Bookended by two fantastic tag team matches, this week’s NXT was a fantastic show filled with great action. Not only did we get some enjoyable in-ring entertainment, but Adam Cole’s future also became a little clearer, which led to a showdown featuring the best NXT has to offer. Santos Escobar made his presence felt as he decimated Drake Maverick, Robert Stone continued his downward spiral, and Bronson Reed issued a challenge to Karrion Kross.

NXT Tag Team Championship Match: Imperium (C) vs Breezango

NXT started off with a bang even before the bell, as Emporium AKA Breezango looked to unsettle the tag team champs with an entrance that mocked them both. Dressing up as Fabio and Marsupial, they recreated Imperium’s entrance with a remix of their music into a dance track. It was very funny, and the match was pretty amazing, too.

Marcel Barthel went in hard on Tyler Breeze, clearly annoyed with their pre-match display. Imperium started off strong, and after launching Breeze into the plexiglass, it seemed as though this might be over quickly. However, when Fandango tagged in, he launched into a blistering attack on Imperium, using Barthel as a ladder to deliver a tornado DDT on Aichner.

He followed it up with a flip over the top rope onto Imperium, but they managed to gain a little momentum when Breeze tagged in. Barthel passed Breeze to Aichner who dropped him with a brainbuster, but Breezango showed a lot of heart. They hit a stunning double team move known as Faux Pas, and Fandango hit Last Dance on Aichner, but Barthel managed to break up the pin.

Indus Sher ended up walking to the ring, followed by Danny Burch and Oney Lorcan, with both teams brawling at ringside. Amongst the interruption, Aichner was able to deliver a DDT to Fandango and pick up the win. The tag team division is very exciting at the moment, and I’m looking forward to seeing Indus Sher get involved in a challenging match. Burch and Lorcan would be the perfect opponents, and I wonder if the winner would be the ones to face Imperium for the titles.

Winners: Imperium (Still NXT Tag Team Champions) Rating: 7.5/10

Damian Priest vs Killian Dain

Killian Dain was able to take advantage of Damian Priest early on due to Priest tweaking his lower back. Dain hit a leg drop on the back of Priest’s neck as he laid in the ropes, then continued to strike Priest’s lower back. Priest fought back with a couple of running uppercuts as Dain was in the corner, but Dain came back with a standing crossbody. Damian Priest wasn’t going to let his injury bother him, as he hit The Reckoning on Dain for the victory. It was nothing special, but it did act as another stepping stone for Priest to rise to the top of NXT.

Winner: Damian Priest Rating: 4/10

Xia Li vs Aliyah

Zzzzzzzzz. Sorry, I fell asleep for a moment. How many times can we see this match? Their feud is pointless, and it’s holding both Superstars back. What’s worse is how the match finished, and I’m not sure why NXT is giving Robert Stone so much screen time. At the end of the last match, Killian Dain saw Stone leaning on the plexiglass, so he hit it and knocked Stone down. As Aliyah came to the ring for her match, Stone was leaning at ringside with a bottle in a brown paper bag in his hand.

She pulled him to his feet and brought him to the ring. Xia Li started off with a succession of kicks on Aliyah and hit her hard with her fist in the corner. Robert Stone was standing on the apron, and out of nowhere ‘vomited’ on Li. It was cheap and a waste of a match, as it led to Aliyah pinning her. I know it was intended to be funny, but it wasn’t. I was never a fan of Stone representing Chelsea Green, and I love her. This needs to fizzle out as it’s just embarrassing.

Winner: Aliyah Rating: 1/10

What’s Next for Bay Bay?

Oh, boy! When it comes to picking the best of NXT, I’d be surprised if Finn Balor, Keith Lee, Johnny Gargano, and Adam Cole aren’t in that discussion. Cole came to the ring and talked about how hard he’s worked during his 381-day reign as the NXT Champion. Just before he came to the ring, Cole was backstage being interviewed by MacKenzie Mitchell, who addressed Karrion Kross. He said Kross was trying to scare him, but it wasn’t going to work. He then smashed the hourglass Scarlett left at ringside at the end of last week’s episode.

Keith Lee interrupted his interview backstage to say Kross wasn’t going to challenge him next, but it would be him. Back in the ring, Lee interrupted Cole again, just after Cole had said he’d like to be NXT North American Champion as well so that he could wear both belts over his shoulders. Johnny Gargano then came to the ring and said he didn’t care about moments, he cared about results. He mentioned pinning Lee last week, which led to Lee talking about Candice LeRae.

Keith Lee said that as he held her lifeless body, she whispered in his ear, “thank you, Mr Limitless. That’s the most action I’ve had in weeks.” Lee is always funny, and this was great. Finn Balor then walked out and said, “stop being marks for yourselves, and start being a mark for me.” Gargano said his name wasn’t Mark (idiot!), and Balor would have to wait in line, which led to Balor saying he was just going to push in.

Cole and Balor had an encounter, and after he said he was going to punch Cole in the jaw, William Regal appeared on the big screen and made two huge announcements. Next week, Johnny Gargano and Finn Balor would challenge Keith Lee for the NXT North American Championship. Not only that, but the winner would face Adam Cole on July 8th for the NXT Championship. Seeing these four men in the ring was amazing. They’re all phenomenal in their own way, and I cannot wait to see these two matches unfold.

Backstage, Lee was asked about his thoughts on the match Regal made when Candice LeRae got in his face. Before he had a chance to say anything, he pointed behind LeRae. She turned around to see Mia Yim, and the two women brawled backstage.

Kayden Carter W/ Kacy Cantanzaro vs Dakota Kai W/ Raquel Gonzalez

It was nice to see Kayden Carter put on a relatively strong performance, but Dakota Kai was on fine form. Carter hit a standing crossbody and a springboard basement dropkick, but Dakota Kai hit a scorpion kick, who only managed a two count. Outside the ring, Carter drove Kai’s face into the apron, but Kai ended up distracting the referee so Raquel Gonzalez threw Carter into the canvas. Kai then locked in a unique triangle submission for the victory.

Winner: Dakota Kai Rating: 5/10

Bronson Reed vs Leon Ruff

Poor, poor Leon. At least he got an entrance this week. Reed made short work of Ruff. He hit a standing senton, then ate a huge splash from the top rope, which allowed Reed to pick up a quick victory. After the match, Reed issued a challenge to Karrion Kross, with the match being made official for next week.

Winner: Bronson Reed Rating: 2/10

Women’s Tag Team Championship Match: Shotzi Blackheart & Tegan Nox vs Bayley & Sasha Banks (C)

These four had a great match, but Shotzi Blackheart and Sasha Banks stole the show. Banks hit a running knee on Shotzi from the apron to the outside which looked amazing. Inside the ring, Bayley whipped Banks into the corner in an attempt to hurt Blackheart, but she moved out the way. Nox and Blackheart landed double cannonballs, who continued to show they were worthy competitors for the titles. Nox hit Lady Kane on Banks, and Blackheart then dived outside the ring with a crossbody on both Bayley and Banks.

Back in the ring after a series of pin reversals, Banks went for the Bank Statement, but Blackheart reversed it into the Cattle Mutilation. Bayley grabbed a chair, but Nox stole it off her. Thinking it was Nox that brought it in, the referee took it off her, but whilst he was distracted, Bayley flipped Blackheart out of her submission attempt which allowed Banks to lock in the Bank Statement once again. Blackheart tapped out, meaning Banks and Bayley retained.

As the tag team champs celebrated, Io Shirai ran down and took them both out, showing that she was the face of the women’s division on NXT. Banks and Bayley weren’t happy, and I wonder if that means we’ll see something escalate here. Probably not, but a man can dream.

What Else Went Down?

– Velveteen Dream was interviewed by Tom Phillips, who was talking about life after his loss to Adam Cole. As he was talking, Dexter Lumis placed a caricature on his sofa of both of them with the NXT Tag Team Championships on their shoulders. When Dream noticed, he said he was a singles act, and his actions last week were a favour for Lumis.

– Timothy Thatcher started his wrestling school, teaching NXT recruits how to implement the Fujiwara armbar and the double wrist lock. I’m not sure where this is heading, and I’d rather be seeing him wrestle. Hopefully, we’ll get to see him back in the ring soon.

– Roderick Strong still isn’t over being stuck in the back of Dexter Lumis’ car, so Adam Cole and Bobby Fish took him to some Undisputed Therapy. The therapist was Kyle O’ Reilly who still hasn’t shaved. It was a fun segment which ended in Strong trying to face his fears by getting back into the trunk of a car. Unfortunately, Roddy couldn’t do it and ran away, with Cole and Fish shouting at him to come back.

– After Adam Cole, Finn Balor, Keith Lee, and Johnny Gargano had their showdown in the ring, a black and white filter appeared on the camera as Scarlett walked up to the broken hourglass. She knelt down and picked up some of the sand, as Kross’ foot appeared and broke some of the glass under his foot. It’s going to be exciting to see how Kross will feature in the title picture. I wonder if he’s just going to decimate them all next week so he gets a pass right to Cole’s gold.

– A vignette aired for Mercedes Martinez returning to NXT soon. Maybe she’ll be the one to stop Raquel Gonzalez.

– Damian Priest was in the parking lot who was angry that someone had let the air out of his tyres. Cameron Grimes drove past and said, “Want me to get you an uber?” as he laughed. A match between the two was made for next week.

– Santos Escobar came to the ring, as earlier in the night a vignette aired with him saying, “when you turn your back on a legacy, a new future is born.” He came to the ring with Joaquin Wilde and Raul Mendoza, all wearing black suits. He talked about how people only see those that wear masks as Luchadores, but he was given the opportunity to come to NXT, and that that life had to end. Drake Maverick interrupted him and said many think he has more guts than brains. He ran down but got beaten up by all three men. Escobar hit a Phantom Driver through a table outside the ring and onto the concrete. Maverick was taken away to a local hospital, sorry, “medical facility.”

After The Bell


Another packed show this week, and plenty of good stuff happened. The showdown in the ring featuring Balor, Lee, Gargano and Cole was great, and Regal made some great matches involving all four. Karrion Kross is definitely going to feature somewhere, and I can’t wait to see where. The tag team matches were entertaining, especially the finale. Although Io Shirai will probably never cross paths with Bayley and Banks again, it was cool seeing her beat the hell out of them both.

Santos Escobar continues to build his character, and I love what NXT has done with him. His feud with Maverick is interesting, and with him being taken away in an ambulance, I’m almost certain Jake Atlas will try and get some revenge. Please, Regal, make it happen!

It’s good to see Bronson Reed get more air time, and I’m hoping he can put up a fight against Kross next week. Priest and Grimes could be a great match as well. Finally, the Dexter Lumis/Velveteen Dream angle is odd but in a good way. I’d personally love to see these guys go for the tag titles, and it means potential matches with Indus Sher, Imperium, and Danny Burch and Oney Lorcan.

Star of the Show: Adam Cole Overall Rating: 7/10

All images and video courtesy of WWE

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