By: Frank Hyden
NXT last night featured two title matches and the return of the Undisputed Era. Let’s get to the rundown.
GOOD- Leon Ruff vs. Johnny Gargano ends in DQ
Ruff had won the NXT North American Title last week in a huge upset. This week, right as Gargano was about to pin Ruff and win the belt back, Damian Priest pulled Ruff out and attacked. He was wanting to mess with Gargano some more. Ruff took offense to that and slapped Priest backstage. He attacked them both later and now will have to face them both to defend his title next.
BAD- Cameron Grimes vs. Dexter Lumis in a blindfold match
They both wrestled with bags over their heads. So, in other words, nothing much happened because they couldn’t see. The ref got bumped and they both took off the hoods, then Grimes ran away. I didn’t care for this but I guess it fits the character of Grimes.
GOOD- Candice LeRae and Indi Hartwell beat Kacy Catanzaro and Kayden Carter
This was basically a squash with LeRae dominating. It was still kind of fun, though, as I like the people involved.
GOOD/BAD- Kushida beat Arturo Ruas
This was a repackaging of Ruas essentially. He gave Kushida about all he could handle but he still lost, so I’m not sure what the plans are for him. Kushida winning continues his push, which is good, but Ruas losing doesn’t really do him a lot of favors. We’ll see, though, maybe they have plans for him?
GOOD- Ember Moon and Toni Storm beat Dakota Kai and Raquel Gonzalez
The action was pretty good in this match. They all got their stuff in, for the most part, before Moon rolled up Kai for the win. After the match, Candice LeRae and Indi Hartwell attacked the faces so I’m guessing that will be the 4 heels in the women’s WarGames match.
GOOD- Timothy Thatcher beat August Gray
Thatcher dominated this match and made him tap out. As he was about to beat him down some more, Tommaso Ciampa came out and slowly made his way to the ring. Then, Thatcher slowly got out of the ring. I could have done without that all being done so slowly but whatever. A quick segment with Boa at his front door refusing William Regal’s requests to come back to the Performance Center aired. Boa would only fearfully say “she” was coming, but not Xia Li, as she was also afraid of this person.
GOOD- Io Shirai beat Rhea Ripley to retain her NXT Women’s Title
They were given plenty of time and made use of it. Things got brutal quick, Ripley suffered an injury near her earlobe that caused some bleeding. She also took a took a dropkick right in the mouth that caused a little bleeding. They also did a spot right at the end of the match where Shirai went to do a Sunset Bomb off the ring apron but Ripley held on, then Shirai actually picked her up long enough to carry her a few feet to powerbomb her through the announce table. That spot would probably be more impactful if they hadn’t had Lana go through the announce table on RAW for 9 frigging weeks in a row. Anyway, Ripley barely crawled back into the ring to beat the countout but Shirai hit her with a Moonsault as she came in and pinned her. This was a pretty damn good match and should have ended the show, they could have done the Undisputed Era’s return before this. Not a huge deal, though.
GOOD- The Kings of NXT are attacked by a returning Undisputed Era
NXT Champion Finn Balor came out and was almost immediately interrupted by The Kings of NXT. That’s probably a good thing because Balor never really has much interesting to say, he does all his talking with his good wrestling. Anyway, Pat McAfee cut a promo on him saying that the Kings are going to take every title in NXT. Balor said he wasn’t alone and brought friends, and The Undisputed Era ran out and they brawled to end the show.
This was a really good episode of NXT. A large part of that was the Shirai-Ripley match but there were other good parts. That match, though, was good enough to carry the show all on its own.
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