We are at another episode of NXT and they really are in a nice groove. This week should be a good one as Xia Li plans to purge Kacy Catanzaro, Johnny Gargano looks to get revenge on Dexter Lumis for kidnapping Austin Theory and Karrion Kross will finally get his hands on Santos Escobar. We also have Adam Cole explaining his actions and that should be something to watch. Let us jump right in and see what NXT had for us this week.
Karrion Kross & Scarlett Video Package
I usually do not comment on the opening packages for NXT because they usually are recaps of the previous week. This time was different as Kross and Scarlett chimed in with recapping the feud he has had with Santos Escobar. This was very well done and these two really do excel in the promo game. The feud between Santos and Kross is all because Santos insulted Kross during a promo and I have actually enjoyed it. It has allowed Kross to exhibit a bit more of himself and that is always a good thing when trying to show people different dimensions. Good video package here as Kross is ready for Escobar.
Johnny Gargano vs Dexter Lumis
This match was a ton of fun and I am always impressed when I see Lumis work the ring. We are in a nice era right now of bigger men that can do very athletic things and Lumis falls within that category. This was a really fun match and it became apparent during it that Austin Theory and Indi Hartwell were not their usual selves. There was plenty of fun back and forth in this one and both men have some great chemistry. Towards the end of the match, Gargano would tell Theory to grab a chair to help him and I noticed when Theory was about to throw it into the ring that he was a bit hesitant. It would become even more apparent when Gargano would tell him to hit Lumis but he could not bring himself to do it. Lumis would end up getting the win here and it would appear that Lumis has infiltrated the Way.
William Regal Parking Lot
Regal does not look pleased that Santos Escobar is not at the CWC yet for his match against Karrion Kross. This was short and sweet and I like how annoyed Regal is.
MSK Video Package
Really nice video package here for MSK as we learned a bit more about them. They spoke about how they met and how they came together as a team. I always enjoy these types of segments because we will see things from their childhood and from their family. I liked that they included reactions to them winning the Dusty Classic and MSK seemed primed and ready to win the tag titles next week. Really nice segment and it feels like MSK really has that rocket strapped to them.
MSK was set to be interviewed when NXT came back from the commercial break but that was not to be. Grizzled Young Veterans would attack them and lay them out. Referees would come in to stop them and it seems like GYV are not done with MSK quite yet. I am loving this and I think a proper MSK/GYV feud can be something like we saw when DIY had their feud with the Revival.
Tyler Rust vs Leon Ruff
Earlier in the day, Malcolm Bivens would check in on Ruff when he was being checked out by the medical staff. He would basically talk Ruff into having a match with Tyler Rust and I like how Bivens is trying to take advantage of weakened opponents so Rust can get some wins under his belt.
Both men would make their entrances but Ruff would be the one who didn’t finish his entrance. Isaiah “Swerve” Scott would attack Ruff before the match and he does not like that Ruff continues to get opportunities. Ruff was not able to compete so Bivens held Rust’s arm in victory. Bivens also cut a promo prior to the match and he really does a good job in hyping up his client.
William Regal & Zoey Stark At The PC
A video was shown of Regal talking to Stark on Tuesday and how he was impressed by her performance last week. I like how Stark was happy to hear that and was even happier when Regal offered her a match against Io Shirai. This is a big step up in competition and I like that Stark did not think twice about it. Stark has impressed me and I think she could be on that list of those to watch in the coming years.
Zoey Stark Interview
This is a rare skull that I am giving for something that NXT did. Stark was being interviewed but it ended up being cut short due to a botch in the production department. Not much to talk about this other than Stark is ready to prove herself against Io.
Cameron Grimes Backstage
Rich Cameron Grimes is just pure money and the pun is intended here. He was watching the famous clip of Ted Dibiase screwing a kid out of money when he tried to bounce a basketball and he felt like doing that to some random person. He gave him the basketball but he should have finished the clip because the person bounced it 10 times. Grimes was perplexed as to what just happened and the person walked off with the money. This is not the last we see of Grimes and he is just pure money.
Zoey Stark vs Io Shirai
This was quite the match here and Stark really impressed in defeat. There were a few spots that were not the best but that is being nitpicky. This match was one that got better the longer it went and it was quite fun. We all know how great Io is in the ring and Stark really did rise to the occasion here. Really fun back and forth in this match and I wondered if they would actually give Stark the shock upset here. It ended up not happening though as Io would end up picking up the win and she seemed to gain some respect for Stark for being able to hang with her.
Toni Storm would end up coming out after the match and continued her crusade to get a match with Io. She taunted her over kicking her in the face and how she did nothing about it. She continues to say that Io is scared of her because she cannot beat her. Io would tell her that she isn’t scared and that she will take her on whenever she wants. Toni would tell her to get Regal to make the match official and then she can get back to her. The match would be made official later in the night and we will see them in a title match in two weeks. That match should be a banger and I am totally looking forward to it.
The Way Backstage
The Way is my favorite thing going in wrestling right now with Cameron Grimes being a very close second. They just know exactly what their characters are and how to play them perfectly. They spoke about what happened earlier in the night and Johnny wanted Theory to explain himself. Theory said that Lumis is not that bad of a guy and Johnny would tell him that he is suffering from Stockholm Syndrome. Johnny and Candice would then turn to Indi to back them up but she would tell them that she thinks Lumis is kind of hot. I love the reactions from Johnny and Candice and they are sending Theory to therapy. The therapy segments should be gold and I cannot wait for them.
Cameron Grimes Tries Again
Grimes tried once again to replicate what Dibiase did and this time he found three people to choose from. He would pick a woman that was sitting in the middle of the three and she ended up being quite the tall lady. Grimes thought he could get one over on her but she would end up bouncing the ball even when Grimes tried to screw her out of it. I love how irate was and completely blamed Dibiase instead of taking the blame himself.
Kacy Catanzaro vs Xia Li
Nice little match here as this was Xia Li’s attempt to purge Kacy. Kacy is a little spitfire in the ring and both women worked well here. I continue to love Xia’s look and I like how Mei Ying does not move at all from her throne. Boa is also there and I wonder if he will step back into the ring. Xia would end up stomping on Kacy’s leg while it was propped up on the steps and Kacy would be unable to continue. Kayden would confront Xia and then go after Mei but was cut off by Boa. Xia would take the opportunity to hit Kacy with a spinning kick and Kayden would rush back before Xia could do more damage. I am digging this and I would imagine that Kayden will try to avenge Kacy at some point.
William Regal Parking Lot
Regal was back in the parking lot to see if Santos had arrived yet and he was nowhere to be seen. Regal continues to be annoyed and I dig it.
Women’s Tag Title Match Preview
This was a nice video package as both teams spoke about how they feel going into the title match next week. Nia and Shayna are oozing confidence and I love how Shayna continues to remind us of what she did to Dakota back when she was in NXT. Raquel and Dakota don’t want to hear any of that though because Raquel feels like she is the baddest female in NXT and Dakota feels like a different person. NXT really does such a great job of building multiple storylines for the women and I am excited for this match next week. I truly hope Dakota and Raquel win and it can be Dakota’s big moment to finally get one over on Shayna.
Cameron Grimes Parking Lot
Grimes would try one more time to replicate what Dibiase did and he would find another random person. He gave him the ball and would tell him to bounce it 10 times and he will give him money if he does it. The man would try but Grimes would clock him before he could even get going. Grimes would gloat about it and would throw his money in the air before leaving. Grimes is so amazing and isn’t just pure money, he is pure gold.
Grizzled Young Veterans vs Killian Dain & Drake Maverick
This was a fun tag match that was enhanced by the entrances. I love how Drake came out with a shirt with Dain’s face on it and how Dain ripped it off from him. Gibson would cut a promo prior to the match and was joined by James Drake this time. They would inform us that MSK will have their tag title match postponed due to the beating they gave them. I loved this and Gibson comes off as such a star in these prematch promos. The match itself was a plenty of fun and I continue to be impressed by GYV whenever I see them in the ring. Dain and Drake were good too here but it was pretty clear who would win. Drake and Dain put up a fight but GYV would get the win.
Drake & Dain Backstage
Short segment here but I enjoyed it. Dain was carrying Drake to the medical area when I would see Imperium walking in the background. Dain would be approached by his former SAnitY comrade Alexander Wolfe and Wolfe would tell him that he used to be a monster. Wolfe pretty much implied he should drop Drake and go back to the monster he used to be and Dain seemed a bit conflicted about it. Wolfe would leave and Dain would call on a doctor to treat Drake. This is interesting and I wonder where it can go.
Karrion Kross vs Santos Escobar
This was a really fun match and I really do not want to hear how Kross cannot have a good match. Kross was put in the role of having one dimensional squash matches before his injury and didn’t really get to show what he could do. Since then, he has had a great match with Damian Priest and this was another one. I loved how Kross went right to the SUV of Legado and wasn’t going to wait around for Santos to start the match. They really made good use of the parking lot area and I totally winced when Santos would slam the truck door on the back of Kross. They would eventually brawl into the CWC and I loved the reaction Santos had when Kross was able to turn the tables on Wilde and Mendoza before sending them through the barricade and plexiglass. The fun action continued and this really was a fun match. Santos looked like he more than fit in with the heavyweights and he should have a future outside of the cruiserweight division. Great back and forth and Kross would win here. Now we wait to see what is next for Kross and what is next for Santos.
LA Knight Promo
Another solid promo from Knight here as he did it from his car this time. He spoke about how everybody is wondering when he will make his debut and how he will do it on his terms. He pretty much has put the whole locker room on notice and that they have the golden ticket. I am really interested by him and do wonder when he will make his proper debut and who he will feud with first.
Adam Cole In-Ring
Was it totally obvious that Adam Cole was not going to be sincere here? Yes, yes it was but that did not take away from the segment. Cole came out to explain why he did what he did and it pretty much sounded like he was jealous of the title shots Kyle was getting and how he came up short each time. Cole regretted what he did and vowed to make things right with Kyle. Roderick Strong would then come out and tell Cole that he has destroyed all they have built with the Undisputed Era and he hates that he did that. I liked Strong here and thought he did well. Finn Balor would end up coming out and he wanted a piece of Cole. A brawl would ensue and Cole would end up getting another one over on Balor when Strong would help him out. Cole would hit Balor with another superkick and it seemed like he was set to make up with Strong. That was until he hit him with a low blow and Cole would rip the UE dog tags from Strong before hitting him with a superkick. Cole would stand over Strong and the Undisputed Era really is no more.
To The Moon!
I think I will go with this as the title for this part of the review and it feels right given that the UE is no more. Overall, another really good episode of NXT this week and there was only one bad spot. The interview segment with Zoey Stark was just a production nightmare and it sucks given she was being given a chance to prove herself against Io Shirai. Good thing that didn’t hamper what she did in the match because she had a great showing against Io. Kross and Santos had a fun match as well and so did Gargano and Lumis. Speaking of the Way and Lumis, I am digging what they are doing with Indi and Austin and I look forward to the therapy sessions we are bound to have with the Way. The Xia stuff continues to intrigue me and I am interested in what they may have planned for Dain, Drake and Imperium. The ending with Cole, Strong and Balor was great too. All in all, great offering from NXT this week and I am excited for what is to come in the coming weeks.