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Andrew’s New Japan Road Results & Match Ratings 9.6.2020

The beauty of this second tournament day, is the two winners of yesterday are facing each other. So we will get a definitive leader! LIJ or Ass Masters?

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We’ve reached Day 2 of this impromptu Junior Tag title tournament! Ass Masters and LIJ have an early lead, but conventional wisdom will tell you that won’t last. Not only because they face each other today, but because it would be a little odd to have an established team like the Suzuki-Gun duo come up short given their actual team experience.

So with that, I figure that Suzuki-Gun will go 2-0, beating Bullet Club and LIJ on Wednesday, to tie LIJ and run back the match as the finals on Friday. Yes, that also means I see Bullet Club being effectively out of the tournament, but they will play spoiler and ruin Wato’s chances.

Who knows, maybe I’m in store for a shock. Let’s find out!

Ratings:

  • Yuya Uemura vs Yuji Nagata: Nagata wins via Nagata Lock #2 – ** ¼
  • CHAOS (SHO, Toru Yano & Kazuchika Okada) & Yota Tsuji vs CHAOS (YOSHI-HASHI, Tomohiro Ishii & Hirooki Goto) & Gabriel Kidd: HASHI wins via Butterfly Lock – ***
  • Suzuki-Gun (DOUKI, Minoru Suzuki, ZSJ & Taichi) vs Kota Ibushi, Hiroshi Tanahashi, Tomoaki Honma & Satoshi Kojima: ZSJ wins via Manjigatame – ** ½
  • Darkness Club (EVIL, Jado & Yujiro Takahashi) vs LIJ (Shingo Takagi, SANADA & Tetsuya Naito):  SANADA wins via Japanese Leg Clutch – **
  • Suzuki-Gun (El Desperado & Yoshinobu Kanemaru) vs Bullet Club (Gedo & Taiji Ishimori): Desperado wins via Pinche Loco – ***
  • LIJ (BUSHI & Hiromu Takahashi) vs Ass Masters (Ryusuke Taguchi & Master Wato): LIJ win via LAT – ****

 

Results:

 Yuya Uemura vs Yuji Nagata

This was a basic Young Lion match, with no cute layers like the Kojima one from yesterday. Nagata came in, controlled the pace, but Uemura got some solid offense in. It was never really in the cards to believe that Uemura could win, but he put in good effort.

Blue Justice prevails!

CHAOS (SHO, Toru Yano & Kazuchika Okada) & Yota Tsuji vs CHAOS (YOSHI-HASHI, Tomohiro Ishii & Hirooki Goto) & Gabriel Kidd

Hey look! Tsuji’s awake!

So we get a few more tangible story threads. SHO is going right after Ishii as a power battle. This works really well since Ishii is actually shorter than SHO, he’s just build like a tank. That helps the Junior/Heavy distinction since SHO isn’t notably smaller than most in the match.

We all see a continued question mark with Yano and Okada. Yano loves to trip and pull people to the outside, but that visibly throws off Okada. However, Okada called for Yano to come in for some multiman offense with him and SHO. So this feels like Okada is trying to overlook things and be a good leader and call for solidarity.

Tsuji looked really good in this match, blending well with the Okada squad. They set him up for great power displays and Tsuji is definitely ready for excursion whenever travel is normal again. Even though Tsuji eats the submission (Young Lion, remember?), the story doesn’t end there!

SHO and Ishii keep brawling on the outside, and the first one there is Okada to try and break it up, but Ishii actually swings on Okada and keeps trying to get SHO. Yano keeps his distance, as does HASHI and Goto. Families fight, but Ishii and Yano are both no strangers to betrayal…and have a tag team past. So if things go how I’d like, SHO & Okada versus Yano & Ishii, that’s a match I would like to see.

Suzuki-Gun (DOUKI, Minoru Suzuki, ZSJ & Taichi) vs Kota Ibushi, Hiroshi Tanahashi, Tomoaki Honma & Satoshi Kojima

Now there are some threads to still tug at, but they’re also the same ones that we’ve been playing with for a few months. Taichi and Ibushi is building into a nice strike based feud where it seems like Taichi really wants to prove he’s the better striker. Suzuki is just killing people. ZSJ is doing ZSJ stuff and DOUKI is happy to be there.

Since Honma ate the submission, there’s nothing to really play with on the other side. ZSJ and Taichi are still continuing the narrative of Tanahashi is a joke and Ibushi made the wrong choice, but it’s fairly anti-climactic. I am however somewhat interested in Kojima maybe getting a NEVER title match. Suzuki versus Kojima one more time could be really fun.

Darkness Club (EVIL, Jado & Yujiro Takahashi) vs LIJ (Shingo Takagi, SANADA & Tetsuya Naito)

Oh great, we’re running back the match I didn’t care about yesterday! Excuse me while I go get food.

A few quick takeaways are that, Jado, even though he can barely move, still gets it. I did enjoy when he put on the LIJ jacket, teased a Kokeshi, just to walk over and then do the Naito pose. He gets being a heel, just wish he could actually perform. Also, I’m enjoying that EVIL’s group tends to focus heavily on Naito, and it’s up to Shingo and SANADA to win the match.

Shingo has a great clearing spot with King Kong Lariats, Noshigami and impressive power. Where SANADA dodges the Kendo Stick, and rolls up Jado in a smooth and not very flashy way, that only SANADA can do.

These matches have done well to continue to build SANADA and Shingo leading towards the G1, but they’re too damn predictable. Let’s hope a Bullet Club member returns at some point to mix up this rather lame dynamic.

Suzuki-Gun (El Desperado & Yoshinobu Kanemaru) vs Bullet Club (Gedo & Taiji Ishimori)

So this match wasn’t so much good, as it was entertaining. This was nearly a mirror match, but Desperado was the more empathetic wrestler in the whole thing. He wanted to tangle with the Junior champion, and Gedo played on that desire and kept it from him whenever possible.

Early on by switching spots, then taking a cheap shot at Despy. But the match was very similar to the match against the LIJ duo where Taiji sticks to real offense and looks damn good, and Gedo does heel stuff while bumping like a madman. I still give Gedo a ton of credit for being able to make that calling backwards low blow look perfect. For context, Kanemaru hopped to the second turnbuckle for Deep Impact, he jumps and Gedo “falls back” with a leg conveniently raised, and the knee going right into the yam bag.

The tradeoff of cheating between both teams was hilarious as well. One would cheat and go for the liquor bottle, Gedo would cheat and go for the brass knuckles. Like I said, felt like a mirror match. Despy going over is correct since the Suzuki-Gun duo is a real team, so you have to assume they’ll go 2-0 in their last two matches to tie with LIJ (assumption since that match is next).

Also Despy has had a pretty solid year with the limited roster.

LIJ (BUSHI & Hiromu Takahashi) vs Ass Masters (Ryusuke Taguchi & Master Wato)

So Wato decides to start and Hiromu gladly takes the challenge. This works since Hiromu is never one to back down, and it’s a match between two former CMLL World Lightweight champions. So maybe Hiromu sees a little of himself in Wato, with the similar excursion experience.

LIJ plays the heel roll in this match, and we all know it works perfectly. BUSHI takes a shortcut, uses his shirt to choke Wato, and then Hiromu comes back in and starts mocking Tenzan’s Mongolian Chops. Tenzan may have taken Wato under his wing a little, but now he’s getting a bit offended by Hiromu’s japes. Taguchi however uses the Mongolian Chop to break up a submission, and Tenzan nods and claps approvingly.

Wato fights off both Hiromu and BUSHI at different points to finally tag in Taguchi, and we get a mostly serious time save for two spots. One where BUSHI and Hiromu saw the Hip Attack coming, so they nonchalantly part and Taguchi’s ass goes crashing. Then Taguchi hits a Drop Toe Hold sending Hiromu head first in BUSHI…mostly where you’d expect that to land if it’s funny.

Taguchi did a really good job at trying to keep Wato grounded and buy him time, but BUSHI and Hiromu have such great chemistry and timing, they’re saves and distractions proved a little better. Wato and Taguchi show off a tandem move, Taguchi does a Wheelbarrow Facebuster and Wato comes off the top with a Bulldog; simple but effective, yet only a 2 count.

Wato and Taguchi get an opening to go for the RPP, but BUSHI shakes off Taguchi and slows down Wato just enough to make sure the RPP misses. A little more LIJ domination and we see the Tandem Facecrusher once again, now referred to as the LAT.

 

Overall Score: 7/10

Very similar to how the last show went, but this one just felt like it flowed better. It also helps that the last two matches were more entertaining than yesterday. Ass Masters and LIJ was a legitimately really good match, with a lot of shine for the future. New Japan has done a great job at making Wato look competent and still elevated even during losses.

One of my biggest interests is the whole NEVER 6 Man situation. Not because I care about the belts, but because the Okada thread is intriguing. We could see Ishii and Yano try to break out of the CHAOS bubble, SHO and Okada seem to have grown closer and there’s just a lot. Plus, I’m not gonna lie…it’s going to be a little silly if the first New Japan title that Okada holds, that isn’t the IWGP Heavyweight, is the NEVER 6 Man.


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Mathew’s AJPW Champion Carnival Results & Review: Day 5 (4/18/2021)

Another day at the AJPW Carnival! With Zeus’ undefeated streak broken, do we see new leaders at the top of the single block?

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Welcome back to another exciting day of All Japan’s Champion Carnival. We had some solid wrestling for the previous day and we will now be at the halfway point of the tournament after this show is over. We’re gonna find out who will step up in the rankings and who will also fall behind.

Who will advance? Does anyone get eliminated? All this and more as we…dive right in.


Star Rating System:

  • 0 Stars: Dave Meltzer
  • 1 Star: Vince Russo
  • 2 Stars: Tony Schiavone
  • 3 Stars: Eric Bischoff
  • 4 Stars: Bruce Prichard
  • 5 Stars: Jim Cornette

Champion Carnival 2021 Match
Kento Miyahara vs. Koji Doi

Review: Time for our first match as Kento Miyahara is set to take on Koji Doi. Kento has had a bad start for this year as he’s only won one match and lost two but if he can get a win here, he’ll be in the middle on the scoreboard. Koji, however, has three losses and one more loss here could make him unable to win depending on how the next day goes. Can Koji get a second win or does Kento get a victory?

Soon as the bell rang, Koji started charging at Kento into the corner and it leads to the both of them delivering stiff shots to each other back and forth. Koji eventually turned it into a Torture Rack and had it applied until Kento wiggled out to land on his feet but Koji stopped his momentum to get the heat in a nicely done opening sequence. The two are outside of the ring now as the two tried to hit a Brainbuster onto one another into the crowd or on the entrance ramp but Koji decided to DDT him onto the ramp to apply damage to his head more. Good control from Koji to keep working on the head and needed it while Kento sells the pain well to get the crowd behind him in this match.

Koji applies the Rings of Saturn onto Kento as he pulls on his head while applying the lock but Kento would finally struggle enough to get his foot on the rope, breaking the hold. I said it before and I will say it again, Kento delivers better knees than Kenny Omega, he makes them look legit and despite still slapping, he knows the right time to do it without it looking phony, unlike Olivia. Kento hits the Blackout into the corner on the back of his head and then another one but Koji kicked out at two. Kento goes for the Shutdown German Suplex Hold but Koji broke free, elbowing him in the face before picking him up to hit the Swinging Side Slam as Kento kicked out at two. Koji attempts the Lariat but Kento ducks to hit a Blackout and used this chance to hit the Shutdown German Suplex Hold, getting the win while Koji is in last place!

Rating: Eric Bischoff and a quarter


Champion Carnival 2021 Match:
Shuji Ishikawa vs. Shinjiro Otani

Review: Time for the next match as Shinjiro Otani takes on the GAORA TV Champion, Shuji Ishikawa. Both of them are around the middle in rankings but Shuji has more points than him by one victory. If Otani can win here though, he’ll be in the middle with him and among others. Can Otani score a win here or will Shuji move up to the top spot?

The two would lock up as neither of them was getting the advantage until they were on the ropes to break it, then they would tackle each other while they’re both still standing their ground until they go blow for blow with Shuji kneeing him in the gut to get him down. Shuji is beating down Otani any chance he gets with his stomps or just hitting him, and it works since Shuji is a bigger guy than Otani and a little more well-rounded but you can see Otani getting pumped up despite being knocked down. Otani would make his comeback, having Shuji into the corner as he ran the ropes to deliver a boot to the face.

The two are hitting each other back and forth, delivering stiff shots one after another but Otani would get behind him to apply the sleeper as Shuji pushed him into the corner. Otani would sit on the top turnbuckle and slap Shuji across the face and applied the sleeper once again but the referee tells him to break the hold. Otani would deliver a Missle Dropkick but Shuji gets up to charge at him, only to be met with a Backdrop as Shuji got up again to hit the Lariat as they both go down. Shuji got up first as he hits the Tsunami and the Giant Driver but Otani was able to kick out at two. Otani fought off the Powerbomb and hits a Lariat on him but soon as Shuji kicked out, Otani applied the Cobra Clutch and gets the submission victory!

Rating: Eric Bischoff and a quarter


Champion Carnival 2021 Match
Kohei Sato vs. Zeus

Review: Time for our next match as Zeus takes on Kohei Sato. Zeus suffered his first loss at the previous show but is still at the top of the board. If Sato can win though, he’ll be up on top since he’ll have a better average than Zeus since he only lost one match himself but only has two victories. Will Zeus be able to bounce back or does Sato take control of the scoreboard?

Is Sato a little taller than Zeus? Yes, but is Zeus beefier than Sato? Fuck yeah. Sato had Zeus sat down on the mat as he delivered stiff kicks to the back but Zeus got up quickly, pulling his head in for a headlock and it just looked powerful. Zeus keeps the headlock locked in for a good while and makes sure Sato is in as much pain as possible during all of this and it’s good seeing Zeus look this dominating in his matches since he has the god of an almighty God, put that shit into use! Sato finally stopped Zeus with a knee to the gut and would deliver stiff kicks to the chest to get him down. This is just a stiff fest with the strikes and I am all for it in this match.

Zeus gets Sato down with the Chokeslam as Sato kicked out at two. Zeus is calling for the end already as he sets him up for the Jackhammer but Sato reversed it to hit the Falcon Arrow as they both go down. The two slowly get up as Sato delivers stiff forearms while Zeus counteracts with chops and it goes for a bit until Zeus hits a Lariat. Sato kicked out and Zeus turned it into the Facelock, trying to get him to tap out but Sato gets his foot on the rope! Zeus goes for the Jackhammer again but Sato powers out of it to deliver forearms to Zeus while Zeus attempts Lariats as Sato stands his ground to hit one more forearm. Sato went for a pin but Zeus kicked out and hits Zeus with another stiff forearm as Zeus kicked out again. Sato picks him up to hit the German Suplex Hold and gets the victory over Zeus! Sato is now on top of the board with three wins and only one loss.

Rating: Eric Bischoff and a half


Champion Carnival 2021 Match:
Jake Lee vs. Yuma Aoyagi

Review: It’s time to close up the show with our main event as Jake Lee takes on Yuma Aoyagi. Jake has a chance to be in the top spot if he can win this match and keep up his dominating run aside from the one loss. Yuma was able to score an upset victory over Zeus to stay in the game and if he can win here, he’ll be able to tie for the top spot with Zeus, Sato, and Lee. Will we have a four-way tie or does Jake move up the ladder?

They both have their arms up as if they were taunting each other or something but they would eventually lock up, Jake gets him into the ropes until the referee tells Jake to get off him. Yuma would get Jake to the ropes this time and as he broke it up, he taunts Jake by doing the taunt he used for when he was a babyface, the disrespect. This angered Jake and would kick him in the gut and gets him in a headlock to apply damage to his neck. The two started some chain wrestling until Jake lifted Yuma to make him hit the rope between his legs, causing Yuma to flop outside of the ring for Jake to work him outside. When you look at these two men, these guys are going to be your future of the company next to Kento Miyahara in the long run. Jake is a star waiting to happen and while Yuma had a slow start, he is slowly figuring himself out in the past year and if he can keep this up, he will have a bright future in the company with guys like Kento, Jake, Suwama, Zeus, Nomura, and hopefully Shotaro. While Jake isn’t being a full-on heel in this match, he still shows that side of him in the match from how aggressive he is and just taunting the referee whenever he’s told to let go of Yuma and going back into what he was doing.

Jake tosses Yuma into the corner as Yuma used this chance to bounce off and hit a Crossbody but he’s not down as he climbs to the top rope, hitting another Crossbody as Jake kicked out at two. Jake was able to get Yuma on his stomach, having a knee on his back while pulling on his head, stretching him out until Yuma grabbed the rope but the referee wanted to be a dick for a moment, kicking the bottom rope to make him let go and Yuma grabbed it again to make them break the hold this time. The two kept on fighting back and forth with Yuma getting up right away as Jake attempts the Giant Killing but Yuma caught his leg to push it down, hitting a spinning back kick, and Jake would hit a jumping kick to the chest as the two go down! Yuma hits two German Suplexes and goes to apply the End Game but Jake had his hand on the rope soon as Yuma was able to lock it in.

Yuma went for the Rock Star Buster but Jake fought out of it, attempting the Giant Killing again as Yuma caught his leg to turn him around, rolling him up with the European Clutch as Jake kicked out at two again. Jake tries to pick Yuma up but doesn’t budge, laying there motionless as it annoys Jake while the referee tells him to stand back so he can count. Yuma finally has some light in him as Jake goes over to him just to knee him in the face, knocking him down again. Jake tried pulling Yuma up again but doesn’t budge again, angering Jake more as he makes him sit up to knock him down with another knee. He keeps hitting Yuma with his knees while yelling at him until the referee pushed him away again. Jake had Yuma up on his knees before running the ropes and before he could get closer to him, Yuma collapsed once more. Jake is calling for the end as he picked him up for the D4C but Yuma knees his head and reverses it into a roll, turning it into the End Game! Beautiful counter as he has it locked in fully, giving Jake no choice but to tap out! Another big win for Yuma.

Rating: Eric Bischoff and three quarters


Overall: Much better night than the previous one, that’s for sure. Nothing over the top, solid action all around, and just nice wrestling with nothing going 30+ minutes all the time. We’re at the halfway point and now the competition is going to get harder from here. Let’s see where this takes us.

Favorite Match: Jake Lee vs. Yuma Aoyagi

Least Favorite Match: Shuji Ishikawa vs. Shinjiro Otani

Score: 7/10


Champion Carnival Standings:

  1. Kohei Sato: (3-1) (6 Points)
  2. Zeus: (3-2) (6 Points)
  3. Jake Lee: (3-2) (6 Points)
  4. Yuma Aoyagi: (3-2) (6 Points)
  5. Shuji Ishikawa: (2-2) (4 Points)
  6. Suwama: (2-2) (4 Points)
  7. Kento Miyahara: (2-2) (4 Points)
  8. Shinjiro Otani: (2-2) (4 Points)
  9. Koji Doi: (1-4) (2 Points)
  10. Shotaro Ashino: (1-3) (2 Points)


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Mitchell’s WWE NXT Results & Report! (4/20/21)

Will it be a silent Knight?

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NXT Coverage 2021

NXT is ready to shine bright on a Tuesday night!

With that, LA Knight takes on Dexter Lumis, Kushida puts his Cruiserweight title on the line, and Warrior of the Sun, Sarray, makes her NXT in-ring debut!

OFFICIAL RESULTS

  • LA Knight VS Dexter Lumis; Knight wins.
  • Breezango VS Grizzled Young Veterans; Grizzled Young Veterans win.
  • Sarray VS Zoey Stark; Sarray wins.
  • NXT Cruiserweight Championship Open Challenge: KUSHIDA VS ???; Kushida wins and retains the title.
  • Ever-Rise VS Imperium; Imperium wins.
  • Kyle O’Reilly VS Cameron Grimes; O’Reilly wins.

PLAY BY PLAY

Kyle O’Reilly is back!

After winning the brutal Unsanctioned Match with Adam Cole at TakeOver: Stand & Deliver, he’s back and still playing air guitar on his way to the ring! He gets a mic and takes a breath before he says, “In life, we face constant struggles and challenges, and at TakeOver: Stand & Deliver, I faced the toughest personal and physical test of my life.” Kyle asks to turn the lights up, but then remembers he had his sunglasses. He’s in a great mood because he’s nowhere near Cole. He can move on and be himself again and it feels good! “I like it a lot!”

Kyle’s never been one to thrust himself into the spotlight, and always realized that his work and his abilities in the ring would speak for themselves. And now that Cole is behind him, Kyle realizes it’s time to move on. “Now, what is next for Kyle O’Reilly? Well, there’s something that I learned at TakeOver; to succeed here, you have to have a killer instinct!” The same instinct Cole has and Kyle always hesitated to use. But he has to be willing to go to extremes and do anything and everything, pay the ultimate sacrifice, to achieve his goals. But what are his goals? What’s the next challenge? What’s the next objective?

Does he continue to prove he’s THE guy here? Does he go for the workhorse title of the North American Championship? Or does he take the killer instinct and hunt down the most dominant force NXT has ever seen? Kyle has all the time in the world to decide. Huh, how clover. He must be thinking of Karrion Kross! But wait, here comes Cameron Grimes! And Grimes apologizes to Kyle for coming out here but he has to say congratulations. Kyle really showed that he can stand and deliver. And to tell the truth, Grimes made a killing on Draft Kings betting on Kyle! They thought Kyle was the underdog but Grimes sees Kyle is a top dog, a big dog!

Maybe if he had someone to watch is back and invest in him, like Grimes, these two could do a lot! Now he’s #CoolKyle, he could have merchandise! Fans like the sound of it already. Grimes says that’s a couple shirts already bought. And think about that moment when Kyle jumped off the top rope and destroyed Cole! They could make that an NFT! You heard of those? Grimes got some already. But think about this! #KOCoin! They could be a great combo and go TO~ THE~ MOOON~! Kyle gets it, right? First of all, YES. Kyle loves it! Grimes is a genius and is killing it in the stonks. By the way, thanks for the hints on “doggy coin,” Kyle loves dogs.

But let’s celebrate the new business partnership, because Kyle just found out he is officially cleared to compete! And he just saw his first opponent around here somewhere… Where is he? Oh, don’t worry, it isn’t Grimes. Wait, is that him over there? Kyle uses his sunglasses to get a better look. Oh hey, it IS Grimes! Kyle DECKS the Carolina Caveman and smirks. Cool Kyle rocks out again, but will he take Grimes for everything he’s worth?

 

NXT GM William Regal welcomes Sarray to the Capital Wrestling Center.

She is honored to be here, but Zoey Stark apologizes for interrupting. She wanted to introduce herself as a fan of Sarray’s. Surely Regal has an opponent in mind for Sarray, but Zoey would like to take the first match against her. Regal likes that idea and asks if Sarray would be up to that. Sarray accepts the challenge and the two shake hands. Will the Warrior of the Sun shine so bright that she burns Stark tonight?

 

NXT, LA Knight wants to talk to ya!

“TakeOver: Stand & Deliver, just two weeks ago, and the highlight of the whole damn thing, L A Knight!” Then a bunch of guys in the Gauntlet Eliminator realized they couldn’t let him take their shine, so they ganged up on him. Guess what, dummies! What goes around, comes around! And that brings us to tonight, “the creepy cross-eyed halfwit,” Dexter Lumis will be looking at Knight but Knight will flip the off the on switch and end him right there! That’s not an insult, that’s just a fact of life, yeah! Will Knight talk Lumis’ ear off before knocking him out? Or will we end up with a silent Knight in the CWC?

 

LA Knight VS Dexter Lumis!

NXT returns as Knight makes his entrance, dummies! And then Lumis makes his entrance, and TakeOver revisited begins with the bell! Knight and Lumis stare down, fans rally for Lumis but Knight talks some trash. Knight dares Lumis to do something, they tie up and go around the ring. Lumis puts Knight in a corner, Knight turns it around and the ref counts. Knight lets off, throws hands but Lumis dodges to throw hands back! Knight headlocks, Lumis powers out but Knight runs him over to jackknife cover, TWO! Lumis ROCKS Knight with an uppercut, then whips him to ropes. Knight kicks back, Lumis shakes it off, and CLOBBERS Knight!

Lumis drags Knight up, Knight shoves him and BOOTS him down! Knight talks more trash to “this piece of trash” but gets caught into the SILENCE! Knight scrambles, gets out of the ring, and takes his time returning. Lumis keeps his eyes locked on Knight, Knight grabs a leg but Lumis pulls him up by his ears! Knight hotshots, slingshots and shoulders Lumis down! Knight tells the fans to shut up, then he whips Lumis. Lumis reverses and back drops Knight high and hard! Lumis slithers, Knight backs away, but into the post! Knight’s sword gets bent, Lumis goes out to ROCK him with another uppercut!

Lumis puts Knight in, stalks him and runs corner to corner, but misses! Knight hits a NECKBREAKER! Knight throws Lumis out, fans rally and jeer as NXT goes picture in picture.

Knight paces around while Lumis steadies himself on the outside. The ring count is 5 of 10 but Knight goes out to stomp Lumis down. Knight CLUBS Lumis, brings him up and brings him around the way to bump him off the apron. Lumis hits back, bumps Knight off the apron, then stalks Knight through the ring! Knight flails and gets away, but Lumis stalks him again. They go back in the ring, Knight CLUBS Lumis at the ropes! Knight drags Lumis up, chokes him on the ropes but lets off at 4. Knight paces, stomps Lumis down, then stomps him more. Knight hears the fans taunt him but he gives Lumis a ROPE GUILLOTINE! The ref checks on Lumis but somehow he’s okay.

Knight goes out to CLUB Lumis on the apron, then get in the faces of the fans before he CLUBS Lumis again. Knight goes in the ring, stalks Lumis, but Lumis elbows back. Lumis gets Knight up with a suplex but Knight lands on his feet to hit another NECKBREAKER! Cover, TWO! Knight drags Lumis up, clamps onto the shoulders and rams in his knee! And again! Lumis reaches for ropes but Knight mockingly hushes the crowd before wrapping on a chinlock. Lumis endures, Knight leans on the hold, but Lumis fights up to fight out with body shots. Lumis runs but into Knight’s kitchen sink knee! Knight soaks up the heat, runs and drops a knee! Cover, TWO!

Knight is annoyed but he stalks Lumis to a corner. Knight RAMS into Lumis, and again, then talks trash as NXT returns to single picture. Lumis BOOTS back then SPINEBUSTERS! Lumis crawls back to a corner as fans fire up. Knight staggers up, Lumis watches him, and DECKS him with big haymaker after haymaker! Lumis uppercuts, corner clotheslines and BULLDOGS! Knight flounders up again into Lumis’ BIG back suplex! Lumis kips up to DROP THE LEG! Lumis hauls Knight back up, suplexes to slingshot and SLAM! Cover, TWO! Knight is still in this but Lumis keeps his cool. Lumis wrenches Knight’s neck, gets him up, but Knight throat chops back!

Knight whips but Lumis reverses to send Knight out. Lumis goes out after Knight, but Knight YANKS him into boards! Lumis flounders up and Knight RAMS him into the apron! Lumis crawls, Knight stalks him again, but Lumis uppercuts! Lumis sees Indi Hartwell watching in the crowd! They touch hands through the boards, then go around to the gap. Indi stumbles a bit, seems her nerves are still running high. But Knight CLOBBERS Lumis from behind! “You can’t possibly be interested in a loser like that, seeing a guy walking around with-” Lumis PLANCHAS to shut Knight up! Lumis puts Knight in, gives Indi another long stare, and then goes to the ring.

Indi and Lumis keep looking at each other, Knight gets the CRAVAT DRIVER!! Cover, Knight wins!!

Winner: LA Knight, by pinfall

Knight just snatched victory from the jaws of defeat! Indi is worried, did she cost Lumis this match? Can #InDex still work if it keeps getting in the way of success? Indi goes to the ring now, and she stares into Lumis’ eyes again. Fans want to see them “Kiss! Kiss! Kiss!” but The Way shows up to get in the way! Indi wants to be with Lumis but Theory carries her away. Johnny & Candice tell Lumis no, but will this story have a happy ending?

 

Leon Ruff speaks.

“Swerve, did you have fun standing over me in that ring last week? Because I know I enjoyed standing over you when you were laying unconscious when I smashed your head into these lockers not once, not twice, but three times!” Ruff says Swerve has pushed him too far! Ruff’s already kicked down the door and is just waiting on Swerve to make a move. The ball is in Swerve’s court, but what happens when Ruff busts back into Swerve’s House?

 

Beth Phoenix interviews Io Shirai.

This is the first time since Stand & Deliver that the Evil Genius has been on NXT. Beth takes Shirai back to In Your House, where she won the NXT Women’s Championship. Such emotion in that Triple Threat. That night was the biggest night of Shirai’s life for sure. She knows holding that NXT Women’s Championship means you’re the best in the world. Beth fast-forwards to Stand & Deliver and the boot from Raquel Gonzalez. That might’ve been the turning point, and especially the powerbomb to the floor. What was going on in that moment? Well that obviously hurt. After that, she barely had any energy. And then the last powerbomb ends her 300+ reign.

Shirai says the thing about challenges, Raquel was her biggest and toughest. But when the time is right, Shirai will ask for her rematch. Well with that said, what is next for Shirai? Rest. Shirai defended her title for over 300 days, her body needs time to recover so that she can come back and overcome Raquel. But Franky Monet and her Pomeranian, Preston, interrupt. Franky wants to formally introduce herself to Shirai and congratulate her on that iconic reign. And of course, she is a big fan of Beth’s since she was a kid. Wait, Beth’s not that old… But Franky says if Shirai is going to take time off, well-deserve of course, Franky is going to fill her shoes as the top woman.

Shirai gets mad and calls Franky out in Japanese. Franky thinks she’s better than her? She must be stupid! Franky doesn’t understand Japanese. Yeah well, Shirai prefers cats. Franky just figures Shirai is having a bad day. Will Shirai rest up fast enough to come back and make Monet put her money where her mouth is?

 

Breezango VS Grizzled Young Veterans!

Tyler Breeze & Fandango are fashionable royal guard, and Wade Barrett is actually impressed. As for James Drake & Zack Gibson, well Gibson gets on the mic to respond. “What on earth is this? Are you having a laugh? Typical ignorant Yanks! Have you two lads not learned yet that fun and games will get you nowhere in this job?!” Take that daft cosplay and jog on! For they are Grizzled Young Veterans, and MSK better be watching! Gibson & Drake are SSSOON to be recognized as the next NXT Tag Team Champions! Breezango keeps in character and do not respond as GYV get in the ring.

Liverpool’s Number One & Mr. Mayhem talk trash, but still no response. They reel back, but Breezango intercepts with fists first! Gibson tumbles out, Breezango double clotheslines Drake out, and GYV are fuming! The teams finally sort out, Breeze and Gibson start with the bell, and they tie up. They go around, Gibson puts Breeze in a corner and goes for a leg just to throw body shots and haymakers! Gibson throws elbows and forearms, but Breeze gives them back! Gibson scoops, Breeze slips out and jumps to RANA! Breeze rains down rights, Gibson gets away but Breeze wrenches the arm to grind the shoulder. Fandango tags in, sunset flips, TWO!

Dango CHOPS Gibson again and again, then whips him corner to corner. Drake saves Gibson from the buckles but it does serve as double-edged. Gibson ROCKS Dango, reels him in and suplexes hard! Cover, ONE! Gibson clamps onto Fandango with a chinlock and leans heavy on him. Fandango fights up, Gibson knees him low and CLUBS him to the corner. Tag to Drake, GYV double whip Fandango but he grabs ropes. Fandango sends Gibson out and CLOBBERS Drake! Tag to Breeze, Fandango hangs Drake out to dry and they make it rain with DOUBLE BOOTS! Gibson gets Drake out, Breeze WRECKS them both! Fandango FLIES and takes both Grizzled Young Veterans down! Fans fire up as NXT goes to break!

NXT returns and Fandango whips Drake corner to corner. Drake goes up, out and shoulders in, then climbs up. Drake leaps but Fandango gets under! Drake tweaks a leg, the ref checks on him. Drake has had bad knees before, this could be more than just a trick. Breeze and Fandango ask, Gibson does, too, but then Gibson thumbs Fandango in the eye! Drake gets right up and it WAS a fake-out! Drake fires off hands, ROCKS Fandango, then stomps away in the corner! Tag to Gibson, GYV gets Dango up for the feed, missile dropkick COMPLETE SHOT! Cover, TWO! Gibson tries again, TWO!

Gibson clamps back on with a chinlock and he grinds Fandango as fans rally up. Fandango fights up, arm-drags free, but Gibson intercepts! Gibson waistlocks, Fandango elbows free. Gibson ducks the next elbow but Fandango keeps spinning to LARIAT! Hot tag to Drake and he drags Fandango from Breeze! Fandango fights, and gets the tag to Breeze! Prince Pretty rallies on GYV, stomps away on Drake in a corner but lets off at 4. Gibson gets in but gets an ENZIGURI! Breeze aims from the apron, FLYING FOREARM takes down Drake! Gibson runs back in but Breeze sends him into boards!

Breeze goes back to Drake to put him in, and throws big body shots, and a RUSSIAN LEG SWEEP! Cover, ONE as Gibson gets in and Breeze DECKS him! Drake rolls Breeze up, TWO!! Breeze fires haymakers, headlocks, but Gibson tags in as Drake powers out. Leap frog and scoop, TICKET TO MAYHEM!! Cover, GYV wins!!

Winners: Grizzled Young Veterans, by pinfall

Gibson & Drake use misdirection to get the advantage, and perhaps they’re on their way back to yet another tag title attempt! Will MSK be ready for another go around from the Dusty Cup?

 

Backstage interview with Indi Hartwell.

Indi was so close this time, but The Way stopped her. Indi has so much to say but where to begin? The Way says no, this is done! No more interview, turn the cameras off! Bronson Reed walks in and asks why they keep doing this. Do they not love love? Reed says Lumis would be a great addition to the Gargano Family! And, he still has his own eyes on the NXT North American Championship. Gargano says, “Paws off, big boy!” Reed lost at TakeOver so it’s to the back of the line with him! Then maybe Reed can just rip Gargano up right now?

Theory laughs and says it’s in Reed’s dreams if he thinks he can rip the head off of “Papa John.” Theory already talked with Regal, and the only way Reed gets a shot at Gargano is if he beats Theory! SO get ready to be sent to the back of the line! Reed is ready for, but Gargano is panicking! Since when did Theory talk to Regal?! Why did he make this deal?! Reed squashed Theory, remember?! Ow, ow, ow. But Theory says he has Reed’s number. The Way get their “kids” to head out, but will we ever hear about #InDex? Will Theory be washed away by Reed’s Tsunami?

 

Backstage interview with Cameron Grimes.

Earlier tonight was certainly not how Grimes wanted things to go at all. Kyle will end up BACK in the hospital, and Grimes will pay those bills! Ever heard of NFT? Grimes has got him some! He has the official letter right here! “Dear Mr. Grimes, we wanted to take the time to thank you for your extremely high bid on the Ja Morant Bulls bank shot NFT!” They appreciate him seeing the value of non-fungible tokens, aka NFT, but unfortunately, there was an even higher bid just after the auction’s expiration, and had no choice but to accept it. The bidder, Ted DeBiase, sends his best regards and hopes Grimes understands. CURSE YOU, DEBIASE~!! Will Grimes have better luck against Kyle tonight than he did with the auction?

 

Sarray VS Zoey Stark!

The Warrior of the Sun’s in-ring career rises in NXT, but she’s up against a very hungry and determined rising star! Will Stark simply be a falling star against the already very accomplished Sarray?

NXT returns as Sarray makes her first-ever NXT entrance. The bell rings and Stark shakes hands with Sarray to show there is respect here. They circle, approach, and tie up with knuckle locks. Stark shows her strength advantage, but Sarray comes back to go shoulder to shoulder. Stark bends Sarray back, she bridges, but Stark hops on. Sarray stays up, Stark sweeps legs to get the cover, ONE! Stark tries again, ONE and a monkey flip sends Stark flying! Sarray covers, ONE, Stark sweeps legs, ONE as Sarray goes Matrix to escape! Sarray runs to dropkick the legs out! Fans fire up with Sarray as she stands on Stark and stomps her on the back! Sarray springboards to DOUBLE STOMP!

Fans fire up more as Sarray keeps on Stark. Sarray gets a leg, ties it up with the other leg, and has a Figure Four Deathlock! Fans rally with Sarray as she finishes the MUDA LOCK! Stark crawls, reaches and gets the ropebreak! Sarray lets go to kick Stark to a corner, then she whips corner to corner. Stark goes up and over and elbows Sarray before she rolls her out and runs, SLIDING LARIAT! Cover, TWO!! That was a deep press but Sarray escapes! Stark stomps Sarray, gets her up and snap suplexes! Cover, TWO! Stark keeps her cool as she drags Sarray up. Sarray throws body shots, Stark CLUBS Sarray, and drives in elbows into the shoulders!

Stark clamps on with a chinlock, makes it a cover, TWO! Stark is learning how tough Sarray is, and she bumps Sarray off buckles. Fans rally as Stark stomps Sarray. The ref counts, Stark lets off but comes back to get Sarray up. Sarray ROCKS Stark, Stark stomps Sarray back down! Stark brings Sarray up, snapmares and wraps her up with double chicken wings. Sarray fights up, fans rally as Sarray powers up and powers Stark into buckles! Stark holds on, Sarray powers her into buckles again! Stark throws Sarray into buckles, runs in but is put on the apron! Sarray ROCKS Stark and dropkicks her down!

Stark staggers around the outside but makes her way into the ring. Sarray ROCKS her with another forearm, and another! Stark ROCKS Sarray back, and the forearms fly! Sarray fires up, fires off a flurry, then tops it off with another! Stark follows to KNEE Sarray at ropes! Stark runs but Sarray BLASTS her with a dropkick! Sarray runs side to side to BLAST Stark again! The fans are fired up for the PERFECT PLEX! Bridging cover, TWO!! Stark survives but both women are down as fans fire up. Sarray fires up again, gets Stark but Stark HEEL KICKS and HALF ‘N’ HALF SUPLEXES! Stark kips up, runs, SLIDING KNEE!! Cover, TWO!!

Stark is furious, fans rally and duel, but Stark goes to a corner. Sarray is in the drop zone as Stark 450’s! Sarray dodges and Stark flops! Stark staggers up, into a victory roll! TWO, and Stark HEEL KICKS Sarray back down! Cover, TWO?!? Sarray survives but Stark tries again, TWO!! Stark gets Sarray up, Sarray fights free but Stark reels her back in! Back suplex but Sarray lands on her feet to SOBAT! Sarray ROCKS Stark then calls her shot, “FINISH!” EXPLODER SAIDO SUPLEX! Sarray covers, Sarray wins!

Winner: Sarray, by pinfall

Sarray has the seal of approval from Meiko Satomura and Antonio Inoki for a reason! Stark still respects Sarray, will Sarray get the same from the rest of the roster? Wait, Toni Storm RAMS Stark into the boards! The Lightning From Down Under is furious that Stark beat her in the TakeOver Kickoff Show and is getting her payback! Sarray rushes out to defend Stark but Storm storms off. Will Toni make it her time by any means necessary?

 

Backstage interview with Raquel Gonzalez & Dakota Kai.

They heard Io Shirai’s comments earlier, and Raquel says while Shirai was a great champion, Raquel will be damned if she hasn’t worked her ass off to kick everyone else’s and prove she is an even greater campeona. Dakota makes sure McKenzie sticks around, because they beat Shirai so badly, she needs a vacation. She better enjoy it. Well a lot of women have their sights set on the title, and Dakota laughs. Is she fishing? She must be talking about Mercedes Martinez. Mercedes wants a title shot, Dakota wants to go to Hogwarts. We don’t always get what we want.

Raquel says if McKenzie is a journalist, here’s the headline: If the women want their shot, they can line up so she can take them down one by one until there’s no one left standing. Now they’re done here. Who steps up, and who gets knocked down, by Big Mami Cool?

 

Candice & Indi talk backstage.

Candice wants her to stop being distracted by boys. Lumis isn’t a boy, he’s a man. Okay ew. But then why can’t they talk this over with Regal? Because Regal is a saboteur, that’s why. Talking things over with Regal hasn’t worked out well for The Way, now has it? Lumis is lurking behind that door! Indi sees him but Candice gets her attention back. They are going to do this their way. Indi stays behind to look at Lumis and Candice comes across “the two dummies” she was looking for, Ember Moon & Shotzi Blackheart. They still have what belongs to The Way. The Way is family! Well, how does Indi feel? She’s not there. Candice was saying?

Candice slaps Ember’s drink into her face! GRAB HER! Shotzi & Ember get Candice, drag her into the back, and close the door as they rough her up! Will Indi get an earful about this one?

 

NXT Cruiserweight Championship Open Challenge: KUSHIDA VS ???

Last week, the Time Splitter cashed in on Santos Escobar’s arrogant open challenge and finally got a title in NXT! But now, to celebrate his victory, he’s doing the exact same thing! Will the Super Junior come to regret copying the Emperor of Lucha? Or will he check off his first defense already?

Kushida takes to the mic to explain, “Last week, I won the title in an open challenge. Tonight, I will give the same opportunity. Who wants a title shot!?” Who answers the call? Oney Lorcan does! The former NXT Tag Team Champion was the Fury of 205 Live once upon a time! Will Oney make a dream come true while ruining Kushida’s fairy tale at the same time? The introductions are made, the title is raised, and we see how this week’s open challenge goes!

The two circle, feel out the grapple, and Oney puts Kushida in a corner. The ref counts, Oney lets off and Kushida comes back to get a leg. Kushida rolls to get the heel hook but Oney fights to get free. Oney rolls, floats, facelocks and gets an arm. Oney throws Kushida down then headscissors. Kushida fights around, turns Oney and ties up the legs to get a Bow ‘n’ Arrow! Oney endures, pops free, covers, ONE!! Oney keeps on the arm, shifts to a wristlock but Kushida rolls. Kushida headscissors, Oney moves around, turns Kushida and ties his legse up in return. Oney reaches and hooks Kushida’s face, but the ref counts. Kushida is free and KICKS Oney’s arm!

Kushida gets Oney’s nose, but Oney avoids the Penalty Kick! Oney headlocks, fans rally for Kushida and he fights up. Kushida powers out, follows, but ducks under Oney to get a body scissor takedown tot he ARMBAR! Oney scrambles and gets the ropebreak! Kushida lets off fast, Oney CHOPS! Kushida KICKS, but runs into an elbow! Oney goes up but Kushida GAMANGIRIS him to the floor! Fans are fired up and so is Kushida as NXT goes to break!

NXT returns and Oney has Kushida in a motorcycle stretch. Kushida endures, fights up but Oney digs his forehead into Kushida’s back. Kushida fights up, breaks free but Oney knees low and EuroUppers. Kushida fires off kicks, whips but Oney reverses. Oney gets away from the handspring to BLAST Kushida with a EuroUpper! Cover, TWO! Oney keeps on Kushida, CHOPS him, whips him and kitchen sink knees! Cover, TWO! Another cover, TWO! Oney keeps on Kushida with a standing cobra twist! Kushida endures the abdominal stretch, throws elbows into Oney’s arm, and is free! Oney runs in to elbow Kushida at the corner! Oney goes corner to corner, but into a SHOTEI!

Kushida and Oney slowly get back up as fans fire up. Kushida powers up with the power of Liger and SHOTEIS again! Kushida fires off fast hands and kicks, then whips corner to corner. Oney reverses, runs but into an elbow! Kushida goes up to the top rope, aims at the arm and hits a FLYING KNEE to the elbow! Then a flying takedown, but Oney blocks to a waistlock! Kushida switches, FAST BALL! Oney BLASTS Kushida again, then BLOCKBUSTERS!! Cover, TWO!! Kushida survives and Oney can’t believe it! Oney throws off his armbands and he glares at Kushida. Oney CHOPS but Kushida just fires up! Oney CHOPS, and CHOPS and CHOPS but Kushida roars!

Kushida ROCKS Oney with a Fast Ball, hip toss and basement dropkick! FAST BALL AGAIN! PENALTY KICK to the bad arm! Kushida leaps, HOVERBOARD LOCK!! Oney is down, he taps out! Kushida wins!

Winner: KUSHIDA, by submission (still NXT Cruiserweight Champion)

The Super Junior might be moving into ultra! Will Kushida continue to give opportunity to top Cruiserweight stars? Wait, former champion Escobar is at the stage, because El Legado attacks in the ring! Kushida fights them but he ends up in a 3v1 situation! Wilde & Mendoza mug Kushida and then give him back to Escobar, but here comes MSK! The Tag Champions help Kushida fight back! Kushida ROCKS Escobar while Carter SUPERKICKS Mendoza and Lee throws Wilde! Kushida handspring heel kicks Escobar out of the ring! Will the champions show their would-be challengers who runs this “bingo” now?

 

Mercedes Martinez speaks.

“Hey, Raquel, I’m waiting on you. I called your ass out last week, and all I hear is silence.” Is Raquel scared of her? Seems like it! Raquel had her chance to say something but she didn’t, Dakota did. Mercedes gets it. Raquel might be the champ, but she’s still in Dakota’s shadow. Dakota barks orders and Raquel does what she’s told like a good lil’ lapdog. But y’know what? Mercedes will do Raquel a solid. She’ll take Dakota out so that nothing, and she means NOTHING, will stand in the way of them and the title. Will Dakota have to watch her back when Mean Ms. Mercedes comes around?

 

Gargano talks with Theory backstage.

So Theory was going to the restroom, and he happened to see Regal, and then…? Theory said if Reed wants his shot, he has to go through Theory! But then Candice walks in and she is a mess! What happened?! She doesn’t want to talk about it, and Indi walks in happily! She saw him! Lumis?! Yeah, but what happened to Candice? Is that gum in her hair? Oh, gum! Theory, no! Indi says she talked to Regal, too! What?! Why!? Regal is giving them another chance at the NXT Women’s Tag Team Championships! Oh, well awesome! Hear that, Candice? That’s great, right? Hands in! The… WAY! Just, just give Candice a minute. Will the chance they have not make up for what happened to Candice because of #InDex?

 

Ever-Rise VS Imperium!

While Chase Parker & Matt Marthel are still pals with the Bollywood Boyz on 205 Live, things might be very, very different for them all alone on NXT. Especially against the Impeccable German and the Pride of Italy across the ring from them! Will #EverRiseRule or be conquered by the faction that wants to restore the honor of wrestling with global domination?

The teams sort out, and Fabian Aichner CLOBBERS Marthel! Aichner CLUBS Marthel, whips him corner to corner hard then runs in to back elbow! Aichner wrenches and hits a BIG back suplex! Aichner talks trash, drags Marthel up, but Marthel jawbreakers! Tag to Parker, he runs and leaps, but into Aichner’s FALL AWAY SLAM! Aichner drags Parker up, tags in Barthel, and the Agitator throws Parker into buckles! Barthel sets Marthel up in the corner, tags Aichner, and the Equalizer meets him in the corner with double dropkicks! But here comes Killian Dain! Alexander Wolfe stands in his way, but Parker rolls Aichner up! TWO!!

Parker fires off on Aichner, Aichner shoves and CLOBBERS him! Then BOOTS Marthel for good measure! But now Drake Maverick is here and he sucker punches Wolfe! Dain keeps the peace?! Seems he doesn’t want his current friend and his former friend fighting! Aichner keeps on Parker as Dain & Maverick leave. Tag to Barthel, Imperium sets up and hits the EUROBOMB!! Cover, Imperium wins!

Winners: Imperium, by pinfall

The mat is sacred, and this victory is Imperium’s! But things look to be getting complicated with those Imperium was formerly attached to. Will the Hatchet Man get the Beast of Belfast to consider who he belongs with?

 

Kyle O’Reilly encounters Karrion Kross backstage!

Kyle did put him on notice, so perhaps this is the NEW NXT Champion returning the favor. Will #CoolKyle show how cold he can be against the GameStonks tycoon?

Kyle O’Reilly VS Cameron Grimes!

NXT returns and Grimes makes his entrance. The bell rings, the two circle and Kyle sits down to already bait Grimes in. Grimes is wary of that, though, and they tie up with collar ‘n’ elbow. Grimes waistlocks, Kyle wrenches the arm and wristlocks. Grimes spins through, steps through and trips Kyle to get a toehold. Kyle uses his free leg to trip Grimes, then he goes after an arm! Grimes scrambles to avoid the wrench, but Kyle gets Grimes up. Grimes wrangles Kyle down but Kyle switches to get a chinlock. Grimes slips out the back, floats to a facelock and then has a top wristlock. Kyle fights up, goes around and switches to hammerlock then headlock for a takeover.

Grimes grows frustrated, but he fights up. Fans rally and duel, Grimes puts Kyle on ropes, and Kyle lets go, only for Grimes to headlock and hit a takeover! Kyle turns it to a cover, ONE! Grimes holds on, fans taunt Grimes with “NFT! NFT!” Grimes fights up, headlocks but Kyle throws body shots. Kyle powers out but Grimes runs him over! Things speed up, Kyle trips Grimes and then gets him up to wrench to a wristlock. Kyle grinds the arm, Grimes endures, but Kyle leans harder on the arm. Grimes gets up, Jams Kyle in the ear, then rocks him with a EuroUpper! Grimes says you don’t sucker punch Grimes! But then Kyle KNEES Grimes down, runs and shouts, to SLAP Grimes in the face!

Kyle smirks as he wrenches Grimes, hammerlocks him and sweeps the leg! Grimes clutches the arm, Kyle boots him at the ropes then KICKS him! Fans rally as Kyle KICKS away on Grimes’ legs. Grimes throws a forearm, CHOPS Kyle, then whips him. Kyle reverses, Grimes sunset flips but Kyle stays up to get the ARMBAR! Grimes scrambles, Kyle just shifts sides to ARMBAR the other arm! Grimes rolls to the ropebreak! The ref counts, Kyle lets off, and Kyle gets Grimes up to wrench an arm. Grimes goes after Kyle’s face but Kyle gets a leg. Grimes hops around, Kyle holds on, Grimes backflips through to DEAD LIFT GERMAN! Kyle flops out from the bad neck and NXT goes picture in picture!

Grimes waits at the ropes as Kyle writhes. Grimes goes out to fetch Kyle, drag him up and throw him into boards! Kyle flounders while checking his face, but Grimes is after him again. Grimes bounces Kyle off the announce desk, then says something to commentary. Grimes puts Kyle on the apron and CLUBS him! Grimes takes his time getting back in the ring, stalks Kyle to ropes and ROCKS him with a haymaker! Kyle checks his jaw, Grimes KICKS him in the chest! And then the leg! Grimes bumps Kyle off buckles, whips him corner to corner hard, and Kyle bounces off buckles to hit the mat. Grimes gets his bad arm moving while he catches his breath.

Grimes drags Kyle to a facelock, pushes him to a cover, TWO! Kyle shakes his head because he’s not giving up, but Grimes clamps on to wrench the neck. Kyle endures, Grimes digs forearms in then drives in elbows! Grimes drops knees, digs them in, then lets off as the ref counts. Grimes says he’s going to the moon, then drags Kyle back up. Grimes KICKS Kyle in the back, clamps on with another neck wrench, and NXT returns to single picture as fans rally up. Kyle endures, Grimes leans on the hold, but Kyle fight sup and fights back! They brawl, Grimes whips and CLOBBERS Kyle again! Kyle flounders, Grimes covers, TWO!

Fans say “This is Awesome!” though Grimes seethes. Grimes KICKS Kyle, and KICKS him again! Grimes digs his boots into Kyle at a corner, lets off as the ref counts, and then whips Kyle corner to corner hard! Kyle hits the mat, Grimes covers, TWO! Kyle clutches his arm, Grimes seethes and clamps onto the neck with another chinlock. Grimes bends Kyle back against a knee but Kyle endures. Grimes keeps trying but Kyle works on prying the grip. Kyle shifts, turns and throws body shots. Grimes keeps hold with a headlock but Kyle powers out. Grimes runs Kyle over, things speed up, and Kyle hits a kitchen sink knee! Fans fire up as Kyle dodges the haymaker to fire off knees!

Kyle fires off strikes, sweeps the leg and fans fire up again! Grimes goes to a corner, Kyle runs corner to corner, and he forearm smashes hard! Kyle wrenches, hits an elbow breaker, then a BIG back suplex, to a KNEEBAR! Grimes rolls around and gets the ropebreak! Kyle lets go fast, Grimes gets up and fans are thunderous. Kyle KICKS Grimes’ leg out and Grimes flips upside-down! Kyle aims again, Grimes dodges to spin and scoop and swing Kyle, but Kyle lands on his feet for a GUILLOTINE FACELOCK! Grimes is fading fast!! Grimes is falling, but Kyle lets him free just to KNEE him in the chest! Kyle reels Grimes in but Grimes scoops, spins and SLAMS Kyle down!! Cover, TWO!!

Kyle survives but Grimes is too tired to be frustrated! Both men slowly rise as the fans rally again. Grimes waistlocks and dead lifts but Kyle elbows free. Grimes CLUBS him on the back, tries again, but Kyle slips around to get the leg! Grimes makes the kneebar a cover, TWO!! Grimes BOOTS Kyle, runs, but Kyle pops him up for a KICK! Grimes SUPER FOREARMS! Kyle KNEES low, AX but Grimes ROUNDHOUSES! Kyle yo-yo’s, into a COLLISION COURSE! Cover, TWO!! Kyle survives and Grimes is beside himself! Fans hope they “Fight Forever!” but the show has to end somehow! Kyle KICKS Grimes, reels him in, but Grimes knees back!

Grimes kicks, Kyle ducks but Grimes SUPERKICKS back! Kyle rebounds to LARIAT! Kyle fires up, AX and SMASH!! Grimes staggers into Kyle’s BRAINBUSTER!! Kyle isn’t done there, he goes to a corner and climbs up! KING KONG KNEE DROP!! Cover, Kyle wins!!

Winner: Kyle O’Reilly, by pinfall

It wasn’t heavy metal but it was the same knee attack Kyle used to finish off Adam Cole! Will Kyle use that and his entire arsenal to take titles left and right?


My Thoughts:

Another awesome episode for NXT! And what an awesome main event just for Kyle’s return match. Usually return matches are just above a squash match, but Kyle VS Grimes was worthy of a title opportunity match in itself. Kyle’s return promo was great, and I am excited that he is after all the gold. Kross responding, though silently, is an obvious sign that Kyle is getting his third shot, and maybe the third time is the charm? At the same time, maybe not because Kross only just got this title back and I don’t see NXT taking it from him so soon.

But while Strong kayfabe resigned from NXT and Cole might be going to SmackDown, when will Bobby Fish return at some point? That is the one part of Kyle’s past that I feel like he’d be okay with keeping, so that reDRagon can ride again. They should go for a Two Man Power Trip, too, with Fish going for the North American Championship. In a way, it’ll be like recreating their later runs in ROH. Grimes also cracked me up with the bit about NFT’s. I don’t really get what those are or how they work but clearly WWE invested a lot of their money into it so someone somewhere has to plug it for them, and Grimes is definitely the guy to get onboard with stuff like that.

Zoey Stark stepping up to be Sarray’s first opponent was a great character bit for Stark, and their match was also great for a debut match, which are many times also glorified squash matches. Sarray still wins, of course, and Storm going after Stark was a good bit of story from Stand & Deliver. Storm VS Sarray is itself a natural feud, can really build Sarray in the eyes of fans in America or who just watch WWE/NXT, and definitely keep Sarray busy while Raquel deals with other challengers. Mercedes calling Raquel out and saying she’ll “take out” Dakota is good stuff. Mercedes VS Dakota and the inevitable Mercedes VS Raquel are both going to be awesome, and can make for a solid first defense on Raquel’s record.

Shirai’s interview with Beth was decent enough, and adding Franky Monet did add a bit to it. Shirai probably won’t be away as long as we think if Franky is acting like she’s her replacement. Franky VS Shirai, whenever that happens, will be great stuff, can also establish Franky in the eyes of WWE/NXT fans, and could be a way to send Franky up the ranks while helping Shirai exit to Raw or SmackDown. Everything with The Way was awesome tonight, from Theory stepping in it on behalf of Gargano, and Indi letting Candice down because she’s enamored with Lumis. Indi’s part in Lumis VS Knight was actually played perfectly, and it helps Knight get back up after some admittedly surprising losses.

Ever-Rise VS Imperium was clearly a vehicle to the story progression with Imperium and Killian Dain. He wanted to confront Imperium about before, but he wouldn’t let it become a brawl between Maverick and Wolfe. I think Dain is going to be forced to choose a side, and perhaps to go with the Imperium expansion angle, Dain chooses them because he’s tired of struggling. At the same time, they need to find a way to tie Thatcher back into this to tease that it could be him turning but then it’s Dain. Breezango VS GYV was a lot of fun, but naturally GYV wins to get back up in the tag title hunt.

Kushida having an open challenge for his first defense, and having it so soon, was a surprising move, but it gave is an awesome match with Kushida and Oney. Kushida wins, of course, and of course Legado shows up for payback. MSK joining in to even the numbers was great, and a Six Man of the champions and their challengers is going to be really good. I have a feeling somehow, someway (because Legado cheats 99% of the time), Legado wins so that they all earn their shots at the titles. MSK VS Legado 2v2 will be really good, but I would think MSK wins since GYV is coming around. Escobar VS Kushida go either way, but maybe this is how Escobar is turned away and so he can go after the other titles.

My Score: 9.2/10


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