This week’s show was all about the big main event between Johnny Gargano and Bronson Reed in a steel cage for the North American Championship. Cameron Grimes was still dealing with Ted DiBiase whilst facing off with Jake Atlas. Alexander Wolfe faced Killian Dain, and Thatcher and Ciampa took on Legado Del Fantasma. Sarray was in action, and Hit Row made their in-ring debut, but first up, Toni Storm was looking for revenge against Zoey Stark.
Toni Storm vs Zoey Stark
Stark booted Storm in the corner and flew over the top rope onto Storm outside. She hit a missile dropkick off the top rope, but as she went to kick her from the apron, Storm yanked her off and ran at her into the steel steps. Storm stomped Stark down in the corner and hit a suplex. Storm nailed her with a big boot and went for the pin, only grabbing a two-count. She bent Stark’s back over her knee and failed another pin attempt.
Stark fought back and hit an enzuigiri out of nowhere. The two traded blows until Stark superkicked her in the jaw. After a basement dropkick, Storm kicked out of the pin. Stark hit another kick followed by a half-and-half suplex after reversing Storm Bomb. Storm fought back and hit a German suplex followed by Storm Zero, but Stark kicked out. Storm hit a winding DDT that looked incredible and picked up the victory. After the match, Franky Monet walked onto the ramp and stole Storm’s thunder.
Winner: Toni Storm Rating: 7/10
Jake Atlas vs Cameron Grimes
Grimes walked out and cut his music to show a video of the “real” Ted DiBiase. It featured a highlight reel of him getting beaten by guys like Hogan and Virgil. The fans started chanting for DiBiase. The bell rang and Atlas hit a dropkick, then sent Grimes outside the ring. After the break, Grimes got caught with a boot to the face and a top rope dragon screw. Atlas connected with a hurricanrana and a two-count. Grimes hit a clothesline and went for a pin. He continued to control Atlas in the corner, then threw him into the opposite corner with a big Irish whip.
Grimes went chest first after a big Irish whip from Atlas. Ted DiBiase was shown arriving backstage. Atlas hit a succession of kicks followed by a clothesline. Grimes hit a Spanish fly. DiBiase’s music hit and distracted Grimes, and Atlas took advantage to pin him. Grimes went looking for DiBiase in the parking lot, but he drove off after taunting Grimes for a final time.
Winner: Jake Atlas Rating: 7/10
Alexander Wolfe W/ Marcel Barthel & Fabian Aichner vs Killian Dain W/ Drake Maverick
Both powerhouses went in hard from the onset. Imperium got on the apron to distract Dain, allowing Wolfe to hit a German suplex. Barthel passed a steel chair to Wolfe who went to use it, but Dain hit a standing crossbody to pick up the win. After the match, Barthel and Aichner took out Wolfe with an Imperium bomb.
Winner: Killian Dain Rating: 3/10
Legado Del Fantasma (Raul Mendoza & Joaquin WIlde) vs Tommaso Ciampa & Timothy Thatcher
Ciampa chased Wilde around the ring and finally grabbed him and launched him into the barricades. Back in the ring, Ciampa controlled Wilde with a headlock. He tagged in Thatcher who wrenched at Wilde’s neck. Mendoza tagged in and Thatcher continued to dominate with some submissions. Thatcher and Ciampa worked well together to wear down Mendoza. Thatcher and Ciampa locked in ankle locks on both members of Legado Del Fantasma. Chaos ensued with all four men brawling in the ring.
After the break, Ciampa hit a succession of clotheslines on both guys as they rested in opposite corners. Mendoza and Wilde were able to get some teamwork in on Ciampa. Mendoza went to dive at Ciampa in the corner, but he moved out the way. Thatcher beat down Mendoza, hitting two big uppercuts and a double under hook suplex. Ciampa beat down Mendoza in the corner. Ciampa almost got the win after delivering a huge knee. Ciampa and Mendoza matched each other in brutality. After some great teamwork, Mendoza almost pinned Ciampa, but Thatcher broke it up.
Wilde took out Thatcher with a flip over the top rope, then Ciampa hit a Willow’s Bell, but Mendoza broke it up. Grizzled Young Veterans attacked Ciampa then threw him back in the ring. Legado Del Fantasma were able to pick up the win.
Winners: Legado Del Fantasma Rating: 7.5/10
Aliyah W/ Robert Stone & Jessi Kamea vs Sarray
Sarray went to shake hands before the bell, but Aliyah attacked her instead. It didn’t take long for Sarray to fight back, but Stone was there to distract her at ringside. Sarray hit a spinning heel kick and a bridging German suplex. She followed it through with a missile dropkick and a basement dropkick to Aliyah’s jaw. Sarray hit her finisher to defeat Aliyah.
Winner: Sarray Rating: 5/10
Hit Row (Ashante “Thee” Adonis & Top Dolla W/ B-Fab & Isaiah “Swerve” Scott) vs Tony Nese & Ariya Daivari
Adonis weakened Nese and tagged in Top Dolla who threw him across the ring. He then slammed both Nese and Daivari at the same time. Adonis came back in and took some strikes from Daivari, but managed to connect with a picture-perfect dropkick. Top Dolla splashed Daivari in the corner, then hit an F5-style suplex to pick up the win. After the match, Swerve said he’d be after the winner of the main event.
Winners: Hit Row Rating: 5/10
North American Championship Steel Cage Match: Bronson Reed vs Johnny Gargano W/ Austin Theory
Gargano ran straight to the door as soon as the bell rang. Reed pulled him back in, but Gargano climbed up to try and escape. Gargano charged at Gargano and knocked him to the ground. He threw the champ into the cage a couple of times, then launched him face-first for the third time. Reed pushed his whole body against Gargano into the cage. He went for a splash, but Gargano moved out the way. Reed then planted Gargano into the mat. After a failed suplex, Gargano chopped Reed down to his knees. He climbed the cage and hit a moonsault on Reed.
Reed planted Gargano with an AA then climbed the cage. Theory distracted him which allowed Gargano to superkick Reed’s knee. After the break, Gargano choked Reed against the ropes with his knee. Gargano hit a running kick into Reed as Theory jumped into Reed from outside. Reed delivered a big power slam and an atomic drop, then whipped him into the cage once again. Reed hit a Samoan drop off the second rope. He went for the pin, but Gargano kicked out. As both men stood on the top rope, Gargano somehow managed to land a powerbomb in spectacular fashion.
Theory opened the door and tried to pull him out, but Reed held on. He hit a banzai drop on Gargano and tried to get out the door, but Theory wouldn’t let him. Gargano connected with a Poisonrana off the top rope and went climbing the cage. He went for One Final Beat, but Reed countered and threw him into the cage. He went to leave the cage, but Theory slammed the door on his head. Gargano connected with One Final Beat, but Reed kicked out of the pin. Gargano climbed the cage and Reed followed.
Reed powerbombed Gargano from the top turnbuckle. Reed went climbing the cage, but both Theory and Gargano climbed up to stop him. Reed knocked them both down. He hit a splash from the top rope, then the Tsunami off the top turnbuckle to pick up the win and become the new North American Champion. Finally, Reed has got what he deserves.
Winner: Bronson Reed (New North American Champion) Rating: 8.5/10
What Else Went Down
– Raul Mendoza and Joaquin Wilde were being interviewed when Tommaso Ciampa and Timothy Thatcher interrupted. They agreed to a fight to see who the number one contenders were for MSK’s Tag Team Championships.
– Cameron Grimes was shown arriving in his car when Jake Atlas made a joke about him stealing Ted DiBiase’s parking space. Grimes challenged him to a match later on. A ‘Million Dollar Face-Off’ was announced between Grimes and DiBiase next week.
– A video package aired of Candice LeRae and Indi Hartwell getting a massage. They called Dexter Lumis a loser, and the camera panned up to show Lumis as the one given Indi her massage. He looked so upset and slowly walked off. Later on, LeRae was told her credit card declined and it had something to do with a purchase from the florists. Hartwell deduced that LeRae had bought the flowers, and Lumis was still in love with her.
– A ‘Prime Target’ video aired hyping Finn Balor vs Karrion Kross next week. Kudos to the editing team. That was epic.
– A video package aired featuring Bronson Reed talking about his journey to the match tonight. Gargano answered later on with a promo backstage.
– Pete Dunne was being interviewed by Arash Markazi. Dunne said he could beat Kushida, and how he had unfinished business with WALTER. He said he’s never had a bad match, and people leave differently after taking him on. Dunne said his inspiration was from traditional British wrestling, such as guys like Fit Finlay. Arash asked him about what was next, and he said he wanted the NXT title.
– NXT Women’s Champion Raquel Gonzalez and Dakota Kai were being interviewed backstage. They talked about focusing on the Women’s Tag Team Championships. Ever-Rise interrupted and talked trash to them. Gonzalez slapped Matt Martel after he taunted her.
– Bobby Fish was being interviewed backstage. He talked about how Dunne and Lorcan put him out of action, and he wanted revenge. He challenged Pete Dunne to a match next week.
– Ember Moon and Shotzi Blackheart featured in a video where they talked about getting their belts back.
– Another video aired regarding Diamond Mine.
– William Regal was being interviewed backstage. He said Legado Del Fantasma would be facing MSK for the Tag Team Championship in two weeks. He then talked about the amount of talent in the Cruiserweight and Women’s division. He also announced Ember Moon and Shotzi Blackheart against Candice LeRae and Indi Hartwell next week.
After The Bell
If it wasn’t for the incredible main event, this week’s NXT was particularly weak. I was so happy for Bronson Reed. He’s been such a dominant force since arriving in NXT, and he has earned the North American Championship. You could see how much it meant to him. I can’t wait to see Reed start a dominant reign as the champion. It looks as though Swerve will be first up.
Ciampa and Thatcher were good tonight, but Legado Del Fantasma became the new number one contenders for MSK’s belts. Bobby Fish and Pete Dunne next week has some great potential. It could help to cement Fish as a singles competitor. I’m hoping to see Sarray in the title picture. Facing off against Raquel Gonzalez could be a really fantastic match.
Again, I’m not sure what is going on with DiBiase and Grimes. This face-off next week is distracting NXT from taking Grimes to the moon, literally. Finally, the Prime Target video was excellent. I can’t wait to see this match next week. I still have a feeling Keith Lee will return after the match as Karrion Kross holds his belt in victory.
Star of the Show: Bronson Reed Overall Rating: 7/10
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