NXT is coming off the very successful Great American Bash and it will be interesting to see how they follow up on it. Gargano is set to take on Kross for the NXT Championship and that is sure to be a good one. NXT rarely, if ever, disappoints so let us just go right in and see what they had for us this week.
Ember Moon vs Dakota Kai
I really shouldn’t be surprised with how dang good this match was but boy was it dang good. Just when I thought it couldn’t get better, it would hit another level. Really fun back and forth in the match and NXT is slowly building Dakota back up into a legit threat in the division. It is also nice that Raquel does not realize this and thinks Dakota is only building back up so they can get the tag titles rather than trying to go after her. Ember is back to riding solo in NXT after Shotzi was called up and there is no doubt she can get it done in the ring but I do wonder how her promo game will be like. Shotzi brought something out of her and I hope she doesn’t lose it because she isn’t. Again, really fun match and Dakota would end up getting the win here. Xia Li would then come out and issue a challenge to Raquel and “Big Mami Cool” would of course accept because she does not back down from anyone.
Diamond Mine Backstage
Diamond Mine was interviewed backstage and Malcolm Bivens would do all the talking. He spoke about what Diamond Mine is about and what each member brings to the table. Bobby Fish would show up and get in his former Undisputed Era member’s face but Bivens would quickly say that Fish is facing Tyler Rust tonight. Strong told him that things are over and they had a bit of a stare down as Rust looked right at Fish. It’s interesting to see Fish go after Diamond Mine because I thought he had beef with Oney and Dunne.
Ikemen Jiro Vignette
Nice vignette here for Jiro and it is nice to know he was trained by Tajiri and the Great Muta. I like that NXT will let their superstars talk in their native tongues because it lets them come off more naturally in their promos. Jiro is confident he can win the Breakout Tournament and we shall see if that comes to fruition.
LA Knight & Cameron Grimes at Knight’s Home
This was just everything I was hoping it would be. Grimes is taking becoming a butler in stride and I like how it is kind of ticking off Knight. He wants Grimes to not enjoy this but Grimes is loving every bit of it. Knight gave Grimes a bit of a makeover thinking it would make Grimes feel worse but Grimes said he looked good. Knight was disgusted by that and told Grimes that he looked like a butler and it was time to put him to work. This story justs keeps getting better and I am here for it.
Tyler Rust vs Bobby Fish
This wasn’t really much of a match to write home about. The action was solid and Rust showed what Strong did in his match and that is a bit more of the ground game. Rust would eventually get the win after Strong provided a distraction and it seemed like Diamond Mine were set to attack Fish. That was until KUSHIDA would come out and Diamond Mine would retreat instead of engaging him. Not much of a match but the post-match stuff was interesting.
Samoa Joe & Karrion Kross Backstage
Good stuff here as Samoa Joe approached Kross as he was warming up to inform him of what he expected in the title match. Kross was not receptive at first but that changed once Joe kicked the heavy bag to get his attention. Kross did warn Joe not to screw with him and Joe took that as him understanding what he said. Good stuff and the tension continues to build between Kross and Joe.
The Way Backstage
The Way were shown arriving backstage from earlier in the day but they clearly did not want to talk. Indi though was shown trailing and Beth Phoenix would talk to her about what is going on between her and Dexter Lumis. Indi would say nothing is going on yet and Beth would give her some advice. Beth would tell Indi that sometimes you need to take a chance and Indi seemed to take that to heart. Beth has been championing for InDex so no surprise she intervened here.
Gigi Dolin vs Sarray
Pretty solid match here between these two and it was nice to see both in action after not seeing them in the ring in some time. Sarray showed a bit more personality too in this match and that is a nice sight to see. I guess seeing more fans than when she last appeared pumped her up a bit. Gigi has been criminally underused so far in NXT and I hope this is the start of her being used more. Mandy Rose would appear during the match on the entrance ramp and it has been said she has been traded to NXT for Aliyah. That is interesting and I wonder what this will lead to for Aliyah and for Mandy respectively. Sarray would get the win here and maybe she is heading towards a feud with Mandy.
Legado del Fantasma Backstage
Legado was backstage and they had a few things to say about Hit Row. They do not like them and hate even more that Swerve is the NXT North American Champion. Santos spoke plenty about his disdain for him and the group and so did Joaquin and Raul. Seems like we may be heading towards a Hit Row/Legado feud and I am all for that. Heel versus heel usually doesn’t work but NXT has a way of making it work. They then focused on Dexter Lumis and how Santos will beat him in their match tonight. Solid stuff from Legado here and I do hope we get that Hit Row feud between them.
Duke Hudson Vignette
Solid vignette for Duke here and it is night and day between this and what he was as Brendan Vink. He showed a bunch of charisma here and I would not doubt if he is the one to emerge victorious in the Breakout Tournament. He seems to have what it takes by the looks of it and I am eager to see how his match with Jiro will go.
Dexter Lumis vs Santos Escobar
Solid match here between these two here. Santos did a good job in reacting to the oddness of Lumis during the match and the work was solid as well. Lumis did look to have the match won at one point but the referee was distracted by the other members of Legado on the outside. Tate would prove to be the undoing of Lumis as one more distraction of the referee would allow Wilde to pull him into the ring post to allow Santos to hit him with the Phantom Driver in the middle of the ring. Legado would then be confronted by Hit Row atop of the entrance ramp and I am all for this feud because it could be straight fire in the ring.
Kyle O’Reilly Interview
Solid interview segment here by Kyle as he spoke about his loss to Adam Cole. He spoke about how he knows he can beat him but he may have to tap into some of the fire he had when he was in the Undisputed Era. He has no doubt that he can beat Cole again whenever they meet but he knows he needs that fire in order to beat him as well.
LA Knight & Butler Grimes Shenanigans
I love how Grimes’ attitude towards being Knight’s butler is just making Knight hate this a bit. He is totally taking it in stride and is running with it as opposed to hating it. Knight is doing all he can to make his life miserable but Grimes will not submit to it. Knight told Grimes to mow his lawn with a basic lawn mower but Grimes made it seem okay with did not sit well with Knight. This is just comedy gold right now and I am loving this.
This was just great as Indi came down to the ring to carry Lumis like he did with her after this match but she fell with him as he was too heavy. It seemed like now was the time they finally kissed but Candice LeRae would come down to stop her. Clearly the Way are still not in favor of this but it only seems like a matter of time before InDex becomes official.
Duke Hudson vs Ikemen Jiro (NXT Breakout Tournament)
This was a pretty fun match and I liked what I saw from both men here. Jiro is really fun in the ring and I can easily see him become a fan favorite in NXT. Duke feels like a totally different person from his time as Brendan Vink and it shows in the ring. He looked really good in there as well and these two had some good chemistry. The back and forth was solid and Duke really showed some great offense along with Jiro. I like that Duke used the Big Boss Slam as his finisher as I feel like that is one finisher that is just tailor made for big men to use and it is about time it made a comeback. I know Abyss used it in TNA/Impact but it has been some time since he stepped in the ring so I think it really suits Duke. It is a move that can seemingly be hit out of nowhere which is always fun for a finisher. Duke would win and I think he has a real shot at winning the whole thing.
Pete Dunne & Oney Lorcan Backstage
Solid interview segment by Dunne here as he doesn’t care who comes out on top between Gargano and Kross because he wants next. He believes he can beat either man and that he is the baddest and most technical wrestler in NXT. This would bring out Timothy Thatcher and he questioned what he said. Tommaso Ciampa would then fly in and a brawl would ensue between both teams. My dream of a tag team Fight Pit match is still there and these two teams seem like perfect fits for it. Either way, whenever these two teams are matched up, it will surely be a stiff affair.
Kayden Carter & Kacy Catanzaro vs Robert Stone Brand
Solid match here as Kacy and Kayden definitely look like they are coming together even more as a team if that is possible. The Robert Stone Brand has had its ups and downs and this certainly could be qualified as a down for sure. They looked good but Kacy and Kayden proved to be too much for Jessi and Aliyah. Kacy and Kayden would get the win with their impressive 450/neckbreaker combo. Aliyah would finally snap at Robert Stone after the match and said she was done with him. She would attack him and then blow a kiss to Jessi as she left. The crowd at the CWC popped hard for her and she is now heading to the main roster. Franky Monet would come out after the match and seems like she has something in mind for the Robert Stone Brand.
Samoa Joe & The Way Backstage
Fun stuff between Joe and the Way here as he came to explain the rules to Gargano. Gargano, and the rest of the Way minus Indi, would say he has no problem following Joe because they are big fans. I love how much they kiss up to Joe but Joe sees right through it and would leave as soon as he got the answer he wanted. Joe would then come across Pete Dunne and the two had a bit of a stare down before Dunne did his signature shrug at the sight of Joe in a referee shirt.
LA Knight & Butler Grimes Shenanigans Part 3
This. Is. Just. HILARIOUS! I am all for this times 100 and this was pure comedy gold. Knight would find Grimes hanging out by his pool and was wondering why he wasn’t doing his job. Grimes would explain how he is still rich and that he hired a kid to mow the lawn for him. Knight was upset by this and would tell Grimes he told him to do it, not some kid. He said he doesn’t want kids around and Grimes would try to pay the kid his money he promised. Knight would say that wasn’t happening and the kid would kick him in the shin. Grimes would rake up his money that was on the floor but would knock Knight into the pool as a result. This was pure comedy genius and I loved every minute of it.
Adam Cole In-Ring
Cole is just fantastic on the mic and really shined here once again. He came out to brag about his win over Kyle and what Kyle had to say earlier in the night. He laughed it off and then turned his attention to Samoa Joe. He spoke about wanting a piece of him and the things Joe has done to him since returning to NXT. He made fun of his security position and would even call him out. He wouldn’t get Joe but he would get Bronson Reed to the ring. Bronson talked about having nothing to lose and that he wants a match with Cole. A small scuffle would ensue with Bronson coming out on top. Samoa Joe would then come out but it was only to referee the main event and he even looked down at Cole to see if he would do anything. Nothing would happen and NXT would head to commercial.
Robert Stone Brand Backstage
The Robert Stone Brand and Franky Monet were walking backstage when they would come across Mandy Rose. Mandy would say that the Brand is under new management and would leave. Maybe Mandy will join the Brand because Franky is running things and I would not be opposed to that one bit.
Johnny Gargano vs Karrion Kross (NXT Championship)
This wasn’t the best title defense by Kross but it was still a solid match. Johnny is great at selling big moves by people and he did that and then some in this match for Kross. Johnny was clearly working like a babyface as well and played to the crowd a bit. Solid match in this one and the back and forth was as well when Gargano would get a head of steam. Kross and Joe bickered throughout the match and you could see Kross getting more and more annoyed by Joe as the match went on. Kross tries to use the steps on Gargano but Joe would intervene to stop him. You could see that Kross’ hatred towards Joe grew as the match went on and even stared him down as he hit Johnny with his big forearm/elbow strike. Kross would get the win but things were not over just yet. He would take issue with how Joe presented him as the winner and the two would trade words. Scarlett tried to hold Kross back but he would put Joe in the Kross Jacket and made Joe go to sleep which is a sight you do not see very often. It is clear this is heading towards Joe taking on Kross in a match and I am all for it because the story has been told quite well.
If You Don’t Know, Now You Know!
Overall, very solid episode of NXT this week and not much to complain about. I would say that Duke Hudson and Ikemen Jiro stole the show a bit with their Breakout Tournament match and Duke really looks like a future star. The stuff between Grimes and Knight was comedy gold and the main event delivered as well. The Joe/Kross stuff is building nicely and I cannot wait to see the fallout next week. Mandy Rose being back in NXT is interesting and I wonder how she will fit in compared to where she did last time she was there. The opening match was also a bunch of fun and I am looking forward to Xia Li taking on Raquel Gonzalez. All in all, good stuff from NXT as usual.