This week was a pretty big night for NXT as the rematch between Karrion Kross and Finn Balor was set to be the main event this week. There was also a women’s tag match to look forward to featuring the team of Dakota Kai and Raquel Gonzalez facing Shotzi Blackheart and Ember Moon. Bobby Fish was also set to make his in-ring return against Pete Dunne and Cameron Grimes was going to have his face off against Ted DiBiase as well. Franky Monet was also set to make her in-ring debut as well. Plenty to look forward to so let’s see what NXT had for us this week.
Shotzi Blackheart & Ember Moon vs Dakota Kai & Raquel Gonzalez
This was quite the fun opener and it was nice to see that Dakota and Raquel came out to Raquel’s theme. Raquel is the champion so they should be coming out to her theme and not Dakota’s. These two brought it here and all four women looked good in there. Raquel really has mastered how she uses her size against smaller opponents and it showed once again here. Plenty of nice back and forth and I did wonder who would win here because the case could have been made for either team really. Ember and Shotzi would end up picking up the win here after hitting a double team move on Dakota for the win. Raquel would not take the loss sitting down though as she would attack Ember and Shotzi after the match. She would continue her attack on Shotzi after and told Dakota to hold Ember so she could watch what she did to Shotzi. Shotzi is always down to have her body thrown into things and that is what we got here. Since it is unclear who Raquel will face at In Your House, how about she takes on Shotzi because she has more than earned a shot at the Women’s Championship and the match could be stellar.
Tommaso Ciampa & Timothy Thatcher Backstage
Solid promo here from both Thatcher and Ciampa here as they spoke about their loss last week. Ciampa admits they got ahead of themselves in thinking they would be facing MSK and that Legado beat them thanks to Grizzled Young Veterans. They would then talk about GYV and how they plan to get their payback against them. Ciampa would leave and I love that Thatcher always smiles when Ciampa leaves. Something about that smile from Thatcher gets me every time. Thatcher would talk about how he cannot wait until he can put a hurting on GYV and we shall see how GYV replies to this.
Pete Dunne vs Bobby Fish
This was a solid match but I could not help but notice that Fish looked a bit old in there. Father Time is undefeated and feels like all the injuries and age has caught up to him. It didn’t make the match bad by any means but it was a bit noticeable. I have to wonder how much left he has in the ring because I don’t know if he is going to be able to keep up with all the younger talent in NXT. He could always prove me wrong but we shall see. The match itself was solid and Fish did look good even though he did not look as good as he has in the past. Dunne was his usual great self and would end up getting the win here. I thought Fish would win via DQ from Oney Lorcan but that did not happen. Oney would beat down Fish after the match and would focus on his previously injured arm as well. I wonder if this will be the start of Fish’s final run in NXT because it has that feeling of the beginning of a swan song to me.
Mercedes Martinez Promo
Mercedes took a page from LA Knight’s playbook in this promo prior to her match. Solid stuff as she spoke about how she gave Raquel a tough fight but came up short. She talked about building herself back up and then we would see Boa in the background right before commercial. Maybe Mercedes has a future date with Tian Sha.
Hit Row In-Studio
I really am enjoying the promo style from Hit Row and how unique it is to them. They all get a chance to say something and it feels natural. They all spoke about how they are keeping their eyes on the title scenes in NXT and Swerve would mention two different ones he is watching. Swerve had his eyes on the main event and on Bronson Reed’s NXT North American Championship. Top Dolla mentioned MSK and that would be a fun match and Ashante would give a mention to KUSHIDA. Hit Row has plans and I am all for seeing what plays out.
Mercedes Martinez vs Zayda Ramier
This was pretty much all about Mercedes but Zayda did look good in there. I have said that she is someone to keep an eye on and I still believe that. I think there is some untapped potential there and she is someone to watch as she develops. She gives me Bianca Belair vibes with how much of a natural she looks in the ring and i know that is high praise. The match itself was nice and Zayda did get in some offense but it wasn’t enough to overcome Mercedes. Mercedes would win and then the lights would go out. Mei Ying of Tian Sha would appear on the screens and so would their symbol after. Mercedes would find the mark on her hand as well and seems like Tian Sha has marked her for something.
Cameron Grimes & Ted DiBiase Millionaire’s Face Off In-Ring
I loved that prior to this we saw DiBiase in the back chatting it up with some of the NXT talent. I loved how he totally dismissed Robert Stone and his brand because they are not something he would be invested in. We would then get to the face off and Grimes really came off sympathetic here. He spoke about how he wasn’t always rich and that he doesn’t understand why DiBiase has been messing with him since he became rich. In turn, DiBiase would explain why he has been doing it and it was because he sees a bit of himself in Grimes. He also told him that he has been lacking focus since becoming rich and that he needs to regain that. He spoke about Grimes possibly living up to the mantle that he once had and then LA Knight would come out. Knight said he should be the one to take the mantle and Grimes was having none of that. Grimes mentioned how Knight isn’t even a millionaire and the two would trade words about why they each fit the role. Grimes would take a swing at Knight but Knight would hit him with his finisher. DiBiase would tell Grimes that he still doesn’t get it and seemingly left with Knight to form a new partnership. In the blink of an eye, Grimes became an instant babyface in this because of how DiBiase is seemingly out to get him. This really is a case of old money really disliking new money and it is very much a real thing in life.
Indi Hartwell Backstage
Indi has really become of a favorite of mine since she joined the Way and tapped into her personality. Indi was backstage searching for Dexter Lumis and she would encounter Ever-Rise doing their show. I loved how she couldn’t care less about their show because she wanted to find Lumis. They would be upset over that and Drake Maverick would be the voice of reason to tell Indi he saw Lumis in a room nearby earlier. Indi would enter the room and see a bunch of drawings that showed that she broke Lumis’ heart last week with her comments before realizing he cared for her still. She would run out of the room and this love story is going in so many twists and turns that I have no idea where it will go next.
Franky Monet vs Cora Jade
How about that entrance for Franky here? That was totally perfect and her theme matches it as well. Everything about it was in-line with her character and she feels like someone that can easily be inserted atop the top of the women’s card right now. Cora Jade tried in the ring but she would be no match for Monet as she made relatively short work of her. I loved that Monet talked trash as well and kept telling Jade that she was “La Wera Loca” and why that makes her great. I mentioned it in the DD but I will say it again here. Franky was given that nickname in AAA Lucha Libre by the late great lucha legend Perro Aguayo and he pretty much dubbed her that because she was a crazy white woman and she loved it so she kept it. Franky would win and I cannot wait to see what she does next.
Grizzled Young Veterans Promo
It would seem that GYV are done with Thatcher and Ciampa and want nothing to do with them anymore. I do not know if Thatcher and Ciampa will share those feelings and I am sure we will see them do something to provoke GYV next week or the coming weeks. They spoke about having their eye on the tag title match next week between Legado and MSK and that they want the winners. Solid stuff here and I cannot wait to see what Ciampa and Thatcher do to get their interest back because we all know it is coming.
It would seem that Barthel and Aichner pleased WALTER when they kicked out Alexander Wolfe from Imperium. He spoke to them about how their job is not done yet and they have to right some wrongs from the past. WALTER would mention how they lost the NXT Tag Team Titles and that they need to reclaim them so they can continue in their quest to keep the mat sacred. He talked more about that and I am curious if we will see a new member join Imperium.
Bronson Reed In-Ring
I am not going to lie; this was a pretty standard “babyface finally wins a title promo” by Bronson here. I am a fan of his but this was pretty by the numbers as he spoke about how long he worked for this, how much it means to him and how nobody will be taking the title from him. It wasn’t until Legado del Fantasma came out that things got interesting. Santos would talk about how he differs from Reed in the fact that he was born into being a champion whereas Bronson had to work for it. I loved how he told Joaquin Wilde that Canada did not count and continued to talk about why he needs to be NXT North American Champion. Really good stuff from Santos here and Legado prepped to attack Bronson but MSK would come out to even the odds. The faces would stand tall and I am all for seeing Bronson take on Santos because that match could be a really good one.
William Regal Announcement
I was theorizing that Johnny Gargano would be next in line for the winner of the main event and seems like that is very much in the realm of possibility. Regal would announce that a triple threat featuring Pete Dunne, Kyle O’Reilly and Johnny Gargano will take place next week with the winner moving on to In Your House in an NXT Championship match against the winner of the main event. My money is on Johnny because he just lost his title and it has been some time since he had a shot at the title as well.
Finn Balor vs Karrion Kross (NXT Championship)
I am done hearing about how Kross cannot work a match because he clearly can and proved here once again. He and Finn have some really good chemistry and this was a really good main event. I liked certain callbacks to their previous encounter in which they would counter some of the other’s big moves they would try and hit. Really solid back and forth in this match and I liked that Finn would attack the rib cage area of Kross to slow him down and to soften him up for the Coup de Grace as well. Kross would use his superior size to throw Finn around and he really did a good job with that when he would powerbomb him into the plexiglass multiple times. Really good back and forth and Finn would fight hard but it would not be enough as Kross would make him go to sleep once again. Kross reigns supreme and my guess would be this could have been the last time we see Finn in NXT because he has done it all in his two runs there.
If You Don’t Know, Now You Know!
Overall, another great episode of NXT this week with no real complaints. Kross and Balor delivered in the main event and the women delivered in the opening tag match as well. I am loving the journey of InDex and eagerly await what happens next in the love tale between Indi and Dexter. Mercedes Martinez being marked by Tian Sha was interesting and I am all for a Bronson/Santos feud and match. Franky Monet had a successful in-ring debut and it seems like Cameron Grimes may be more of a face after that face off with Ted DiBiase after the inclusion of LA Knight. The triple threat and tag title match next week should be amazing and I cannot wait to see what else NXT has in store for next week.