Things are changing for NXT!
With a move to the USA Network on the horizon, what will Johnny Wrestling say about his own future? Plus, Rhea Ripley tests Shayna Baszler in a non-title first-time-ever match!
- Damien Priest VS Boa; Priest wins.
- Pete Dunne VS Angel Garza; Dunne wins.
- Cameron Grimes VS Raul Mendoza; Grimes wins.
- Rhea Ripley VS Shayna Baszler; Baszler wins, by disqualification.
PLAY BY PLAY
Someone pulls into Full Sail.
A driver parks and opens the door, for Rhea Ripley! The Mosh Pit Kid is riding in style as she prepares to show the Yanks how the inaugural NXT UK Women’s Champion does it.
Damien Priest VS Boa!
The Archer of Infamy takes aim at one of the Breakout superstars with his arrows of fire. But will Damien be in for a bigger fight than he expects from the big man from Beijing?
The bell rings and Damien smiles as he ties up and powers Boa to a corner. Damien lets off but Boa dodges the big haymaker. Boa and Damien tie up again and Damien shoves Boa off. But Boa stays standing, so Damien eggs him on. Boa kicks then runs but gets run over! Damien dares Boa to get up, and Boa does. Boa dares Damien to run now, but Damien just ROCKS him with a right! And then stomps away in the corner! The referee backs Damien off but Damien drags Boa up to whip. Boa kicks back, but Damien hits a jumping roundhouse! Damien jumps for a big back elbow onto Boa in the corner! And then he suplexes and TOSSES Boa for the Falcon Arrow! Boa writhes while Damien laughs.
Damien toys with Boa as fans rally up. Damien drags Boa up by his ear but the ref reprimands him. Damien keeps toying with Boa but Boa CHOPS back! Boa kicks, dodges, kicks and boots! Damien staggers into another kick! Boa runs side to side for a shotgun dropkick! Fans fire up with Boa, but Damien hits a DISCUS! Down goes Boa, and Damien waits for him to rise. Damien takes aim, CYCLONE KICK! But that’s not all, dragon sleeper, RECKONING! Cover, Damien wins!
Winner: Damien Priest, by pinfall
The Reckoning wrecks another superstar, and Boa has yet to have his own breakthrough. Will Boa be able to recover? Will the Archer of Infamy soon #LiveForever?
The Experience has received a Strong message.
To get the attention of The Velveteen Dream, the Savior of the Backbreaker set the beloved Velveteen Couch ablaze! Dream says that if Roderick Strong thinks Dream’s North American Championship reign is going to go up in flames, Strong is lying to himself. Strong wants to see if Dream is ready for a 1v1 experience. Dream quotes Hunger Games: If the Dream burns, Strong will burn with him. #DreamOver, but will the Purple Reign survive the fire? This match happens when NXT goes LIVE on USA Network!
Johnny Wrestling returns to Full Sail!
For the first time since the epic final showdown between him and Adam Cole, Johnny Gargano returns to NXT TV! Gargano makes sure to high-five as many fans as he can before going into the ring. Fans chant and cheer as Gargano takes up the mic, and Gargano soaks it all in. Eventually, Gargano has to tell the fans that he promised not to be very long out here. Fans calm down and Gargano begins.
“I asked if I could come out here to talk to you guys because I heard all the rumors, I read all the reports,” and everyone from Mama Gargano to that guy in the soccer jersey was asking what the future holds for Johnny. Fans beg, “Please Don’t Go!” But the last time Gargano was in the ring, he fell 20 feet in a steel cage through tables, but woke up to a standing ovation of “Thank You, Johnny!” Fans repeat that here now. But trust Gargano when he says that he appreciates it and thanks them. “There would be no Johnny Wrestling if it wasn’t for all you guys.” The fans helped Gargano build up NXT together. So Gargano says this with every bit of his heart: he absolutely loves everything about NXT! Gargano loves the fans giving their all for wrestlers like him and those in the back putting on THE BEST pro-wrestling show on the planet! Fans give an ovation for that gratitude.
Gargano has been here for a long time, has seen people come and go, but everyone has a say in their future. Gargano has made his choice. NXT has had his back since day one, so Gargano wanted to tell them personally that he is officially- being interrupted by Shane Thorne… The Worst takes his time walking out with a mic of his own as fans boo and jeer. “Of course, of course. Really, Johnny?” Is this necessary? Do we really need more Johnny Gargano? The fans continue to boo and jeer as Thorne walks down the ramp. Thorne says more time is being wasted on Gargano when he could’ve just Tweeted, but no no, Gargano has to be here for Full Sail. Thorne doesn’t care! Thorne gets it, though. Gargano is a pillar of NXT, he is #JohnnyTakeover! But Thorne wants to tell Gargano face to face: “This place is going to be just fine without you. In fact, with the right person finally in the spotlight, it’s going to be even better.” So Gargano should just take his bow and take a walk.
Thorne waits for Gargano to move, and Gargano does move. But Gargano says that Thorne is right. Gargano is NXT, and he’s not going anywhere! SUPERKICK takes out Thorne! Gargano stands over Thorne writes out #NXT4Life! Johnny Wrestling is far from done with the black and gold! But will he and Thorne make each other black and blue fighting over the spotlight in Full Sail?
The Forgotten Sons define “Savage.”
Savage: (Noun) Lacking the restraints normal to civilized human beings. Steve Cutler, Wesley Blake and Jaxson Ryker are the savages of NXT. They were cast out and tossed aside, but the whole world will witness their “vulgar display of savagery.” And the Forgotten Sons will be forgotten no more. But just what will they do to be immortalized in NXT forever?
Pete Dunne VS Angel Garza!
The Bruiserweight returns to action on NXT against another of the Breakout superstars! Will Dunne prove himself worthy of a title as NXT enters a new phase? Or will Garza Jr. have his breakout moment against the former WWE United Kingdom Champion?
Dunne isn’t sure what to make of Garza as he swaggers about, but the fans are dueling between them. Garza stays away from Dunne’s grip, and prepares to remove the tear away pants, but Dunne is after the foot! Garza rolls and gets Dunne’s leg, but then shifts to a waistlock. Dunne wrenches and lifts to then drop and tweak the arm! Dunne hammerlocks that arm to then go after the fingers of the other! Garza endures the joint torture, but then Dunne makes him a recliner. TWO, and Garza trips Dunne to twist the arms together! Garza sits on the arm pretzel but Dunne slips out to roll Garza up! TWO, and both men stand off. Fans cheer as the two tie up. Garza headlocks and Dunne powers out but things speed up. Garza rolls off Dunne’s back but things keep going, and Dunne hurdles to lariat Garza down! Then Dunne kicks out the arm!
Garza writhes but Dunne wrenches and bends the arm. Garza avoids the stomp! And asks for a bit of mercy. But Dunne grabs the fingers! Garza uses that to throw Dunne out, to pull off the pants! But then Dunne rocks Garza with a right! And slingshots out! Garza dodges and then pops Dunne up into a headstand, to SUPERKICK him down! Garza drags Dunne back up but he’s dead weight, so Garza leaves Dunne behind. A ring count begins and climbs, but Dunne is up at 4. Dunne slides in at 6 but Garza toys with him now. Garza kicks Dunne around then puts him in a corner. Garza CHOPS Dunne then turns him sideways on the ropes. The ref counts but Garza rams his knee in! Dunne falls to the mat but Garza drags him back up. Dunne wrings Garza into a buckle! Dunne then dodges to CHOP away on Garza! Dunne whips but Garza reverses. Dunne goes up and over to enziguri and German Suplex! Garza flops about, Dunne stomps his hands! Then a buzzsaw kick! Cover, TWO!
Dunne keeps his cool as fans continue to duel. Dunne drags Garza up and pump handles, but Garza slips out to shove. Garza spins Dunne, Dunne dodges but gets a dropkick on the return! Garza drags Dunne back up, says it’s over, and underhooks. But Dunne pops Garza right up for a powerbomb! Cover, TWO! Garza survives and is seeing how Dunne became the longest reigning champion in modern history. Dunne grabs Garza’s arms but Garza avoids the stomp to roll Dunne up! TWO, and Dunne gets to a corner. Dunne boots Garza away then hops up, but Garza trips him up! Garza shotguns Dunne low! Dunne falls and Garza covers, TWO!! Now Garza is seeing why it took so long to end Dunne’s reign. Both men are down and fans rally up.
Garza gets up first, and sits Dunne up to CHOP him back down. Garza gets cocky and Dunne grabs his arms to bring him in for fast and furious kicks! Garza breaks free and SUPERKICKS Dunne back down! Garza flops to the cover, TWO!! But Garza rains down furious rights! Garza drags Dunne up but Dunne reels him in for STOMPS! And then Dunne drags Garza around, for a BUZZSAW kick! Garza is out but Dunne doesn’t cover. Dunne drags Garza up for a kick and then a CHOP! Dunne runs in but Garza pops Dunne up for a kick of his own! Garza puts Dunne in the drop zone and climbs the ropes, to MOONSAULT! But into Dunne’s armbar!! Dunne has the fingers, and SNAPS! Garza TAPS, Dunne wins!
Winner: Pete Dunne, by submission
The Bruiserweight shrugs, as if beating a Breakout star was nothing much. But will this big win help Dunne head for a new title? And as Garza glares, is this a sign he’ll be even more motivated to make his familia proud?
The Street Profits took in the sights in New York City.
“So this is what fresh air smells like in Central Park.” This is where happiness and success converge. Madison Square Garden, Monday Night Raw, and the Profits are in the Big Apple! Historic! But… There is something missing. It doesn’t feel right without the NXT Tag Team Championships. That would’ve been something on a whole ‘nother level. But NXT goes live on USA Network, and what better way to make a statement than to take those tag titles back? That is a great idea. Magnifique! But before that, Montez and Dawkins handle their business at MSG. Wait how do they get there from here? Ford asks for directions. It’s that way. Okay, appreciate and God bless. So, do they jump? No wait, walk down. Will the Profits have gold again when NXT hits TV?
Cameron Grimes VS Raul Mendoza!
The #CountryConfident Breakout superstar is disappointed in himself for not winning the tournament for a shot at the NXT Championship. But he looks to refocus against an NXT veteran here tonight. Can Cameron Grimes find redemption as NXT is on the verge of its own breakout?
The bell rings and Mendoza gets Grimes in a wristlock. Grimes rolls and sweeps and covers, ONE! Mendoza gets the arm again and takes Grimes around in La Magistrol, but with some extra sauce! Cover, TWO! Mendoza goes back at the arm again, but Grimes pulls hair. Grimes whips Mendoza but things speed up. Mendoza slides then huricanranas, and Grimes flounders to a corner. Mendoza CHOPS Grimes then puts him in another corner, for another CHOP! Mendoza whips but Grimes reverses, only for Mendoza to slip outside. Grimes hits buckles, but he dropkicks Mendoza out of his slingshot! Grimes goes out to get Mendoza back in and whips him to ropes. Grimes clobbers Mendoza with a clothesline then covers, TWO! Grimes keeps on Mendoza with an armlock. Fans rally up and Mendoza puts Grimes in the corner.
Grimes keeps on the arm and has Mendoza back on the mat. Fans continue to rally as Mendoza continues to endure. Mendoza fights his way up and fights back to put Grimes in a corner. But Grimes throws Mendoza down by the arm, only for Mendoza to get up and hit back. Mendoza enziguris then dropkicks Grimes to a corner! Fans fire up, Mendoza runs in, another enziguri hits in the corner! Mendoza climbs, walks the ropes and missile dropkicks! Standing shooting star! Cover, TWO!! Grimes flounders and Mendoza has his leg. Grimes has the ropes but Mendoza goes for him, only to get that rubber band hotshot! Grimes boots but it is blocked! Mendoza fires off with forearms and kicks! Another enziguri rocks Grimes, and Mendoza runs in, only to be put on the apron. Mendoza kicks back, then climbs up again. Mendoza Phoenix Splash, but Grimes dodges! Grimes DOUBLE STOMPS! Cover, Grimes wins!
Winner: Cameron Grimes, by pinfall
The gritty Grimes guts it out to come up with the win! Will this be just the first victory on Grimes’ road to his own breakout?
Candice LeRae barges into William Regal’s office.
She calms down before making her request. She wants him, as NXT GM, to explain why he keeps rewarding Io Shirai. Io gets to be in the Women’s Championship #1 contender’s Triple Threat after attacking Candice and threatening others? Regal says he isn’t rewarding anyone for such behavior, but Candice just warns that Io might not make it to that match. Well Regal will change things to be fairer. The match will now be a Fatal 4 Way, with Candice as the fourth. Though, if Rhea Ripley wins tonight, that makes a case to escalate to a 5 Way. Candice is fine, so long as she gets her hands on Io. Will Mrs. Wrestling settle scores with the Evil Genius while also earning a golden opportunity?
Dakota Kai is coming back!
The captain of Team Kick has recovered from her injuries, and she’s ready to kick things up a notch! Can Kai make up for lost time as she returns to NXT?
Rhea Ripley VS Shayna Baszler!
This is historic! The Mosh Pit Kid and original NXT UK Women’s Champion is here to show that the Queen of Spades hasn’t seen anything yet! Will Rhea earn her way into the coming #1 Contender’s match by proving she can beat the NXT (USA) Women’s Champion? Or will Rhea simply be the next to #TapNapOrSnap?
The bell rings and fans are fired up for Rhea. Rhea and Shayna circle and tie up. They go around and Shayna gets the wristlock. Rhea gets the ropes and Shayna lets up. Shayna tries a cheap shot but Rhea sees it coming! Rhea blocks the sweep to give the sweep! Shayna is actually thrown off by Rhea matching her. They get up and go around again. Shayna waistlocks but Rhea pries her way out to an armlock. Shayna fights back up but Rhea shows her strength with a scoop! Shayna slips out and wants the Kirafuda! But Rhea denies that with a standing switch, so Shayna goes after the arm! Rhea scoops again and slams Shayna down! Fans cheer as Rhea stomps Shayna. Rhea clubs away on Shayna, but Shayna shoves her away. Rhea comes back with kicks and then rams her shoulder in. The ref counts and Rhea backs off to bring Shayna out.
Rhea clubs Shayna more, then taunts her as she suplexes. Shayna cradle counters, TWO! Rhea dropkicks Shayna! Fans cheer more as Rhea runs at Shayna. Shayna dodges and the boot gets caught up on the top rope! Shayna sweeps the leg and Rhea is stuck in the ropes! Shayna kicks Rhea out of her situation and covers, TWO! Shayna keeps on Rhea with a facelock, then has an inverted neck wrench. Fans rally up as Rhea endures. Rhea fights her way up and powers Shayna up and over for a back drop! Shayna dodges the dropkick and wants the Kirafuda again! Rhea fights it off and rams Shayna into buckles! Shayna climbs up for a hangman’s sleeper! The ref counts but Rhea fights out with big hands. Rhea dropkicks Shayna to the floor! Fans fire up as Rhea recovers in the ring.
Shayna stirs on the outside as a ring count begins. Rhea won’t let it end like that, and she goes out to fetch Shayna. Fans applaud that as Rhea drags Shayna up. Shayna fights back with a big forearm, but the gut wrench is denied! Electric Chair, facebuster on the steel steps! Fans are loving the brutality! Rhea puts Shayna in and steadies herself. Rhea goes in but here come the Horsewomen! Rhea wrecks Marina with a boot and Jessamyn stays back. But Shayna attacks with a knee! The ref reprimands the Horsewomen but they give Shayna a chair! Shayna doesn’t care about wins or losses now, she just wants to teach Rhea a lesson. But Rhea blocks the chair shot to GIVE a chair shot!
Winner: Shayna Baszler, by disqualification
Rhea is enraged but she will wreck whoever wants to come at her! She even takes a seat in the chair! With no spot in that contender’s match, will the Mosh Pit Kid have to take the long route to the title? Will Shayna still be the one holding that NXT Women’s Championship when Rhea comes back around?
“Boys and girls, the Prophecy will finally be fulfilled!” And it’s not just that NXT goes live on USA Network, all thanks to these four boys right here. What Adam Cole means is that Roderick Strong will finally beat the velveteen Dream to become North American Champion. Dream dared someone to get his attention, and look what Strong did to do it. Strong hated that couch, and he hates Dream. Strong finally gets what is rightfully his, and the Undisputed Prophecy will finally be fulfilled. NXT is getting bigger, better, and badder, all thanks to the Era. No one on the “freakin’ planet” will be able to stop them after next week. That’s not a threat or a promise, it’s just Undisputed.
While there isn’t an NXT special coming, this episode was practically a go-home to the USA Network premiere. And it was a great “go-home” at that! We move fast as always, Damien VS Boa was a good opener, but naturally Damien wins. Depending on how things go with the Undisputed Prophecy and the titles, Damien could end up a contender once we’re in the new year and NXT has settled in to being a live show rather than tape delay. Garza and Cameron Grimes had much better showings for being the Breakout stars that got further. Garza loses to Pete Dunne because it’s Pete Dunne, but it was an amazing match and probably the better showing despite losing. Grimes wins to keep strong but Mendoza had a good showing, too. Grimes and Garza obviously both have a lot of promise in NXT, but will also be waiting in the wings until we see how this Undisputed Prophecy resolves.
Dream VS Strong for the North American Champion is a great and logical choice for the USA Network premiere. The promo the Undisputed Era gave at the end was really more an ad for between programs, but it works for them to have the last word before NXT makes the major move. It would make a lot of sense for Strong to win and fulfill the prophecy that night, because that gets you attention from the title change, and then we can move forward from there into WarGames III and #WinnersTakeAll. The Street Profits had a great little promo to stake a claim at a tag title rematch, and I’m sure they’ll factor into NXT Live’s first few episodes as the Undisputed Prophecy can still fall apart before 2019 is over. Great to hear Dakota Kai is coming back, and I feel like her returning to NXT rather than NXT UK is spurred on by the USA Network move to give just that much more for NXT to use for TV.
What I feared would come true is coming true. Shane Thorne is the next opponent for Johnny Gargano. Granted, Gargano is #NXT4Life since the brand is growing, so he doesn’t have to go somewhere else just because he’s become a big name in his own right, which would’ve made this a very poor send-off story. Now it’ll be about who is the face of NXT, separate from titles. I would think Gargano wins out to make up for losing to Cole in the end, but I’m sure The Worst will do his best to cheat Gargano out of some glory. Then it was a good move for Candice to take offense to Io Shirai being in the contender’s match instead of her. And it was a great move to make it a Fatal 4 Way so that Candice can have her way to the title. Regal teasing Rhea making things a Fatal 5 might’ve been a giveaway shenanigans were going to happen with Rhea VS Shayna, though that should’ve also been expected since Shayna has the Horsewomen.
Maybe this is how they keep Rhea on standby for WarGames, and let Mia Yim win to get her second chance. At the same time, Rhea barely had to change who she was to be Face by default against Shayna. Rhea could easily stay this way and be the default Heel against Mia Yim, but I have a feeling the pattern holds: Shayna faces someone a second time and still wins, to then move on to another challenger. At that point, Rhea might be ready to take her on again, and it is Rhea that makes history by dethroning Shayna.
My Score: 8.4/10