By: Frank Hyden
Last night’s episode of NXT set up a some big matches for their Halloween Havoc episode in 2 weeks, as well as a few more for next week’s show. Let’s get to the rundown.
GOOD- Undisputed Era beat Oney Lorcan and Danny Burch to become #1 Contenders
Before the match, Kyle O’Reilly cut a promo which was rough in some areas but was decent enough to get across his point about UE fulfilling the golden prophecy a second time. This was a good, solid match until the finishing sequence, which was a complete mess. Things looked very stilted and robotic. Nonetheless, Rodrick Strong and Bobby Fish are now the #1 Contenders to the NXT Tag Team Titles and will face Breezango next week for the belts.
GOOD- Jake Atlas beat Ashante “Thee” Adonis
They showed a pretty good video package for Ember Moon before this match. That definitely put her over better than her in-ring interview last week, which was just okay. This was a quick but pretty good match that Atlas won with a small package. Afterwards, Legado del Fantasma were going to attack both of them until Isaiah “Swerve” Scott slid into the ring with some chairs to even the odds.
GOOD- Johnny Gargano beat Austin Theory
This match was too long, though it was good. However, you knew there was absolutely no way that Theory could win. They’ve been booking Theory to basically be a chump for months now. Almost winning a few matches and getting whooped in a bunch of matches doesn’t make me want to see you on TV. I don’t know what the plan is for Theory, I don’t think they know what the plan is for him. Also, Gargano is challenging Damian Priest for the NXT North American Title in 2 weeks so you knew there was no way he was losing here. Gargano gave Theory plenty of offense here and this was Theory’s best match of his career but it just went a little too long in my opinion.
GOOD- Candice LeRae beat Shotzi Blackheart
This was a really good match, no surprise there. I did find myself thinking that Blackheart might actually win because it would be cool if she were to get the title shot at Halloween Havoc since she’s also hosting the show but then I remembered that they’re probably going to do the husband and wife both getting title shots on the same night thing they literally just did the other week at TakeOver 31. I’ll say this, if they have both Gargano and LeRae lose their title matches again, that’ll be an incredibly lame and bullshit way to book things. Rerunning the same matches with the same finishes 3 weeks later just seems like a waste of time. I imagine there’s a better chance that Io Shirai loses her NXT Women’s Title but they seem to really love her so I wouldn’t give that a good chance of happening at all.
Anyway, as for this match, both women showed that they can go and they’re really tough. They went back and forth, as LeRae hit Blackheart with a springboard moonsault, a 2nd rope German Suplex, and more. Blackheart kept kicking out, though. The finish came when Indi Hartwell passed LeRae some brass knuckles through the barrier at ringside and she blasted Blackheart with them to get the pin. I’m assuming they’re going to do an intern type of thing with Hartwell, where she keeps helping LeRae win matches and starts following her around.
GOOD- Toni Storm beat Aliyah
This was just a short squash match to get Storm over. It was okay, and there’s a lot of potential with Storm, but it was nothing to get too excited about.
GOOD- Imperium beat Drake Maverick and Killian Dain
More of the Odd Couple dynamic they have going with Dain and Maverick. This was fine, as the match wasn’t too long and the right team won. Maverick took the pin so you protect Dain. After the loss, Ever-Rise attacked Maverick before Dain made the save, saying no one hits Maverick except him.
GOOD- Damian Priest beat Dexter Lumis to retain his NXT North American Title
Raquel Gonzalez vs. Rhea Ripley was announced for Halloween Havoc and Xia Li requested a match for next week. This was a good match, Lumis showed off his athleticism, kipping up a few times. Priest did all of his big moves but Lumis wouldn’t stay down. It wasn’t until Cameron Grimes interfered, hitting Lumis with the Cave-In on the apron that allowed Priest to finish him off for the win. Priest attacked Grimes afterward before Johnny Gargano hit him with a steel chair on the ramp. William Regal came out and then Shotzi Blackheart appeared on the other side of the arena and said that both Gargano and LeRae’s matches at Halloween Havoc are going to be Spin the Wheel, Make a Deal matches. That adds some intrigue to their matches.
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