Tonight is NXT Super Tuesday II and there are four advertised matches. Adam Cole and Finn Balor face off for the NXT Championship. Rhea Ripley and Mercedes Martinez have a steel cage match. Bronson Reed tries to get some payback on Austin Theory for attacking him during his match last week. And Killian Dain faces Roderick Strong.
Finn Balor def. Adam Cole
Velveteen Dream def. Ashante ‘Thee’ Adonis
Bronson Reed def. Austin Theory
Roderick Strong def. Killian Dain
Rhea Ripley def. Mercedes Martinez
Finn Balor vs Adam Cole – NXT Championship match
I guess it made sense for this to open the show. It saves putting the cage down and having to raise it again. If I’m honest, I’m still annoyed at having watched an hour-long ironman match with no winner and I feel like this should have been sorted last week. But here we are.
Finn Balor belongs in NXT, but his run since he returned has been less than thrilling, and I don’t like Adam Cole, so it was tough to truly invest in the match. That said, it was a very good match. I mean, it wasn’t going to be anything else, was it.
Balor took a lot of damage during the match. His knee caused him the most problems, but he was bruising in real-time as well. Despite that, he managed to land a Coup de Grace, but Adam Cole kicked out and Balor found himself in a figure four. That didn’t pay off for Cole. Neither did the superkick and Last Shot. Balor delivered 1916 but took too long going to the top. Cole superkicked his knee and joined him up there. They came down from with a top turnbuckle 1916 and Finn Balor is the new NXT Champion.
Backstage, after a break, Balor was congratulated by Triple H and William Regal. Adam Cole came over and shook his hand and exchanged Too Sweet’s. His interview was simple. He said people have been asking why
Rhea Ripley said Mercedes Martinez has spent months trying to make a name for herself at her expense. She’s not the first and she won’t be the last, but tonight she’s going to show her why she’s the ‘nightmare’.
Robert Stone tried to destroy Shotzi Blackheart’s tank. He pulled McKenzie Mitchell away from what she was doing to watch him, but Blackheart turned up and punched him. Aliyah attacked her from behind and they crashed through a curtain and knocked over Io Shirai. Aliyah tried to apologise but Shirai chased her to the ring. Shotzi Blackheart met them there and Aliyah was caught between them taking shots from both. Robert Stone tried to rescue her by coming off the top rope. Blackheart saw him and hit him in the stomach on the way down. Stone took a moonsault and Aliyah took a senton from the top. Blackheart picked up the NXT Women’s Championship and hesitated just a second before giving it back. Shirai snatched it back and said, ‘I like you, Shotzi. Don’t make me hurt you’.
Johnny Gargano didn’t seem to think Tegan Nox coming over was a good idea. He was overly loud and fake when he let her in and it was all very awkward. They got as far as LeRae saying ‘Let’s talk’ on the first visit.
On the second visit Gargano loft them to it and they immediately started arguing. Candice LeRae was trying to talk Nox into trying the ‘Gargano Way’ by telling her she’s always had her back and never steered her wrong, so why would this be any different. By the end of the clip, it looked like Nox was thinking about it.
It looked like they’d made up at the start of the third visit, but part of LeRae’s toast included her becoming champion. That started them arguing again and this time it led to food and drink being thrown. Johnny Gargano came back and Nox dumped a bowl of pasta on his head when he yelled at her. LeRae threw something at Nox which missed and broke their tv then chased after her out of the front door.
Timothy Thatcher’s latest Thatch as Thatch can was a study of Damian Priest’s weaknesses.
Velveteen Dream vs Ashante ‘Thee’ Adonis
This match happened. I’m still very uncomfortable with Velveteen Dream being on tv. Adonis tried some trash talk, got some good offence, and even had a credible-looking pin attempt. Who knows what could have happened if Velveteen hadn’t moved out of the path of a superkick causing Adonis and the ref to need quick reactions to avoid disaster. The few seconds the ref was distracted were all it took for Velveteen Dream to rake the eyes and deliver a Dream Valley Driver for the win.
Kushida attacked Velveteen Dream after the match. It took a while for officials to separate them, during which time Kushida destroyed Velveteen Dream’s shoulder.
Imperium are planning to tack the tag titles back from Breezango next week. They think Breezango are a joke. Breezango think they’re boring, like a steak with no sizzle. They like being champions.
I will be one pissed off fan if Breezango lose the titles as soon as next week.
Bronson Reed vs Austin Theory
It’s always a lot of fun watching Bronson Reed throw people around and that described 90% of this match. It never really looked like Theory would win, it was just a case of how much he could take. He did have a go at the ATL but collapsed and ended up under Reed. Under Reed is where he finished the match as well, courtesy of a Tsunami Splash.
Adam Cole said he’s disappointed in the result tonight, but the better man won. He has respect for Finn Balor and Balor proved he was better this time. But he better hope Cole doesn’t get another shot or the outcome will be different.
Mercedes Martinez said that when a lion wants to be king they don’t go after the weaklings they challenge the strongest fiercest animal they can find and take them down. Ripley is a bad woman but she’s not as bad as her and when the cage door shuts, she’s not going to stop until there’s nothing left.
Roderick Strong vs Killian Dain
Roderick Strong was accompanied by Bobby Fish, but not Cole or Kyle O’Reilly. It didn’t take long for Strong to use him as a distraction tactic and he got involved again going into a break when he kicked Dain’s feet out from under him on the apron. TO be fair, Strong needed all the help he could get. Fish pulled Strong out of the path of Dain while was going to the top. Dain punched him off the apron then took a jumping knee to the face from Strong and went out like a light.
Strong and Fish started giving Dain the post-match beatdown but Drake Maverick ran down with a metal pipe to make the save. It worked in the sense they beat him up instead. Dain chased them off with the pipe then advanced on Maverick. All he did was throw the pipe at him and start to leave but Maverick ran after him and offered a handshake. He got a punch in the face instead.
Damian Priest will defend the NXT North American Championship title against Timothy Thatcher next week. He’s not worried. He has no intention of losing the title on his first defence.
Rhea Ripley vs Mercedes Martinez – Steel Cage match
Mercedes Martinez’ entrance would be a lot more impactful without Robert Stone trailing behind her. She was carrying a kendo stick and stopped to get some toys from under the ring to put in the cage. Rhea Ripley attacked her while she was dragging a table out then rolled her into the ring and dragged the table in herself. Ripley slammed the cage door and things got underway.
For a main event match, it wasn’t given masses of time. It got around fifteen minutes. But what it lacked in longevity it made up for in brutality. Martinez had the edge going into a break after slamming Ripley onto a chair, and when we came back courtesy of a german suplex off the top. Ripley bought herself some recovery time by throwing a chair into Martinez’ face while she was sat on the turnbuckle, then dropkicked her and climbed up to bring them both down with a superplex. Somehow, Martinez still kicked out.
Ripley dropped Martinez on her face then tried to submit her with a Prism Drop, but Martinez managed to grab a kendo stick and hit her until she let go. Robert Stone climbed the cage so Ripley went to meet him. He ended up dangling limply over the top, but it gave Martinez chance to smack Ripley a few times with a kendo stick then bring them back to the mat with a neckbreaker. Martinez took too long to cover and Ripley kicked out.
Mercedes Martinez tried to suplex Ripley from the turnbuckle through a table, but a couple of headbutts later, it was Ripley’s Riptide that sent them crashing through for the win.
The show closed out with Martinez laid out on the mat and Ripley celebrating leaning over a corner at the top of the cage. In the background, Robert Stone was still hanging like a rag doll over the opposite corner.
Happily, NXT is back to Wednesday next week. Tonight’s show as a whole was solid rather than spectacular, but the main event was decent and Reed versus Theory was fun. There’s plenty building up, and there are two title matches to look forward to next week. It’s not like there’s anything wrong, it just feels like the start of the next cycle of storylines.