Man. Man. MAN! No, I’m not talking about The Man – though she began the night (see below) but this show was just incredible. Let’s peer into “The Here and Now” of NXT, shall we?
Becky Lynch vs. Rhea Ripley
Who thought we’d get this? Amazing stuff. We even got Rhea dominating during the commercial break in a way we haven’t seen Becky dominated before. As we can expect from a “go-home” episode, no match – no matter how great – can go undisturbed. This one was really fun but Shayna and her girls had to come and ruin it. That story has to be told so I completely get it.
Ricochet vs. Matt Riddle
This was really fun. Of course, we had to have some interference and this time, we got some Smackdown love. Cesaro & Shinsuke Nakamura showed up to wreak some havoc. Even Roderick Strong came out for some fun. Just when you thought it was over, Finn Bálor came out too. They managed to reference three stories in one segment. VERY deftly done!
Cinéma de Retribution – Killian Dane, Pete Dunne, & Damian Priest
Damian Priest has the scariest voice ever. He talks and your livers quiver. You know it. LOL! Seriously though, scary dude and this match should be a lot of fun. It was originally scheduled for this episode but it’s being saved for “TakeOver” instead. I’m not mad at it.
The Undisputed Era (Kyle O’Reilly & Bobby Fish) vs. The Revival (Scott Dawson & Dash Wilder)
That suplex!!! That match!!! Dash Wilder & Kyle O’Reilly were absolute crash test dummies there. I don’t know how they both didn’t get seriously hurt. How odd to see The Revival play the face role but that’s what they did here. Dash was in the ring for what seemed like forever and took much damage. The back and forth that followed was just incredible. I don’t know what else they could have done. The match ebbed and flowed so well. Fish took a nasty kick to the face about halfway through and he kept going like a pro. Beth referred to this as a clinic (Mauro did too, to be fair) and that’s exactly what it was.
Kay Lee Ray vs. Dakota Kai
I saw Dakota come out and I was sure she was there to essentially job. All in all, she put up a really good fight. Kay Lee is one I hadn’t seen too much of as I don’t watch “NXT UK” (there are only so many hours in a week). She, too, was really good and this was a very good match. Really enjoyed seeing Dakota be more vicious here too. This episode of “NXT” is a lot to take in thus far. This one featured a Smackdown attack with Carmella, Dana Brooke, Mandy Rose, & Sonya Deville coming out. Then, Raw came out with Kairi Sane with Natalya. We even got a Sarah Logan sighting! Then Nikki Cross came out with a trashcan lid.
The Viking Raiders (Erik & Ivar) vs. The Forgotten Sons (Steve Cutler & Wesley Blake w/ Jaxson Ryker)
NXT desperately wants me to care about the Forgotten Sons but I just don’t. They’re absolutely uneventful. Has Jaxson ever been in an actual match? If he has, I don’t remember it. Cutler did the worst back cracker I have ever seen. It was just a hot mess. The Fisherman’s suplex from him onto Erik was a mess too. Erik may have been intended to hit the apron but he completely missed and it was rather obvious that no harm came to him. Ivar is just a freakish athlete and he showed it throughout. This was a very good battle but the Viking Raiders did most of the competent work here and the grade, for all it matters, is on the strength of The Viking Raiders.
Dominik Dijakovic vs. Adam Cole (Bay Bay)
Adam Cole is quite simply a machine. No one has worked harder these last few weeks than he has. He took a tremendous amount of damage in this match…and he’ll have to do it all again on Saturday. The story told here was great. Cole did damage to Dijakovic’s knee early in the match and he paid later by having to climb the ladder with one leg. That final spot with Dijakovic crashing into the ladder below while Cole grabbed the briefcase was just scary.
The celebration of Undisputed Era was cut short by people on both sides of “Raw” and “Friday Night Smackdown”. Queen’s favorite worker, Keith Lee, & Ivar did the most amazing dive onto a waiting group of both Raw & Friday Night Smackdown workers. It culminated with Seth Rollins super kicking Adam Cole into oblivion. I didn’t catch the obligatory stare down with brawl and I had to as Sam as the show ran a little over and my recording quit.
Man, what an episode of “NXT” tonight! I’m excited for both TakeOver and Survivor Series. When does that happen. Both have the possibility of winning the weekend. See you guys here on Saturday night. Our predictions for the show will be up on Friday! See you next week for another look into the “Here and Now”.