It is pretty safe to say that NXT really has been rolling and this is the show before the Great American Bash next week. This week had a few things to look forward to as MSK was having a face-to-face with Thatcher and Ciampa as well as Tian Sha taking on Mercedes Martinez and Jake Atlas. There was also a triple threat match to determine who will face Candice and Indi at the Great American Bash as well this week. Plenty to see so let us see what NXT had for us this week.
Shotzi/Ember vs Io/Zoey vs Dakota/Raquel
This was just an awesome match to start NXT with this week. All three teams brought it here and I loved every minute of it. There were moments when things broke down and they were done very well. They pulled off a bit of a lucha libre sequence when they took turns diving to the outside and it was done very well. I will say though that I am disappointed that we have yet to get a real entrance from Zoey Stark with her new theme because it is rather good and should be heard. The only bad thing about this match was that it was rather obvious that Zoey and Io were going to win because that has been the story told so far. Shotzi and Ember do not need it and I guess a claim could be made for Dakota and Raquel because their reign was so short but again, they do not need it. So many big moves were hit towards the end of the match but it would be Io that would hit her Moonsault to get the win for her team. Io and Zoey now get the title match at the Great American Bash and it should be a good one.
Karrion Kross & Scarlett Backstage
Kross and Scarlett arrived to the CWC when Kross would be jumped by Johnny Gargano. A short brawl would happen but would be quickly stopped by security. Kross clearly wanted more of Gargano but that would not be the case as NXT went to commercial.
Breakout Tournament Announcement & Bronson Reed Interview
I had forgotten how many staples of NXT right now were in the inaugural Breakout Tournament. Garza is probably the one that is still with WWE that has been the most lackluster of the bunch. There is always ACH but that is another story for another time. NXT would cut to Bronson Reed as he spoke what the tournament did for him but he would be quickly interrupted by Hit Row. Hit Row would talk some smack to him in order to goad him into putting the North American Championship on the line against Swerve tonight and it would work. The match would be made official for the main event.
Karrion Kross & Scarlett In-Ring
Kross and Scarlett came out to the ring with a purpose as Kross wanted a piece of Johnny Gargano after his attack. Johnny would eventually come out and it is clear he is playing up the babyface role a bit. It has been some time since Johnny has been a face but you can tell that the fans are clamoring for it by their reactions to him in the CWC. He would say he is better than Kross and that he is smarter as well. Austin Theory would appear and attack Kross from behind and a brawl would ensue. Kross was able to fight them off but security, along with Samoa Joe, would come out to stop things from getting out of control. Kross and Joe would have a short stare down and that was that for the moment.
Battery Charging Vignette
We got the first of three-battery charging vignettes this week and this one would end with the battery level being at 61%. The next two would end at 71% and then at 81% respectively. It seems pretty clear the battery should reach full charge next week at the Great American Bash and I have a feeling it will fully charge after a match and that will reveal who it is and who they are going after.
Johnny Gargano & Austin Theory Backstage
Theory and Gargano would be shown fleeing to the parking and seemingly leaving the CWC after the attack on Karrion Kross. We shall see how true this will end up being a bit later.
Roderick Strong vs Asher Hale
Pretty standard squash match here as Strong was having his first match since making his return to NXT as part of Diamond Mine last week. Hale was impressive in there but he was no match for Strong who showed off a bit more aggression here in this match. I liked that Strong used a bit more of a ground game as the Diamond Mine vignettes did focus a bit on MMA and Strong would even use a submission to get the win here. Bivens would get on the mic after and say that the Diamond Mine is open and this is only the beginning. I wonder if they may add another member and I could see them adding a female to the group as well.
Cameron Grimes vs Ari Sterling
Sterling impressed me a bit in this match with some of the things he pulled off here. That moonsault he did to the outside was rather impressive and he could be someone to keep an eye on. I know I have said that a bit of late with some of the new crop in NXT but it just shows how good the new talent is. Grimes looked good here as well and would end up getting the win here. Grimes did not have much time to celebrate though as LA Knight would come in to talk some trash to him. Grimes would say he wants a shot at the Million Dollar Championship because he knows he can beat Knight. Knight would laugh at the notion but said he would give him the match with one caveat. If Grimes were to lose, he would become Knight’s butler and Grimes was quick to accept it. It would be nice to see Grimes win but I feel like Grimes is about to become Knight’s Virgil.
Zoey Stark & Io Shirai Backstage
Io and Zoey were interviewed backstage about their win and upcoming title match when the Way would come in. Indi and Candice mocked them as a team and say they do not have the bond they have that can make them champions. Candice also warned Zoey that Io will turn on her when they lose but neither Zoey nor Io wanted to hear it. Io would also remind Candice that she has never beaten her and they shared a bit of a stare down. That match should be really good even though I do expect the Way to win and possibly move into a feud with Kacy and Kayden for a change of pace.
Kyle O’Reilly & Adam Cole In-Ring
This was a great in-ring segment and a good final build for their match next week. Kyle called out Cole and Cole would come out. The war of words they had was great in the ring but I cannot forget to mention that Samoa Joe came out right after Cole with security to ensure that things did not get out of hand. I love how you could see that Cole and Kyle did not like that but they went along with it. Again, the war of words was great as Kyle said that Cole was obsessed with him but of course Cole could not let that stand and would flip it to say it was Kyle that was obsessed. Cole reminded him of their time in the Undisputed Era and how he made him relevant. The trading of words would continue and Cole would talk about Kyle’s wife and something about Samoa Joe being there when someone talks about someone else’s wife felt right. Kyle would eventually get Cole in a heel hook and I love that Joe took his time in getting security in the ring because of his disdain for Cole. Security would eventually come in to break things up and I love that even Wade did not like seeing Joe take his time in bringing in security.
Tian Sha Promo
Tian Sha cut a short promo about their match tonight with Mercedes Martinez and Jake Atlas. They spoke about what they will do to them and how they will end things with them. Solid stuff and I am interested in seeing how Boa will look in his first match in quite some time.
Tian Sha vs Mercedes Martinez & Jake Atlas
This was a solid match but sadly had a scary finish which is why I had to lower the grade a bit. Boa looked solid in there and so did Xia until the finish. Mercedes was her usual solid self as well and Atlas looked good. They did do some unique offense but sadly I think the only thing people will remember about this match is the finish. Xia would hit Mercedes with a wheel kick but would hit Mercedes flush on the chin and would knock her out cold. Mercedes would face plant, causing a bloody mouth, and was stiffened up. It was clear she was out of it as her shoulders could not even lay flat on the mat and the referee was quick to call the match off. It clearly impacted Xia as well because she had to hold in her concern for Mercedes in order to sell the win. Reports have said Mercedes was able to walk to the back and she was being checked out by medical staff before heading to a medical facility. I hope she is okay and that Xia does not get heat for this.
Thatcher/Ciampa and MSK Face-To-Face
This was a lot of fun and I liked that MSK played into the gimmick Ciampa and Thatcher have of sitting in chairs. The war of words was good and I liked how Ciampa brings the intensity in his own way. MSK were there to say how they are not the underdogs in the match because they are the champions while Thatcher and Ciampa are the challengers. Ciampa would tell them how hungry he and Thatcher are for gold because Thatcher has yet to taste it and it has been some time since Ciampa has held gold. The segment would get more intense and MSK would slap Thatcher. Ciampa would hold him back but not before saying they will take it to them next week and they will become the new champions. Good stuff here and the title match should be straight fire and a potential match of the year contender.
William Regal Backstage
This was looking like a typical thing of Regal praising the card for next week and it was that but there was also a nice surprise in the end of it. Sarray would come in, been some time since we saw her, and she would politely ask Regal for a match. She would request a match against Toni Storm and I loved how Regal sold this. He said it will be done and I liked how you could see he enjoyed Sarray asking him nicely for something after all the chaos he has had to endure of late.
Karrion Kross & Scarlett Backstage
Kross and Scarlett were shown leaving the CWC when Kross would be jumped by Theory yet again. Gargano would then appear and the two seemingly were able to take care of Kross. At least that is what Gargano thought as he talked trash into the camera but would be choked out by Kross as he was clearly not out of it. Kross would then nail Theory with his forearm/elbow strike right into a gate of the CWC. Kross and Scarlett would then get into their car and it looked like they wanted to run over Gargano but he would be shown in the hands of Samoa Joe. Joe would tell him that he may have pushed his luck in attacking Kross three times and that is what bumps the grade up a bit. I cannot wait for their eventual match because I feel like we will see Johnny in full babyface mode and will truly test Kross’ abilities.
Bronson Reed vs Isaiah “Swerve” Scott (NXT North American Championship)
This was a great main event and if reports are to be believed, could have been the last for Bronson because he is due for a call up to the main roster. These two have some great chemistry and Bronson does such a good job in using his size in his matches. Swerve had to use hit wits and speed to get the advantage and he would at times. The match was very back and forth and featured some really good spots as well. Hit Row was ringside for the match and they would play a role into the finish of the match. Top Dolla and Ashante would do their best to interfere but Bronson would take care of them on the outside. Bronson would side step an attack from Dolla and he would be sent flying through the plexiglass and he really did launch himself. Bronson would then send Ashanta onto Dolla over the barricade as well. Swerve would use this to hit Bronson with the House Call and a 450 splash to get the win and his first title in NXT. It is a long time coming for Swerve and I want to see a feud between Hit Row and Legado del Fantasma. I know they rarely do heel versus heel but I think this is one time where it could work.
If You Don’t Know, Now You Know!
Overall, another very good episode of NXT this week with no real complaints. The only bad thing to happen was Mercedes Martinez being knocked out by Xia Li and we all hope she is able to have a good recovery from that. The opening triple threat match was great and the main event was as well. The face-to-face between MSK and Thatcher/Ciampa was good stuff and so was the thread of Kross and Gargano throughout the night. The O’Reilly and Cole in-ring segment was a good final build for their match next week and I like that they are bringing back the Breakout Tournament. I can think of a few names that can be in it but I am still eager to see what names will be in it. All in all, another great episode of NXT this week and I cannot wait for the Great American Bash.