Tom Phillips stands in front of an LED board and introduces the show, then kicks it to Mauro Ranallo and Beth Phoenix to call the…
INTERIM NXT CRUISERWEIGHT TITLE TOURNAMENT GROUP B MATCH: Isaiah “Swerve” Scott(0-1) vs. El Hijo del Fantasma(1-0)- 6/10
Beth Phoenix called this match a “clash of styles.” Yeah… I don’t really see that.
The match was fine for what it was. Did anyone else have major technical problems at the finish? For me, the screen got all choppy and actually blacked out for the finish. Said finish was Scott winning via roll-up to even both men’s records out. I’ve heard a lot of criticism of debuting EHDF and Jake Atlas in a situation where they’re going to have to lose early on, and while I agree that it’s not ideal, I don’t think it’s a terrible thing to do to someone who you’re not planning to push to the moon right away.
MCKENZIE MITCHELL INTERVIEWS ISAIAH “SWERVE” SCOTT-good
DOMINIK DIJAKOVIC PROMO- fine
He thinks Gargano is a complainer and challenges him to a match. That last comment about Dijakvic being twice Johnny’s size made him feel kind of like a bully, though.
THE MASKED LUCHADORS TRY TO ABDUCT EL HIJO DEL FANTASMA FROM RINGSIDE- He fights them off and they leave. The entire roster should have come out and tried to tackle these dudes, just to prevent themselves from becoming future kidnapping victims.
KACY CATANZARO vs. CANDICE LERAE (w/Johnny Gargano)- 2.5/10
Candice has new heel music, and is now the “poison pixie” instead of the “pint-size pixie.” Johnny did Candice’s ring into. He claimed that her kicking foot was “an acceptable form of birth control.” He also said that she was his favorite wrestler. If Candice LeRae is Johnny’s favorite wrestler, does that mean that Candice LeRae’s favorite wrestler is David Starr?
Candice won clean with a Super Dragon-style Curb Stomp called he “Wicked Stepsister.” She locked the Garga-No Escape in after the match, just to be a heel.
DAMIAN PRIEST PROMO- fine
MATT RIDDLE PRESENTS “THE NEWLY-BROS SHOW”- THIS WAS SO WEIRD! But also good. I think?
Riddle once again puts the idea of himself and Dunne over more than the idea of himself and Thatcher. And I can’t help but notice that Riddle is wearing both tag titles while Thatcher has zero. Riddle insists that he knows Thatcher “like the back of my hand… if I only knew the back of my hand for two weeks.” So are we supposed to assume that they hadn’t met before two weeks ago even though they had a long feud in EVOLVE and WWE has acknowledged EVOLVE’s existence so much that they let an EVOLVE show air live on the WWE Network?
Also, I assumed that Matt Riddle saying he knows someone like the back of his own hand meant he knew them extremely well, because I’ll bet Matt Riddle spends A LOT of time staring at his own hands.
Riddle then declared it was time for “the Newly-Bros Show.” Music started playing and graphic appeared on the HunterTron, and Byron Saxton was introduced as our host while stagehands brought out stools for Riddle and Thatcher… and Thatcher had this look on his face that so perfectly conveyed his feeling of “what the f*ck are you dragging me into?”
Byron said that he once heard that Thatcher “pulled a man’s eye directly out of it’s socket.” Inexplicably, there was a LAUGH TRACK for this terrifying statement. Upon hearing the laughing, Thatcher got a confused look on his face and started looking around for the speakers. I thought that was great.
Byron asked Thatcher if he had really pulled a man’s eye out of his socket, to which Thatcher simply responded “yeah.” Byron waited around like he thought Thatcher was going to say more, then ended the awkward silence by transitioning to Riddle. Unlike Thatcher, Riddle waved when he was introduced… and Thatcher asked him who he was waving to.
Byron told us that Riddle likes “consuming pina coladas in the rain.” That is a euphemism for marijuana I had not heard before.
I’m not going to spoil any of the questions here because I want everyone to watch this for themselves so that you can all be as surprised as I was when they mentioned… that thing. Like I said, I’m not going to spoil it, but I heard a word I haven’t heard in WWE in years and never thought I would hear in WWE again.
This did a good job of getting over that Riddle and Thatcher are very different people, and that Thatcher will be polite enough to not disparage Riddle’s silliness, but that this stuff is not for him. I can’t see these two not breaking up at some point in the next six months, but I am very much empathizing with Thatcher here, so I just don’t see how they’re going to make Riddle the babyface because even if it’s Thatcher who turns on Riddle, it will be after months and month of Riddle dragging him into sh*t he clearly doesn’t want to be dragged into, and Riddle being totally oblivious to his supposed friend’s desires.
IMPERIUM JUMP RIDDLE & THATCHER TO END THE TOM-FOOLERY- good
Marcel Barthel & Fabian Aichner dumped Riddle on the concrete in the stands. Thatcher fought on his own for a while but eventually got overwhelmed by the numbers game and put down with the European Bomb.
ADAM COLE PROMO- great build for his title defense against The Velveteen Dream, which has been booked for next week.
MIA YIM vs. CHARLOTTE FLAIR- 6.25/10
From a character point of view, I thought this did a good job, but it’s extremely disappointing to see a match that got so much build go less than eight minutes. And given the way Mia has been positioned in the NXT women’s division (a borderline main-eventer), having her lose to Charlotte so relatively quickly (and so cleanly) buries the whole division.
Io Shirai came out after the match to have a stare-down with Charlotte.
KARRION KROSS DEBUTS NEXT WEEK- it’s about time
KAYDEN CARTER & THE TRAINER CHECK ON KACY CATANZARO’S JAW BACKSTAGE- fine
McKenzie Mitchell showed up to try to get an interview. Johnny Gargano & Candice LeRae walked by and told everyone “it’s a new NXT. Get used to it.”
We got a recap of the mystery attack on Finn Balor last week and were told that Balor would be here next week to call out his attacked.
DEXTER LUMIS vs. SHANE THORNE- 4.5/10
Dexter Lumis plays his character very well. He won cleanly.
JAKE ATLAS GIVES DRAKE MAVERICK SOME ENCOURAGEMENT AFTER LAST WEEK’S SHOW- fine
They also showed us a Tweet from real NXT Cruiserweight Champion Jordan Devlin mocking the whole idea of crowning an interim champion.
KEITH LEE PROMO- awesome
INTERIM NXT CRUISERWEIGHT TITLE TOURNAMENT GROUP A MATCH: Tony Nese(0-1) vs. Drake Maverick(0-1)- 7/10
An excellent underdog babyface performance from Drake Maverick, and Nese more than held his own as the bully heel. Maverick got the win.
MCKENZIE MITCHELL INTERVIEWS DRAKE MAVERICK- GREAT!
NXT NORTH AMERICAN TITLE MATCH: Keith Lee(c) vs. Damian Priest- 8/10
An awesome big-man main event to blow off this feud. I really liked the spot where Lee didn’t use the nightstick. Obviously he shouldn’t have because he’s a babyface and this wasn’t the time to have the babyface get DQed in a rage, but Lee’s calm facial expression and shaking of his head while handing the nightstick to the referee made it feel like a real character moment for him. Keith Lee, due to his confidence, is, in fact, calmer than the average wrestler, and this felt like an expression of that.
A GREAT episode of NXT, even if the Charlotte vs. Mia match was a disappointingly short. I have to give them a lot of credit for the commentary. I don’t know if they spliced this together or had them do it on a Zoom conference or whatever, but everything flowed together perfectly naturally despite three commentators taping from what seemed like three different locations. If remote commentary can be done this seamlessly, there is no need for the announcers to be leaving their homes.
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