SHOTZI BLACKHEART vs. IO SHIRAI- 8/10
“F*CK HER UP, IO, F*CK HER UP!” “F*CK HER UP, IO, F*CK HER UP!”
Wade Barrett says that he has introduced himself to everyone in NXT other than Shotzi. It’s nice to see someone else showing Shotzi the exact amount of respect she deserves. And can you blame Wade? This nutjob has a habit of not just attacking people for no reason, but she will keep coming back and pouring salt in your wounds week after week, too.
See… a match like this is how you get elevate undercard talent without beating a top name. You let the undercard wrestler do a lot better than one would expect against the star, and if the wrestler can come through in the ring, it will make fans think “wow! WRESTLER X is actually better than I thought he/she was.”
We’re getting a women’s #1 contendership battle royale next week.
DESMOND TROY vs. TOMMASO CIAMPA- squash
They showed a video package of Ciampa’s newfound viciousness earlier, and that continued here. The guillotine spot comes off as a much less of a big deal when he does it into the turnbuckle instead of the underside of the ring frame. He should just sav eit for the ring frame and not do it otherwise.
POST-MATCH SEGMENT- fine
Drake Atlas comes out and challenges Ciampa to a match next week to get revenge for Ciampa destroying him a few weeks ago.
DRAKE MAVERICK INTERVIEW- fine
He’s sure things will go well teaming with Killian Dain against Undisputed Era this week, despite everything that has happened in the past. He did a good job of using humor as a coping mechanism, but I liked that it felt like underneath it all he still hopes that maybe Dain will just be a good partner tonight.
FINN BALOR PROMO- great
AUSTIN THEORY PROMO- good
He says that last week’s loss to Bronson Reed was a fluke, and he will prove it right now by winning an open challenge. We wind up with…
AUSTIN THEORY vs. KUSHIDA- 5//10
KUSHIDA won after Theory forearmed the ringpost and KUSHIDA went to work on the arm. KUSHIDA kept the Hoverboard Lock locked in for a while because he’s angry KUSHIDA now. The announcers made sure to point out how angry and aggressive he was about once every twenty seconds.
CANDICE LERAE & JOHNNY GARGANO COMPLAIN ABOUT TEGAN NOX AND CUT A PROMO ABOUT WINNING TITLES- bad
They’re getting way too cartoonish.
NXT TAG TEAM TITLE MATCH: Breezango(c) vs. Imperium (Fabian Aichner & Marcel Barthel)- 8/10
Awesome! Like the opener, but with real stakes.
JESSIE KAMEA & XIA LI vs. KAYDEN CARTER & KAZY CATANZARO- 4/10
Fine for the time it got. Team KC won clean. Xia Li was salty after the match and walked out on a handshake.
DRAKE MAVERICK AND KILLIAN DAIN BACKSTAGE- Dain flat out tells Drake he won’t go out for the match. Well… I hope Regal punishes him for it.
TEGAN NOX PROMO- didn’t like it
She isn’t coming off as much of a babyface here in this whole Candice situation. Candice is definitely a heel, but Tegan isn’t very likable, either.
UNDISPUTED ERA (Bobby Fish & Roderick Strong) vs. DRAKE MAVERICK & KILLIAN DAIN- no rating, GREAT segment
Beth exposes that she wasn’t paying attention earlier because she said that Dain had been ignoring all of Drake’s calls and texts, but Drake had said that he didn’t even have Dain’s number.
Dain doesn’t come out so Drake has to fight alone, and does a great job as the never-say-die babyface who keeps fighting despite the impossible odds. We were shown Dain and a bunch of other people watching the match backstage, which I think is the first time in a long time we’ve gotten the “someone watches the match from backstage” trope in NXT.
Regal eventually shows up and lectures Dain into going out there. Dain arrives just when Maverick needs him. He pulls Maverick up from the ground on the outside… and rolls him into the ring an tells him to “take it like a man,” then walks off.
When Dain gets most of the way up the stage, Roderick Strong figures it’s a safe distance for him to shout “yeah, go away, you fat dork!” Dan gets angry, turns around, and starts to fight UE. Fish eventually gets a chair gets UE DQed. Maverick snatches the chair away, saving Dain form the second shot, and the heels are sent scampering. Drake once again offers the hand of friendship to Dain, and this time Dain… punches Maverick in the face again.
JAKE ATLAS IS ASKED ABOUT CHALLENGING CIAMPA- good segment
Atlas starts to cut a good promo but is jumped from behind by Ciampa. Ciampa starts to throw him into a truck… and even outside, they apparently still have those metal poles whose only purpose seems t be for wrestlers to get thrown into. Steve Corino and some other agents come over to break it up… and also Kyle O’Reilly is there and he yells at Ciampa for… being loud in a parking lot, I think? I don’t know why Kyle was here or why he was so irritated, but I don’t this face-off will lead to nothing, and if it leads to Ciampa vs. Kyle, I can’t see that not leading to Ciampa vs. Cole.
WILLIAM REGAL ANNOUNCES THE GAUNTLET ELIMINATOR- It’s basically Aztec Warfare, except with only five competitors and the entrances are four minutes apart. There are five guys in it, but we don’t know who. The match will happen next week, and the winner gets the NXT Title shot on the October 4th TakeOver: No Announced Subtitle.
NXT NORTH AMERICAN TITLE MATCH: Damian Priest(c) vs. Timothy Thatcher- 7.5/10
Thatcher worked the arm. Priest did Priest stuff, I liked the match a lot. That flying kick of Priests’ needs to be a finisher.
This was an awesome episode of NXT and next week’s show feels very stacked, too, with the two #1 contendership matches, plus Ciampa vs. Atlas. The best part of this is that it doesn’t feel like they’re hot-shotting at all. All of the matches have a purpose. They are either clearly building to something else or have been built to by something else. It’s a flowing narrative. This is how pro wrestling is supposed to be booked.
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