We have arrived at another week of NXT and there is plenty to look forward to here. Rhea Ripley is set to discuss her future following her failed attempt to recapture the NXT Women’s Championship last week. There is the continued build for WarGames as well as that show usually has a fun build to it. There is also the added nugget that Kevin Owens is set to be the guest commentator for NXT as well and he always entertains. Let us see what the black and gold brand had for us this week.
Candice LeRae vs Ember Moon
This was quite the nice match to start NXT this week. Ember has beef with Candice so we have this match. These are two of the best female workers in all the world so it was pretty clear that this would be a good match. It indeed was a good match and a good start to NXT. The only thing I do not like about Ember’s return to NXT is that they replaced her amazing theme song. Other than that, I have enjoyed her in NXT since I have seen her back. There was plenty of back and forth in this match and I did wonder who would win this one. During the match, Dakota Kai and Raquel Gonzalez would make their way towards the ring and that would cause a bit of a distraction for Ember. They would play a role in the finish as they provided a distraction that would allow Indi Hartwell to push Candice out of the way and eat the Eclipse that was meant for her. Candice would end up picking up the win in a solid match.
That was not the end of this opening though as the heels would come into the ring but Ember would be able to escape them. Toni Storm then came down to the ring to seemingly help Ember but that would not be the case as she would attack her and turn heel. Toni would throw her into the ring and the heels would have their way with her. The heels would leave together and I am fully interested in a heel Toni Storm.
Legado del Fantasma Promo
The swagger that all three members of Legado carry themselves with is great to see. I love how Santos is the clear leader but he still treats Wilde and Mendoza as equals. The spoke about how they are doing what they set out to do and have run through every challenger that Santos has faced so far. I feel like they will have Santos run through one or two more until the inevitable bout he will have with Jordan Devlin to determine who the true champion is. At least that I what I think will happen and if it does, that could be an amazing match.
The Undisputed Era In-Ring
Adam Cole is truly one of the top tier talents on the mic right now and he rarely makes a boneheaded mistake on the mic as well. They came out and I love how they bragged about being undefeated in the advantage matches because we know that isn’t the case in the actual WarGames match itself. The way Cole comes off on the mic is just amazing and he knows when to dial it up and when to bring it back down. Kyle O’Reilly would be the one to volunteer to take on Pete Dunne and they were all for it. The brotherhood these men share is really only matched by that of the New Day. This was great from all the men and they are ready to show Pat McAfee and his group what really happens in WarGames.
Candice LeRae Backstage
This was short and did its job. Candice was walking backstage and she would introduce her team for WarGames. Her team will be herself, Dakota Kai, Raquel Gonzalez and the newly turned heel Toni Storm. Candice, like he husband Johnny, has truly come into her own as a heel and I hope we see the same from Toni. She said they are going to see the real her now and I eagerly await to see what the heel version of Toni will be all about.
Black Friday Promo
No grade for this segment because I just wanted to mention how much of a goof Johnny Gargano is willing to be in stuff like this. I love how Candice played off of him and this was just a fun segment between the married couple.
Timothy Thatcher vs KUSHIDA
This is a match that I wanted to see and it was a fun one. I still think that if these two had a match in the Fight Pit that it would be quite the stellar affair. Thatcher’s students were shown prior to the commercial break prepping to watch this match and I wondered what we would be in for. What we were shown was a pretty good match with plenty of nice grappling to be seen. Tommaso Ciampa would end up sitting down at the end of the entrance ramp and I liked how you could see Thatcher try not to let that bother him but it obviously was. This was a good match and I loved how both men would trade submissions. In the end, Ciampa would provide a distraction and that would allow KUSHIDA to apply the Hoverboard Lock for the win. I love that Ciampa looked at the camera and said that Thatcher has a problem with him now. The potential match between these two has me smiling.
Ripley vs Shirai Recap
This was a solid recap of the main event from last week. Both ladies had things to say about it and Rhea seems to be at a possible crossroads with losing to Io. Very well done and that match really was stellar to watch.
Pete Dunne Backstage
Dunne was backstage with Lorcan and Burch and they spoke about the upcoming match Dunne was going to have with Kyle O’Reilly. Dunne said he does know of the Undisputed Era’s record in the advantage matches for WarGames but that does not bother him. He knows they have broken them before and he is confident they can do it again. I am liking Dunne as a heel again because that just suits him way better than a face.
The Kevin Owens Show
Your eyes do not deceive you; this segment is getting all the crowns. It started off great enough with Owens and I loved how he mentioned that he will always go back to NXT if they ask him to. The man clearly still loves NXT and what it did for his career. I also love the touch of him wearing his old NXT shirt as well and he is just a master of the little things. Leon Ruff was his guest and the two had some awesome banter. It is amazing how Ruff is so short into his wrestling career and here he is sharing a ring with Kevin Owens. Owens told him that since he invoked Johnny Gargano’s name that he would come out and sure enough he did. I loved that Owens brought in a chair for him and that Gargano was quick to toss it. Owens would grab another one and I loved how Johnny was puzzled by it but Owens knew what he was doing. Damian Priest would eventually come out and that was who the chair was for. I loved how politely he declined the chair and Owens’ reaction to it. William Regal would eventually come out as well since Owens was wishing there was a Teddy Long type of figure in NXT. The cherry on top was after Regal announcing that there will be a triple threat match at TakeOver WarGames for the NXT North American Championship of him saying “playa” and I was dying of laughter. You can just tell how much fun Regal has in NXT and he always has had some underrated comedic timing.
Finn Balor Promo
This was honestly probably the weakest part of NXT this week. Not that the promo was bad or anything but I really have no idea who is next for Balor. It is just a strange feeling that the North American title scene feels clear but the main belt scene does not. I am sure they have a plan but I hope we don’t just get promos by Finn with no clear direction.
Shotzi Blackheart Vignette
Shotzi continues to build and talk about WarGames. She is just money and I will continue to say she is a star in the making. I truly think Shotzi can be a future top face in NXT and I will not back down from that. NXT obviously may feel the same way with giving her the chance to host Halloween Havoc, put her front and center of these WarGames vignettes/promos and by letting her be the captain of one of the teams. Good stuff from Shotzi here and we shall see how her team comes together.
Cameron Grimes vs Jake Atlas
This match wasn’t the longest but these two were able to get plenty of offense in. Atlas is someone I feel like has plenty of potential and just needs more character work to go with his solid in-ring work. Grimes is one of my favorite heels right now because he is just so punchable. Think the actor Jason Schwartzman in any number of his roles, personally I would say his role Gideon in Scott Pilgrim, and that sums him up as a heel. He is the heel you love to hate in the best way possible. This match was short but fun and Grimes would end up picking up the win.
I had a feeling something was up as well as Dexter Lumis would end up appearing behind him in the corner after the match. He would throw it to the screens and play a video of a montage of Grimes running from him. He would end up taking out a strap from his sack and seemingly challenge Grimes to a strap match. Grimes would of course decline that because he wants no part of Lumis. I will say that Lumis is someone that can say/convey so much without saying a single word. Regal would end up stopping Grimes later in the night and would inform him that a strap match would indeed be happening and it will take place at TakeOver.
Rhea Ripley In-Ring
Rhea would come out to address what is next for her and she would pretty much say that she is not going anywhere and that she will get the Women’s Championship. That was all nice until she was interrupted by Candice LeRae and Toni Storm. Candice would mock Rhea and then signal in Dakota Kai and Raquel Gonzalez. Raquel had a beaten-up Io Shirai on her shoulder and would drop her to the floor. This would lead to a fight between the women and Rhea would do her best to fight them off but the numbers game was just too much for her. They would leave her and Io laid out and seems like these two would have a reason to join Shotzi’s team for WarGames.
Boa & Xia Li Vignette
I truly am intrigued by what is happening with Boa and Xia. The way that they film this is very much in the style of Lucha Underground and that is not a bad thing. Whoever they have angered clearly is someone they fear. They promised that they will not lose anymore and seems like we will find out who this mysterious figure is sooner rather than later. Continue to color me intrigued by this storyline.
Ever-Rise vs….. Oh Nevermind
Ever-Rise were set to take on some team when they were jumped by the Grizzled Young Veterans. Grizzled Young Veterans have made their way back to NXT and they are a sight for sore eyes. They are amazing and Zack Gibson just knows the right things to say on the mic to garner heat. They are back in NXT and they have their sights set on tag gold. I think the chances are high that they end up becoming champions at some point.
Candice LeRae Leaving
Candice and Indi, who was in a neck brace, were seen leaving the CWC and she explained how good the team is that she has assembled. She says whoever joins Shotzi’s team is stupid and they will be in for it. I love how Johnny came in as well and hyped her up while also hyping up that he plans on winning at WarGames as well. We also saw someone else in the backseat in the Ghostface mask and I would have to imagine that is a male wrestler and not a female one. We shall see who it is and I just hope it is someone interesting.
Kyle O’Reilly vs Pete Dunne
I will admit, I was kind of not feeling this match as much as I thought I would when it first started but boy did it pick up right when it needed to. This was another stellar main event from NXT and both men brought it. The members of their respective teams were on platforms near the ring but also away so they wouldn’t interfere. This was a nice hard-hitting affair that saw both men take some rather nice bumps in it. By nice I do mean ones that looked like they could hurt. They made full use of the ladders and the surrounding area for this match. Also, Pete Dunne looks rather shredded now and looks to be in tremendous shape. Both men looked like they would have the match and advantage won but the other would come in and stop that from happening. In the end, it looked like Kyle had the match won when a person in a hoodie and mask, it was obviously Pat McAfee, would push him off the ladder and that would open the door for Dunne to win the match and the WarGames advantage. Really fun main event this week to cap off a fun episode of NXT.
And That’s Undisputed
Yes, I have renamed my final thoughts from “MAMMA MIA!!” to this and I feel it is fitting considering the Undisputed Era are the faces of NXT right now. Overall, this was quite the fun episode of NXT and had some fun matches as well. The main event was the obvious true highlight of the night for the matches and Kyle continues to prove there may be a future for him as a singles competitor down the line. The opening match was solid as well and we had a nice heel turn from Toni Storm. WarGames as a card continues to shape up nicely with two more matches that were added. The Boa/XIa stuff has me intrigued and it was great to see Grizzled Young Veterans back in NXT. I loved the Kevin Owens Show segment and Owens was solid at commentary as well. The only downer really was that Finn promo because I have no clue who is next for him right now. All in all, great episode of NXT this week. I am Sovereign S.A.M. and make sure you join me next week for another review of NXT.