This week’s episode of NXT kicked off with Mauro Ranallo who talked about “breaking news” as they showed footage from “moments ago” where AJ Styles, Luke Gallows, and Karl Anderson bet up the Undisputed Era outside of the arena. Right after that, the OC made its way through the crowd into the ring. The Phenomenal One grabbed the microphone for a promo as he talked about how the UE tried to bring the war to RAW and how they’re returning now the favour. Styles added that since the Undisputed Era is beaten up, all the champions in NXT are out. Styles continued by saying that the OC is taking over NXT and that would be undisputed.
Tommaso Ciampa made his entrance, stood on the stage and talked about how people have been asking him for years on how long it’ll take him to become part of the main roster. He added that today he could welcome the OC to the “main roster”. Ciampa added that it would be fine beating up the Undisputed Era but that he has a problem when Styles, Gallows and Anderson want to take over his ring. Styles pointed out that they have a numerical advantage, but then as you would expect, Keith Lee and Matt Riddle joined Ciampa on the stage. Ciampa asked Styles for a six-man tag team match and Styles accepted the challenge, so we’ll surely get this as the main event of this night.
Opinion: For people who watch NXT for some time it’s good to see that this brand finally gets the recognition which it deserves and that it is part of the Survivor Series PPV. Styles and Ciampa are both great with the mic what they proved once more and I’m sure that the tag team match won’t disappoint us. An awesome start to kick off this show.
Pete Dunne vs. Damien Priest and Dakota Kai at War Games?
This match was the second one during their feud and Priest was able to win the first one. However, this was a great match since nobody was able to dominate for a longer period and we saw counter after counter. The match took about 10 minutes and in the final phase, Dunne hit his opponent with a low blow what the ref didn’t see. This gave the Bruiserweight the chance to apply the Cross Armbreaker and his finger snap spot to win via submission. After the match, Killian Dain attacked Dunne from behind. Priest wanted to join him by attacking the Bruiserweight, but in the end, Dain bet up both superstars.
After that, Beth Phoenix announced that at War Games the fight Shayna Baszler, Bianca Belair and Io Shirai vs. Rhea Ripley, Candice LeRae and Tegan Nox. She added that both teams would need to pick one more member for their team. Then, Cathy Kelly interviewed Dakota Kai who would face Baszler later that night. She said that she’ll prove that she deserves to be on team Ripley.
Opinion: The match between Dunne and Priest was great to watch. Additionally, this time Dunne went for the low blow for the win and last time it was the other way around. So, both men seem to be on the exact same level. Dain continues to be the guy who suddenly appears and beats up everyone. This will surely lead to a nice set-up for a triple threat match.
I’m also hyped for the match between Baszler and Kai since this match will declare if Kai will be in the team of Ripley at War Games. Even though it’s completely unlikely that Baszler loses that match, I’m sure there is more to come about this topic in this episode.
Santana Garrett vs. Taynara Conti
The commentators noted that both women will try to show their abilities to possibly impress the War Games team captains. Taynara was able to get away with the victory after about four minutes as she had hit her opponent with a Back Thrust Kick.
Opinion: Even though Taynara lost so many times within the last weeks, you clearly saw a progression and in the light of this, she totally deserves that win. Anyways, I don’t think that she’ll be part of the War Games match.
Shayna Baszler (w/Marina Shafir and Jessamyn Duke) vs. Dakota Kai in a non-title match
The match took about eight minutes and even though Kai didn’t look weak, Baszler was just too strong. Kai had to tap out to the Kirafuda Clutch. After the match, Shafir and Duke joined Baszler in the ring to beat up Kai. Suddenly, both War Games teams came out and complete chaos broke out. Then, non-team member Mia Yim ran out with a Kendo Stick in her hands and cleared all the heels from the ring to save Team Ripley.
Opinion: Considering the post-match segment, it seems as Yim would be the fourth member of the match at War Games. The match itself was solid and Bazler just continuous to look extremely dangerous.
Tony Nese vs. Angel Garza to declare the new number one contender for the NXT Cruiserweight Championship
This match was very good to watch, and Garza once more showed off his great in-ring ability. Besides, both men proved that Cruiserweights aren’t just high-flyers. In the end, Garza got away with the victory after about nine minutes to become the new number one contender. He made his way up the ramp to go backstage, but then Lio Rush came out and applauded. He offered Garza the handshake, but the new contender answered with a slap and left the stage while Rush smiled.
Next, we saw Kelley interviewing Rhea Ripley and her War Games team plus Mia Yim and Dakota Kai. Ripley announced that Yim would be the fourth member of the team and apologized to Kai for not making the cut. Kai looked disappointed, answered that she would understand it and left.
Opinion: Since I’m a great fan of Garza, I’m happy to see him in the title picture. The post-match segment was also good and I’m sure that the match for the NXT Cruiserweight Championship next week will blow off the rooftop.
The interview with Ripley was as we would have expected it and I’m sure that there will happen something with Kai until the War Games match.
Dominik Dijakovic vs. Isaiah “Swerve” Scott
Scott performed good and showed off his abilities, and Dijakovic also performed well to show a great and entertaining match. You had the feeling that it was the first time for ages that Dijakovic was in a match without Lee. Dijakovic hit his opponent with the Feast Your Eyes to get the win.
Opinion: Dijakovic was class as always. Scott was solid but compared to his good times as Killshot at Lucha Underground, he’s still far behind. I’m sure that he’ll need some more time but in the near future, he’ll be able to show us what he’s really capable of.
“The OC” AJ Styles, Luke Gallows, and Karl Anderson vs. Tommaso Ciampa, Keith Lee, and Matt Riddle
Of course, this match was just amazing. All six superstars had several spots to show their incredible abilities. Especially Lee and Riddle had their great moments in which they hit their opponents with great moves. After about 13 minutes, Lee hit Styles with a Monty Brown Pounce which also took out the referee.
After that, Lee, Anderson and Gallows were at ringside as Riddle came over the top rope with a Fosbury Flop. In the ring, Ciampa gave the Phenomenal One a Knee and went for a Fairy Tale Ending, but then was interrupted by Finn Balor making his entrance. Styles took the opportunity to hit the shocked Ciampa with a Pele Kick and at the outside, Balor gave Matt Riddle a Bloody Sunday on the ramp. Styles showed the too sweet sign while Balor did his double shooter finger guns. The Phenomenal One went for the Styles Clash on Ciampa, but Adam Cole hit Styles with a kick and so he saved Ciampa. However, after that, performed the Last Shot to Ciampa. After this chaos, Cole stood tall in the ring while Balor was on the ramp as the show went off air.
Opinion: What an incredible main event and an even better post-match angle. It’s good that we had due to the ref bump a no-contest-ending, so nobody has to take a loss. However, the ending was a bit confusing since Balor is in truth in a feud with Jonny Gargano. Anyways, it was a surprising ending and that’s exactly what we want to see.
An amazing episode of NXT with a hot opening segment, several great matches and an incredible main event. Besides, there are still some open questions which hopefully will be answered next week: who is the fourth member of team Ciampa (Kelley asked him about this in that episode, but he didn’t give an answer or a hint), who is the fourth member of team Baszler, what will happen between Gargano and Balor,…
Besides, I’m looking forward to next week’s NXT Cruiserweight Championship match between Garza and Rush. Additionally, this show also once more proved how many great female superstars NXT has and they also proved to make a good show in which we saw none of the members of the Undisputed Era except Cole in the last seconds of it.