Chris Novak: Pretty fun episode of NXT on the horizon. Roddy Strong defends his NA Championship against Dominik Dijakovic and Keith Lee. Also, Finn Balor is appearing, Matt Riddle is facing Cameron Grimes, and Team Fly Kicks is facing The Horsewomen, with the winners facing The Kabuki Warriors for the WWE Women’s Tag Team Championships NEXT WEEK!
But first, Bianca Belair is facing Rhea Ripley. So this is fun!
Robert O’Neill: It WAS fun. Rhea and Bianca had a hell of a match, but shenanigans came into play when Io Shirai came out and beat up Rhea while she was outside, but Candice LeRae came out and evened the odds. As chaos continued outside, Rhea made it back in the ring and hit Bianca with a Full Nelson Slam for the win. Intertwining storylines! Neat!
Chris Novak: I like this! I like it a lot. Bianca taking the L is fine here as there was a bit of a messy situation. And even though she’s taken some losses this year she’s still very credible. Rhea needed a big W to seamlessly transition to NXT from NXT UK, and this was it. I like the inclusion of Io and Candice. It made sense for Io to want to meddle with this match, given Rhea’s comments to her last week. Candice getting back at Io makes sense when you consider their interactions before, but they’ll obviously have to tie some things together. But, I think they will.
Pete Dunne was interviewed by Cathy Kelley earlier tonight. Dunne said that there’s a receipt coming towards Damian Priest’s way and that he doesn’t care about Killian Dain. Also, Tyler Bate was there!
A vignette aired for Tommaso Ciampa. I liked it!
Next up, Cameron Grimes vs. Matt Riddle. I have to imagine these two have faced off in PWG before. Correction: They haven’t, but they did wrestle once at EVOLVE and once recently at a Daytona Beach house show.
Robert O’Neill: This is gonna be a lot of fun. Big fan of both these guys.
Chris Novak: This turned out to be REALLY fun. Riddle pinned Grimes with the Bro Derek. This was the best match that Grimes has had since he came around in NXT. Riddle, well, this was another notch in his belt. Very high-energy match here. Would recommend watching if you happened to miss it.
After the match, Grimes turned down a fist bump from Riddle. He then shoved Tyler Bate, who was at ringside. And Bate returned the favor by punching him in the face! So, are we getting a Bate-Grimes feud now? That would be a lot of fun.
Breezango is teaming up with Swerve Scott against The Forgotten Sons! This is a very good spot for Swerve here.
Robert O’Neill: Whew. Swerve got the pin and looked like a star in this match. That’s awesome. You have a lot of people who aren’t familiar with him watching this show, and to get him over like this is a brilliant move. I thought everyone in this match was good, but Swerve was the best of all.
Chris Novak: Swerve is rising up the charts very quickly here. He had a standout showing against Roddy two weeks ago, and now shined in a match featuring some pretty good names here. Very much enjoyed this six-man.
Roddy Strong cut a promo before the Triple Threat main event later. Dijakovic did earlier as well, so one from Keith Lee is soon to come. Like this strategy here.
Lio Rush is here! He’s going to be on commentary for a cruiserweight match. So, that’s cool.
But before that, Killian Dain is here with a pre-taped vignette. He points out how Pete Dunne almost broke his fingers last week (true). He says he’s going to break him now.
Now onto the action. Jack Gallagher is facing Angel Garza. Cool!
Robert O’Neill: Good little match here. I’ve said it before but it’s cool that the cruiserweights are getting a bigger platform to shine here than they had on 205 Live. Garza got the victory. Will he be next in line for Lio Rush?
Dakota Kai and Tegan Nox are here! They’re facing the Horsewomen minus Shayna.
Chris Novak: This should be fun also. Kai and Nox have never teamed before on TV, but those that know, well, know all about Team Fly Kicks. And… that was quick! Tegan and Dakota pick up the win! Asuka and Kairi cut a promo on them via the TitanTron, basically saying that they were going to lose next week. Although it was rather intimidating.
Robert O’Neill: It’s time for the main event, as Rod Strong puts his North American Title on the line against Dominik Dijakovic and Keith Lee!
Chris Novak: Holy shitballs, what a TV main event this was. Roddy wound up winning after hitting a flying knee on Lee in the face. But wow. These three went all the way out for this one. Lee stood out with a ridiculous Tope Con Hilo, among quite a few other high spots. This is MUST WATCH and might honestly be the best TV match of the year to this point.
After the match, Undisputed Era went on the attack, beating up Lee. Then Ciampa’s music hit, and out he came with his crutch. THEN, Johnny Gargano came out. A bit of a DIY reunion! The two stood off with TUE… and then FINN BALOR came out! He’d been hyped up to appear all night, so they waited until the very end of the show to bring him out. He gets in the ring, sides with Gargano and Ciampa…
OH MY GOD HE KICKED THE SHIT OUT OF GARGANO! Finn turned heel!! He then watched on as TUE beat the crap out of Ciampa. He didn’t align with them, but he stood by idly. He then got out of the ring and hit Gargano with a running dropkick into the barricade. Then he SPIKED HIM with Bloody Sunday ON the ramp. TUE gave their signal towards im… but he responded by pointing finger guns at Gargano.
Woo. Bud. DEE!
Robert O’Neill: Holy crap that entire half hour was incredible. I don’t know how else to describe it. From the match to one of the more shocking turns in recent memory, that was amazing.
Chris Novak: A+. Seriously, I don’t know what more you could have even asked for. You have great wrestling. You have a MOTYC. You had some fun angle advancement. You had plenty of post-match angles. And then you had an absolutely HOT angle to close the show with a HUGE surprise and shock that I’m not sure ANYBODY saw coming. It’s been a process, and I think there’s still some room to grow. But woo bud dee! This show was their best effort yet.
Robert O’Neill: A+ here too. Chris hit the nail on the head. You won’t find a much better wrestling TV show than that anywhere all year long. I absolutely loved it.