all is right with the world. Beginning next week, our Queen will be taking back her Friday Night Smackdown blog. See you next week for another look into “The Here and Now”!