We have arrived at the go-home episode of NXT for TakeOver: Vengeance Day. The build has been quite fun and this week should stay with that theme. We are set to see which teams will be in the finals of the respective Dusty Classics and Cameron Grimes is set to return as well. Plenty to look forward to so let us see what the black and gold brand had for us this week.
MSK vs Legado del Fantasma
NXT wasted no time this week in getting to the action and this was a really fun match. I was hoping we would get a fast-paced match between these two and that is exactly what we got. What I dug about this match is that it had a fast pace but that really didn’t impact the work being done. I didn’t really see any botches during it and both teams looked great here. Okay, one moment did scare me and that was when Wilde his a 450 because it looked like his knees crashed right into his opponent. Other than that, no real complaints about this match as it was such a fun opener. MSK would go on to win and secure their spot in the finals of the Dusty Classic.
Mercedes Martinez Vignette
Nice vignette here for Mercedes as she spoke about the upcoming triple threat match on Sunday. This did a good job in making her look like a threat and that she is ready to take the title from Io.
Xia Li vs Cora Jade
This was a relatively quick squash match but it was more about what was happening on the outside of the ring. Kacy Catanzaro and Kayden Carter came down to ask Xia why she has changed and Boa was there to keep them away. Xia would pick up the easy win and Kayden would go ask their master what she did to her. Xia would end up beating up both women and Boa would grabbed by the throat. Eventually he would be let go and it is clear that you do not want to make their master angry.
William Regal Backstage
Nice stuff from Regal here as he hyped up what has been happening in both Dusty Classics. His attention would change to Scarlett though as she was waiting for him in his office. She made it clear that Kross wants Escobar and Regal would grant the match for next week. Scarlett looked pleased and even Regal seemed giddy at the idea.
The Way In-Ring
This segment was just pure gold and there is no way I can do it justice. Gargano and the rest of the Way have been amazing and this was more of that. Johnny is trying to say he has a broken arm and that would bring Regal out. Regal would inform him that he is cleared and Johnny would go to show an x-ray. I loved how quick Regal was here to shoot down all the evidence provided by Johnny and KUSHIDA would eventually show up. KUSHIDA showing up was also hilarious because Theory had no idea he was there. KUSHIDA would start a fight and that would reveal Johnny wasn’t hurt. This was comedy gold and I loved every minute of it.
The Way vs Shotzi Blackheart & Ember Moon
Like the opening tag match, this was a ton of fun. We all know how capable three out of the four women are but Indi held her own in this match. This was a fun back and forth match and Indi really showed a bit more in this one. I have said Indi has a bright future and I think this match helped further that thought. She hit a nice springboard elbow and I really did think that would be the finish. I will say though that Candice hit a scary looking dive to the outside as it looked like her feet got caught up in the ropes and she really came up short. Besides that, this was a really fun match and Shotzi would end up picking up the win and she and Ember will move to the finals. Regal would come out and announce that the winners of the Women’s Dusty Classic will earn a tag title shot and that makes me giddy.
Tommaso Ciampa & Timothy Thatcher Promo
Short promo here from both men as they talked about their opponents for tonight. They did a good job in saying that Grizzled Young Veterans are a capable team but they feel like they are better. They feel like they have what it takes to make the finals and we shall see how that pans out.
Santos Escobar Backstage
Santos spoke a bit about his match next week with Karrion Kross and he doesn’t seem too worried about it. He actually seems rather confident and then Wilde and Mendoza would show up. They wanted to apologize over losing but Santos wasn’t having any of that. He said they had no reason to apologize and they could make it up to him by taking someone out. We shall see how that ends up going for them.
Finn Balor vs Pete Dunne Hype Package
Nice little hype package for this match. Both men would add their thoughts in while highlights played of both men in NXT. Both are confident they will win and I do like the continuing narrative from Dunne that he doesn’t want to be like Finn.
KUSHIDA vs Austin Theory
I wondered if this match would end clean given Gargano was at ringside and we did not get a clean finish. This was a nice match and I love how aggressive KUSHIDA has become of late with his submissions. The man is world class in the ring and he really has been showing it over the last few months. Theory has been great since joining the Way and this was a nice match. That was until Johnny got involved and caused the DQ. Johnny would fully show he is not hurt and the two would start to beat down KUSHIDA on the outside. That was until Theory was pulled under the ring and Johnny tried to save him. I love how Johnny thought he did but he actually pulled Dexter Lumis from under the ring. Lumis did great here and this allowed KUSHIDA to put the Hoverboard Lock on Theory. Gargano would try to save Theory but Lumis would help KUSHIDA and both men would put their submissions on Gargano and Theory respectively.
Toni Storm Vignette
Toni got her own vignette to talk about the triple threat match and it was nicely done. Toni did plenty of boasting over the fact she holds wins over Io from past matches and she wants to remind her of that. She is ready to dethrone Io and I like that she acknowledged Mercedes as a threat as well. Good stuff here from Toni.
Imperium Hype Package
It really does seem like Imperium may be coming to NXT in full force doesn’t it? This video package hyped up all four members and it really feels like we will be getting them in NXT. I will say though that if they come to NXT, I could see them rekindling their feud with the Undisputed Era. Either way, this did a good job in hyping up Imperium.
Karrion Kross Backstage
It would seem that Wilde and Mendoza were not able to do what Santos asked of them. They were shown laid out and Kross was the reason why. I liked how he got right into the camera and told Escobar that his time is up and he is coming for him next week. This feud may be random but I am actually digging it. It helps show a different side to Kross and that is always a good thing.
Cameron Grimes In-Ring
I thought the Way was going to have the segment of the night but this one is totally right up there. Grimes returned to NXT with a load of cash and a new style. He would talk about his time away and that he made money from GameStop stock. That is hilarious and also totally in line with who he is as a character. This was just pure money and I could not do it justice by trying to recap it. The man has been one of my favorites in NXT and this just makes him even more of one. I just wonder who will be his first feud because this is something I feel like can take Grimes to the MOON!
Johnny Gargano Interview
This promo from Johnny reminded us that while he makes for a great goof, he knows how to get serious when the time comes. He is confident he can beat KUSHIDA because he always rises to the occasion for big matches. This really made me even more excited for their match and I feel like we can be in for something special.
Io Shirai Vignette
It was Io’s turn for her vignette and this was a nice one. She acknowledged how much of a threat Toni and Mercedes are but that is not deterring her in her confidence of retaining. She did acknowledge that Toni beat her in the past but she also said that she is not the same person as she was back then. Nice stuff from Io here and I do enjoy that they let her do these in Japanese.
Timothy Thatcher & Tommaso Ciampa vs Grizzled Young Veterans
What a fun match that was the main event for NXT this week. I loved how Thatcher and Ciampa didn’t let Gibson finish his promo because they do not have time for that. This was a really fun back and forth match and both teams really took it to each other. The teamwork by GYV is something special to watch and I like how quick Thatcher and Ciampa have gelled. I was fully expecting GYV to win here but I would not have been shocked if Thatcher and Ciampa won. Both teams looked like they had the match won at various points but the match would continue. GYV would end up being victorious here and earning their spot in the finals of the Dusty Classic.
Stare Downs Before TakeOver
This was a bit different as everybody that is involved in a match on Sunday came out for a stare down. I liked how all of them were talking smack to each other until we got to Balor and Dunner. Both men did no such think and simply did a signature pose of theirs and stared one another down. I am hyped for TakeOver on Sunday and this helped in adding to my excitement.
And That Is Undisputed
Overall, a fun episode of NXT this week. No real complaints here and all the matches had something to offer. Even the squash match gave us some development in the Xia Li story. All the tag matches were great and the in-ring segments featuring the Way and Grimes were top notch. All in all, really good stuff from NXT this week. Make sure you join us on Sunday for a Dignified Discussion for TakeOver as well.