This week’s episode of NXT opens with a long in-ring promo from the Undisputed Era where they speak about the prophecy and how it has yet to be fulfilled through no fault of their own.
Roderick Strong takes the typical heel line after a triple threat match saying that Velveteen Dream pinned Pete Dunne and not him so his claim to the North American Title is still intact. Bobby Fish and Kyle O’Riley argue that the laughable spot from TakeOver where the Street Profits Irish whipped them into one another caused a tag which lead the Profits to pin the wrong man and the match to be declared ended in error.
Adam Cole is still undoubtedly the best talker of the four but Fish and O’Riley are starting to get more confident on the mic. Roderick Strong is still a bit shaky but I think that lends to his unhinged mercenary gimmick within the Undisputed Era.
Jordan Myles, the winner of the NXT BreakOut Tournament then comes into the arena before the Undisputed Era is able to make their exit with his championship match contract in hand and stares down Adam Cole. Cole warns him against challenging the champion as it is the worst possible thing for his career.
Cole also states that he will break the stupid smile off of Myles’ face. Jordan who is straight-faced for the first time in his NXT tenure so far through the entire promo gets the last laugh when he goes to hand Cole the contract to make the challenge official before dropping it at his feet smiling widely and heading back to the back.
We then saw a PC interview from earlier this week from Bronson Reed where he spoke about his time in the BreakOut Tournament and what his expectations were for his career in NXT.
The interview was then interrupted by Shane Thorn who told Reed he had blown his opportunity and didn’t deserve another one. Thorn also told Reed how embarrassed he was to have pulled strings to bring him here and how he has wasted everyone’s time. Reed then challenged Thorn to a match for this episode of NXT.
Damien Priest vs. Mansoor
The first match of the episode came when Mansour faced off against Damian Priest. Mansoor has been unlucky in his pursuits of the win column so far in his NXT tenure with only 1 win since his victory in the 50 man battle royal in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia back in June. Damian Priest, however, has continued his dominant performances from Ring Of Honor to the black and gold brand with a string of impressive victories in the weeks since his debut.
The pair lock up with a collar and elbow tie-up in the middle of the ring before Damian Priest quickly backs him into the far corner pressing him into the turnbuckle then being forced to break the hold by the ref before being struck by Mansoor in the chest, seemingly lighting a fire under Priest who began dismantling Mansoor piece by piece with a series of huge clubbing blows and high intensity strikes. Priest then slowed the pace down toying with Mansoor moving his head around with his boot and never allowing the man back to a vertical base.
The momentum shifts momentarily when Mansour prevents himself from being thrown to the outside and is able to land a few surprise strikes on Priest before being put down once again. As priest continues to play with Mansoor hoisting him up for what would be a muscle buster sort of maneuver Mansoor is able to slide down his chest and put him into a small package for a near fall.
Mansoor uses the opportunity to deliver a dropkick and subsequent superkick that stagger but does not knock down Priest. Priest then catches Mansoor around the throat hoping for a chokeslam but Mansour is able to backflip out of the hold. Mansoor then uses a step-up enziguri which still does not drop Priest. Priest stalks Mansour across the ring before being sent to the outside and Mansour uses this opportunity to deliver a huge tope con hero to the outside.
Mansoor then brings Damien back into the ring before delivering a huge springboard neck breaker to him. Mansoor then tries for a tornado DDT before being thrown off and receiving a huge spinning lariat that turned him inside out before a crucifix slam that Mauro Ranallo called the “Splash Mountain”. Priest then delivered his finisher The Reckoning for the three count. Following the match, Nigel McGuiness spoke about the recent announcement of NXT’s move to the USA Network and expansion to a 2-hour live program.
Mia Yim vs. Vanessa Borne
The next match was a women’s division contest as Mia Yim faced off against Vannessa Borne. The match began when Borne landed a kick to Yim’s midsection before stomping down on her hands and pulling Yim into a side headlock bringing her back down to the mat. Yim was able to reverse the pressure with a headlock of her own. Releasing it when Borne grabbed hold of her hair and running the ropes delivering a shoulder tackle. Borne and Yim then run the ropes before Yim halts her with a quick jab to the throat.
As she backs up to run the ropes again Borne’s valet Aliyah grabs hold of her leg and halts her progression giving Vanessa the opportunity to regain a vertical base and deliver a Samoan Drop to Mia before covering her for a near fall, kicked out at 2. Borne then brings Yim back to a vertical base before driving her face first into the middle turnbuckle hammering on her neck and spine. The ref forces a break before Borne pulls Yim between the second and third rope and putting a “Lower” sticker on her ass. You can’t make this stuff up.
Borne continues to toy with Yim for several moments before Yim is able to pounce on Borne striking her in her chest and manhandling her around the ring. Yim then throws Borne into the corner and delivers a cannonball slam before bringing her back into the center of the ring for her finisher called “Protect Ya Neck” and securing the pinfall.
The celebration is short-lived, however, as Shayna Baszler fresh off of her victory against Yim at TakeOver Toronto comes to the entrance ramp to deliver a promo where she calls Yim “A badass.” stating,
“You took me to places I have not been to. And I saw it- I see it in your eyes you have had to go to some dark places to pull yourself out of the places you have been. But I got to thinking; We don’t need to stand across from each other as enemies. You can stand right beside me. This is a cold cold business but ask these two [Shafir and Duke] it’s nice and warm under the Dragon’s wing.”
The implication here is that Yim is being offered the fourth position in the Horsewomen stable. Mia made her answer clear as she lunged across the ring to attack Marina Shafir before all three horsewomen descended upon her to beat her down. The Baszler/Yim storyline seems far from over.
After the commercial, it was announced by the commentary team that the much-anticipated rematch of Dominic Dijakovic and Keith Lee would take place next week on NXT tv. There was also a promo package looking back at both men’s long and entangled indie careers and for the second time tonight we had one superstar stating that they are owed something because they got another superstar in the door. I’m not sure why the NXT creative team has chosen to go in this direction this often but it certainly is a bold choice.
Shane Thorne vs. Bronson Reed
The next match of the evening saw the payoff of a promo from earlier in the evening as Shane Thorne went one on one with Bronson Reed. Thorne and Reed start the match by circling each other slowly before Thorne is able to catch Reed in the thigh with a kick from just outside Reed’s range. Thorne continues to dance away from Reed delivering a few glancing kicks.
Thorne attempts another kick but it is caught and Reed quickly wraps Thorne up in a waist lock before driving him to the mat. Reed then releases the hold so that he can sit on Thorne’s back for a few moments before reestablishing wrist control and beginning to manipulate Thorne’s joints. Thorne is then able to escape the hold and jettison Reed back into the corner and kick him repeatedly before bringing him back into the center of the ring.
Reed and Thorne run the ropes perpendicularly before Reed catches Thornes drop kick attempt and pulls it into a spine buster slam leaving him prone on the mat. Thorne takes a moment to try and regroup but Reed uses the opportunity to drive his knee through Thorne’s face. Reed then lifts the now limp Thorne from the mat over his head and holds him there before Thorne is able to wriggle free and shoulder tackle the larger man at his knees bringing him down to the mat.
Reed then retreats to the corner before being hammered on by fists and feet from Thorne. After being forced to break Thorne fishhook’s Reed and drags him out of the corner into the center of the ring before delivering a hellacious penalty kick to Reed’s shoulders.
Reed then chops Thorne several times before a dropkick rocks him back into the opposite corner giving Thorne the opportunity for a running senton dive. Thorne then covers Reed for the two count before delivering a series of European uppercuts. He then moved to run the ropes but before he was able to do that he was caught by Reed in a powerslam.
Reed is the first man back to his feet. He delivers a series of bionic elbows followed by a Samoan drop before being caught by a huge boot to the face. However, Reed seems unfazed as he brings Thorne to the center and delivers a senton splash. Thorne then slips outside the ring to be brought back inside by Reed before Reed begins to climb to the top rope only to be halted by Thorne who pulls him down and delivers a huge running knee for the pinfall victory.
Following the match, Velveteen Dream came to the entrance ramp on his sofa to speak to the NXT universe about Roderick Strong and Pete Dunne and their match at TakeOver Toronto. The dream then challenges Roderick Strong to deliver an experience that he has never had before to be seen as worthy for another shot at his North American Title.
Following the commercial break we were alerted to two title defenses that will be taking place on NXT television in the coming weeks as next week the Undisputed Era (Bobby Fish and Kyle O’Riley) will take on the Street Profits for their NXT Tag Team Titles and in two weeks time Jordan Myles will face off with Adam Cole for the NXT Championship.
Matt Riddle vs. Killian Dain
The main event of the evening saw the newly returned Killian Dain face off against his opponent from TakeOver Toronto the “Super King Of Bros” Matt Riddle. Riddle opened the match with a page out of Dain’s playbook as he slid into the ring behind him beat down the larger man while his entrance theme was still playing.
The match got off to an explosive start as Riddle backed Dain into his corner and began hammering his ribs and chest with clubbing blows. The pair traded a series of high impact and high intensity blows before both moving outside the ring.
Riddle then ran around the edge of the ring and launched himself off of the ring steps to deliver a huge strike to Dain. Dain and Riddle, moved back into the ring before Dain was able to get an upper hand on the match Striking Riddle repeatedly and leaving him dazed before performing a standing cross body tackle bringing both men to the mat.
Riddle was then put into the corner where Dain began hammering again on his already injured ribs before bringing him back into the center of the ring and delivering a vertical suplex for the near fall.
Following the near fall, Killian pulled Matt into a seated abdominal stretch occasionally hammering him across the abdomen. Killian then drives Matt throat first into the ropes before stomping into his chest again repeatedly and putting all of his weight on the injured ribs.
After the break is forced Killian grabs Matt and delivers an inverted backbreaker or gut buster to the smaller man leaving him gasping for air and clutching his midsection. Killian then perches on the back of Matt drawing him into another variation of the abdominal stretch.
The hold was broken by Riddle who was able to get to his back before being put into a front face lock with both shoulders to the mat but it was not counted by the official. Riddle then hammers Dain in the face causing him to retreat before bringing riddle into a side suplex position. Riddle then reverses the side suplex and pulls Dain into a muscle buster.
Both men lay prone for several moments before regaining their base simultaneously. They trade strikes back and forth before Riddle delivers an overhead kick and for the first time since the start of the matchup seems to be taking control. Riddle stalks Dain into the corner and delivers an exploder suplex before following up with a “Broton” in the center of the ring and a penalty kick for a near fall.
Riddle then looks for the Bro Lock before it is blocked by Dain and they scramble for the bottom rope. Dain delivers a series of big boots from a supine position before being hauled up for a huge suplex by Riddle. Riddle then pulls Dain up for a rip chord knee before Dain follows up with a shotgun dropkick and a cannonball dive for a near fall.
Dain is back on his feet pulling Riddle into a fireman’s carry before dumping him down over his shoulders and looking for a standing senton which is then reversed into a sleeper hold. Dain is able to get back to his feet before falling victim to a Bro To Sleep, Powerbomb and Flash knee strike for another near fall.
Riddle then attempts a splash across the chest of the fallen Dain but is blocked by his knees and jettisoned outside the ring. Dain stalks Riddle across the ring and runs full speed towards him as he rolls out of the way at the last moment causing Dain to crash into the steel ring steps. Riddle then moves to suplex Dain onto the steps but Dain is able to throw Riddle face-first into them instead.
Dain then delivers a running senton bomb onto Riddle on the steel ring steps before climbing up to the apron to break the officials count and delivering a Vader bomb. The count is then resumed as Dain brings them both back into the ring before climbing to the second rope and delivering a series of Vader bombs to Riddle before securing the pinfall. Following the pinfall, Matt Riddle chased Dain up the ramp and into the back.
Show Grade: C-. A hard-hitting show was made less exciting by the long and seemingly lost promos that were peppered throughout. Fantastic in-ring action.