Arran here with my review of nxt let's dive in.
Schism vs. Tyler Bate/Wes Lee/Mustafa Ali
It’s a brawl before the bell to start until we settle down to Ali being taken into the corner. That doesn’t last long and it’s Lee coming in to get caught in a double hot shot from the Dyad. Gacy adds the release Rock Bottom and it’s Fowler coming back in for three straight near falls. Lee tries to punch back against Gacy, who drops him with an uppercut.
Reid breaks up a sunset flip but Lee gets over and brings Bate in to clean house. The airplane spin is broken up but Schism is sent to the floor, setting up the triple dives as we take a break. Back with Bate fighting out of trouble and everything breaking down. Ali misses the 450 and gets sent HARD into the corner.
Lee comes back in and dropkicks Fowler in the back, setting up a big running flip dive to take out the other two. The Cardiac Kick misses Fowler and the referee gets bumped. Lee gets shoved into Bate to knock him off the apron, leaving Lee to get caught in a toss sitout powerbomb (that looked good) for….two, as another referee comes in to say Bate made a tag (while the original referee was down). Ali hits a tornado DDT to the floor on Reid, leaving Bate to Tyler Driver 97 Gacy for the pin at 14:18.
Rating: B-. These guys were working here and the action got rather good at times. But now tags the referee just doesn’t see can count? That’s quite the departure from pretty much forever in WWE history, but it was certainly was a unique ending. Gacy’s troubles continue as well and it is hard to imagine the team not having issues going forward.
Thea Hail is ready to show Charlie Dempsey and Drew Gulak what he can do. With them gone, Duke Hudson calls Andre Chase and leaves a voicemail saying things are getting out of hand.
Here is Bron Breakker to talk about how he took out Ilja Dragunov and now he wants Seth Rollins. Cue Dragunov, who has to be held back by security, but
Rollins pops up on screen. Rollins is somewhat impressed by Breakker, and thinks it would be nice to go back where it all started. The challenge is accepted (the fans approve) and next week he’ll be here to defend against Breakker.
Video on Dana Brooke.
Brooke is ready to be here and work hard but Cora Jade comes into slaps her and violence is teased.
Tyler Bate, Wes Lee and Mustafa Ali are happy with their win and it’s time for the North American title match. Ali will even be a guest referee! As for tonight, Bate thinks they should go vegan. Lee is in and Ali looks like he wants to end him.
Cora Jade vs. Thea Hail
Duke Hudson is here too as they fight over wrist control to start. Hail’s headlock doesn’t last long so she messes up a flip in the corner. An arm drag into an armbar works a bit better, at least until Hail elbows her way out of trouble. Here is Dana Brooke to cheer for Hail as Jade grabs a chin lock. Hail fights up and hits a springboard backsplash before they head to the floor. Jade hits Brooke and grabs the kendo stick, which is enough of a distraction for Brooke to send her into the steps. Back in and Hail grabs a Kimura for the tap at 4:18.
Rating: C. I could go for more of this insane/aggressive Hail, as it oddly suits her over-the-top insanity. On top of that, she has a title match coming up so giving her a win is a good idea. Brooke vs. Jade is hardly some marquee match, but it does give both of them something to do for the time being.
We go over the Heritage Cup rules. The match will be six three-minute rounds, the first to win two falls wins. You can win a fall by pinfall, submission or count-out, but a knockout or DQ ends the match instantly. In the event of a tie, the champion retains the title.
Heritage Cup: Noam Dar vs. Nathan Frazer
Dar is….injured, so Oro Mensah will be defending in his place.
Heritage Cup: Oro Mensah vs. Nathan Frazer
Mensah is defending on Dar’s behalf. Round One begins with a fight over arm control. Mensah gets the better of an armbar but Frazer reverses into a rollup for the pin at 1:49 of the first fall. Round Two begins with Mensah being more aggressive and chopping Frazer against the ropes. A knockdown gives Mensah two but Frazer pulls himself up from the mat and nails an enziguri. Mensah is back up with a kick to the head of his own so Jakara Jackson gets up on the apron. Lash Legend offers a distraction and the running spin wheel kick in the corner finishes Frazer to tie it up at 1:55 of the round and 4:14 total.
We take a break and come back with about 40 seconds to go in Round Three. They trade rollups for two each until Frazer superkicks a springboard moonsault out of the air. There’s a very delayed near fall as the round ends. Round Four begins with Mensah planting Frazer for two and being shocked at the kick-out. Frazer superkicks him in the chest for two but he gets flipped off the top. Jackson and Legend try to cheat again, but cue Yulisa Leon and Valentina Feroz to cut them off. Frazer avoids the spin wheel kick in the corner and finishes with a phoenix splash at 2:32 of the round and 11:44 overall to win the Cup.
Rating: C. I wasn’t feeling this as you had Frazer beating a replacement champion in a match with all kinds of interference. There was so much here going on and it wasn’t exactly working. You can all but guarantee a rematch with Noam Dar down the line, but for now, Frazer gets his big moment and actually wins something for a change.
Video on Lyra Valkyria.
Some women are catty to each other about Valkyria and an alliance between Lola Vice and Elektra Lopez is formed.
Mr Stone asks Von Wagner about the therapist when Dijak comes in to look annoyed at them. With Dijak gone, Wagner says he still hasn’t talked to the therapist about the picture, sending Stone into a rant about trust. Wagner says he has always trusted Stone, which comes off as a surprise.
Axiom/Scrypts vs. Dabba-Kato
Kato knocks them out of the air to start and drops Axiom mask first onto the mat. Axiom manages to come back with an enziguri and Scrypts slugs away. Kato is knocked to the floor for a series of dives to take him down, followed by a top rope moonsault to drop him again back inside. The Golden Ratio gives Axiom the pin at 3:13.
Rating: C-. I’m not sure what the point of this feud has been but it isn’t exactly working. Kato isn’t exactly great, but why is he getting this much time if he is going to lose so often? I still think there is something to Axiom, though at the end of the day, it isn’t going to matter if he is stuck in feuds like this.
Post-match Humberto Carrillo and Angel Garza of all people come in to beat down Scrypts and Axiom. Garza gets a heck of a reaction.
Stacks look at a web of people in NXT who might have led to Tony D’Angelo getting arrested. He’ll figure this out.
Duke Hudson is proud of Thea Hail, who is a little sore from her match. She’s ready to become the youngest Women’s Champion in NXT history. Next week, it’s a pep rally to get her ready. Tiffany Stratton comes in to mock everything about Hail, as is her custom. With Stratton gone, Charlie Dempsey and Drew Gulak come in to tell Hail to get back in the gym. She’s ready and threatens to hurt Dempsey.
Edris Enofe vs. Malik Blade
Tank Ledger, Hank Walker, Josh Briggs and Brooks Jensen all come out to watch as it’s an exchange of rollups to start. Blade hits a dropkick but can’t get a powerbomb to the floor. Instead, Enofe hits a running clothesline but misses a big dive (with a nasty landing). Blade hits his own huge dive, only to get caught in a superplex back inside. That’s fine with Blade, as they pop up from their legs and interlock their legs so Blade can get a small package for the pin at 2:48. These guys are scary athletic and I’ve always wanted to see more from them.
Post-match all three teams get in,
Booker T. announces that next week it’s a triple threat match with the winners getting a Tag Team Title shot the week after. The fight is on and Humberto Carrillo and Angel Garza pop up on the platform to say there is a lot of competition around here.
Damon Kemp yells about the referee not seeing his foot on the ropes last week. Eddy Thorpe comes in and doesn’t like being told it was a cheap victory. They can run it back again and Kemp can pick the stipulations.
Blair Davenport shows us where she has attacked various women in the parking lot, complete with a map. Tatum Paxley is on her side and now it’s time to take out Roxanne Perez.
Roxanne Perez vs. Tatum Paxley
Perez starts fast by snapping off an ankle scissors but Paxley sends her throat first into the bottom rope. A hanging butterfly suplex gives Paxley two and a faceplant gets the same. Paxley’s Boston crab is reversed into a small package for two and Perez hammers away. A Russian leg sweep is blocked but Pop Rox (with Perez landing on her head on the way down) finishes Paxley at 3:23.
Rating: C. They kept this short and to the point, as we seem to be getting ready for a Perez vs. Davenport showdown. Perez beating Paxley is a first step on the way there, as it isn’t like Paxley is anything more than a Davenport lackey. This was just another step forward with the feud and the big match can come later.
Post-match Perez (who thankfully seems fine) says she isn’t afraid of Blair Davenport.
Gigi Dolin rants about being eliminated from the battle royal when Fallon Henley comes in to rant as well. They’re both sick of Kiana James and are ready to deal with her.
Video on Lucien Price and Bronco Nima, a pair of childhood friends who are ready to be a dominant team. They’ve been on LVL Up for months so this had to happen.
Baron Corbin vs. Ilja Dragunov
For the NXT Title shot in two weeks and Dragunov is coming in with bad ribs. Dragunov sends him into the buckle a few times to start but Dragunov chops away to drop Corbin for a change. Back up and Corbin hits a hard right hand to take over, only to get pulled into some rolling German suplexes. The Constantine Special sends Corbin outside and we take a break.
Back with Corbin dumping him to the floor and working away on the bad ribs. A backbreaker gives Corbin two back inside and Dragunov gets sent hard into the corner. Corbin Death Valley Drivers him for two but Dragunov starts slugging away. Deep Six cuts Dragunov off for two more but he’s right back with a running knee in the corner. The top rope backsplash crushes Corbin and a DDT plants him again. Cue Bron Breakker for a distraction though and End of Days gives Corbin the pin at 13:32.
Rating: B. This is a situation where you might have been able to guess the ending from the start but it was the right way to go. Corbin and Hayes have a history together and it would be strange to see Dragunov jump the line to get a title shot that fast. What matters here is setting up two big matches at once and that is what NXT pulled off right here. As for the match itself, it was a pretty brutal fight, with Dragunov making you believe that he is in agony with every shot he takes to those ribs. Dragunov feels special, but for now, it is time for Corbin to get his title shot.
Breakker and Dragunov fight off to the back and Carmelo Hayes comes in to take out Corbin to end the show.