NXT returned last night (October 14) from the Capitol Wrestling Center in Orlando, Florida. You can find the results on the live blog here.
Spin the wheel
The main event of the show this week was Damian Priest defending his title against Dexter Lumis.
It seemed too early for it to work as a real feud. So it wasn̵
It will be interesting to see who wins. Conventional thinking would say it’s Lumis, who is the baby face in this show and the bigger man. He would have had a harder time bouncing back from losing than Grimes, who can find an excuse for BS and be ready to go. The goal is to uplift both men and hopefully they are able to do so.
This week’s title match was fun enough to secure a spot in the main event. Lumis’ volleys of agility are still a sight to behold and play very well in his enigmatic character. Meanwhile, Priest is doing what he needs as a midcard champion. I’ve enjoyed it a lot more since he turned baby face after losing to Finn Bálor. It’s not to the point where I’d be very excited to see him play for the main title, but at this point it might just be a preference. I appreciate Priest, but I’m not a mega fan.
Subsequently, Damian will have to face Johnny Gargano a again Halloween Havoc after just defeating him in TakeOver 31. An attack on the champion with a chair after the game earned Johnny that right. (Like the fact that they had to put together a match in a short time.)
William Regal added the spice when he kicked Shotzi, which made the match (and the Candice title match we’ll get to in a moment) a match Spin the wheel, make a deal.
This will add at least one fun clause to the rematch. There are some ridiculous things about that wheel, like a coffin match, a cole miner’s glove on a stake match, and a buried live match. The result will be the same, but it’s always appreciated when they go retro with the classics. And they should have fun with these clauses.
Rematch number two
Candice LeRae gets another shot at the title of Io Shirai a Halloween Havoc in two weeks.
She got there by defeating Shotzi Blackheart in what was a good match between two women who always had good matches. The deciding factor was Indi Hartwell, who last week started sucking off Candice (and Johnny Gargano) by giving them a new TV. Then he slid LeRae’s brass knuckles, a weapon that the Poison Pixie used to win the game.
So we get another rematch from TakeOver 31 less than a month later. Seems a little lazy to repeat the same game. They obviously want to wait for bigger challengers like Rhea Ripley, Toni Storm and Ember Moon. And they should.
At least Candice and Io have great chemistry and the match will be good. The new wrinkle will be Hartwell, which could be a deciding factor for LeRae. But in reality, he’s not beating Io Shirai, and the lack of drama for what is arguably the show’s biggest title match is a little underwhelming.
But the wheel will help spice things up.
Undisputed is still showing unity … for now.
Kyle O’Reilly joined Bobby Fish and Roderick Strong in the front row for the # 1 contenders match against Oney Lorcan and Danny Burch. O’Reilly spoke for the group (a bit like the leader?), Showing no sympathy for Ridge Holland. In fact, he claimed that if Ridge hadn’t been in a hospital bed due to last week’s gruesome injury, he would have been there because Undisputed put him there.
The KOR recognized that someone was behind Adam Cole’s attack, which means “who is the devil?” the angle will continue. I’m glad it will. It is obviously a great shame that Ridge suffered such an injury. But it looks like they can continue this important corner with Undisputed.
Fish & Strong defeated Burch & Lorcan in a fun match to set up a match against Breezango next week. And it should be a fun time. But the big angle here is Undisputed’s future, which despite all their insistence, could be headed for a breakup.
Drake Maverick and Killian Dain’s team is just a little bit more cohesive than last week.
Killian isn’t in the music (which is weird because it rules) and it definitely wasn’t in the name of the Furry & Fury Drake team (which I understand). But he’s tolerating the whole thing more. Because he can beat people.
Drake booked them a game against former Imperium tag champions. This time, Dain was willing to tag, even reaching out. It’s huge for this relationship! But it wasn’t enough to win.
I’m glad Marcel Barthel and Fabian Aichner passed. This weird new pair of tag teams is hugely fun, but they’re not in a place where they should defeat a team of the caliber of Imperium. They showed some struggle, but it wasn’t enough.
The biggest step forward was after the game. Ever-Rise thought Drake was left alone and has been seeking revenge for the past week. But Big Dain sent both men to the ground with a double clothesline. He then told Drake that he is the only person who can hit Maverick.
Austin Theory keeps losing.
This week it was at the hands of Johnny Gargano. It wasn’t a pumpkin. It was a two-segment match that could have made the young man’s path at times. But in the end, it was another L for Theory. Wade Barrett pointed to his losing streak and qualified with the fact that he was up against a really good talent roster.
But at the same time, a loss is a loss. And it’s not like Johnny Gargano always wins. This was kind of a battle between two guys who lose more than they win. In the end, Johnny was too experienced for rookie theory.
This losing streak is an obvious storyline. And NXT has worked well with this in the past. Andrade (“Cien” Almas) wasted all the time before working with Zelina Vega, a move that took him to the top. Eventually, Theory will find something that works for him when they want to push him away from putting the others.
All the rest:
– Jake Atlas defeated Ashante “Thee” Adonis. He took advantage of it when Raul Mendoza and Joaquin Wilde walked out, seeking revenge on Adonis from TakeOver 31. After using it to his advantage, Jake decided to help Adonis. Santos Escobar joined his boys and Isaiah “Swerve” Scott did the same for Adonis and Atlas, leaving the stalemate. I wonder if that will lead Atlas to take on the Cruiserweight title because Scott has lost his last two chances.
– Rhea Ripley and Raquel González talked when Nightmare overheard Raquel talking about trash in an interview. It took a slew of officials to keep them apart. NXT did a great job building it as a great match in a short period of time, especially given that González wasn’t really a featured single before this.
– Toni Storm got her first win (obvious) against Aliyah. It’s great to have this rock star back on Wednesday.
This was a solid episode. Some of these matches seem longer than usual. This is good for games like Shotzi vs. Candice. Not as necessary for Theory vs. Gargano. TakeOver’s run of rematches and the lack of the male title scene make these shows less essential, but they’re still not bad.