OPENING SEGMENT- fine
We were shown footage from moments ago of the OC jumping Undisputed Era in the parking lot. They came out from backstage and attacked a random ringside attendant. Despite this being NXT’s home building and we’re having an Interbrand feud, the fans all chanted for AJ Styles. Then they chanted for NXT after AJ said “NXT.” AJ said they were here to take the war to NXT and stole Undisputed Era’s catchphrase.
Tommaso Ciampa came out and cut a promo on them. Matt Riddle and Keith Lee came out, too, and a challenge was laid out for a six-man tag later tonight.
DAMIAN PRIEST vs. PETE DUNNE- 8/10
“Treacherous toxophilite” is definitely Mauro hitting a new level of Mauro-ness. Whether that’s a new high or a new low is up to you. Personally, I think it’s a high.
These two had an awesome match that did a wonderful job of building from start to finish. This was a great brawl that also managed to never feel like it was too out of control and the wrestlers were getting away with things they shouldn’t. The finish saw Priest try a low blow like he did in the first match but Dunne blocked it and hit a low blow of his own before locking in an armbar for the victory.
During this match we were informed that the aforementioned six-man tag was made official and would be tonight’s main event via a ticker on the bottom of the screen. This effectively communicated the information to is in the middle of the match without distracting from the match.
POST-MATCH SEGMENT- very good
Killian Dain attacked Dunne from behind. Priest also wanted to beat on Dunne so he pulled Dain away so he could get his own licks in. Dain did not take kindly to this and responded by flooring Priest with a headbutt. Dain went back to beating Dunne down, finishing him off with the big cannonball in the corner. Dain went to leave but was attacked by Priest. Dain won that fight as well, showing Priest into the steps and then squishing Priest into said steps with a cannonball.
Apparently the way the women’s War Games set-up works is that Baszler and Ripley were just allowed to pick whoever they wanted. So far Rhea has picked Candice LeRae and Tegan Nox, while Baszler has picked Io Shirai and Bianca Belair, meaning each team has one spot left. I’m sorry, but I just can’t buy Baszler not picking Duke and Shafir, and giving that final babyface spot to anyone but Dakota Kai will feel awkward because Dakota was involved in that segment last week just as much as the other three.
CATHY KELLEY INTERVIEWS DAKOTA KAI- GREAT promo by Dakota!
Basically, Baszler tweeted out that picking Dakota would be a waste of a pick so Dakota has challenged Baszler to a match tonight to prove Shayna wrong and to prove herself to Rhea Ripley. This has to be the best promo Dakota has ever cut, and by miles.
TAYNARA CONTI vs. SANTANA GARRETT- 4.5/10
A good match for the time it got, and I liked the announcers framing it as both women trying to impress the captains of the War Games teams. We all know they won’t be picked, but it takes a match that is probably intended really to just be a televised won for Taynara was the beginning of her finally taking the step up to TV regular and makes it feel like its fits into the overall flow of things a little better than if it was treated as just a random match.
TONY NESE VIDEO PACKAGE- fine
ANGEL GARZA VIDEO PACKAGE- decent
They announced the predictable champions vs. champions vs. champions matches for the women and the tag teams at Survivor Series.
DAKOTA KAI vs. SHAYNA BASZLER (w/the Horsewomen)- 7/10
A great underdog match, rather than their previous match, in which Dakota looked WAY below Shayna’s level. Congratulations, Dakota. You’ve finally washed the stench of pathetic loser off of yourself.
POST-MATCH SEGMENT- decent
The Horsewomen attacked Dakota. The babyfaces came out to make the save, leading to a schmoz tat ended when Mia Yim showed up with a Kendo stick and beat the crap out of the Horsewomen. This felt a little forced.
CATHY KELLEY INTERVIEWS TOMMASO CIAMPA- great promo by Ciampa to build up the main event. Riddle and Lee just stood there in the background, looking secondary.
ISAIAH “SWERVE” SCOTT VIDEO PACKAGE- decent
NXT CRUISERWEIGHT TITLE #1 CONTENDERSHIP MATCH: Tony Nese vs. Angel Garza- 7.75/10
A GREAT Cruiserweight match with an absolutely genius spot that I won’t spoil, but you’ll know exactly which spot I’m talking about the moment you see it.
POST-MATCH SEGMENT- good
NXT Cruiserweight Champion Lio Rush came out onto the stage to congratulate the winner but the winner slapped Lio in the face.
CATHY KELLEY INTERVIEWS TEAM RIPLEY- great
Rhea named Mia Yim the fourth member of her team. Mia cut a promo. Dakota Kai was unhappy about Mia getting chosen over her. Rhea said “I’m sorry, but you didn’t make the cut.” Dakota said something to Rhea and stormed off.
ISAIAH “SWERVE” SCOTT vs. DONOVAN DIJAKOVIC- 6.75/10
FORGOTTEN SONS VIDEO PACKAGE- fine
To determine who will get the advantage in War Games, Io Shirai vs. Mia Yim has been booked for next week. Also, for no reason other than a desperate attempt to draw ratings, this will be a ladder match.
MATT RIDDLE, KEITH LEE, & TOMMASO CIAMPA vs. THE OC (AJ Styles, Karl Anderson, & Luke Gallows)- 6.75/10
This was on pace to be a great match but got derailed by overbooking. First we got a ref bump. Then Balor came out to cause a distraction to help the OC. He and AJ gave each other Bullet Club-esque hand signals. Adam Cole then showed up and superkicked AJ to save Ciampa from being hit with the Styles Clash, but then hit Ciampa in the back of the head with a Shining Wizard. We went of the air with Cole and Balor staring at each other, and NO FINISH TO OUR MAIN EVENT.
I was fine with Cole’s actions here, but I really don’t like the idea of Balor joining the OC. He needs to be kept separate from this Survivor Series crap. We don’t need a turncoat, especially one who just showed up and did something interesting and whose presence we’re supposed to be excited about.
This was a great episode of NXT that was brought down by the ending.
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