He Still Loves Me! (WWE NXT Review) 

We are at another episode of NXT and there is plenty to look forward to with this one. Ted DiBiase is set to appear at the CWC and that should be fun because his feud with Cameron Grimes has been the best feud in wrestling in 2021. Zoey Stark is also set to take on Toni Storm and we shall see how that plays out. There is also the Prime Target featuring Karrion Kross and Finn Balor and those are always good. We also have Bronson Reed taking on Johnny Gargano in the main event for the NXT North American Championship in a cage match so that should be good as well. Plenty to look forward to so let us see how they did. 

 

Toni Storm vs Zoey Stark 

This was a good way to start NXT this week and this was a fun match. Toni was looking to end the hype behind Zoey and Zoey was ready to show Toni that it is her time now. Fun back and forth in this one and both looked good in there. The action was even solid during the picture-in-picture commercial break and the two really have some nice chemistry. I did figure Toni would win because she is the more established talent so I was surprised to see Zoey kick out of the Storm Zero from Toni. That being said, Toni would jump right back on her and hit quite the devastating new finisher. I liked how brutal it looked and hope they come up with a nice name for it because it looked deadly. 

Toni didn’t have much time to celebrate though as Franky Monet would come out to hype up her in-ring debut that is set for next week. I have no idea who she will face but it should be good because Franky has been one of the best talents outside of WWE for quite some time.  

 

Legado del Fantasma Backstage 

Solid stuff here as Wilde and Mendoza did the rare interview without Santos. They were asked about him and said he wasn’t there and moved on to what they wanted to talk about. They won last week and feel like it is time for them to get a match with MSK for the titles. That would bring Tommaso Ciampa and Timothy Thatcher to the segment and they would make their claim to being next in line for MSK. Nice stuff between them and Ciampa would eventually accept a challenge that seemingly was issued but caught Wilde and Mendoza off guard. That should be a good one and I loved when Thatcher spoke Spanish to them because they pointed out how he was speaking nonsense. 

 

Cameron Grimes Outside 

Fun segment from earlier in the day as Grimes was arriving at the CWC. He would ask Jake Atlas to park his car but he said that his spot was reserved for Ted DiBiase. Grimes did not like that and would make a challenge to Atlas that he would accept. 

 

Candice LeRae & Indi Hartwell Spa Day 

This was a lot of fun but my heart was slightly broken because it seemed like Indi was done with Dexter Lumis as she and Candice were talking trash about him. Unbeknownst to them though, Lumis was massaging Indi and would leave because his heart was broken over hearing Indi talk bad about him. They have had quite the great love story and we will revisit Indi and Candice at the spa a bit later. 

 

Prime Target: Kross vs Balor II 

Prime Target has been one of the best things NXT has added in recent years because it does such a good job in hyping up the big matches. This was another great one as they did a good job in highlighting Kross and Balor’s first encounter and even had them provide commentary of it as they each watched it in their respective places. It was good to see Kross and Balor’s take on the match and then we would hear from Pat McAfee and he gave his thoughts on them and their rematch. He has been so great for NXT and WWE and did good there. Paul Heyman would be next and he did what he does best in talking about this one. Jimmy Smith would be the final one to speak and he gave some nice insight as well. I was already hyped for the rematch and this did its job in making me even more hyped for next week. 

 

Cameron Grimes vs Jake Atlas 

Prior to the match starting, Grimes would come out and play a video package of Ted DiBiase so he could expose the “real” version of him. It was quite the highlight reel and I liked that Grimes thought he did a good job in showing it. The match itself was nice with some good back and forth. I do like Atlas in the ring but really wish he provided more of a character than generic good guy in the locker room. It looked like Grimes was setting up for the win when a familiar theme song would play as DiBiase’s music filled the CWC and he came out to the entrance ramp. Grimes was fully distracted by his nemesis and that would be the distraction Atlas would need to get the surprise win. Grimes would run after DiBiase and DiBiase would taunt Grimes again before leaving in his limo. This feud has been the best of 2021 and there will be a faceoff next week that will surely be hilarious.  

 

Bronson Reed Vignette 

Nice video package for Bronson here as he spoke about his journey as a wrestler and his journey to NXT. He spoke about what he has done so far and how he wants the NXT North American Championship. This was well done and some nice insight into Bronson as a person. 

 

Pete Dunne Interview 

Solid interview segment by Dunne here but it wasn’t all too interesting at the same time. It played too much like a normal interview and there was no character to it like the one Adam Cole did a few weeks ago. Dunne was straight to the point in his answers and how he has faced some of the champions already. He spoke about what is next for him and he wants the NXT Championship. Solid enough interview but could have been better. 

 

Killian Dain vs Alexander Wolfe 

This was a rather short match and that was something I did not expect. I thought it would go a bit longer but it would be made clear why the match went the way it did. This was a clash of two former members of SAnitY and they had some nice bad and forth for how short the match was. Barthel would slide a chair into the ring for Wolfe to use but he was hesitant to use it at first. He would eventually grab it but it would be taken away by the referee and Dain would take advantage to win. He would celebrate with Dain and then Barthel and Aichner would enter the ring. They picked up Wolfe and did the Imperium pose but they would attack Wolfe from behind. They would hit him with the European Bomb and it would seem like Wolfe was either being punished or he was just kicked out of Imperium. It will be interesting to see where they go with this because if they did kick him out, who takes his place in Imperium?  

 

Raquel Gonzalez & Dakota Kai Backstage 

Fun stuff here as Dakota and Raquel were interviewed about what happened last week. They quickly put to rest any talk of there being any sort of rift between them and would talk about how they want the Women’s Tag Titles back. The segment would get even better as Ever-Rise would enter and they would plug their show. I loved how Dakota and Raquel had not tuned in and how offended Ever-Rise were to that. Raquel would strike one of them and they would leave. Good stuff all the way around and I like that they are slowly getting to the inevitable break up of Raquel and Dakota and not rushing it. 

 

Legado del Fantasma vs Tommaso Ciampa & Timothy Thatcher 

This match was pretty awesome and a nice clash of styles as well. Thatcher and Ciampa are more grounded and stiffer while Wilde and Mendoza are more in the high-flying style. This made for a nice contrast in styles and some great work between all the men here. Mendoza would also bleed quite a bit when his nose got busted up a bit after a strike and it made for quite the image. It does suck a bit that they cleaned it up during a commercial break but I could understand why they did it. The action was great and there was plenty of back and forth as well. Ciampa looked to have the match won for his team after hitting Willow’s Bell but Mendoza would come in right before the hand came down for three. The timing was beautiful to see. Grizzled Young Veterans would come out and attack Ciampa and that was all Legado needed to get the win here. Great match and I had the idea of maybe seeing Thatcher and Ciampa take on GYV in the Fight Pit in the first-ever tag version of that match. 

 

Bobby Fish Interview 

Solid interview from Fish here as he spoke about his return last week. He said he wasn’t there for Kyle because he has his own business to handle. He spoke about Pete Dunne and how he has unfinished business with him and Oney Lorcan for putting him on the shelf during WarGames. Short and to the point here and it would be revealed later that he will get his match with Dunne next week. 

 

Candice & Indi Spa Day Part 2 

This was hilarious and I loved how Indi almost put everything together but it still worked out in the end. Candice and Indi were about ready to wrap up their spa day when the worker at the spa would inform Candice that her credit card had been declined. She put the blame on Austin Theory first but then the worker would list the things that were bought. It ended up being the gifts that were sent to Shotzi and Ember and Indi looked to be putting it all together that Candice was behind it all. That ended up not happening though as she would say that it was Lumis and that he actually does love her. She would go running and yelled how he still loves her and Candice was not happy about that. I love that they swerved us in thinking Indi was done with Dexter but InDex lives!  

 

Johnny Gargano & Austin Theory Backstage 

Solid stuff from Johnny here and he is confident he will beat Bronson tonight in the cage match. I loved how Theory was there to reaffirm everything Johnny had to say and Johnny truly excels at playing this heel role. He even referenced what he did to Karrion Kross and maybe that is a bit of foreshadowing perhaps. Either way, good stuff from Johnny here and I cannot wait for the main event. 

 

Aliyah vs Sarray 

Decent enough match as this was more about Sarray than Aliyah. I will say though that I wonder if Aliyah had a slip with her wardrobe because the screen went black when he gave a kick to Sarray in the corner. Back to the match and it was solid enough and Sarray continues to look good in there. Aliyah looked solid as well but I do with she and Jessi Kamea would be built up in the tag division in NXT because it is kind of shallow at the moment and they could be fun in it. Sarray would end up winning here and I wonder if she will take on Jessi next or maybe move into a possible feud with someone like Toni Storm.  

 

Shotzi Blackheart & Ember Moon Promo 

Solid promo by the former tag champs here as they spoke about how they want another shot at the titles. They do not plan on waiting behind Raquel and Dakota and want their rematch with Candice and Indi. Fun stuff here and you can just tell how much fun the two have with one another because you could see Ember let out a laugh a time or two when Shotzi would say some things. Good stuff and we shall see if they get their wish. 

 

Diamond Mine Vignette 

I was intrigued by what Diamond Mine could be at first but then they stopped airing vignettes and I forgot about them. They ran one for the first time in a bit here and I need to see more other than the MMA stuff. They need to start teasing who may be in it because these vignettes are losing a bit of steam. 

 

Hit Row vs Tony Nese & Ariya Daivari 

I am liking Hit Row so far and I like that all four members come in with swagger. That is something that is always needed in a group and they have it here. Ashante and Top Dolla were representing Hit Row here and they looked good. Top Dolla actually impressed me with some of the big moves he hit and I think there is real potential with him. Ashante was good as well and I like that he had to be held back by Top Dolla. Hit Row would win in a rather one-sided affair. They would all get on the mic after and tout themselves. I did mention in the DD that I would like to see Swerve go after the North American Championship and he did tease that in his part of the promo. Good stuff from Hit Row and I am liking how they are being booked so far. 

 

William Regal Backstage 

Regal was backstage and would provide some updates as to what is coming to NXT. He would mention that Shotzi and Ember will take on Raquel and Dakota and the winner gets a title shot. He also said that Legado earned a future NXT Tag Title shot against MSK and that he hopes to bring more talent to the Cruiserweight division for KUSHIDA. Solid stuff from Regal here and some nice updates. 

 

Franky Monet Vignette 

Same vignette as last week but the difference is the updated date for her in-ring debut. I do love the vignette because it fits perfectly with her character and so does her theme song.  

 

Bronson Reed vs Johnny Gargano (NXT North American Championship Cage Match) 

This cage match was plenty of fun and Bronson looked great in there. Johnny bumped his butt off for Bronson and really helped showcase the size and power of Reed. I loved that Johnny went straight for the door and tried to escape at every chance possible because he did not want to be in the cage with Bronson. I also liked that Theory would get involved in moments to help Johnny and my favorite one was when he rammed the cage from one side and Johnny from the other with Bronson sandwiched in between. Really fun back and forth and it seemed like a bit of a botch happened when Johnny tried his slingshot spear because it seemed like Bronson was supposed to be closer to catch him to transition to the DDT but it didn’t go as smoothly as planned. Even with that, this was a fun match and Bronson would end up winning by hitting Johnny with two splashes. The first was to prevent him from crawling to the door and the other was a thunderous Tsunami to get the win. Bronson totally deserved the rub here and I loved that he did not shy away from showing his emotion when he celebrated.  

 

If You Don’t Know, Now You Know 

I changed the title for this part because Hit Low’s catchphrase is catchy and it should be because it is from Notorious B.I.G.’s song Juicy and it fits. Overall, another fun episode of NXT this week and not much to complain about. Probably the weakest stuff was Dunne’s interview because it didn’t do much and the Diamond Mine vignette. Other than that, everything else was great. The main event was plenty of fun and the tag match between Legado and Ciampa/Thatcher was a nice hard-hitting affair. The continuing feud between Grimes and DiBiase was another highlight and so was the continuing love saga of InDex. All in all, another great week of action for NXT and I cannot wait for next week.