NXT really has been killing it and delivering with quality matches and storylines. This week will have plenty of that with Kross taking on Theory. We also have two title matches to look forward to with the NXT Women’s and Cruiserweight Championships on the line. We also have to wonder if we will see another chapter in the feud between Cameron Grimes and Ted DiBiase because that is my current favorite feud in all of NXT. All that out of the way, let us see what NXT had for us this week.
Karrion Kross vs Austin Theory
I think the part I liked most about this match is that it was not a total squash. The result was never in doubt but Theory did get some nice offense in and looked like he can hang a bit in there. Gargano’s reactions to the beating were perfect as he saw the damage that Kross is able to inflict firsthand. There was good back and forth and like I said, this was best served in not being a total squash match. I did love Theory’s selling of the beating towards the end of the match and how he was overwhelmed by the offense. Kross would win and a familiar sight would happen. Finn Balor would appear behind Kross like Kross did to him to get his title match and that is what happened here. Finn doesn’t want to wait in line and wants his rematch. Kross is all for that and it would be revealed later in the night that it will happen in two weeks. I am a bit surprised they are not saving that for TakeOver which makes me think something will happen during that match or right after.
William Regal & Leon Ruff Backstage
Leon wants a match but Regal is not willing to give it to him because of the beating he took last week in his match with Swerve. I liked the fire from Ruff here because he feels like he needs to prove himself but Regal is trying to protect him from himself. We shall see how this plays out in a bit.
Breezango vs MSK
This match was a ton of fun and it looked like Tyler Breeze really liked working the ring with MSK. You can imagine that MSK has taken the locker room by storm with their performances so far and maybe the tag teams all want to be able to share the ring with them. There was plenty of back and forth and I loved the double connection with the superkicks and the looks Wes and Breeze shared. I have a feeling those two would tear the house down if given the chance. Again, the action was fun and the back and forth was solid as well. I loved the part where they got the referee involved and his reaction to totally nailing the sequence. We all know most referees are former wrestlers and you can imagine he enjoyed being able to show something in that moment. I did not doubt that MSK would win here but I did wonder if we would see a possible heel turn from Breezango based on their body language after the match. I am glad that didn’t happen and MSK says they welcome any challengers for their titles and name dropped Legado.
Johnny Gargano & William Regal Backstage
Johnny went right to Regal’s office because he was not happy with things that have been going on. He still does not want to defend his title against Bronson Reed and did not like seeing Theory take on Kross. I loved that he teased going after Regal’s signature brass knuckles but thought better of it because even he knows that is a line, he should not cross. He would instead grab Regal’s pencil and snapped it in half before leaving. I love this heel Johnny and it has led to some of his best work in NXT to date.
Pete Dunne vs Leon Ruff
Dunne came out with Oney Lorcan and he would talk about how Kross took the easy way out by giving Finn a rematch. He knows he is the best in NXT and feels like Kross is ducking him. He didn’t linger on that for too long though because he would issue an open challenge to anyone in the back. He was beginning to think nobody would answer when he would be jumped by Leon Ruff from behind and he had his challenger.
Ruff finally got some new gear and I must say it looked nicer than his previous gear. I would imagine the gear he had before was his gear prior to NXT and now he was able to finally get his shiny new gear. Ruff tried in the match but it was evident he was in over his head against Dunne. Dunne won relatively easy and would snap the fingers of Ruff after the match for his troubles.
Legado del Fantasma Backstage
Relatively short promo by Legado here as it was all about Escobar’s match with KUSHIDA. Wilde and Mendoza did a good job in hyping him up and how he will defeat KUSHIDA to reclaim the title. Santos is confident he will win and we shall see what happens in the main event.
Franky Monet Vignette
I loved this because it totally is in line with what we have seen of Franky in NXT to date. Nice vignette and it was all about how she will make her real debut in two weeks. Fun stuff and I just wonder what this “world premiere” will entail.
Mercedes Martinez vs Raquel Gonzalez (NXT Women’s Championship)
This is a match that many were giddy for because it could a hard hitting one and that is exactly what we got. This was the best showing from Mercedes I have seen so far in NXT and Raquel was quite the dance partner for her. The strikes were solid and both women looked good in there. I will continue to say that Raquel has been built perfectly as a dominant force and that is what we got here. Now that is not to say that Mercedes looked weak here because that was not the case. Mercedes looked great here though I had no doubt that Raquel would retain because it is far too soon in her reign to drop the title. The action was really great and I liked that Raquel handled things and Dakota Kai did not get involved. Raquel would win with her powerbomb that I learned is called the “Chingona Bomb” via the graphic prior to the match and that is an awesome name for that finisher if you speak Spanish. Great stuff here and this totally would have fit as the main event but I will get to why this was fine in the position it was in when I get to the main event.
Johnny Gargano & Austin Theory Backstage
NXT would return from commercial and we see some chaos backstage. Cameras would go to the scene and Theory and Gargano were seen leaving a room and there were referees and officials around them. They would go into the room and see Bronson Reed on the floor and it was clear the two attacked him so he would not make it to his match with Gargano next week. We shall see what comes of this later.
Isaiah “Swerve” Scott & Crew In-Ring
This group that Swerve has reminds me of the hip-hop label groups we saw in the 90s and 2000s with the way they were presented. I do mean that in a good way because the notable label groups like Bad Boy, Ruff Ryders, Death Row, No Limit, Cash Money and so on did good in showcasing their talent and this feels like it here as well. Swerve was out on the stage and said they were going to be a problem and out they came. The group is called “Hit Row” and I like it. Swerve would sit in a chair in the ring and talk about how he tried to be something he wasn’t and now is going to be who he really is. I am all for this version of Swerve because it feels natural. Top Dolla would be the next to speak and said some things about how he beat down Ruff last week. Ashante “Thee” Adonis would be next would say more of the same and then B-Fab would chime in as well. I am liking what I am seeing so far and I think this could be a fun group in NXT.
Cameron Grimes At Auction
Cameron Grimes would attend an auction for a luxurious home and he was cocky that he would win it. He placed an opening bid of $2 million dollars but that would not be enough as the auction continued. Someone would end up bidding $20 million and Grimes questioned who would bid that much for a house. It would be revealed that it was Ted DiBiase and he screwed Grimes out of something once again. He would talk about how he has stayed rich after all of these years and how everybody has a price. He would do his signature cackle and Grimes was left seething and cursing DiBiase once again. Again, I have no idea what the payoff for this feud will be but it is by far my favorite in NXT right now.
Zoey Stark & Toni Storm Video Package
Nice little video package here for Stark and Storm. This did a nice job recapping their feud in NXT and each provided their thoughts on the other during it. Zoey would talk about how she will beat Storm in their next match and that will be happening next week. I am sure that will be a good one because both ladies are talented in the ring.
Oney Lorcan vs Kyle O’Reilly
I wondered how long this match would go when I saw how much time was left in the episode. This match would thankfully get a nice amount of time and I liked that Dunne was out there to be in Oney’s corner. Kyle has looked great so far in his post-UE run and this was a nice match. The strikes were stiff and that is to be expected in a Lorcan match because he does not hold back. The action was good and Kyle would end up winning here after some nice back and forth. Dunne would then attack Kyle after the match and Oney would join in on it. It looked like the two were going to really beat down Kyle when someone would come to save Kyle. It would be a returning Bobby Fish and the two would clear the ring. They would share a look and Fish would tell Kyle that he has some things he needs to settle and the two agreed before Fish would leave. I was pleasantly surprised to see Fish because it was beginning to feel like he may have quietly retired but it would seem that isn’t the case. My guess would be that we will see a match between Fish and Cole and maybe that leads to another match between Cole and O’Reilly.
Also, I have to comment on how people do not like Kyle’s new look he has been sporting. This is him in his true form so I see no issue with it. People want him to be something he is not and I always hate it when the IWC does that. I am all for “Kool Kyle” even though I am not much of a fan of hipsters but that is who he is and how he dresses so it is fine by me.
The Way Vignette
Nice and short comic book styled vignette for the Way here as it was all about Indi Hartwell and Candice LeRae’s title win. The Way are still my favorite thing in NXT and this totally fit them.
Bronson Reed Backstage
Bronson cut a promo backstage and he had some things to say about his match with Johnny Gargano for next week. He would say that he spoke to Regal and that the match will now be a cage match. I am sure that Johnny snapping Regal’s pencil had something to do with it and that match should be a good one. I am also going with the prediction that we will see Bronson do the Tsunami from the top of the cage and that should be a sight if it happens.
Santos Escobar vs KUSHIDA (2/3 Falls NXT Cruiserweight Championship Match)
I mentioned earlier I would explain why the NXT Women’s Championship match was fine where it was and that was because this match totally showed why it deserved the main event slot. I worried about the time that was left when the first pin had not happened but they would calm my worries quickly. The rest of Legado would be thrown out when MSK came to the aid of KUSHIDA and the referee would toss everybody to the back. The action was fast when it needed to be and slowed down when needed as well. This made for quite the back-and-forth affair and really one of the best main events NXT has put on tv in 2021. Santos would take the first fall and I loved that they put a pause on going to commercial when it looked like KUSHIDA may make Santos tap and that is what happened. Both came quick and the action would continue and it really was great. I had the inkling they had something special plan and that is what we got here. Santos was able to survive the Hoverboard Lock but KUSHIDA would hit him with a creative suplex in the corner and then would plant him with it in the middle of the ring for the win. KUSHIDA retains and this was an awesome main event.
KISS MY GRITS!!!
Overall, this was a great episode of NXT and delivered two great title matches. Mercedes and Raquel totally delivered in the NXT Women’s Championship match and KUSHIDA and Santos killed it in the main event. It was great to see Bobby Fish return and it will be interesting to see what he does next. The feud between Grimes and DiBiase continues to be hilarious and so are the interactions between Regal and Gargano. The Theory and Kross match did its job and i am looking forward to the rematch between Kross and Balor. Breezango and MSK had a fun tag match and I am digging Hurt Row so far. All in all, another great episode of NXT this week.