Just three advertised matches for tonight’s show. Bronson Reed faces Karrion Kross. Cameron Grimes takes on Damian Priest. And the big match of the night is NXT North American Champion Keith Lee defending his title in a triple threat match against Johnny Gargano and Finn Balor.
Cameron Grimes def. Damian Priest
Santos Escobar def. Jake Atlas
Raquel Gonzalez & Dakota Kai def. Kacy Catanzaro & Kayden Carter
Karrion Kross def. Bronson Reed
Rhea Ripley def. Aliyah
Dexter Lumis def. Roderick Strong
Keith Lee def. Finn Balor and Johnny Gargano
Cameron Grimes apparently slammed Damian Priest in a car door, according to a video clip at the start of the show.
Cameron Grimes vs Damian Priest
Grimes talked a lot before the match, fully expecting to win by forfeit. Damian Priest battled a bunch of officials to get to the ring, fully taped ribs and all, and insisted on having the match. It might have been a mistake. Grimes makes it look like it hurts. Priest tried for a Razor’s Edge on the outside but his ribs let him down and Grimes landed his Cave In instead. A second Cave In, back in the ring, secured the win.
Robert Stone tried again to get Rhea Ripley to become his client. She punched him in the stomach and put him in a dumpster. Aliyah has now signed with him. She came out to defend Stone and slapped Ripley. They have a match later.
Timothy Thatcher’s wrestling class looks like it hurts. This week appeared to be removing a trainee’s arm at the shoulder.
Santos Escobar, with Raul Mendoza and Joaquin Wilde, vs Jake Atlas
This was set for Atlas to get some retribution for Santos and friends’ attack on Drake Maverick last week. It didn’t work out for him. He lost to a Phantom Driver. Good match though.
Last week Undisputed ERA were trying to put Roderick Strong in the trunk of a car to cure his fear of Dexter Lumis, with Kyle O’Reilly playing a therapist, but he ran away. This week he got in and they shut it. When he got out they told him he had a match against Lumis.
Malcolm Bivens and Indus Sher are annoyed that Oney Lorcan and Danny Burch attacked them at ringside during the title match last week. That’s probably bad news for Lorcan and Burch.
Kacy Catanzaro & Kayden Carter vs Raquel Gonzalez & Dakota Kai
Kayden Carter and Kacy Catanzaro are great together. NXT should make them a proper team. Things were going pretty well for them until Raquel Gonzalez caught Catanzaro and slammed her into the mat. Instead of taking the pin herself, Gonzalez tagged in Dakota Kai to tap Catanzaro out.
After the match, Dakota Kai said again that she’s coming for Io Shirai’s title.
Karrion Kross vs Bronson Reed
Karrion Kross’ entrance is spectacular, but it will definitely play better when there’s a crowd. The match was fun, a proper big lads battle. It wasn’t a long match though, and it finished after just a couple of minutes with a Kross Jacket.
Adam Cole said he doesn’t care who he faces in the Winner Takes All match in a couple of weeks, because the result will be the same. He’ll still be champion.
Mercedes Martinez got a hype package this week. That’s nice to see.
Rhea Ripley vs Aliyah
Aliyah tried to escape, failed, and got destroyed. It wasn’t completely one-sided, but it was close. Robert Stone threw his shoe at Ripley while she was trying to submit Aliyah and she chased him around and into the ring, pulling his jacket off before he could escape. Aliyah tried to take advantage of the distraction, but Ripley pinned her off the Riptide.
Roderick Strong vs Dexter Lumis
Bobby Fish had to manhandle Strong to the ring, so maybe his ‘therapy’ wasn’t that successful. He tried to escape again when the bell rang, several times, before Lumis had moved a muscle. Eventually, Lumis got bored of waiting and very slowly went after Strong on the outside. Strong ran straight into the plexiglass then sprinted backstage. Lumis got back in the ring and grabbed Bobby Fish, who was stood with his back against the ring yelling after Strong, in a chokehold.
Robert Stone tried to convince William Regal to give Aliyah a rematch against Rhea Ripley. Regal said he would make it a handicap match, Aliyah and Stone against Ripley. Stone didn’t want to but tried to bargain for Ripley to join his brand if she lost. William Regal said that would have to be discussed with Ripley. Rhea Ripley walked over and said she was good with that.
Another intergender wrestling tease, but I can’t see WWE allowing it to go that way.
There will be a four-way number one contender’s match to decide Io Shirai’s first challenger. Dakota Kai, Tegan Nox, Candice LeRae, and Mia Yim fight it out next week.
Also next week, Dexter Lumis vs Roderick Strong in a strap match… I’m not even sure what to say about that.
Keith Lee (C) vs Johnny Gargano vs Finn Balor – NXT North American Championship match
A fun main event. Keith Lee grabbing both Balor and Gargano and tossing them over his shoulder to the mat was impressive, but Lee’s feats of strength always are. He got flung into the steps after Gargano and Balor worked together on the outside, which gave us some Gargano versus Balor time. When he got close to getting back in, Balor dived over the top rope and put him down again. You can’t keep a good man down though and Lee took both opponents down with his launched over the top rope re-entry to the ring. A Pounce at ringside, while Balor was trying to deliver 1916 to Gargano, looked so grim for Gargano, but he got up so I guess it was fine.
It finished with a Big Bang Catastrophe on Balor. Gargano had been taken out by a Big Bang Catastrophe and a Coup de Grace that was meant for Lee, so he wasn’t there to break the pin.
Adam Cole came to the ring to face Lee post-match and they held their titles up at each other.
A fairly short review tonight because it’s hard to find the enthusiasm for wrestling at the moment. It has been a week of horrifying things topped with the news that several WWE staff have tested positive for COVID-19. In-ring talent are said to be among those affected, but no names have yet been released. Wrestling feels both tarnished and uncertain to many of us at the moment.
As far as shows go, this week’s NXT was actually pretty decent. There’s a lot of potentially interesting stuff going on. I don’t understand the point of the Winner Takes All match. Surely the whole reason for having two titles is to have two champions. With the way things are at the moment, I also question the sense in putting all your eggs in one basket like that.