Well, we are at the Tuesday debut of NXT as they have officially switched nights. I will not go into any “Wednesday Night Wars” nonsense because that was really pushed by the stans of the IWC for each show. I will say that both nights of TakeOver last week absolutely delivered and I was eager to see what the fallout was. We shall see what NXT brought for us on this Tuesday debut.
Karrion Kross & Scarlett In-Ring
Kross really does excel on the mic and he really does look good holding that NXT Championship. He came out to talk about his victory over Finn Balor and what is next for him. He did give Balor props on how good he is but he is not as good as him. I will also add that this version of Kross is totally deserving of being champion whereas his previous version was lacking the depth he has now. Kross prior to his injury was all squash and no substance but this version of Kross has been shown to be much more like a man and that makes him a bit more relatable. He is ready for any challenger that will come his way and plans on beating them all. I am excited to see what is next for Kross because I can imagine a rematch with Finn where he brings out the demon.
MSK vs Killian Dain & Drake Maverick (NXT Tag Team Championship)
I have absolutely no idea why those fans in the front were so against MSK because that is a first for me during their run in NXT so far. Those fans felt very much like trolls who were taking advantage of the fact there are not that many fans allowed. I knew this match would be fun and it totally was. I have liked Drake and Dain together because it has allowed Drake to work the ring and their chemistry is fun as well. MSK have been fire from the word “go” and they brought it here. Really good back and forth and I love that Wes does the Spiral Tap as an ode to AJ Styles. Styles always made that move look phenomenal and Wes is the same. I had no doubts that MSK would retain here and that would be the case as they retained in a fairly fun match. Alexander Wolfe of Imperium would show up after and had some words with Dain in the ring. This would be a ruse because Barthel and Aichner would come from behind and attack Dain. Seems like Dain isn’t going to be in Imperium and is suffering the consequences of turning down the invite.
Robert Stone Brand Backstage
This was a lot of fun as Robert Stone and Aliyah were walking backstage when Mercedes Martinez would confront Stone. She still wants her money and all I could think of was the moment in Family Guy when Stewie beat up Brian because he was late in paying him back his money. Jessi Kamea would come in and get in Mercedes’ face over this. She wants a match with her and Mercedes accepted. I like this from Jessi because I think she can be a player in either the tag or singles division.
Cole vs O’Reilly Fallout
Their match at TakeOver was easily a match of the year contender and I was interested to see what fallout came of it. They showed them being loaded onto some stretchers and into ambulances. They then showed them being taken into a hospital and I loved that Cole would not shut up and kept talking trash to Kyle. Kyle’s face was perfect and I loved Regal’s expression to the whole thing. He looked like a ticked off dad that was once again taking his sons to the hospital because they were fighting over something dumb and it resulted in them getting hurt. Kind of like the kids from Malcolm in the Middle and he was playing the role of either Lois or Hal.
Mercedes Martinez vs Jessi Kamea
Jessi looked good early but once Mercedes took control, it was all over for her. Jessi does look a bit better in the ring and it does help to be in there with a long-time vet in Mercedes to help her out. Mercedes would win after hitting Jessi with an Air Raid Crash and turned her attention to Stone. She was able to catch him before he could leave and got the rest of her money. Mercedes would then walk over to the commentary desk and say she wants the next shot at Raquel. I would love that match and I we shall see what happens with Raquel a bit later.
The Way Backstage
I absolutely love the Way and all four members play their parts so well. Johnny is ready to show the world how they handle business and Theory is ready to get revenge on Lumis. Candice spoke about wanting payback against Shotzi and Ember and of course Indi wants to get close to Lumis. Indi and Lumis is something I have loved from the start and I loved how Johnny and Candice continue to disapprove of her affection towards him. This was just great and the Way are the best thing going.
Isaiah “Swerve” Scott In Studio
Solid promo from Swerve here as he spoke about how he showed everybody how good he was in the gauntlet eliminator. He also is ready to put Ruff behind him after their match tonight. I am really digging the heel version of Swerve and am beginning to think this is what he should have been from the start in NXT.
Santos Escobar vs KUSHIDA (NXT Cruiserweight Championship)
Santos would come out with Legado to celebrate his victory over Devlin and would issue an open challenge. It didn’t take long for someone to answer as KUSHIDA came right out before Santos could even finish saying he was issuing an open challenge. I should have expected a great match but it still caught me by surprise by how good it was. Both men competed at TakeOver in pretty grueling matches, in Santos’s case it was a MOTY contender, and they didn’t hold back here. Really fun back and forth in the match and I was beginning to wonder if Santos would actually drop the title to KUSHIDA who was rocking the shorts again. I for sure thought that wouldn’t happen because Santos just unified the titles but KUSHIDA would get the surprise pin and become the new NXT Cruiserweight Champion. Santos sold the shock well and I loved how KUSHIDA’s reaction to the win. This was an awesome match and I have a feeling Santos will want a rematch ASAP.
Tommaso Ciampa & Timothy Thatcher Backstage
Looks like this partnership is nowhere near done and they have some goals. Ciampa spoke a bit about his loss to WALTER and what they will do next. They have their sights set on MSK and the tag titles and I am all for that. I think those two teams can have some banger matches and i am looking forward to it. I also love that Thatcher always ends these segments by giving us a smile. Little touches like that can always add to a segment.
KUSHIDA was with Regal backstage after his awesome match with Santos when Jordan Devlin would come in. Devlin wants a shot at KUSHIDA and I liked how KUSHIDA acted like he didn’t understand what he was saying. He would tell Regal that he will take him on whenever and that was that. I am not sure about Devlin getting a title shot since he lost the ladder match but I guess it gives Santos incentive to try and get a rematch with KUSHIDA.
Dakota Kai & Raquel Gonzalez In-Ring
This segment totally deserves all the crowns here. Dakota introduced Raquel and out she came to the ring. Raquel totally looks like a champion and I loved that she took the time to thank Dakota for believing in her. We would then hear some new music as it would be the debut of Franky Monet, fka Taya Valkyrie, and she would have some words for Raquel. She is ready to come after her and that she wants to take the division over. Raquel is game and said she would do something to her doggy if she interrupted her again. I loved Franky in this because she totally looked like she fit in and the theme is perfect for her.
This is when things got even more interesting when Rhea Ripley’s music would hit. She came out with her Raw Women’s Championship and it looked like we were in for something but we got something better. Rhea would clink titles with Raquel and the two embraced. Bianca Belair would then show up and it was more of the same embrace. A picture was then thrown up on the screen of the three of them from years ago in NXT and the new crop of NXT women have really taken over women’s wrestling across all of WWE. This was a fantastic moment and reminded me of back when CM Punk, Daniel Bryan and Zack Ryder all celebrated being champions in the ring on an episode of Raw. This was an awesome moment and one that will go down in NXT history for being quite the special one.
Pete Dunne Backstage
Good promo from Dunne here but not much to it other than he bragged about beating KUSHIDA and that if anybody wants to challenge him, they can come right up. He wants gold again and we shall see if he can get gold in NXT.
I am really interested in seeing how Sarray does in NXT. NXT has had a good history in booking the Japanese women that have come to the brand so it will be something to see where she fits in because the women’s roster in NXT is quite stacked.
William Regal & Roderick Strong Backstage
It would seem as though Strong has lost his smile in NXT. He was waiting in Regal’s office with his wife Marina Shafir and would hand in his papers. Regal told him he can come back to NXT whenever he chooses and I wonder where this is going. I highly doubt Roderick is done in NXT so I am curious to see where this story goes.
Leon Ruff vs Isaiah “Swerve” Scott
Fun match between these two as they continue their feud. The chemistry is there and they really do well against each other. Ruff is smaller than Swerve so it lends to him being able to use more power moves against his much smaller opponent. I love how quick Ruff is in the ring and uses that to dodge the attacks in the way he does. I was curious to see how this match would play out since Swerve is ready to move on from Ruff. Good back and forth but it would be Swerve that would be the one to pick up the win here. Swerve seems ready to put Ruff on the backburner and we shall see if that is indeed what happens.
Zoey Stark Backstage
I like Zoey in the ring but her mic work seems to be a bit behind her stellar ring work. She was talking about her victory over Toni Storm and how she wants a crack at Raquel. Mercedes Martinez would come in and she had something to say about that. She feels like Zoey isn’t ready for something like that and to get to the back of the line. Those were fighting words for Zoey and she challenged Mercedes. Mercedes would accept and seems like we got a match for next week.
It would seem as though WALTER is not done with NXT quite yet. He spoke about his win over Ciampa during this vignette that showed highlights of him in NXT and NXT UK. He also spoke about how Imperium will be expanding and that makes me wonder who they may add to their group that is about keeping the mat sacred.
Isaiah “Swerve’ Scott Backstage
Swerve was interviewed backstage about his win over Leon Ruff. He seems ready to move on but would be attacked by Ruff. Ruff isn’t ready to move on and I would imagine we are getting some sort of stipulation match between the two in the future.
The Way vs Bronson, Lumis, Shotzi & Ember
The reason this is getting all the crowns is because of Indi Hartwell. She totally stole the show here and deserves all the praise. She had her eyes set on Lumis the minute she got out there and it played such a great role in the match. The match itself was fun as all eight participants did their part but it really was Indi who excelled the most. She tagged herself in when Lumis was in the ring but Candice could not have any of that. The back and forth would continue in the match between both sides and Indi would try to take advantage and play dead for Lumis. Theory would interfere with her plan and Indi would throw him out of the ring. She would try again and Lumis would carry her out and I loved the win and thumbs up she gave to the camera. Indi completely stole the night with her performance and I am totally all-in on InDex. Theory would end up eating all the offense in the end and sold the Eclipse like the love child of the Rock and HBK’s selling. The faces would win and the Way was left wondering what happened to Indi.
Kiss My Grits!
Overall, this was a really good debut on Tuesday for NXT. All the matches delivered and there was great stuff from top to bottom. Franky Monet had a great debut interrupting Raquel and I loved the moment between Rhea, Bianca and Raquel. Indi Hartwell totally stole the show with her performance in the main event and she deserves all the praise. KUSHIDA and Santos delivered a banger of a match as well and the fallout from the O’Reilly/Cole match was hilarious to see because of Cole’s trash talk. All in all, this was a great start to NXT on Tuesday and I cannot wait to see what happens next week.