Shotzi Blackheart did a great job as host of Halloween Havoc and went above and beyond to stop Candice LeRae’s helper cheating LeRae a victory. As a reward, William Regal let her choose her opponent for tonight. Blackheart chose Toni Storm, which should be great. Ember Moon gets her hands on Dakota Kai tonight, after Kai attacked her a couple of weeks ago. Tommaso Ciampa looks to deal with Velveteen Dream. And Kushida faces Cameron Grimes.
Dakota Kai def. Ember Moon
Kushida def. Cameron Grimes
Killian Dain vs Ever-Rise – No Contest
Toni Storm def. Shotzi Blackheart
Tommaso Ciampa def. Velveteen Dream
Ember Moon vs Dakota Kai, with Raquel Gonzalez
I’d like to see Kai go it alone now, without the intimidation factor of Raquel Gonzalez. There’s no reason she shouldn’t be climbing on her own merits rather than because her friend beats people up for her. Moon was definitely aware of Gonzalez during the match, but it didn’t stop her taking it to Kai.
Dakota Kai turned the match in her favour by pulling Moon into the ringpost then hanging off her arm. She had Moon in a submission for a long time before Moon stood up and slammed her into the mat to make her let go. Kai also managed to halt Moon resurgence, by ducking a suicide dive and letting Moon crash into the barricades.
Whatever Kai tried, Ember Moon just got back up. She took another submission attempt to the full five-count while Moon had her foot on the ropes. Then she made the mistake of talking some trash and slapping Moon across the face. Moon put her down hard enough to climb the turnbuckle for the Eclipse, but Raquel Gonzalez got up on the apron and distracted Moon long enough for Kai to kick her in the face. One GTK later, Dakota Kai claimed victory.
Shotzi Blackheart said she chose Toni Storm as her opponent because she’s always been a big fan of Storm. It’s a huge test for her and that’s what she wants. She welcomed Storm to the Ball Pit.
Cameron Grimes had a backstage interview ahead of his match, but he’s clearly still spooked by the zombies he encountered last week.
Cameron Grimes vs Kushida
Grimes didn’t show much sign of being distracted in the ring, but I’m guessing the way Kushida was destroying his arm was quite focusing. It was never Grimes’ match to win, Kushida is on fire. The ref got taken out, accidentally, and both Kushida and Grimes had the opportunity to win while he was out. Unfortunately for Cameron Grimes, the replacement for the ref was last week’s zombie ref and Grimes lost his mind, got caught in another submission while terrified, and tapped.
Toni Storm said she respects Shotzi Blackheart and is flattered she chose her. But it was a mistake as this is a whole new Toni Storm, more aggressive, more tenacious, more Toni. So tonight she’ll use Shotzi as a stepping stone on her way to the top of the division.
Everyone wants to know what’s next for Io Shirai. She says it’s her NXT but there’s one challenge she still has to face, Rhea Ripley. So that’s what’s next, Io Shirai versus Rhea Ripley, one on one for the title.
Killian Dain & Drake Maverick vs Ever-Rise
This was short and sweet and comedic in places, but Dain and Maverick are developing as a team. It seems that Maverick doesn’t mind being thrown around by his partner. Annoyingly, we got a split-screen showing Pat McAfee arriving with Danny Burch, Oney Lorcan, and Pete Dunne, but the reason became clear when they invaded the ring and kicked seven shades out of Dain and Maverick while McAfee recorded it – He knows this is televised, right?
After a break, McAfee told us that they are the greatest four men to ever come together in the history of the wrestling business. They run NXT now and there’s no question. What makes them different is there not a bunch of scumbags, they are men of class and professions. And as they’re the new kings it’s only right they pay tribute to the old group.
He did just that, in a derogatory kind of way. Pete Dunne explained his actions of last week as him teaching Kyle O’Reilly the same ‘be careful who you trust’ lesson that Roderick Strong. Danny Burch and Oney Lorcan bitched about being left behind while Undisputed ERA were pushed. McAfee bitched, again about Adam Cole not showing him any respect for how well he did. They were going to raise Undisputed ERA’s banner to the rafters to signal the end of their reign, but instead, they threw it in a trash can and Pete Dunne poured lighter gas over it and set it on fire.
The four of them left and walked back to their car, but Killian Dain jumped Pat McAfee before he could get in. He got beaten down and Pete Dunne shocked the other three by kicking the car door shut on Dain’s head. They drove off after McAfee reminded us they’re the greatest, and we got a shot of Killian Dain laying in a pool of blood with a bloodied face.
It was announced a little later that Dain had been taken to hospital (not local medical facility, hospital).
Johnny Gargano is insufferably happy about his title win. He’s a lover of wheels and making history. He was playing Game of Life (I think) with someone in the death costume. He’ll be defending the title next week to break his title defence curse.
Shotzi Blackheart vs Toni Storm
This one, weirdly, started with Blackheart screaming at Toni Storm. So much for the respect. Her tank was missing and she thought Storm was to blame. I’m a huge fan of Shotzi Blackheart, but this wasn’t a good match for her, although I’m thinking that may have been by design. Something was wrong. It was still an ok match, Toni Storm looks like she’s ready for a huge run of form, but it could have been a great match.
It ended after Blackheart was distracted by Candice LeRae appearing on the big screen from the middle of the road, with Blackheart’s tank. She reappeared after Blackheart had been pinned and ran over the tank with a big-ass car. Shotzi Blackheart was left distraught and screaming in the ring and Toni Storm tried to comfort her.
Jake Atlas attacked Raul Mendoza while Santos Escobar was being interviewed in the parking lot. He got out of a car and hit him with a pipe, then got back in and drove off.
We got another live session of Thatch as Thatch can. The trainees are looking less and less impressed by the week. This week was reversals. He left the guy tapping for ages, then increased the pressure. He agreed to go again, and this time Thatcher got him by the ankle and left him tapping. Last week’s trainee, announced as Austin Gray (formerly Anthony Greene), attacked Thatcher after he’d let go, and succeeded in forcing Thatcher to retreat.
Xia Li said the letters she’s been receiving are from her family. The contents are personal but she needs to turn things around. William Regal brought her another one and after she’d read it, she requested a match with Raquel Gonzalez. Regal checked if she was sure, then agreed.
Rhea Ripley accepted Io Shirai’s challenge because that’s exactly what she wanted anyway. She’s planning to finish this year the way she finished last, as NXT Women’s Champion.
Next week Johnny Gargano defends his title against an unnamed opponent, and Oney Lorcan & Danny Burch take on Breezango.
Tommaso Ciampa vs Velveteen Dream
Velveteen Dream tried to get a quick start on Ciampa, but Ciampa was ready. Ciampa was keen to get some payback for Velveteen hitting him with his cast, so he made that his target. The first half of the match was very one-sided, all Tommaso Ciampa. It evened up in the second half, but Velveteen Dream’s offence spoke of desperation. He suplexed Ciampa over the top rope, to damage Ciampa’s surgically repaired neck, but he went over as well and took an arguably worse landing.
Velveteen Dream threw a chair into the ring and went to the top while the ref was removing it, presumably looking to take Ciampa out with the cast. Instead, Ciampa caught him with a knee and a Willow’s Bell into Fairytale Ending sealed the win for Tommaso Ciampa.
Not a bad show tonight. Ember Moon versus Dakota Kai was good. Tommaso Ciampa destroying Velveteen Dream was good. I’m interested in whatever is going on with Pat McAfee’s new faction, but I find McAfee himself hard to watch. Shotzi Blackheart had an off-night, but her feud with Candice LeRae will be great. Even better, will be Io Shirai and Rhea Ripley. It feels a little like they’re treading water in some areas, but with injuries to contend with and everything else going on, they’re doing ok.