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NXT Review 10/10/23

Normally this is where I would start up the intro but I’m not sure if there is room given all of the special guest stars on the show. This very well may be the most stacked NXT in history as John Cena, Asuka, Cody Rhodes and Paul Heyman are all confirmed, with a potential Undertaker visit as well. Let’s get to it.

Opening sequence.

Here is Cody Rhodes to get things going. After soaking in some cheers, Rhodes talks about the Women’s Breakout Tournament. Since it has been so cool, we need to have a men’s tournament, meaning the Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic will be returning at the conclusion of the men’s tournament! He’s not done though, as Shawn Michaels has made him the guest General Manager for the night!

Cue Ilja Dragunov to welcome Cody to the show and say how much he appreciates what Cody is bringing tonight. Now it’s Rhea Ripley and Dominik Mysterio interrupting, with Dominik saying the people are here to see him. 

Dragunov wants to know why Dominik is here when no one likes him. Oh and Dragunov’s father used to work in a prison, so he knows how to turn Dominik into a puppy.

Dominik issues a challenge for the title tonight, but Cody thinks that means Dominik doesn’t want the North American Title on the line.

 Dragunov is ready to smash Dominik so Cody makes the title match. Oh and let’s have a special guest referee. It’s not Cody, but rather LA KNIGHT!

Match1 Asuka vs. Roxanne Perez

Shotzi comes out to join commentary as Perez gets in a quick takedown but has to duck a kick to the head. Perez grabs a headlock as Shotzi announces that she and Scarlett will be hosting night one of Halloween Havoc. 

Asuka fights out and the fans let Perez know that she f’d up. Perez knocks her to the floor but the dive is cut off with a forearm. A missile dropkick gives Asuka two and the Kawada Kicks rock Perez again.

An armbar goes on as Shotzi is almost giddy over getting to be back for Halloween. Perez grabs a Russian legsweep and Asuka is sent outside, where a suicide dive drops her again. A middle rope crossbody gets two on Asuka but she’s right back up with a kick to the ribs. 

The Asuka Lock goes on but Perez flips backwards to escape. Instead Asuka kicks her in the head for the pin at 6:05.

Offical Result Asuka Wins

Rating: C+. This was an example of a veteran being better than an up and coming star but it was more one sided than it needed to be. Perez got in some offense but it felt like Asuka was toying with her before finishing things off at the end. 

Asuka is a bigger deal and still active in WWE, but it might not have been the best idea to have Perez look terrified of her.

Post match respect is shown but Kiana James runs in to jump Perez. Shotzi makes the save.

Gallus gets fired up.

Tyler Bate and Butch get fired up. Ridge Holland comes in to fire both of them up.

Match 2 Tyler Bate/Brawling Brutes vs. Gallus

Pub Rules match, which appears to mean street fight. Gallus jumps them from being to start and the fight is on fast, with Booker saying it’s a fight instead of a match. Therefore, the weapons, including some pub items around ringside are rather logical.

 Butch stabs Joe’s finger with a dart and Holland trashcan lids Mark in the back. Holland isn’t done yet and blasts him with a fire extinguisher shot. Mark is put upside down in a trashcan so Bate can roll a bowling ball at his head.

Butch has hurt his leg on the floor and Joe headbutts him into the steps. Bate makes the save but gets dropped face first onto the apron. Gallus puts Butch through a table and we take a break. 

Back with Butch hitting the stomp onto Wolfgang’s arm, leaving everyone to stand up for the big slugout. Butch moonsaults down onto Mark as Joe and Wolfgang get caught in stereo airplane spins.

The good guys hit the stereo forearms to the chest, followed by stereo Bop And Bangs back inside. A German suplex gets two on Mark but Butch misses a slingshot dive.

 Instead Wolfgang hits a running flip dive in the general vicinity of Butch and Holland. Back in and Joe loads up a piledriver on Bate but instead turns it into a kind of standing Boston crab (that’s a new one).

Holland makes the save with a pool cue and the triple submissions have Gallus in trouble. All three are broken up and the fans are all approving. An enziguri/powerslam combination gets two on Butch so of course it’s table time. 

Holland backdrops Mark and Wolfgang outside but Joe is back in with a spinning high crossbody. All The Best For The Belles drops Butch but a mug to the face knocks Joe silly. A triple powerbomb through the table finishes Joe at 11:48.

Offical Result Brawling Brutes Win 

Rating: B-. This was exactly as advertised and it worked well as a result. Sometimes you need to have two tams beat the fire out of each other and that’s what you got here. The standing Boston crab and triple powerbomb looked good and I had a lot of fun with this one. Good stuff here and I could go for more of Bate with the Brutes.

Video on Becky Lynch vs. Lyra Valkyria, focusing on their similar histories in Ireland and paths to WWE. We see clips of them training together and wrestling in the same rings for a rather nice bonus to their story. They’re set for the NXT Women’s Title match in two weeks on the first night of Halloween Havoc.

Tegan Nox interrupts Valkyria, who says Nox was so close to winning the title last night. Nox says that’s why Valkyria’s title match has to wait, which doesn’t sit well with Valkyria.

Here is John Cena for a fired up entrance as the fans are singing his theme song. Cena talks about how this place is often described as the future but look at what is going on around here. 

LA Knight is a referee, Cody Rhodes is in charge and we just turned the place into a pub (he’s still waiting on his pint). It is his honor to be allowed to share this space with these people tonight and he’s not unique in that case.

That’s why Cody Rhodes and LA Knight are here, but we pause or a THANK YOU CENA chant. He thanks the fans for creating an environment that the WWE stars want to visit. Yes they are Smackdown and Raw, but WE ARE NXT. 

Cena jumped at the chance to be here when Carmelo Hayes called because they both believe in hustle, loyalty and respect, but here is Bron Breakker to interrupt. The fans give him a BRON BREAKKER SUCKS chant and Cena (“I’ve heard this song before!

It’s so much cooler when the lyrics are changed!”) thinks this place has turned into a karaoke bar. Breakker says the people are here to see him, but Cena says everyone knows the business is in Breakker’s blood. 

Anyone can see that he is athletically gifted, but anyone can see that he lacks respect. Cena calls this a teachable moment because he’s excited for Breakker’s match tonight. The handshake is offered but Breakker drops Cena, only to miss the spear. The AA doesn’t work either as Breakker leaves.

Cody Rhodes runs into Tony D’Angelo and Stacks, who have a problem. They want their next challengers and suggest a tag team battle royal for the next title shot. 

Rhodes likes the idea and the title match can take place at Halloween Havoc. Everyone seems pleased.

Baron Corbin thinks Ilja Dragunov is ducking him and says everyone around him is all the same. LA Knight’s music cuts him off though and it’s time for a title match

Match 3 NXTTitle: Ilja Dragunov vs. Dominik Mysterio

Only Dragunov is defending, Mysterio has Rhea Ripley in his corner and LA Knight is guest referee. Dragunov takes him down for a headlock to start but Dominik fights up and grabs one of his own. Ripley approves as Dominik slugs away, only to get chopped rather hard. 

That’s enough for Ripley to offer a distraction, meaning Dominik can get in a thumb to the eye to take over. We take a break and come back with Dragunov breaking up the Third Amigo.

The fans prefer the referee as Dragunov’s elbows give us a double knockdown. The 6 1 Line puts Dominik down and Dragunov grabs a waistlock to stay on the ribs. 

A suplex sends Dominik flying and Ripley is looking worried. Dominik manages his own chop in the corner and the fans think he has screwed up. Dragunov unloads on him in the corner but has to duck a quick 619 attempt.

A kick to the head rocks Dominik but he’s right back with the 619 (Vic: “This can’t be real.”) for two. Dragunov scores with a superplex, only to have Dominik roll out to the apron. That means a DDT can drop Dragunov onto said apron but he’s right back with the powerbomb. 

The H Bomb connects….and here is Finn Balor for a distraction. Knight gets rid of him so Ripley tries a belt shot to Dragunov. Trick Williams comes out to cut Ripley off, allowing Dragunov to hit Torpedo Moscow and retain at 11:58.

offical Result Dragunov Wins 

Rating: C+. This is a weird situation as there is very little reason to believe that Dominik can hang with Dragunov one on one. Therefore the interference was necessary, even if it made things that much more insane. That’s the right way to go here, as Dragunov needed another reason to believe that the title might be in danger. It’s good to see Dominik getting this far though and he was more than holding his own here. Knight was only around to do something in the end but the fans loved him, even if he took the focus away from the match more than once.

Post match Baron Corbin’s music hits but as he comes out, cue Dijak to kick Dragunov in the face. Dijak tells Corbin that he beat him to it.

John Cena and Carmelo Hayes share some respect in the back. Trick Williams comes in and Carmelo apologizes for not being there for him last week. Williams says it’s not the time for that because Cena is here. Cena: “You mean you can see me?” 

Williams and Hayes are going to get their titles back and Cena completes their catchphrase. With Hayes gone, Cena asks Williams if he’s ok, which he says he is. Williams does ask Cena when he knew it was his time. Cena: “Let’s talk.”

Earlier today, Paul Heyman tried to talk to Ava (who would be part of Roman Reigns’ family”.

Jade Cargill arrives and is greeted by Shawn Michaels.

Baron Corbin talks to Cody Rhodes in the back and requests a match with Ilja Dragunov or the title at Halloween Havoc. Instead, Cody makes it a triple threat with Corbin, Dijak and the winner of Carmelo Hayes vs. Bron Breakker. Baron isn’t happy, but Cody says booking isn’t easy.

Nathan Frazer and some others mock Dominik Mysterio for his loss. Rhea Ripley says Dominik is still champion so only his opinion matters.

Match 4 Women’s Breakout Tournament First Round: Lola Vice vs. Dani Palmer

Elektra Lopez is here with Vice. They trade missed kicks to start and we get an early standoff. Vice takes her down into a headscissors and grinds away but Palmer fights up. 

Palmer tries a leapfrog but gets superkicked out of the air (that looked good). The running hip attack connects in the corner for two and the bodyscissors goes on. 

Palmer fights up and hits a middle rope spinning crossbody, only to miss a corkscrew moonsault (she landed on her feet). Vice pulls her into a triangle choke but Palmer flips over for two instead. Back up and Vice hits a kick to the head for the pin at 3:58.

Offical Result Lola Vice Wins 

Rating: C+. This wasn’t so much a back and forth match as much as a chance for both of them to get in a few of the things they’ve learned to do. That being said, both of them have talent to make them stand out. They’ll need some more seasoning though and that is going to take some time. Vice winning makes sense as she seems a bit further along, but Palmer looked fine out there as well.

We go to Chase U, where Thea Hail returns. Jacy Jayne told her to come back to class and she agreed, but only if Jacy came too. Jayne, in Chase U red and black, sits down as we hear about Halloween Havoc. The women start chattering and distract Chase (who even gets the location of this year’s Wrestlemania wrong). 

Then a student gets caught using his phone, sending Chase into a rant. Jayne gets yelled at as well, but she reveals that Chase and Duke Hudson are in next week’s tag team battle royal. Jayne says they’ll have so much fun.

Paul Heyman pops in as Bron Breakker is warming up. We get the hype speech, but Breakker says he doesn’t care who is in his way, because he’ll break them all. Breakker leaves and a pleased Heyman calls Roman Reigns.

We get the TV watching vignette, which reveals that he is the son of Brian Pillman. He talks about how many people talk about his dad, but he has no memories of him.

 His dad died when he was four and he doesn’t want to be a wrestler but there is no escaping this industry. Now he has to wreck havoc on this business, under the name of the man who really raised him. That man’s name was King, and so was his. Pillman Jr. looked so much like his dad here that it was hard to believe.

Various women come up to see Asuka until Tiffany Stratton interrupts, cutting off Fallon Henley in the process. Stratton tells Asuka to let her know if she needs anything and talks down to Henley again.

Here’s what’s coming next week.

Match 5 Carmelo Hayes vs. Bron Breakker

John Cena and Paul Heyman are here too. Heyman gives Breakker quite the hyped up entrance, as you kind of knew he would do. Carmelo ducks to start as the fans keep singing. 

Breakker is fine enough to powerslam him out of the air and it’s time for the hard shoulders in the corner. Back up and Carmelo scores with a springboard clothesline for a needed breather as we take a break.

We come back with Breakker cranking away on the ribs. Breakker misses a charge in the corner but grabs something like a top rope DDT onto the turnbuckle.

 A fireman’s carry gutbuster gives Breakker two more so he loads up Cena’s finishing sequence. Carmelo cuts off the Five Knuckle Shuffle with a superkick. A suplex cutter gives Carmelo two as Heyman is panicking.

Carmelo goes up but Breakker runs the corner and hits a….something like a facebuster for two more. The gorilla press powerslam gives Breakker another near fall so it’s time to go outside.

 Breakker grabs the steps but Cena takes them away, just as Solo Sikoa comes out to brawl with Cena. Back in and Nothing But Net finishes Breakker at 12:03.

Offical Result Carmelo Hayes WIns 

Rating: B. These two have good chemistry together and that was on display here. It’s a power vs. speed match and that’s going to work almost every time. They beat each other up with everything else going on around them, though Hayes winning makes more sense. Breakker still feels like he’s treading water until he leaves for the main roster, but that has felt like the case for a long time now.

Post match Breakker spears Carmelo down and says there is only one bada** in all of WWE…..and here is Undertaker (Biker Edition) to interrupt. Breakker calls him an old timer (my goodness the Steiner is strong in that voice) and Undertaker says Breakker will have a future.

 It’s just not today. Breakker gets chokeslammed, and Undertaker says there is always someone bigger and badder.

 Undertaker hugs Carmelo to end the show. Of all the people to do that to, Breakker was the only option they had?


Overall Thoughts

I’m really not sure what to think of this show as it was more about the guest stars than anything going on with the regular cast. They set things up for next week but this was about Cena, Heyman, and everyone else who popped up as guest stars. That made for one of the more unique shows NXT has ever had, though I’m not sure if that is a good thing. The show wasn’t about what was going on but rather who was here, which made for a not exactly great show. Good enough, but only the main event was on that higher level.


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