NXT had quite the show planned for this week with two big matches that had title implications. The NXT Tag Titles were on the line as MSK look to defend against Legado del Fantasma. There was also a triple threat between Kyle O’Reilly, Pete Dunne and Johnny Gargano with the winner getting a title match against Karrion Kross at TakeOver. Plenty to look forward to so let us see how they did this week.
Kyle O’Reilly vs Pete Dunne vs Johnny Gargano
I really don’t have much to say about this match other than it was an absolute banger of a match. All three worked their butts off and it showed in the work we saw. This was the opening match and it totally felt like something we would get at a TakeOver because it was that good of a match. The best part was that it didn’t work like normal triple threat matches where one person is taken out of the equation and it allows two of them to work against each other. This one had all three men working against each other for the majority of the match and it flowed so well. There were many near falls and this was just what you would expect from these three top tier workers. There would be a referee bump and that would open the door for one Adam Cole to return and make his presence known. He would attack all three men to the point they couldn’t continue the match. William Regal would come out with security to escort Adam Cole out of the CWC and we will find out what happens with the NXT Championship scene later in the night. This would have gotten full marks had it not been for the non-finish. Either way, amazing match to start the night this week.
Ember Moon In-Ring
Ember Moon would come out while the chaos from before the commercial break was still being settled and would call out Raquel Gonzalez to the ring. She wants revenge for the attack Raquel did to Shotzi Blackheart last week and I liked the fire from her here. Prior to teaming with Shotzi, I would not have seen this type of emotion from Ember but it comes through now. Raquel would come out and a short brawl would ensue. Regal and security would come out again to separate the two but Dakota Kai would attack Ember from behind and would lay her out. We will find out what all this results in a bit later.
Legado del Fantasma Promo
Solid promo from Legado here as they are confident that Joaquin and Raul can beat MSK tonight. I love that Santos has nothing but confidence for his cohorts and does not try to make it about him. They are a unit and he is there for them like they have been there for him. It is always refreshing to see that because too often in groups do we see the clear leader make the people below him look inferior but that is not the case with Legado.
Drake Maverick, Ever-Rise & Hit Row Outside
Earlier in the day Drake Maverick was shown arriving and would bump into Ever-Rise. They would have some words and so would Ever-Rise, Drake and an arriving Hit-Row. I like that Hit-Row knew they had the advantage so they used that to try to get everybody to back down. Killian Dain would eventually show up to even the odds a bit and would get in the face of Hit Row. I loved that Ever-Rise stayed in the background to soak it all in and I would guess that we will see Drake and Dain take on Hit Row sometime in the near future.
LA Knight vs Jake Atlas
Knight cut a promo as he was making his way out to the ring for this one and it was all about how her deserves to inherit the legacy of DiBiase and how Grimes is not worthy. Solid stuff from him and I actually like his inclusion to the story between DiBiase and Grimes. Speaking of DiBiase, he would eventually make his way out to ringside for this match to take it in. I liked that this changed Knight’s work a bit as he was trying to impress DiBiase and show him why he should back him. With that change, the match actually went longer than I thought it would. Atlas got offense in and you could see how displeased DiBiase was every time that happened. Cameron Grimes would eventually show up and have a chat with DiBiase at ringside. That would be enough to distract Knight as it would lead to Atlas pulling the surprise win. We would find out later that Knight and Grimes will meet at TakeOver and my money is on that will eventually be for the Million Dollar Belt.
NXT Medical Room
The camera would cut to the NXT medical area where all three members of the triple threat match were being treated. Oney Lorca would eventually kick the cameraperson out and say that Pete Dunne would have won had it not been for Adam Cole. Austin Theory would overhear that and say that Johnny would have won and they got into a little shoving match before being separated. My guess is a match between Lorcan and Theory will happen next week and I am prepared to see Theory’s chest turn a nice shade of red.
Ted DiBiase Interview
This interview segment ended up being rather short because of a certain person. DiBiase would speak about the performance of LA Knight and how it disappointed him but before he could say much more, Adam Cole would walk by and he was heading towards the ring. Security did another bad job as it was far too easy for Cole to get back into the building.
Adam Cole In-Ring
When Adam Cole is on like he was tonight, there are very few who can match him on the mic in all of wrestling. He came out to talk about how he was able to take care of all three men in the triple threat and how he should be the one facing Karrion Kross at TakeOver because nobody can hold a candle to him. This would eventually bring out Kross and Scarlett and he would have some words for Cole. He did give Cole props but said he did not matter once he made his debut in NXT. Cole would call him overrated and it was clear that Cole was trying to bait Kross into making him his next challenger. That would of course bring out William Regal and he would tell Kross exactly what Cole was doing. Regal has had quite the chaotic night to deal with up to this point and he was not up for any shenanigans by Cole. Kross would tell him that he not only wanted Cole, but he wants all the men from the triple threat as well. Regal would go with the idea and we would have the first ever 5-way for the NXT Championship in NXT made official for TakeOver: In Your House. Cole would throw a water bottle at Kross and Scarlett as he left and this will be the biggest challenge for Kross to date. This whole segment is really something you should check out because even my review of it does not do it justice.
Candice LeRae & Indi Hartwell Backstage
Candice and Indi were interviewed backstage about the happenings and Candice seemed focus on the interview until she noticed that Indi was not paying attention. She would grab the headphones from Indi and ask what she was listening to and would discover it was 80s power ballads. Candice would tell her to focus and they would leave for their match as Candice would leave the headphones behind.
Carmelo Hayes Vignette
Nice little vignette for Carmelo Hayes here to announce his debut against KUSHIDA tonight. He seems confident and has me intrigued.
Tian Sha Promo
Now this has me intrigued because they gave some backstory as to why Xia Li and Tian Sha have marked Mercedes Martinez. Xia would talk about how she faced Mercedes in the Mae Young Classic and how it was her first match. She mentioned that she felt disrespected and that she wants payback because of her destiny. She also mentioned how she is a different person now and will show Mercedes at TakeOver. Xia mentioning TakeOver threw me for a bit of a loop but this will be the biggest stage for Xia to show what she is capable of.
Dexter Lumis Backstage
NXT would come back and show Indi’s headphones and someone picking them up. It was clear to be Dexter Lumis and he would put the headphones on to see what Indi was listening to. He would turn around and a tear was running down his cheek and this love story continues to have me on the edge of my seat. This truly feels like it is leading to a bit moment and I am here for it.
KUSHIDA vs Carmelo Hayes (NXT Cruiserweight Championship)
I had no idea who Carmelo was other than that quick vignette from him earlier in the night but he seems to have a good look. This was quite the test too as KUSHIDA is the champion and he was answering the open challenge of one of the best smaller wrestlers over the last 10 years or so. The match was actually quite solid and Hayes impressed me in there to be able to hang with someone the caliber of KUSHIDA. Really solid back and forth and Hayes made me a believer that he is someone to keep an eye on. There is something about him that screams possible big star in NXT. KUSHIDA would eventually win to retain his title and there was a bit of a show of respect after. The only question now is who is next for KUSHIDA because I have no clue.
Solid promo here by Wes and Nash of MSK as they spoke about their title defense against Legado. They took issue with Legado being so sure they will win and are out to prove that they are not dropping the titles any time soon. I am continuing to like what I am seeing from MSK so far in NXT and their match with Legado should be a fun one.
Franky Monet Backstage
Pretty short segment here as Franky read reviews about her debut as she was in her makeup chair with her stylists. Every review she read was glowing and I love how cocky she was about it. She said that she is just getting started and I am all for Franky going straight to the top.
Zoey Stark & Zayda Ramier vs The Way
Solid match here and it seems like they are teaming Zayda and Zoey. I do not mind that as the NXT women’s tag division could use more teams and these two could be a bigger, more athletic version of Kacy/Kayden though that makes me worry those two will be pushed aside as a result. The match itself was solid though I was worried about how long it would go considering there was still the main event to go. Solid back and forth and I am digging seeing Zayda and Zoey as a team. Of course, there was no way the Way would lose here and they would get the win and Indi looks to be rid of her sadness over Dexter for the moment.
Mercedes Martinez Backstage
It was time for Mercedes to reply to what Xia Li had to say and she was game for the challenge. She spoke about how she has been marked her whole career and this was nothing new to her. She also mentioned that she too is different from their first encounter and is more than willing to show her in the match at TakeOver. I like when Mercedes just cuts the bull and is straight forward like this. This will be the biggest moment for Xia and Mercedes is actually a perfect person because she will be able to guide Xia through it all in the ring.
Diamond Mine Vignette
I really did forget about Diamond Mine because these vignettes have lost all steam to me. They are all the same but this one was at least different because it said Diamond Mine was coming soon. Still no idea what Diamond Mine really is so at least there is that.
Ember Moon Interview
Solid promo work from Ember here as she spoke about her encounter with Raquel and Dakota from earlier in the night. She wants to take it to Dakota and plans to do so next week in a match. She then plans on moving on and taking on Raquel at TakeOver so she can become a two-time champion. I am all for seeing Raquel take on Ember for the title and it could be quite the good match to boot. I was wondering last week who was next for Raquel and I liked that they didn’t waste time in answering that question.
Legado del Fantasma vs MSK (NXT Tag Team Titles)
The only problem I have with this match that is really a nitpick is that I wish they had a bit more time because this was awesome. I mentioned this would be a fast-paced match and I of course said that during a rest hold. Rest hold aside, the action was quick and when they picked it up, boy did they ever. I had also forgotten that Raul Mendoza had busted his nose and had to wear a mask to protect it. I will say that it was a sleek mask that went with his look. The match was great and the back and forth was awesome as well. Joaquin was a bit of the powerhouse in the match and that is a change of pace considering the size of both teams. Wes also was the one to take the brunt of the damage and did such a good job in selling. Legado would hit their finisher on Wes but Nash was barely able to make the save. GYV would come out during the match too but they would be sent packing by Thatcher and Ciampa early on. Santos would get involved but he would pay for it as Bronson Reed would come out and completely destroy him on the plexiglass. MSK would get the advantage and get the win to retain their titles. Great main event to cap a great episode of NXT.
If You Don’t Know, Now You Know!
Overall, this was quite the good episode of NXT with no real complaints. The opening triple threat was a banger even with Cole taking out all the competitors. Speaking of Cole, he had quite the killer promo and was able to weasel his way into a title match with Kross even though it will be a 5-way. The saga of InDex continues to be interesting and I am digging the build between Xia and Mercedes. The KUSHIDA/Hayes match was solid as well and I am interested in seeing where Carmelo goes in NXT journey. The main event was also a lot of fun and I dug the chaos that was happening in NXT tonight because they do not go to that well often. All in all, great episode of NXT and I cannot wait to see what they give us next week.