NXT had quite the good show over the weekend with TakeOver: In Your House and there was plenty to speculate as to what would happen with this week’s episode. Rumors starting spreading that Samoa Joe was returning to NXT and they grew even more when William Regal left us with that cliffhanger that things must change in NXT. Judging by the title, you can tell that Joe is back in NXT but I will get to that in a moment. Plenty to look forward to this week and the main event is Grizzled Young Veterans versus Ciampa and Thatcher so you know that will be a banger. Let us see what the black and gold brand has for us post-TakeOver.
William Regal In-Ring
This opening segment was just pure perfection on every level. Every person played their part perfectly and this is one of the best segments of the year. William Regal was awesome in this in how emotional he was in recalling his time in NXT. He spoke about how proud he was in how the brand has grown and how he was a commentator in the early days and how he became the GM. He was heading towards what he meant on Sunday about NXT needing a change when he would be interrupted by Karrion Kross and Scarlett. Kross would mock Regal and tell him that he wanted him to leave his ring. This is when things got even better when the rumored man made his return. Samoa Joe’s music would hit and I swear it sounded louder than I have ever heard it. It may have just been me or it may have been Triple H telling the people in WWE that this man should never have been released. Joe would come out and Regal would tell him he wanted to speak with him in private and not out there in front of everyone. Joe would talk a bit about Regal and this would lead to Regal telling Joe he wants him to replace him as NXT GM. Joe would decline but this would lead to Regal and Joe coming to an agreement to have Joe help with the chaos in NXT. The caveats would be that Joe would not be a competitor and he would not be able to get violent with someone unless he was provoked. Joe and Kross would get in each other’s face and then Joe would tell Kross to leave the ring. This was just awesome and what I said does not do it justice. This is one of the best segments of the year and all the parties did their parts to perfection.
Grizzled Young Veterans Promo
GYV talked about their upcoming tag match with Thatcher and Ciampa and they nailed it here like they always do. They spoke about the promo that Thatcher and Ciampa had cut on Sunday and how they have heard those things before in the past based on where they grew up. They plan on taking it to Thatcher and Ciampa tonight and we shall see how that plays out.
Adam Cole & Kyle O’Reilly Backstage Fight
The camera would cut to the back and O’Reilly and Cole were fighting with Regal being in the middle of the two with security holding them back. Regal would announce to them that they will be facing off in a match at the Great American Bash and that they will need to select someone to face prior to that. The brawl would continue and then we would see Samoa Joe appear to tell them to calm down. Kyle got the message but Cole would make the mistake of putting his hands on Joe so he could get more of Kyle. Joe would take off his jacket and put Cole in the Coquina Clutch and would put him to sleep. Joe would tell security to tell Cole what Regal said when he wakes up and that was that. I love that Joe is hands-on with his new role and I cannot wait to see what happens next.
Throughout NXT this week, we would see a series of short vignettes of a battery charging. It would start at 1%, go to 11% and eventually end at 21%. I have no idea what this mean or who this is for so I am very intrigued by this. I have seen some fans speculate it could be for a returning Tegan Nox and that would be interesting but I am now wondering if maybe this is possibly for that rumored second NXT show. Who knows what this will lead to but it does have my interest.
Santos Escobar Promo
Santos was in the back and he would cut a promo about what happened on Sunday. He spoke about how he was distracted by the NXT North American Championship when he picked it up and how that was what led Bronson Reed to splash him through the barricade. He said that Bronson went too far in what he did and that he still has his eyes on the NA Championship. I am all for this and I can honestly see Santos taking that title from Bronson and maybe they trade it back and forth a bit. Good stuff from Santos and the man is just money.
KUSHIDA vs Trey Baxter (NXT Cruiserweight Championship)
This was a really darn good match and, like the previous open challenge, I came out of it being a fan of the challenger. Trey is a recent signee and he really impressed me with how fluid he was in the ring with KUSHIDA. The back and forth was great here and I was impressed by the speed of Baxter at certain points. Again, great back and forth and Kyle O’Reilly would come down to ringside at home point to take in the action as well. Baxter would hit a nice Spanish Fly on KUSHIDA in the ring at one point and those always look good when they come out of nowhere. KUSHIDA would end up being too much for the new challenger and would retain the title. There was a nice bit of sportsmanship after and I like how NXT is using this open challenge as a way to introduce us to some of the new signings. Kyle would get in the ring and tell KUSHIDA he needs to find someone to face and he wants to face the best which means he wants him. KUSHIDA would accept the challenge and that match should be straight fire.
Franky Monet Backstage
Franky was backstage and she gave a bit of an update as to what is next for her. She said she will have her encore next week and would leave as she would spot someone. She would walk up to Aliyah and Jessi Kamea of the Robert Stone Brand and complimented them on their dark match on Sunday but they would have done better without Robert Stone. Stone would come by and she would say the same but leave out the part about him. I wonder if there is a chance Franky steals Jessi and Aliyah away from Stone and we get a trio with those three. It could work and all three could hold gold as well.
Mercedes Martinez Promo
Solid promo by Mercedes here as she looked on over the events from Sunday. She spoke about how she and Xia are now tied in their series and how she is game for a rubber match. She also spoke about Boa as well and that she will always bring it if he ever tries to step up to her. She would then talk about the leader of Tian Sha, Mei Ying. She said she will not let her do what she did on Sunday again because she will make sure she beats her before she gets the chance. Nice stuff and I like that Mercedes is continuing this feud.
Million Dollar Championship Presentation
Much like the opening segment, this one was played perfectly by everyone involved. DiBiase would recap the ladder match from Sunday via a video package and would bring out LA Knight. Knight would arrive to the CWC in a nice Corvette and would make his way out to the ring. I liked how he spoke about how much DiBiase means to him and how you do not often meet, let alone share the ring, with your idols in wrestling. It was clear how much the moment meant to Knight and I liked how humble it made DiBiase. This would all lead to DiBiase officially giving the Million Dollar Championship to Knight and bestowing him the legacy as well. This is when things got more interesting as Knight would then punch DiBiase and what a bump/sell by DiBiase. The man is an all-time great and he took that bump like a million bucks; pun intended. It looked like Knight was about to do more damage but Cameron Grimes would come down to save DiBiase. Grimes went from a man who garnered nuclear heat to a man that gets quite the amount of cheers. You love to see it and I cannot wait to see where this story goes.
Raquel Gonzalez & Dakota Kai Backstage
Raquel and Dakota were interviewed backstage and they spoke about how they will be having a tag match later in the night. Raquel spoke about the reason she is having this match even though she had one on Sunday is because she is the champion. She spoke about how she has gold and it she knows Dakota deserves some as well and they know a win tonight can put them right in the hunt for the tag titles. Dakota would talk about that as well and say pretty much the same thing. I like that they are not going fully with the break up angle but are giving you some clues and nuggets of what can possibly can the rift.
Raquel Gonzalez & Dakota Kai vs Kacy Catanzaro & Kayden Carter
This was quite the fun match and I am glad for that because I kind of expected a more one-sided affair. Prior to the match though we saw Ember Moon and Shotzi Blackheart being held back by security so they would not attack Raquel and Dakota which means Joe continues to do a good job. The match was great and Kacy and Kayden really have gotten some nice double team moves down. In fact, this match made me want to see them, not Raquel and Dakota, take on the Way for the tag titles in the future. Yes, Dakota and Raquel had their reign cut way too short but Kacy and Kayden are an up-and-coming face team that could use something like this. Again, the action was great and both teams use their teamwork rather well. Kacy and Kayden continue to show improvement out there and I loved how they used their quickness on the bigger Raquel. Even though Kacy and Kayden fought hard, it would not be enough as Dakota would pick up the win for her team. Good stuff and a nice surprise on this night.
Fun stuff with Ever-Rise here as they spoke about a run-in, they had with Hit Row. They talked about how they trashed their little house and how they will make them pay for it. I feel like Ever-Rise have been a bit underutilized in NXT, even though they shine elsewhere, and this could be a nice breakout for them even though they have no shot of doing damage to Hit Row.
Io Shirai In-Ring
Io came out to the ring and she wanted to give an update as to what she plans on doing next. She spoke about being back and refreshed but before she could say what was next, Candice LeRae would interrupt. She spoke about how she is now a champion and that Io should take a backseat because she was dethroned. She would also talk about how she doesn’t like her and Indi Hartwell would attack Io from behind. Io fought them off at first but the numbers would be too much and Candice would place Io on the announce table and instruct Indi to hit her with her top rope elbow. Indi started to go for it but Zoey Stark would come down to make the save and the two would clear the ring. I was hoping Sarray would be the one to help Io because she hasn’t done much of anything in a while but Zoey is still fine.
Samoa Joe & William Regal Backstage
This is only getting a skull because it was cut abruptly short and some figured online that maybe this was played at the wrong time and given the way NXT ended, I would like to believe that was the case. They spoke about how things are going in NXT and then were cut off.
Diamond Mine Vignette
We finally have a date for whatever Diamond Mine is to make its debut and it will be next week. I still have no idea what this is or who this may involve but I am glad we finally have a debut date.
William Regal & Samoa Joe Backstage
Joe and Regal were doing an interview in Regal’s office when Johnny Gargano and Austin Theory would walk in. They were chanting for Joe and you could tell Joe wanted no part in it. They would talk about being big fans and Johnny talked about some of his interactions with Regal. Joe would eventually tell them to get out and I liked that Theory and Gargano did not even think twice about leaving. This is when things got interesting when Pete Dunne would show up. Dunne said no words and simply had a stare down with Joe. The prospect of a possible Joe/Dunne match makes me giddy.
Timothy Thatcher & Tommaso Ciampa vs Grizzled Young Veterans
Prior to the match, I liked how Thatcher and Ciampa crossed paths with MSK in the back as they ate popcorn to enjoy the main event. Thatcher would snatch some popcorn and eat in until he got to the entrance ramp with Ciampa and would put it to the side. I also love that GYV were set to do their traditional pre-match promo but Thatcher and Ciampa wanted none of that and would go after them instead. This match had all the stiff strikes you would expect and some great technical work as well. This match was certainly on the level of what we would expect from these two teams and one that would fit right with TakeOver as well. This tag match was awesome and the action was nonstop. Of course, it does help to have the “tornado tag match” stipulation as well because there is no room for rest holds when the action is nonstop. Great back and forth throughout the match and I was pulling for GYV here even though I love “Toothless” Timmy and “Old Man” Ciampa. Ciampa and Thatcher would win and presumably are the next challengers for MSK but that is not official quite yet. Great main event to cap off quite the great night of NXT.
William Regal & Samoa Joe Parking Lot
We had one more segment before NXT went off the air as Joe was accompanying Regal to his ride. They spoke about the things that are to come and they seem to be enjoying this relationship. Joe has spoken about the danger of the parking lot and I was fully expecting something to happen to Regal when he entered the SUV and drove off. That would not be the case though as it would seem that Joe really has turned a corner in the security for NXT and has even possibly made even the parking lot a safe place.
If You Don’t Know, Now You Know!
Overall, this was a great episode of NXT with no real complaints from me. The only sour part was probably that weird segment where Regal and Joe were cut off but other than that, everything was fantastic. The opening segment with Joe’s return was perfect, the Million Dollar Championship was another segment that nailed it and the main event was TakeOver level stuff. The women’s tag match was also great and everything else in between was good stuff as well. All in all, great stuff in NXT this week and it is awesome to have Samoa Joe back.