NXT continues to be on a roll and last week’s episode gave us the gift of Samoa Joe back in NXT. This week was sure to be good as well as KUSHIDA was set to take on Kyle O’Reilly in the main event. Adam Cole was also set to be in action and the debut of Diamond Mine was set for this episode as well. NXT is currently building towards the Great American Bash special and have done a good job so far. With the introduction out of the way, let us dive in and see what NXT had for us this week.
Adam Cole In-Ring
Adam Cole came out to the ring to start NXT this week and had a few things today about his mandatory match for tonight. He spoke about how he disliked what Samoa Joe did to him last week and how he had zero interest in having a match tonight even if he could pick whoever he wanted. He was beginning to leave the ring when Carmelo Hayes would come out. Hayes would take to Cole about wanting to be his opponent and would invoke John Cena in telling Cole he has ruthless aggression and would slap him. That was enough for Cole to agree to do a match and it was on. I said it when Hayes had his match with KUSHIDA and will say it again that he is someone to keep an eye on.
Carmelo Hayes vs Adam Cole
Hayes has had quite the introduction to NXT with his first two matches being against KUSHIDA and Adam Cole. Those are two of the best to do it over the last decade or so and shows the trust they have in his future. This was a great back and forth match and Hayes continues to show his skills in the ring. Cole would do his usual smack talk in the ring and I like how Hayes would have answers for some of Cole’s offense. Hayes really is solid in the ring and I know it seems like I am gushing over Hayes but what more can be said about Cole that that hasn’t been said already. Cole would end up countering a move by Hayes with a superkick and would hit him with the Panama Sunrise for the win. Hayes’ sell on the Sunrise was great as well and Hayes looked good in defeat.
Franky Monet & Robert Stone Brand Backstage
I was suspecting that Franky is trying to take over the Robert Stone Brand last week but this clip really has me believing that. She was complimenting Jessi and Aliyah backstage and it totally came off as her sweet talking them into leaving Stone eventually. Stone would come in and, just like last week, Franky would change her tone in front of him. High fives would be given and I love that Presley, Franky’s doggy, would bark at Stone when he gave one to Franky. Presley is not a Stone fan and I am all for it.
Zoey Stark Backstage
Zoey was interviewed backstage about why she decided to help Io Shirai last week and it was due to Io giving her a big break when she got to NXT and she was repaying her for that. Io would end up coming in and saying that she respects Zoey but does not like her. Zoey seemed satisfied with that and the two would leave. Zoey still needs to show a bit more in the personality department but she is getting there.
LA Knight Video Package
This was a nice video package for Knight here as he was chilling in his lavish home and spoke about why he attacked Ted DiBiase last week. He spoke about how he doesn’t need him and how great he is. I love the ego he has because it is that right amount to make you hate him but also kind of like him because he is so smarmy and open about it. Knight also spoke about Grimes and how he didn’t really want the title and really just wanted to get close to DiBiase. I wonder if we will see more of DiBiase on tv or if Grimes will just be fighting in his honor as this program between Grimes and Knight is clearly not over.
The Way In-Ring
I started thinking about this last week a bit and it kind of feels like maybe NXT is starting to slowly turn the Way face or at least make Johnny and Theory more like faces. It is clear that with the CWC allowing more fans how over the Way are. The fans just love the pairing of Johnny and Theory and I cannot blame them as I do too. They came out to discuss how things have changed in NXT and how Johnny wants another crack at Karrion Kross. He feels like he proved that he can outwrestle him and how he knows he can beat him. They would of course be interrupted by Pete Dunne and Oney Lorcan and Dunne would disagree with what Gargano had to say. Before things got out of hand though, Johnny would say they have changed and that they will not partake in any chaos. Johnny clearly respects Joe as head of security and does not want to suffer the same fate as Adam Cole. They would leave but Theory would make the mistake of leaving his fingers by Dunne and he would snap them. Fun stuff from the Way as usual and we shall see where this leads.
Cameron Grimes Arrival
Grimes was shown arriving to the CWC earlier in the day and he seemed like a different kind of rich person this week. He did his usual tipping of people but did so in a much more friendly manner and not in a way that was showing off. Slight changes like that make you know he is a face and no longer a heel. Someone would approach Grimes and say the wrong thing and that would cause Grimes to lay him out and tell him that it was for Ted.
Adam Cole Backstage
Cole was backstage being interviewed and he would say he would not partake in the interview because he didn’t feel like it. He plans on doing something worse to Kyle O’Reilly at the Great American Bash than he did to Carmelo tonight and then William Regal would walk in. Regal would tell him there would be nothing between Cole and Samoa Joe and Cole would agree to it. Cole did take issue with Joe not receiving any sort of punishment for putting him to sleep last week. Regal reminded him that he provoked him and to not do that again. Cole would eventually say he could solve things and would grab his stuff and leave.
Battery Charging Vignette
We got another set of battery charging vignettes this week and the first one ended with it going to 31%. The second would go to 41% and the final one would end at 51% for the night. Still no clue who or what this is for but the easy guess is this is for Tegan Nox. My outside idea is that this is for the NXT EVOLVE show and the battery charging symbolizes them recharging EVOLVE as the NXT for NXT.
The Way Backstage
The Way went into Regal’s office to talk about what Pete Dunne did to Theory. Theory had his fingers taped up and they talk to Regal about it. Johnny would talk about the changes being made in NXT and would even gift Regal a fresh pencil to make up for the one he broke weeks ago. Regal would tell them he will do something and I love how Johnny was quick to come up with ideas on how to punish them. None of those would happen though as Regal would tell them that they will be having a match with Dunne and Lorcan and they need to go get ready. They were not happy with that but would leave to get ready.
Robert Stone Brand vs Zoey Stark & Io Shirai
Pretty solid match here and I liked that it wasn’t a squash match either. I know Aliyah has been in NXT forever and it really is something that she has been there for so long and hasn’t sniffed Raw or Smackdown. Jessi is someone I think could be pretty good but they haven’t pulled the trigger on her yet like they have with Raquel and Indi. Solid back and forth and the Way would come out to get a closer look at the action. Io and Zoey would eventually pick up the win and the Way would tease getting in the ring but would stop when Raquel Gonzalez and Dakota Kai would appear. They would tell Io and Zoey that they should not be thinking about getting a title shot because they are the next in line. Things looked grim for Zoey and Io but that is when Shotzi Blackheart and Ember Moon would come out. They would make their claim for getting the next title shot and a brawl would ensue in the ring. The Way were the smart ones though as Samoa Joe would come out and they would make it known they were not partaking in the chaos. Security would come in to separate all the teams and Joe continues to be a good head of security.
The Way vs Pete Dunne & Oney Lorcan
This match was a ton of fun and really reminded us how Johnny wrestled as a face. Johnny did a bit more of the spots he was known for as a face and the fans in the CWC ate it all up. Oney and Dunne worked rather well together too and I liked them as a team. I loved that Theory and Gargano were still putting on their gear to sell how last minute and ill prepared they were for the match. The action was great and this was an awesome match which should be no surprise given the talent in the ring. Theory would hit that awesome Spanish Fly once again and I love that commentary pretty much said where he got that from because it is a tribute to one of the men that trained him, AR Fox. Again, great stuff and Johnny would end up getting the win for the Way in a great match. He would not be able to relish in the win though as Karrion Kross would appear to lay him out after the match. I am guessing we get a match between these two at the Great American Bash.
Karrion Kross, Scarlett & Samoa Joe Backstage
Kross was with Scarlett backstage and they would cross paths with Samoa Joe. They had a bit of a stare down and Kross would remind Joe that he cannot do anything to him unless he is provoked. Joe remembered that and told Kross to be on his way and he was. It really does feel like they are teasing Kross will provoke Joe at one point and that will lead to a match between the two. Pete Dunne would then appear and he would have another stare down with Joe. There are so many potential matches for Joe right now and I have no idea who could possibly be his first opponent back in NXT.
Elektra Lopez vs Franky Monet
Elektra Lopez was formerly known as Karissa Rivera on the indies and she actually is quite the solid talent. It does suck she was there to lose to Franky but it is nice to see her finally make her debut in NXT after being signed. I just love Franky’s entrance and theme because they go so perfectly with one another. Elektra did get some nice offense in during the match but Franky would end up being too much for her and she would pick up the win here. I loved how Beth said that Franky’s finisher is the most effective move and there is no way she is biased because Franky uses the Glam Slam as her finish. Nice stuff and I really cannot wait to see who Franky’s first feud is with.
Bronson Reed Backstage
Bronson was interviewed backstage about the comments from Santos Escobar last week and he spoke about how he cannot get what Santos is saying. He spoke about how he splashed Santos in multiple ways and then Hit Row would show up. They talked some smack to Bronson and then Ashante would look in the camera to talk some smack to Ever-Rise. Nice little segment here and it is clear that Swerve is next on the horizon for Bronson when he is done with Santos.
Ever-Rise vs Hit Row
Ever-Rise were shown earlier in the day trying to spray paint Hit Row’s SUV but they did not count on Top Dolla to be in the driver’s seat and he told them to leave and they did. The match itself was pretty one-sided as Hit Row did not take too long in disposing of Ever-Rise. I do love Ever-Rise and think they are a great comedic act that have really grown their fan base over the last several months. I will also say that Top Dolla feels like a guy that can be a star and I would not be surprised if he is the breakout star from Hit Row. Hit Row would win and I liked how they posed together in the ring. They feel like a unit and not like one member is more important than the other.
Mercedes Martinez Backstage
Mercedes was interviewed backstage and she was told that she will be in a mixed tag match with Tian Sha next week. I liked that Mercedes was already licking her chops at the match but had to pause to think of a partner for the match. Tian Sha would then attack her from behind and Xia Li would be held back by security. Boa would gloat over Mercedes when Jake Atlas would come in to take him out. He would tell Mercedes he will be her partner and that was that. I like that Jake stepped up but he needs a better character than being friends with everybody. He feels like he could be a great face but needs something more than just being a nice and friendly guy.
KUSHIDA vs Kyle O’Reilly
This was a fantastic main event and both men brought it here. As far as I am aware, these two had some great encounters in the past and it was clear that the chemistry was there in this match. Really fun back and forth between grappling and strikes in this match. The action was great and both men really brought it here in this one. I knew it would be good but you never know how good until you watch it unfold. The action really picked up in the end when KUSHIDA had Kyle in the Hoverboard Lock but Kyle was doing all he could to get out of it. Kyle would eventually roll up KUSHIDA and picked up the win in a great main event. They would shake hands but the night would get worse for KUSHIDA as he was attacked from behind by a hooded figure. The person would reveal himself to be a returning Roderick Strong and Tyler Rust would also appear on the apron. They would be joined by Hideki Suzuki and then Malcolm Bivens would walk into the ring to say that this is Diamond Mine. He would hand Roderick the NXT Cruiserweight Championship to signal that he can get that title and Diamond Mine is here. I had wondered what Diamond Mine was all about and I am all for it being a group led by Bivens. It is also nice to see Strong back and it will be interesting to see the explanation for Diamond Mine coming together.
If You Don’t Know, Now You Know!
Overall, this was quite the good episode of NXT this week. Last week had the return of Samoa Joe and this week had the return of Roderick Strong. The matches were all solid and the main event and tag match between the Way and Dunne/Lorcan were the best of the matches. The opening match between Carmelo and Cole was a nice surprise and so was the women’s tag match with the chaos after. I am interested in Diamond Mine and am all for seeing more Malcolm Bivens and what is next for the group. All in all, good stuff from NXT once again this week.