Plenty to look forward to this week with NXT but then again, that seems to usually be the case with the black and gold brand. It will be interesting to see what happens with the fallout from Kross’ attack on Samoa Joe from last week and what happens in the title match between Gonzalez and Li. Let us see what NXT has for us this week.
Samoa Joe In-Ring
This was quite the good way to start NXT this week. Joe came out and was not in the mood for games because he wants a piece of Kross. William Regal would come out and tell him that he cannot lay a hand on him because he was a referee last week and not the head of security. Joe laughed at Regal for playing semantics with him and Regal would inform him that Kross was expected to be there this week. Joe and Regal have quite the chemistry and really nailed the intensity here. Joe wants Kross but Regal seems like he will try his best to prevent chaos from erupting in the CWC.
Diamond Mine vs Bobby Fish & KUSHIDA
The work in this match was solid but I just had a hard time getting really into it. I think that had to do with Fish and how out of place he looked in there. He didn’t look bad, outside of his “Dad bod”, but he didn’t look like he was at the same speed as KUSHIDA, Rust and Strong. In fact, the match seemed to slow down a bit when he would be in the ring compared to KUSHIDA. I really do not know what he can do in NXT but this is not the best of Fish’s work. KUSHIDA and Fish would win here and I am not sure how I feel about it. I usually am against a new act losing so soon because it can kill momentum and we shall see what that does for Diamond Mine.
LA Knight & Butler Grimes Arrive to CWC
I am loving the dynamic between Grimes and Knight as they seem to play well off each other. Grimes is making the most of being the butler and Knight continues to try and make his time less than enjoyable. Drake Maverick would show up to help Grimes with Knight’s bags but Knight would come out to stop him because it is Grimes’ duty to do that. Knight and Maverick would trade some words and seems like we are getting a match between the two.
Odyssey Jones Vignette
Solid vignette here for Jones so we can know who he is and what he is about. This is something I have liked about the Breakout Tournament in that they use these to get us a bit of info on the person before they come out rather than relying solely on the commentary team. Solid stuff here and he seems rather impressive.
Franky Monet vs Jacy Jayne
Jacy had some hope spots but this was all about Franky. I will say that I think it was a bit too competitive and maybe it should have been slightly more one-sided. Either way, Franky would get the win with Jessi Kamea at ringside at her request. Robert Stone was also there but it seemed like he was not invited. Mandy Rose also took in the action from the commentary table and it is still not clear what she is planning in her return to NXT.
The Way Backstage
Theory and Gargano were interviewed backstage about Garagano’s loss to Karrion Kross and Gargano tried to downplay what it did to him. Theory would of course be the honest one and would say how much it was eating at him. Johnny continued to shrug it off until Kyle O’Reilly showed up and would challenge Theory to a match. He did so because he heard what he said about him and the match was official. Fun stuff and I like the idea possibility of a Theory/Kyle match.
Bronson Reed Interview
This was a pretty standard babyface interview segment by Bronson here. I don’t know what it is about him but he doesn’t have that edge to him right now. He seems like a pretty standard babyface in his mic work and it isn’t bringing out the best in him that I saw in his journey to becoming NXT North American champion. I am sure his match with Adam Cole will be good though so there is that.
Kyle O’Reilly vs Austin Theory
Pretty good match here and that is to be expected given who is involved here. Kyle has been on fire in the ring and Theory has really shown how good he is over the last month or so. Solid back and forth and Theory looked to be frustrated at the way the match was going because he went to use the steel steps. That would backfire and Kyle would be the one to take advantage of it. Kyle would eventually drop the knee onto Theory’s leg and quickly submitted him in the ring. Kyle seems to be continuing his journey to be mentally ready for that inevitable third match with Adam Cole.
Raquel Gonzalez & Dakota Kai Backstage
Solid mic work from Raquel and Dakota here as this was Raquel’s response to what Xia Li had to say earlier in the night. Xia had cut a pretty solid promo about her destiny in beating Raquel and Dakota and Raquel laughed at the notion that Xia can beat her. Raquel has defeated all challengers and she plans on continuing being champion after her match with Xia. I love Raquel’s confidence and that Dakota is right there to back her up.
Legado del Fantasma In-Ring
I love that Santos called off the music because he didn’t want to stoop to the level of Hit Row in his eyes so he could entertain the crowd. All he wants is the North American Championship because he feels like it is his to have. Hit Row would come out and lay some bars on Legado and did so quite well. It seems like the crowd is certainly in Hit Row’s corner and I can totally see why because they have some nice chemistry and play well off one another. Legado do as well but Hit Row are different in their presentation. A skirmish would ensue and Hit Row would stand tall. It would be awesome if they could somehow milk this until WarGames and we could get a WarGames match with Hit Row and Legado but a third team would need to be present. Maybe the Way could be included if they finally accept Dexter Lumis at that point.
The Way Backstage
This was an interesting segment as Theory looks to be questioning if it is still a good idea to follow the Way. It seems like Johnny and Candice are a bit preoccupied with keeping Indi away from Dexter Lumis and that is leaving Theory feeling a bit like an outsider. He tried to get some words in but the other three simply ignored him. Theory would leave and he seems to be conflicted as to what his place is in the Way. Maybe this is the start of the Way splitting but we shall see.
Samoa Joe & William Regal Backstage
Joe was pacing backstage in anticipation of Kross’ arrival and Regal would approach him. He would assure him that Kross would be showing up and seemed concerned for Joe’s wellbeing. Joe would tell him how much he respected him and how he must do this. I like this thread and we shall see where it goes from here.
Andre Chase vs Odyssey Jones (NXT Breakout Tournament)
This was not as good as the Breakout Tournament match from last week but was still okay. Jones is clearly going to be booked as a powerhouse and I wonder if he is able to have lengthy matches. This was not long by any means and did feel rather short compared to the match from last week between Hudson and Jiro. Decent enough with the back and forth and Jones would be the one to move on. No idea who the favorite is in the tournament and we shall continue to see how it plays out.
MSK were interviewed backstage about who may be next to challenge them for the titles and they said they were waiting for who was next and are always eager for new challenges. They would begin to explain what “MSK” stood for when Imperium would come into the feed and tell a story. They clearly do not like the tag title scene in NXT and want to change things. If we get MSK versus Imperium at the next TakeOver, that has potential “match of the year” written all over it.
Pete Dunne & Oney Lorcan Promo
Solid promo here by Dunne and Lorcan as they spoke about what Thatcher and Ciampa had to say last week. They want to see how tough they are next week and I am sure we are in for a stiff affair.
LA Knight vs Drake Maverick
This was more about Knight and Grimes than it was about the match. Maverick would win in surprising fashion but the story was not over. Knight would beat down Maverick and Grimes tried to get him to stop. It would not work and Knight would even order Grimes to join in on the attack. Grimes was reluctant to at first but would eventually do it because he is a man of his word. I am loving that Knight is taking advantage of the situation and the inner conflict in Grimes is being told quite well too.
Samoa Joe Parking Lot
Joe was in the parking lot waiting for Kross and it seemed like he was about to get his hands on him when it was some random person. Joe would ask where Kross was and the man would inform him that he is already in the building. Joe would book it back inside the CWC and we shall find out what happened next.
Xia Li vs Raquel Gonzalez (NXT Women’s Championship)
The match was solid but this was not the best title defense by Raquel so far. I think it is because Xia is also a heel so it made the match feel a bit different. Xia did her best in there and she did look good with Raquel. Plenty of back and forth and Raquel would end up getting the win and retaining. I really do wonder who is next for Raquel in NXT because it does not seem like there is a clear challenger for the title. Maybe they can pull the trigger on a feud with Dakota or maybe it will be someone surprising like a Kay Lee Ray from NXT UK. Either way, Raquel’s reign had been solid but it doesn’t feel like it has the same steam as it once did.
Samoa Joe In-Ring Part 2
Joe came out to the ring and wanted Kross. Kross would appear on the tron and bragged about how he can do whatever he wants in NXT because he is the champion. The camera would pan down and would reveal a fallen Regal at the feet of Kross. Joe would run to the back but it was too late as Kros would leave in his car as Joe got there a hair too late. This is building nicely and I fully expect Regal to tell Joe that he has the okay to face Kross in a match. I would say it is too soon to do another unsanctioned match but one with a similar stipulation feels necessary for the way this feud is building,
If You Don’t Know, Now You Know!
Overall, this was a solid episode of NXT but not the best. This felt more like a building episode towards TakeOver next month with some of the segments in it. MSK seem to be on a collision course with Imperium and we are getting closer to seeing Joe’s in-ring return. Raquel took care of another challenger and I wonder who may be next for her. Santos Escobar and Swerve Scott seem right on cue for another match and I am all for that. All in all, solid stuff but not the best NXT has had to offer as well.