This week’s show featured some big matches, including Dexter Lumis against LA Knight, and Breezango vs Grizzled Young Veterans. Sarray made her debut against Zoey Stark, and Kyle O’Reilly had his first match since his epic encounter with Adam Cole at NXT TakeOver: Stand & Deliver, facing the self-proclaimed billionaire Cameron Grimes. Indi Hartwell continued her infatuation with Mr Lumis, Imperium made their presence felt, Kushida offered an open challenge, and so much more. First off, O’Reilly had some words for the WWE Universe.
Kyle O’Reilly Returns
Kyle O’Reilly walked to the ring with some swagger before grabbing the microphone. He said how his rivalry with Adam Cole was behind him, and how he was never one to thrust himself into the limelight. He had to move on, and he had found that killer instinct. To survive in NXT you have to be willing to pay the ultimate sacrifice to get to the next level. Does he challenge for the workhorse title, the North American Championship? Does he go for Karrion Kross, the most dominant force NXT has ever seen?
Cameron Grimes interrupted to say congratulations. He said O’Reilly really showed he can stand and deliver. He said he sees Grimes as a top dog, and he could do with someone like Grimes to help him out. Grimes talked about making an NFT, KO coins, and they could go to the moon. O’Reilly said he loved the idea. O’Reilly said he had officially been cleared to compete, and he was looking for his opponent. After messing around, O’Reilly put his sunglasses back on and punched Grimes in the face. Great promo by both guys, and what a booking.
LA Knight vs Dexter Lumis
Both guys showed off their strength early on. Knight knocked Lumis off his feet, and Lumis almost locked in Silence before Knight left the ring. Knight hit the shoulder tackle over the ropes, as Lumis replied with a back body drop. Knight threw Lumis outside as the show went to commercial. After the break, Lumis hit a spinebuster and multiple right hands followed by a belly to back suplex and a leg drop. He hit a springboard suplex and went for a pin, but only managed a two-count.
Knight was thrown outside the ring, and as he played possum, Lumis was whipped into the barricades. Knight pushed him into the apron. As Lumis struggled to get back to his feet, Indi Hartwell stood on the other side of the barricades and the two looked lovingly at each other. Knight attacked Lumis then tried to talk to Hartwell, allowing Lumis to jump over the ropes and attack him. Back in the ring, Knight drove Lumis’ head into the mat and picked up the win. After the match, Hartwell almost kissed Lumis before The Way ran down and carried her off.
Winner: LA Knight Rating: 7/10
Breezango (Tyler Breeze & Fandango) vs Grizzled Young Veterans (Zack Gibson & James Drake)
Gibson started off by pummelling Breeze in the corner before Breeze tagged in Fandango. Gibson hit a suplex on Fandango, then locked in a headlock. Drake tagged in who got caught by Fandango. Fandango flew over the top rope and took at GYV who were at ringside. After the break, Drake seemed to hurt his left knee as Gibson poked Fandango in the eye. Drake magically got back to his feet as GYV hit a double team move. Fandango hit a lariat on Gibson and tagged in Breeze who took out Drake with some kicks in the corner.
Breeze dived off the apron and hit a clothesline on Drake, took out Gibson then connected with a Russian leg sweep on Drake in the ring. GYV connected with Ticket to Mayhem and picked up the win.
Winners: Grizzled Young Veterans Rating: 7/10
Zoey Stark vs Sarray
Sarray showed some impressive body strength as Stark locked fingers with her. She hit a basement dropkick then drove her feet into Stark’s back. Sarray trapped Stark in a leg lock, then held her in a bridge, but Stark was able to grab the rope. Stark gained some momentum and dropped a couple of elbows into Sarray’s shoulder before throwing her into the turnbuckle. She continued to control Sarray until Stark was dropped outside. The two women traded blows in the ring until Sarray exploded. She hit a huge dropkick to the throat of Stark and a Fisherman’s suplex, but only got the two-count.
Stark hit a roundhouse kick, half-and-half suplex, then a baseball slide kick, but Sarray kicked out at the last second. Sarray ate a superkick but kicked out of two pin attempts. Sarray hit a spinning heel kick and a Saito Suplex, then picked up the victory. A very impressive debut by Sarray. Stark was excellent, but it wasn’t enough. After the match, the two women celebrated together. As Stark walked off, Toni Storm attacked her. Sarray went to check on her as Storm looked on.
Winner: Sarray Rating: 8/10
NXT Cruiserweight Championship Match: Kushida (C) vs Oney Lorcan
Kushida walked out to a huge pop. He said he won the title last week from an open challenge, and this week would be the same. Oney Lorcan answered the call. Both guys reversed submissions on the mat. Kushida booted Lorcan and went for an armbar. Kushida hit an enzuigiri on Lorcan who was on the top turnbuckle, sending him outside as the match went into commercial. After the break, Lorcan was in control. He smashed Kushida with a European uppercut, then went for a couple of pins to which the champ kicked out of both.
Lorcan locked in an abdominal stretch, then a charge into the turnbuckle, but Kushida ran out and knocked Lorcan down. Kushida pummeled Lorcan in the corner then climbed to the top rope where he drove his feet into Lorcan’s arm. Lorcan hit another European uppercut and a blockbuster, but Kushida kicked out. Lorcan hit some humongous chops to the Timesplitter’s chest, which sent him crazy. He connected with the Hoverboard Lock to make Lorcan tap out.
After the match, Santos Escobar walked out. Joaquin Wilde and Raul Mendoza attacked him from behind, beating him up on the announcer table. MSK ran down and attacked Legado Del Fantasma. Kushida and MSK cleared the ring. NXT gods, please give us a six-man tag next week.
Winner: Kushida (Still Cruiserweight Champion) Rating: 8/10
Ever-Rise (Matt Martel & Chase Parker) vs Imperium (Marcel Barthel & Fabian Aichner) W/ Alexander Wolfe
Before the match, a promo aired where Imperium talked about expanding. Hmm. Aichner exploded out of the gate and destroyed Martel. Parker tagged in but ate a fallaway slam. Imperium hit a double dropkick on Parker in the corner. Killian Dain walked out which almost led to an upset. Maverick ran out to take out Wolfe, but Dain stopped him. In the ring, Imperium destroyed Parker with a powerbomb/clothesline double-team move to pick up the win.
Winner: Imperium Rating: 6/10
Kyle O’Reilly vs Cameron Grimes
Grimes went for an ankle lock, but O’Reilly reversed into a wrist lock. They continued to reverse submissions until O’Reilly took control. Grimes hit an uppercut, but O’Reilly responded with a running knee and a slap across his face. O’Reilly hit a succession of kicks, but Grimes fought back. Grimes went for a roll-up pin, but O’Reilly turned it into an armbar. Grimes hit a suplex which sent O’Reilly outside the ring. After the break, Grimes wrenched at O’Reilly’s head. They traded blows with Grimes hitting a clothesline. Grimes booted O’Reilly then whipped him hard into the turnbuckle.
Grimes continued to work on O’Reilly’s neck by wrenching it back in a submission. O’Reilly kneed Grimes as he ran at him, then connected with multiple kicks and punches. He charged at Grimes with a forearm to the corner and tried to lock in a heel hook, but Grimes got to the bottom rope. O’Reilly drained the life out of Grimes, then kicked him in the chest. Grimes hit a spinning slam, but O’Reilly kicked out. Grimes went for a Cave In, but O’Reilly dodged. The two exchanged blows until Grimes hit the Spanish Fly, almost getting the win.
Grimes superkicked O’Reilly but fought back with a brainbuster. O’Reilly jumped off the top turnbuckle and dropped a knee into Grimes’ back, then pinned him for the victory. What a fantastic match and a great way to end the show.
Winner: Kyle O’Reilly Rating: 8.5/10
What Else Went Down
– Sarray was shown arriving in the parking lot when Zoey Stark walked out and said to Regal she’d like to face her in her debut. Regal accepted.
– LA Knight cut a promo backstage about the “creepy cross-eyed halfwit” Dexter Lumis.
– Leon Ruff cut a promo about smashing Swerve’s head into the lockers last week.
– Io Shirai had a sit-down interview with Beth Phoenix where they started off by talking about Shirai capturing the NXT Women’s title. They then talked about her loss to Raquel Gonzalez. Shirai said Gonzalez was her biggest and toughest challenge ever, but she was going to rest. Franky Monet interrupted to congratulate Shirai on her reign. Monet said she was willing to fill Shirai’s shoes whilst Shirai rested. Shirai responded in Japanese, then said she liked cats before walking off.
– McKenzie Mitchell was backstage with Indi Hartwell. She asked her about Lumis, but before she could answer, The Way interrupted. Gargano told the cameraman to cut the feed. Bronson Reed walked in and said he still had his eyes on the North American title. Theory said he was dreaming if he thought he was going to take the title off ‘Papa John.’ Theory said he talked to Regal and Reed needed to beat Theory if he wanted a shot at the North American Championship.
– Grimes was being interviewed. He revealed that he lost out on a bid for an NFT to Ted DiBiase. Haha, brilliant.
– Raquel Gonzalez was being interviewed with Dakota Kai. Kai said the match with Mercedes Martinez wasn’t happening. Gonzalez then said she would take out the entire women’s locker room.
– LeRae was telling Hartwell to stop going after Lumis. As she continued to talk, Hartwell saw Lumis and sneaked off to be with him. LeRae bumped into Shotzi Blackheart and Ember Moon. The women’s champs took LeRae into the locker room and beat her up.
– A video package aired regarding Kushida’s win last week to become the new Cruiserweight Champion.
– Mercedes Martinez cut a promo about Gonzalez being scared and quiet in regards to her challenge. She said Gonzalez stayed quiet in her interview earlier, and that Kai was the one barking orders. Martinez said she would take Dakota Kai out so that nothing would stand in her way.
– Gargano and Theory were backstage when LeRae walked in looking battered and bruised. Hartwell said she had spoken to Regal about a tag team championship match where they all celebrated apart from LeRae.
– As O’Reilly was backstage ready to head to the ring, Karrion Kross and Scarlett stared him down.
– Dakota Kai vs Mercedes Martinez and Austin Theory vs Bronson Reed were made official for next week. Also, my prayers were answered as Legado Del Fantasma would be facing Kushida and MSK as well.
After The Bell
I thoroughly enjoyed this week’s episode. Sarray had an impressive debut, and it makes me even more excited to see where the women’s division goes next. Franky Monet is yet to wrestle, making the anticipation even greater for when it does happen. Raquel Gonzalez has a lot of competition, but I just wish it didn’t start with Mercedes Martinez. It feels as though NXT don’t really know what to do with her. She’s good in the ring, but her personality does nothing for me.
Kyle O’Reilly delivered a superb promo at the start, and his rapport with Cameron Grimes was electrifying. Grimes better get a title soon. He’s worked his ass off over the last couple of years, and it’s about time it was recognised. We saw the seeds of Dain’s eventual heel turn by stopping Maverick from attacking Wolfe during Imperium’s match. I’ve got a feeling it won’t be long.
Kushida and Lorcan had a good match, but Escobar isn’t ready to move on. Next week’s match involving MSK and Legado Del Fantasma is going to be amazing. Lumis and Hartwell’s weird connection is great, and it looks as though LeRae is not happy at all. I kind of don’t want them to split up because The Way are all great together.
Star of the Show: Sarray Overall Rating: 8/10
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