Lio Rush (C.) vs. Angel Garza for the NXT Cruiserweight Championship
We opened the show with a video package which showed us the highlights of last week’s episode. Then, we saw Adam Cole who said that this episode’s main event would be stupid since neither of the superstars has done anything to earn a title shot. He added that the winner of the match would just earn a chance to lose to him.
After that, the title match for the NXT Cruiserweight Championship took place. As Angel Garza taunted Lio Rush during the introductions, the champ attacked him before the match even started. The fight itself was entertaining and intense as both men were also able to perform their finishers, but none of them led to a successful pinfall. However, after about 15 minutes, Garza applied a reverse Full Nelson which forced Rush to tap out. So, we got a title change in the first match of the evening.
Then, we saw a video package which showed Shayna Bazler who compared her life to her vintage car, a Ford Mustang. She then went through all her matches which she had since the championship win against Ember Moon.
After that, we additionally, saw another promo of Finn Balor in a dark room. He complained about William Regal putting him in the number one contender match after all he has done for NXT and noted that he already held the NXT Championship for a long time.
They then aired footage from shortly after the first match of the night in which Garza brought his girlfriend into the ring where he asked her to marry her and she said yes.
Opinion: Amazing way to kick off this episode of WWE‘s NXT. An intense and well-worked fight by Garza and Rush. I just hope that this isn’t the end of Rush’s push as he delivered great matches within the last weeks. Then, we got two good other segments from Baszler and Balor. I don’t know if Garza is now a face after this post-match segment and additionally, I’m not sure if female fans wanted to see that.
Cameron Grimes vs. Raul Mendoza
The reason for this match was that Cameron Grimes attacked last week Raul Mendoza ahead of the match between Mendoza and Kushida in which then Grimes replaced Mendoza. After about one minute of this fight, Kushida walked out what distracted Grimes and led to a roll-up victory for Mendoza. Kushida grabbed Grimes’ hat and took it to the backstage area.
Then, Cathy Kelly interviewed Mia Yim backstage and asked her about this night’s fight against Dakota Kai. She said that it will be about Kai taking away from her the biggest night of her career at WarGames. She noted that this time it would be Kai who leaves the arena in an ambulance.
Opinion: That’s a bit confusing to me as Grimes picked up several wins within the last time and now he lost two weeks in a row due to a roll-up. Anyways, this feud between Kushida and Grimes could be quite interesting to watch. Additionally, it was a bit ridiculous that it took just about one minute until Kushida came out and the match ended almost immediately.
Jaxson Ryker (w/ Steve Cutler and Wesley Blake) vs. ”The Kiwi Buzzsaw” Travis Banks
Travis Banks represented NXT UK to draw some attention towards “Worlds Collide”. Anyways, this match didn’t even take three minutes as then Banks hit Jaxson Ryker with the Slice of Heaven. Ryker kicked out right after three, but it was too late.
Opinion: I’m really surprised by that since Ryker looks like one of the baddest men in all of NXT. However, he and the Forgotten Sons are in no man’s land and maybe it would be better to split them and start with him a run as a singles wrestler.
Mia Yim vs. Dakota Kai
These two women showed us an intense fight and after about six minutes, Kai wanted to use the knee brace of Tegan Nox. The ref took it away from here and as he brought it to ringside and he didn’t look, Kai unravelled the top turnbuckle and sent Yim into that one to then pin her for the three count. However, after the match, Yim recovered and attacked Kai. They brawled until they were in a production area and Yim performed a Saito Suplex what sent both women through a table.
After that, we saw a vignette which featured Keith Lee. He said that it would be hard to stop him and ended the promo with the words “Bask in my glory”.
Opinion: A really intense match between these two women. Both women worked well and it was also a good ending of the match. Anyways, the post-match angle was necessary as they had to give Yim a chance to get real revenge, but there were two tables through which they would have to fly through, but just went through one and Kai’s landing looked nasty. Hopefully, she’s ok.
“Breezango” Tyler Breeze and Fandango vs. “The Singh Brothers” Sunil and Samir Singh
Tyler Breeze and Fandango made their entrance as stripper medical doctors. The match itself was okay and after about four minutes Fandango performed a Leg Drop for the victory.
Then, they showed us a video package which focused on next week’s title match between Baszler and Rhea Ripley. We saw Ripley at a radio show and she talked about her journey in the WWE.
Opinion: I’m not so sure where they want to go with Breezango. Their stripper routine is funny, but I’m not completely sure if it won’t get boring at some point. Meanwhile, they did a good job to generate hype with the video packages around the NXT Women’s Championship match next week.
Bianca Belair vs. Kayden Carter
This match was quite entertaining as Kayden Carter had the chance to show off some of her offensive skills even though she was the clear underdog. However, after about four minutes Binaca Belair hit her opponent with the KOD for the three count.
We then got to see another video package which was this time about Tommaso Ciampa. He said that he would get “Goldie” back and that his path would go through Lee and Balor. He also noted that there would be just one path and that one would lead to Goldie.
Opinion: Good to see that Carter showed some of her offence. It was clear that Belair would win this match, but I just have the feeling that they don’t know what they should do with her as she is at the moment in the same position for quite some time. Meanwhile, they don’t have a single serious challenger for the Women’s Championship on RAW, so maybe it would be quite a good idea to send Belair to the red brand. Besides, it was good to see that ahead of the main event every single man had the chance to speak in a little video package.
Tommaso Ciampa vs. Keith Lee vs. Finn Balor in a triple threat match to declare the number one contender for the NXT Championship
Adam Cole made his entrance and positioned himself on the balcony of the NXT commentary to watch the match. After that, the three superstars made their entrance as then the match kicked off. In the first few moments, we saw that Lee and Ciampa worked together against Balor. However, it didn’t take long until we got to see a triple threat match in which nobody teamed up to work against the third man. Instead, we saw several combinations and counterattacks.
There were several good nearfalls in this match, but then after about 14 minutes, it seemed as Lee would have a realistic chance to win this fight. He performed a Moonsault on Ciampa which led to a nearfall. Then he picked up Ciampa to plant him with a Spirit Bomb but then Balor came out of nowhere with a Coup the Grace from the top rope on Lee. After that, Lee didn’t kick out of the pinfall and Balor won the match. After the match, we saw Cole walking up the ramp and meanwhile mocking with Balor. The NXT Champion was joined by Roderick Strong, Kyle O’Reilly and Bobby Fish on the stage as they showed their UE hand sign.
Opinion: A good main event and the three men worked well together, but that wasn’t surprising at all. Since Balor and Cole are both heels at the moment this match next week could be even more interesting. However, I’m not sure who I should pick as a favourite in this match since both options are realistic.
We opened the show with an absolute stunner and ended it with a great match. However, I would even say that the opener was a bit more entertaining. Overall, it was a solid show of NXT, but I believe that next week’s show will be one of the greatest episodes of the whole year as we’ll see the matches for the NXT Women’s Championship and the NXT Championship. Besides, they did a good job in this episode to build towards these two fights, and in the lights of this, they did everything right.