Let Me See Your Credentials (WWE NXT Review)

We are back with another episode of NXT and the black and gold brand has really gotten into a nice groove so far in 2021. Both Dusty Classics are in full swing and have delivered some great tag team matches. NXT will also be blessed this week by Edge and we shall see what he has in store for NXT. Santos Escobar is also set to defend the NXT Cruiserweight Championship against Curt Stallion and we shall see how the match turns out. Let us dive in and see what NXT had for us this week. 

 

Raquel Gonzalez & Dakota Kai vs Kacy Catanzaro & Kayden Carter 

This match was so much fun and was a really good opener for NXT this week. It was quite the sight to see Dakota being taller than someone in a match cause usually that is not the case but she is bigger than Kacy and Kayden. Raquel also looked huge when she would be in the ring with either Kacy or Kayden but I liked that Kacy and Kayden came to play here. Both used their speed advantage to gain the upper hand at different points of the match. Again, this match was plenty of fun and the best spot of the match had to be when Kacy climbed the scaffolding in the CWC and dove onto her opponents on the outside. Raquel would end up picking up the win for her team and she and Dakota have made it into the finals. Fun opening match here and I really hope we see more of Kacy and Kayden because they showed their growth in the Women’s Dusty Classic. 

 

Toni Storm Backstage 

Nice little interview segment here from Toni as she spoke about how she is ready to take the title from Io Shirai. Toni is confident she will beat Io and Mercedes Martinez in their upcoming triple threat match at TakeOver.  

 

Leon Ruff vs Austin Theory 

Nice match here and this was plenty of fun. I have enjoyed seeing the rise of Leon Ruff in NXT and he really has earned his spot. Theory has found new life being a member of the Way and i have enjoyed his work. Nice back and forth in this match and these two have some good chemistry. Theory used his power advantage in the match and Ruff would counter that with speed. I loved how Ruff was able to get Johnny Gargano kicked from ringside when he pulled an Eddie and acted like Gargano had hit him on the outside. Ruff looked to be building the momentum after that but Theory would end up winning the match. Theory would beat down Ruff some more after and would even grab the ring bell so he could do more damage. That is when Dexter Lumis would show up and grab the bell and tried to put Theory in the Silence. Theory would escape but Lumis would get a lock of Theory’s hair as he fled. Seems like we may be heading for some Theory/Lumis stuff and I am all for that. 

 

Legado del Fantasma Vignette 

Nice vignette here for Legado as Santos Escobar narrated during it. He spoke about what they have done in NXT and how they are ready to continue their goals tonight. He is certain Mendoza and Wilde will beat Lucha House Party and that he will retain the NXT Cruiserweight Championship against Curt Stallion. Good video package here for them. 

 

Tian Sha Vignette 

This whole story has had me intrigued from the start and this vignette continued that interest. Xia Li and Boa’s master told a tale and pretty much gave some explanation as to what they are doing and who they are. This really was one of the most creative things I have seen in NXT and I dug it. I cannot wait to see what is next for this group. 

 

Legado del Fantasma vs Lucha House Party 

Even with some botchy looking moves, this was a really fun match. This was a nice display of good lucha libre and that is always a good thing. LHP was a bit of a surprise entrant into the Dusty Classic but they have been good in it. Legado have been good as well and I really am enjoying seeing Mendoza and Wilde be a team. The action was fast and fun throughout and I was personally rooting for Legado because another win here will help further cement them as a credible threat. Plenty of fun back and forth and a great mix of tag team offense with high-flying maneuvers. Legado would end up picking up the win in the end and will be taking on MSK in the semifinals. Speaking of MSK, they would come out after the match to cut a promo on Legado. They are ready to beat them next week and continue their momentum to show just how great of a team they are.  

 

Pete Dunne, Danny Burch & Oney Lorcan In-Ring 

This in-ring segment was a ton of fun and it really is because of who was involved in it. Dunne came out with Lorcan and Burch and would continue to make his claim that he should be next for Finn Balor and that he is fully capable of beating him for the NXT Championship. Finn would end up coming out and got Pete to send Lorcan and Burch away. Balor would inform Dunne that he is getting his title match at the next TakeOver and this is where things got even more interesting. Edge would come out and gave some props to both men. He said that Dunne reminded him a bit of himself when he was younger in the way he carries himself and that he has a bright future. He then would tell Finn how he is on another level and then spoke about what NXT has done for him. He loves that NXT is about wrestling and loves the passion he sees from the talent in NXT. Edge spoke about how that passion helped get him motivated to make his comeback and that he will be watching their match at TakeOver. He hasn’t made up his mind yet as to who he will challenge and just might go for the NXT Championship because that is one title he has yet to win. This was a great segment that was made even better with Edge.  

 

Johnny Gargano Interview 

Johnny really is one of my favorite heels right now because he just nails this character every time he is on the mic. He was interviewed and spoke about how Candice LeRae and Indi Hartwell will win next week and also on Theory’s win from earlier in the night. He was then informed that he will be facing KUSHIDA at TakeOver for his NXT North American Championship and I loved how irate he became over the news. He could not believe it and wanted to go talk to William Regal about it. He would take the new interviewer and camera person with him as NXT went to commercial.  

NXT would come back from commercial with Gargano outside of Regal’s office. Gargano knocked on Regal’s office but KUSHIDA would be the one to answer the door. KUSHIDA asked him if he had an appointment and this would end up leading to a brawl between them. They would be separated and this was just a fun segment overall. 

 

Jessi Kamea vs Toni Storm 

This was the scheduled match but it really wouldn’t be much of one. I do like that Kamea is now fully with the Robert Stone Brand and I hope that leads to Stone being on tv again because he is amazing in this role. Like I said, there wasn’t much to this match as it would get thrown out when Mercedes Martinez would come in and brawl with Toni. Io Shirai would end up coming out and I loved how she just watched them brawl until she felt the moment was right to interject herself. Io would hit them with a moonsault on the outside and stood tall in the ring.  

 

Curt Stallion Promo 

I liked this promo from Stallion a bit more than the previous one he did. He spoke about himself and how this is the biggest match for him so far. He is primed and ready to take the title from Santos and I am looking forward to the match. 

 

Cameron Grimes Vignette 

Cameron Grimes is coming back next week and I am so happy for that. The man has been one of my favorites in NXT and it is good to see that he is all healed up and ready to come back. 

 

Santos Escobar vs Curt Stallion 

I was expecting this to be good but man was this good. There was also an added wrinkle to this as Scarlett was on a perch watching the action and I liked that Santos did not notice her right away. This action was plenty of fun and had some great back and forth in it. I think I may have become a bigger fan of Stallion after watching this match because the man can clearly go in the ring. His character is a work in progress but he does seem to be growing. One part of the match I really liked was when Santos went to the outside to take a break but Stallion would not let him and would hit him with a nice tope suicida. Really good work from both men and Santos would end up retaining the title here. 

That is when things got more interesting as Karrion Kross would come out to the ring and make quick work of Wilde and Mendoza as they tried to attack him. He would then get into the ring and tell Santos that he is giving him the gift of time and for him to leave. I liked that Santos did not want to leave at first but thought better of it. This is interesting and I am interested in seeing where this goes. 

 

Edge & Karrion Kross Outside 

This was short and sweet but was really well done by both men. Edge was seen finishing up a conversation with Bronson Reed and was leaving the CWC when he was asked about what he will do next. He started to talk and say he doesn’t know when Karrion Kross would come up to him. Kross made it clear to Edge that he will be the one to take the title from Finn and I liked how Edge simply told him that he would not like it if he came back motivated. They had a bit of a stare down and Edge left and this was well done. 

 

The Undisputed Era vs Timothy Thatcher & Tommaso Ciampa 

Like I have said multiple times through this week’s review, this was a really fun match. All four men know how to put in work in the ring and this was a really good main event. I honestly had no idea who to root for or who would come out on top in this one. The styles meshed well and I liked that they had Ciampa have answers to certain moves and vice versa given how long Ciampa has battled the Undisputed Era in the past. Thatcher was good here too and I like how the stiffness level in matches go up when he is involved. Strong and Ciampa had dueling chops with one another and they made quite the nice sound. This was just a ton of fun and Thatcher would end up being the key for the win here as he helped Ciampa by pulling out Adam Cole as he and Strong were setting up their finisher. Strong would take out Thatcher but would eat Willow’s Bell and Ciampa would get the pinfall victory. Thatcher and Ciampa would then have a stare down with Grizzled Young Veterans by the Dusty Cup and have a bit of a brawl as NXT came to a close. Fun main even to cap a fun NXT episode. 

 

And That Is Undisputed 

Overall, this was a really fun episode of NXT with no real complaints from me. Only one match was nothing to write home about but it was more about the brawl that came with Mercedes, Toni and Io. All the rest of the matches were really good and the mic work was great as well. All in all, this was a really good episode of NXT this week and had plenty to offer from ring work, mic work, and even the video packages. The video package to speak of is the one for Tian Sha as that was quite interesting. Once again, really fun episode of NXT and I cannot wait to see what they have for us next week.