This week’s NXT was packed full of big matches. In the main event, The Way were looking to dethrone the Women’s Tag Team Champions in a Street Fight, Grizzled Young Veterans battled Tommaso Ciampa and Timothy Thatcher, newcomers Sarray and Zayda Ramier went at it, LA Knight faced Jake Atlas, and Cameron Grimes was in action. Karrion Kross had a lot to say, Finn Balor returned, Escobar got his wish, and so much more happened. To kick off the busy show, Leon Ruff and Isaiah “Swerve” Scott fought each other in a Falls Count Anywhere match.

Falls Count Anywhere Match: Leon Ruff vs Isaiah “Swerve” Scott

Ruff ran straight into Swerve’s knee as the bell rang. He continued to counter everything Ruff threw at him until he got thrown into the apron. Swerve launched him into the barricades a couple of times, then hit a sidewalk slam on the ramp. Back in the ring, Swerve continued to beat him down and followed up with a superplex. Swerve went for a boot off the apron, but Ruff countered with a dropkick to the face. Ruff tried to fight back, but Swerve took him out. He threw a toolbox from under the ring at Ruff. Thankfully, he moved out the way.

Swerve was in full control. Ruff crawled away to the back where Swerve powerslammed him into the lockers. He launched a crate right into Ruff who was crawling on the floor. He picked Ruff up again and sent him straight into the lockers for a second time. Back on the ramp, Swerve got blinded by a stage light, then got pushed off the stage into the scaffolding. Ruff dived off the stage to knock Swerve down. Back in the ring, Ruff countered Swerve to hit a crucifix bomb off the top rope, but could only get a two-count.

Ruff hit a reverse hurricanrana off the apron to the outside. Swerve hit a Michinoku driver after failing to throw Ruff into the barricade. Ruff drove the toolbox to the back of Swerve’s knee then hit a frog splash. He tried to make Swerve tap with an ankle lock, then flew through the air with a cutter in the ring. He hit another outside, then knocked Swerve over the barrier. Ruff climbed up high outside the ring, but AJ Francis, a member of Swerve’s entourage, hit a Death Valley Driver on Ruff onto the barrier. Swerve then connected with a JML in the ring to pick up the win.

Winner: Isaiah “Swerve” Scott Rating: 8/10

Asher Hale vs Cameron Grimes

Grimes slammed Hale into the mat. He got caught with a dropkick to the gut but was able to clothesline Hale and take control with some big kicks. He knocked Hale off his feet with an uppercut. Hale fought back, wrenching Grimes’ knee into the mat and connecting with a missile dropkick. Grimes refocused and ended Hale with a Cave In to pick up the win.

Winner: Cameron Grimes Rating: 6/10

Grizzled Young Veterans (James Drake & Zack Gibson) vs Tommaso Ciampa & Timothy Thatcher

GYV cut a killer promo before Ciampa and Thatcher interrupted. Drake and Ciampa started things off. Ciampa tried to control Drake with a headlock. He tagged in Thatcher who stretched Drake’s arm. Drake broke out and tagged in Gibson. Thatcher bent Gibson’s arm back then knocked him to the ground. He took Gibson to the mat and wrenched at his arm. Thatcher drove a couple of knees into his back, but Gibson went for an ankle lock. Thatcher held in a sleeper on Gibson, and despite Drake trying to break it up, it wouldn’t break as Ciampa came in and attacked Gibson.

GYV worked on Thatcher. They connected with a double team move, with Thatcher kicking out of a pin attempt by Gibson. Thatcher got the tag and Ciampa exploded with clotheslines on both Gibson and Drake. He hit a succession of chops to Drake, then tagged Thatcher back in. Drake was being destroyed by Ciampa and Thatcher. Gibson tagged in but ate a belly-to-belly suplex by Thatcher. Ciampa clotheslined Drake out the ring and followed him over the top rope. Thatcher landed a double underhook suplex, then tried to lock in the armbar. Drake took out Ciampa with a tope con hilo. In the ring, Gibson almost pinned Thatcher following a helter-skelter. Thatcher somehow had Wade Barrett’s shoe and hit Gibson with it to pick up the win.

Winners: Tommaso Ciampa & Timothy Thatcher Rating: 7.5/10

Kross Makes A Statement

The NXT Champion Karrion Kross headed to the ring with Scarlett. He said three weeks ago, he came out here and made things crystal clear. Kross said he was going to destroy Austin Theory next week. Kyle O’Reilly interrupted and joined the champ in the ring. O’Reilly said he understands why Kross thinks people should be afraid. He said he wanted a match with Kross, and he thinks Kross wants it too. Pete Dunne came out and said he doesn’t care who wants that match, and he doesn’t care about the new Kyle O’Reilly. He said he was the baddest man in NXT, and they should prove him wrong.

“The Prince” Finn Balor returned to NXT and said he’d “been there, done that” with Dunne and O’Reilly. He turned his attention to Kross and attacked him. A fight kicked off between all four guys, with Kross and Balor left standing. They continued to fight. Security tried to separate them, but Kross and Balor ended up taking some of them out. Balor was walked away by security as Johnny Gargano and Theory attacked Kross from behind. Kross hit a Doomsday Saito on Theory. Gargano and Theory hit duel superkicks, then Gargano smashed Kross with the North American Championship which left him lying flat out in the middle of the ring.

Zayda Ramier vs Sarray

After some back and forth, Sarray hit a piercing dropkick to Ramier’s jaw. Ramier countered Sarray’s leapfrog with a submission. Sarray got to the rope then went for a roll-up, but Ramier kicked out. Sarray locked up Ramier with an STO. She delivered a basement dropkick to Ramier, then a bridge fisherman’s suplex. Sarray hit a missile dropkick. Sarray missed a dropkick, which led to Ramier hitting a sling blade. Sarray hit a roundhouse kick and a German suplex. She finished her off with a Saito suplex to pick up the win.

Winner: Sarray Rating: 7/10

Jake Atlas vs LA Knight

Altas was able to gain some momentum until he got floored trying to hit a tope con hilo. Knight hit the shoulder barge over the rope. Atlas hit a German suplex, but Knight took control again. Atlas connected with some kicks, but Knight hit Blunt Force Trauma for the win.

Winner: LA Knight Rating: 5/10

Women’s Tag Team Championship Street Fight Match: The Way (Candice LeRae & Indi Hartwell) vs Shotzi Blackheart & Ember Moon (C)

The bell rang before the opening announcements could be made. Blackheart tried to grab a table, but Hartwell attacked her. She set up the table and LeRae attacked Moon. LeRae grabbed a load of chairs from underneath the ring. Moon grabbed some trashcans. Blackheart slammed Hartwell’s head into the table as Moon knocked LeRae into the barricade. In the ring, the champs teamed up against Hartwell. Moon placed a trashcan on Hartwell’s head and both women dropkicked her.

LeRae took out the champs, but they hit her with trashcan lids outside the ring. Blackheart and Moon slid a table into the ring. Hartwell slammed Moon into the barricade, then dropped Blackheart face-first into the apron. She launched Moon over the barricade and set up some steel chairs at ringside. Moon drove Hartwell’s face into the chairs. Blackheart went to dive into Hartwell who was sat on the steel chairs, but LeRae used a fire extinguisher to distract her. Hartwell and LeRae grabbed a huge ladder from underneath the ring and rested it on the barrier and apron.

Hartwell took out Blackheart outside whilst LeRae set up a table in the ring by resting it against the turnbuckle. LeRae drove a chair into Moon’s ribs, then into Blackheart’s sternum. Moon struck LeRae and Hartwell as Blackheart hit cannonballs on them as they rested on the second rope. Hartwell got caught with a double team move by the champs. Blackheart hit a senton off the top rope through the ladder on LeRae. Moon whipped Hartwell into the table then tried to pin her, but she kicked out. Shotzi grabbed a smaller ladder, but Hartwell booted it into both opponents.

LeRae hit a moonsault on Blackheart who was being held up on the ladder by Hartwell. Moon was slammed into the ladder with a spinebuster by Hartwell. Blackheart’s face was driven into the barricades by Hartwell, who then cleared the announcer table. Blackheart knocked Barrett’s coffee mug over Hartwell’s face. She climbed high up the scaffolding then dived onto Hartwell through the announcer table. In the ring, Moon hit a sit-down powerbomb, but only got a two-count. Moon was set up on a table outside by LeRae, and Hartwell dived through it. In the ring, LeRae hit Wicked Stepsister to pick up the win. We have new Women’s Tag Team Champions. What an amazing match to end a great night.

Winners: The Way (New Women’s Tag Team Champions) Rating: 8.5/10

What Else Went Down

– Finn Balor was shown walking towards the CWC.

– Johnny Gargano and Austin Theory interrupted a meeting between William Regal and Scarlett. Theory then asked Scarlett if “those were real?” He was referring to her nails, but once again it was rather amusing. Later on, Gargano and Theory went to find Regal. Gargano was annoyed he was having to face Bronson Reed. Regal said the match was still happening, and Theory was getting a match with Karrion Kross next week. “I didn’t even want to be her friend?” said Theory. Brilliant.

– Kayden Carter and Kacy Catanzaro were being interviewed backstage. They talked about Xia Li, then said they would be watching the main event very closely later. Franky Monet interrupted and gave them some sass.

– Cameron Grimes was shown backstage when Ever-Rise tried to celebrate with him. He walked off and headed to the VIP room.

– Swerve was walking off backstage with his entourage. He said he told everyone he was going to beat Ruff, and he did.

– A video package aired highlighting NXT’s two latest signings, Sarray and Zayda Ramier.

– After Gargano and Theory attacked Kross, they were shown leaving backstage.

– Imperium were on a video call with WALTER.

– Sarray was checking on Ramier after the match backstage when Toni Storm tried to interfere, but Stark stopped her.

– Another promo aired for Diamond Mine.

– Candice LeRae and Indi Hartwell were chatting in the locker room when Dexter Lumis appeared behind the door holding a bouquet of roses. LeRae closed the blinds so Hartwell never saw him.

– Toni Storm cut a promo on Zoey Stark. She said she was a global Superstar, but Stark was a future nobody. She said she brought Stark into this business, but she would take her back out of it.

– Legado Del Fantasma headed to the ring. Escobar said the fans had seen him become the Cruiserweight Champion and the undisputed emperor of Lucha Libre. He said last week everyone witnessed part two of a premonition, and he would rightly reclaim the belt he lost to Kushida. Wilde said they hadn’t forgotten about MSK. He said they embarrassed them last week. Mendoza said they wanted to face MSK for the tag team titles. Escobar added the measure of a man isn’t what he could do for himself, but what he could do for his brothers. Kushida appeared on the screen and said Escobar made a mistake last week. He challenged him to a match for the belt next week, to which Escobar accepted.

– Beth Phoenix interviewed Raquel Gonzalez and Mercedes Martinez. Gonzalez said she would take out Martinez with pure power. Martinez said she was hungry, and the reason Gonzalez is champion is because of her. Martinez said Gonzalez was moulded after the blueprint she created. Gonzalez said in one year of her NXT career, she has surpassed everything Martinez has done ever and finished by saying Martinez may be the first challenger, but she wouldn’t be the last.

– Blackheart and Moon headed to their tank where Monet’s dog was sitting. Blackheart gave it a hug, then they realised the dog had left a ‘surprise’ in there.

– Grimes was shown heading to the VIP room, but security wouldn’t let him in. The security guard said the VIP room had already been hired out. Ted DiBiase got out of a limo and walked in, delivering his iconic line. Where is this heading?

– A 2 out of 3 falls match was made for next week between Kushida and Santos Escobar for the Cruiserweight Championship.

– Killian Dain vs Alexander Wolfe was made for next week.

After The Bell

Tonight’s show was epic in every way. Most of the matches were great, especially the main event. It’s sad to see Blackheart and Moon lose the Women’s Tag Team Championships, but LeRae and Hartwell were excellent tonight. Hartwell has become a much better performer in recent months, both in the ring and on the mic. The opening bout was also fantastic. I’m assuming Ruff and Swerve’s feud isn’t quite over yet, but I’m not sure what’s going to happen next.

The segment with Karrion Kross, Finn Balor, Kyle O’Reilly, and Pete Dunne was awesome. Having Gargano get involved kind of makes me want to see him enter the feud in some way, but it was more a device to hype Theory’s match with Kross next week. I wonder if we’ll get a Fatal Four-Way for the NXT Championship? Who knows, Adam Cole might enter the fray over the coming weeks, making the title picture very interesting.

Other highlights for me were the GYV, Ciampa, and Thatcher match, and Cameron Grimes losing out to Ted DiBiase once again. Also, although it was a short video, Imperium chatting with WALTER made me excited. With Dain facing off Wolfe next week, I wonder if we are going to see Imperium grow.

Stars of the Show: Candice LeRae & Indi Hartwell Overall Rating: 8/10

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