Tonight’s NXT had some great matches on paper, especially Kushida vs Velveteen Dream vs Tommaso Ciampa. El Legado Del Fantasma were in 6-man action, Drake Maverick and Killian Dain continued to build on their unusual friendship, Ember Moon made her in-ring return, and the NXT Tag Team Titles were on the line in the main event. Without further ado, let’s get stuck in.
Kushida vs Velveteen Dream vs Tommaso Ciampa
Before the match had even begun, Ciampa attacked Dream as he made his way to the ring. He went to work on both guys, delivering running knees on Kushida and Dream and knocking them into the plexiglass outside. Back inside, Ciampa delivered a mugging to Kushida. He hit a WIllow’s Bell on Kushida as Dream hanged on to the Timesplitter’s waist and continued his beating.
Ciampa controlled the match, with neither opponent getting in any kind of offence. When there was a shift of momentum, Ciampa took it back. He chopped at Kushida’s chest, shoved him out of the way, then did the same to Dream. Dream hit a Dream Valley Driver on Kushida then ate a running knee from Ciampa. Outside, Kushida locked in an armbar on the damaged wrist of Dream, but Ciampa broke it up. Kushida managed to drive Ciampa into the plexiglass and start a wave of aggression on Ciampa. He locked in an armbar on Ciampa in the centre of the ring until Dream hit a Purple Rainmaker on both guys.
Ciampa almost got a pin, bur Dream kicked out, and as the ref was distracted, Dream hit a Dream Valley Driver on Ciampa. Dream got cocky, which led to him getting attacked by Kushida and Ciampa. Kushida then delivered a tope con hilo to both men. After another on Dream, Ciampa hit a WIllow’s Bell on Kushida, then Dream broke up an attempt at the Fairytale Ending. The match ended when Ciampa got smashed in the head with Dream’s cast, which allowed Kushida to hit a German Suplex and pin on Ciampa for the victory.
Winner: Kushida Rating: 8/10
Jessi Kamea vs Ember Moon
Kamea managed to show some good early signs against Moon, but it didn’t last long. Moon hit a standing moonsault, then locked in a crossface. She then delivered some big kicks to Kamea and ripped her leg with a modified half-Boston crab. Kamea fought back with a spinning heel kick, almost getting a victory until Moon made Kamea tap in the centre of the ring. After the match, Dakota Kai ran out and attacked Moon. Yes, give me this match now.
Winner: Ember Moon Rating: 6.5/10
Austin Theory vs Bronson Reed
Theory did a decent job of wearing Reed down early on, but Reed’s power and size were too much. He hit a spinning powerslam and standing senton on Theory. Reed climbed to the top rope, and after some attempts to stop him, Theory was knocked to the ground, which allowed Reed to jump off the turnbuckle and deliver a big splash for the win.
Theory grabbed the mic after the match and said he was the future of the WWE. He said he’d done more in his short time in the business that Reed had and called for the match to continue. Reed ran back down and hit a massive Samoan drop, pinning him once again. You have to admire his tenacity, but he just isn’t good enough at the moment.
Winner: Bronson Reed (twice) Rating: 5/10
El Legado Del Fantasma vs Isaiah “Swerve” Scott, Jake Atlas, & Ashante Adonis
After a chaotic start, Atlas went to work on Wilde. He tagged in Adonis who continued the punishment, then Atlas came back in. He hit the Three Amigos on him and continued to beat the hell out of Wilde. Atlas took out both Wilde and Mendoza, then Swerve hit a massive move off the top turnbuckle to the entirety of El Legado Del Fantasma outside the ring.
Legado Del Fantasma managed to beat down Swerve. Swerve managed to stop them, but Escobar knocked him off the apron. Inside the ring, Wilde suplexed Adonis and tagged in Mendoza. He continued to wear down Adonis, as did Escobar. Adonis really needed a tag, but couldn’t get anywhere near his teammates. Legado Del Fantasma worked incredibly well together. Out of nowhere, Adonis hit a dropkick then tagged in Atlas who took out everyone. He tagged in Swerve who was like a whirlwind.
He hit a whirlwind flatliner on Escobar, and as Mendoza and Swerve fought outside, Atlas hit a Spanish Fly on Wilde off the apron onto Swerve and Wilde. This was insane. Swerve tagged in Adonis, but Mendoza reversed the action. Escobar hit a suicide dive on Swerve, then Atlas hit a DDT off the announcer table. In the ring, Wilde managed to pick up the win for Legado Del Fantasma. What a phenomenal match.
Winner: Legado Del Fantasma Rating: 9/10
Ever-Rise vs Drake Maverick & Killian Dain
Ever-Rise got some good offence on Maverick and showed some fantastic teamwork early on. Maverick managed to get a tag in, and Dain destroyed both of Ever-Rise. Parker locked in a single leg crab on Dain as Maverick snapped at ringside with a steel chair. He came in the ring and went nuts. He realised what he’d done and tried to apologise to Dain expecting him to beat the hell out of him. Instead, Dain said it was the best thing he’d ever seen and asked, “where has this guy been?” Their brilliant theme song started and Dain walked off.
Winners: Ever-Rise Rating: 6/10
Xia Li vs Kacy Catanzaro
Catanzaro picked up a win after only a few minutes with a roll-up. Xia Li snapped after the bell and attacked Catanzaro. Raquel Gonzalez game down to the ring and attacked everyone, including Kayden Carter who was at ringside. She grabbed the microphone and told Ripley this is what awaits her. She said Ripley she would be “la Diabla of (Your) Nightmare.”
Winner: Kacy Catanzaro Rating: 2/10
NXT Tag Team Champion Match: Breezango (C) vs Oney Lorcan & Danny Burch
Lorcan and Fandango locked up at the start, with Fandango taking advantage. Fandango hit some chops on Lorcan, but Lorcan fought back. Burch tagged in but ate a few uppercuts. Breeze tagged in and locked in a headlock. Burch managed to beat up Breeze at ringside, but as he went inside, Breeze knocked him to the ground and whipped his leg into the ring post.
Fandango and Breeze worked well together to try and wear down Lorcan, but he managed to tag Burch back in who landed a big headbutt on Fandango. Fandango found some momentum and took out Lorcan and Burch. Lorcan went for a suicide dive, but Breeze stopped it with a kick. Breeze was thrown over the barriers by Burch.
Back in the ring, Burch kicked out of Fandango’s leg drop. Breeze was bent in half by Burch and Lorcan, but Fandango broke it up. Breeze climbed to the top rope, but Burch knocked him off. Burch went for a pin, but Fandango knocked Lorcan on top of them to break up the pin. Breezango hit Stereo Superkicks on both Burch and Lorcan. As Fandango went to the top rope, someone in a mask knocked him off.
Burch and Lorcan hit their finisher and pinned Breeze to become the tag team champions. The masked individual celebrated with the new champs, then revealed himself to be Pat McAfee. What the hell? I thought this storyline was over. Not sure how I feel, but regardless, we have new tag team champions.
Winners: Oney Lorcan & Danny Burch (New NXT Tag Team Champions) Rating: 7/10
What Else Went Down?
– Undisputed Era were backstage with Adam Cole on Skype. Cole said they’ve faced some roadblocks in recent weeks, but Bobby Fish and Roderick Strong were going to get their gold back. Strong said they’ve already accomplished so much, and they were going to beat Breezango courtesy of the Rod and Bob Express. Later on, Bobby Fish was shown backstage after being attacked. During Theory and Reed’s match, Mackenzie Mitchell said that Fish was taken to a local medical facility, and Kyle O’Reilly would replace him in the tag team title match.
– A video package aired of Rhea Ripley where she talked about beating everyone. Raquel Gonzalez said how she was going to defeat her. Ripley said the same. Blah blah blah. A rather bland hype video, but hopefully the match will be good.
– Xia Li was backstage with Kacy Catanzano and said she had to win tonight.
– During a commercial break, Austin Theory was asked for his thoughts after his double loss. He said he was done, and that he quits.
– The Garganos were playing spin the wheel at home, where Gargano picked a Buried Alive match. LeRae got a Trick or Street Fight Match. Gargano spun the wheel again but it landed on a Casket Match. He wasn’t happy at all. Poor Johnny. At least, LeRae was happy.
– Roderick Strong was the victim of another attack backstage which made O’Reilly choose not to replace Strong in the match. He said Oney Lorcan and Danny Burch should replace them in the main event. Regal agreed, making Lorcan and Burch the new challengers to the titles.
– Cameron Grimes was interviewed backstage about his match next week. Grimes was told about his Haunted House of Terror match next week, and he seemed pretty scared. Lumis watched through a glass door as Grimes walked off.
– Io Shirai talked about how she would beat Candice LeRae at Halloween Havoc in a video package.
– Timothy Thatcher held a live session of “Thatch-As Thatch Can” with a recruit known as Anthony. He showed off a headlock, then a wristlock. Anthony tapped out but Thatcher wouldn’t let go. Thatcher then wanted him to go after his wrist. Anthony managed to choke Thatcher, so Thatcher turned it into a match where he destroyed him. He locked in a leg lock and wouldn’t let go.
A video package aired with Damian Priest cutting a promo about his match with Johnny Gargano at Halloween Havoc. He said he can take the pain, but can Gargano?
After The Bell
We had some great matches tonight, especially the 6-man tag match featuring Legado Del Fantasma, Isaiah “Swerve” Scott, Jake Atlas, and Ashante Adonis. The show kicked off with a superb triple threat as well, and with new NXT tag team champions after the explosive main event, it looks as though NXT might be back on the way up. I was hoping the guy in the mask was an actual wrestler because the whole Pat McAfee thing was pretty lame. Undisputed Era should be in much better standing than where they are, so another feud with McAfee is a bad call in my opinion.
It has been a weird place since Keith Lee left and Karrion Kross was injured. With Finn Balor injured, it looked as though NXT was struggling with what to do next. I’m not entirely convinced its back to where it was a few months ago, but it is certainly getting there. Halloween Havoc is almost upon us, and most of the matches have been decided. I’m hoping Damian Priest vs Johnny Gargano lives up to the hype because both guys have had some awesome matches this year. It’s a shame there isn’t an NXT Championship match, but I’m sure Candice LeRae and Io Shirai will deliver a solid match.
Star of the Show: Jake Atlas Overall Rating: 7.5/10
Halloween Havoc Updated Card:
- Rhea Ripley vs Raquel Gonzalez
- Haunted House of Terror Match: Cameron Grimes vs Dexter Lumis
- NXT North American Championship “Spin The Wheel, Make The Deal” Match: Damian Priest (c) vs Johnny Gargano
- NXT Women’s Championship “Spin The Wheel, Make The Deal” Match: Io Shirai (c) vs Candice LeRae
All images and videos courtesy of WWE