By John Moore, ProWrestling.net Staffer (@liljohnm)
NXT TV on USA Network
Aired live October 9, 2019 from Winter Park, Florida at Full Sail University
[Hour One] NXT started out with highlights from last week with cinematic camera angles. No intro theme, they went straight to Full Sail…
Mauro Ranallo introduced the show from the commentary balcony. Once he introduced the show, he was joined offscreen by Beth Phoenix and Nigel McGuinness. The NXT Cruiserweight Championship match was starting off the show. Alisha Taylor handled the formal ring introductions for the championship match…
1. Drew Gulak vs. Lio Rush for the NXT Cruiserweight Championship. Rush dodged a Gulak shotgun dropkick and immediately hit him with a Spanish Fly for the two count. Rush took things outside with a Low-pe and then hitting Gulak with a Asai Moonsault. Gulak reversed a crossbody with a slam and corner splash for a two count. Gulak slowed down the action a bit. Gulak countered a rollup into joint manipulation, similar to the Rings of Saturn. Rush fought out, but Gulak maintained control with calculated strikes. Gulak got a two count after La Magistral.
Gulak continued his methodical but strong offense. Gulak and Rush brawled to the top rope. Rush got Gulak to the apron. Gulak recovered and dropkicked Lio Rush into some production guys at ringside heading into commercial. [c]
They did do a picture-in-picture ad, but I’ll take a break here to proofread and take a sip of my drink. Hey! I’m covering 2 hour NXT’s now, give me a break! Literally! Rush gave Gulak some Yes Kicks and the last kick was caught. Rush did a backflip to escape but Gulak followed through with an inside-out clothesline for the two count. Rush caught Gulak with a matchbook cover for a two count. Gulak caught Rush during Rush’s seated springboard stunner and then locked him into the Gu-Lock. Rush escaped and got a two count from the Chancery position. Gulak escaped a Guillotine. Gulak hit Rush with a “Cyclone Crash” (Argentine TKO). Rush kicked out at two.
Drew Gulak brought Rush to the top rope. Rush punched Gulak off several times. Rush hit Gulak with a high fly flow and seated springboard stunner. Rush then went to the top rope and hit the Final Hour for the win.
Lio Rush defeated Drew Gulak via pinfall in 8:03 of TV Time to become the new NXT Cruiserweight Champion.
Mauro and Nigel noted that it was mental health week and that Rush is a good example of someone who is tackling and conquering his mental health problems head on. Highlights from the match aired. William Regal met Lio Rush in the ring to formally put the belt on Lio Rush. An angry Drew Gulak yanked the title away from William Regal. Gulak jawed a bit but then honorably put the title on Rush’s shoulder (A nice gesture, but he’s done this before several times, with Matt Riddle and Kushida). Lio Rush celebrated his title win…
Kushida was boxing with Breezango in preparation for the main event. Big Daddy Walter was doing Judo Push ups with his Imperium bretheren. Beth hyped Kushida vs. Walter in a non title main event. Mauro then transitioned to a Finn Balor vignette and said he’s known as the “Extraordinary Man”… [c]
John’s Thoughts: A really good match. Gulak amazes me with his adaptability with different opponents. If given more time, and no picture-in-picutre, this would have been a better match, but this match was good anyway and they can bring more later on. Interesting move to put the title on Rush. I like the title change in general, because it’s good to start with a fresh slate in terms of Cruiserweights now that they are moving to NXT. The part I’m shaky on is putting the title on Lio Rush given how he’s had backstage problems in many locker rooms, not just WWE. That said, I really like what Lio Rush stands for now with his fight for mental health awareness. I hope this babyface Lio works out. He was such a great heel, which is also why I’m not sure where he goes as a babyface.
A video package aired spotlighting Tegan Nox’s recovery from her latest injury (Tegan Nox is Dot Net Staffer Haydn Gleed’s favorite wrestler because she’s welsh). They announced that Tegan Nox will make her NXT return (isn’t it a debut?) next week. Nox was shown hanging out with Dakota Kai backstage who was doing bicep curls with resistance bands…
Rhea Ripley made her entrance next. Mauro noted that Rhea took Shayna Baszler to the limit before DQ’ing herself in their non-title match. Nigel noted that Rhea Ripley was extremely young. Her opponent is Aliyah…
John’s Thoughts: Welp… Aliyah has no chance.
2. Rhea Ripley vs. Aliyah. Aliyah used the rope break to keep Rhea at bay at first. Mauro noted that Rhea is inspired by NXT Commentator Beth Phoenix in terms of in-ring style. Rhea gave Aliyah a few ripcord lariats. Rhea then gave Aliyah a Giant Swing from the Irish Cloverleaf. She then flapjacked Aliyah with the Cloverleaf and then sat-out for the win.
Rhea Ripley defeated Aliyah via pinfall in 1:22.
Rhea grabbed the mic and addressed Shayna Baszler’s dominance in NXT. She noted that Shayna has tapped and snapped everyone, but not Rhea. Rhea said she’s coming after Baszler…
Mauro Ranallo hyped up the WWE Press Conference this Friday on the WWE Network which will feature Triple H, Cain Velasquez, Tyson Fury, and others with some big announcements. Nigel continued to hype Kushida vs. Walter as the main event… [c]
John’s Thoughts: Expected squash, but good usage of a squash, especially in putting over those nice Cloverleaf moves. The crowd was largely behind Rhea, complete with “Rhea’s gonna kill you” chants. I wasn’t sure how Rhea would do as a badass babyface, but so far so good.
Some random construction/jackhammer sound effects started sounding. Oh! I thought they were new wrestlers, but instead it was Breezango playing the role of stripper-like Construction Workers. Dango was swinging his Dango as usual. Two women were with Breezango at the top of the ramp. I think we got another Brandi Lauren sighting (Former Impact Wrestling Knockout Ava Storie). Ever Rise was supposed to make their entrance, but they were unconscious and dragged to the stage by Jaxson Ryker. Steve Cutler and Wesley Blake entered the ring. I guess, they can rebook their own match???
3. “Breezango” Tyler Breeze and Fandango vs. “The Forgotten Sons” Steve Cutler and Wesley Blake (w/Jaxson Ryker). Breeze and Cutler started off the match. Cutler dominated with power moves. Cutler tagged in for some tandem offense. They hit Breeze with a double team backbreaker. Dango tagged in and got some offense in. Ryker tossed Breeze into the ringpost while the referee was distracted. Dango hit Ryker with a Tope Con Hilo. The Sons hit their stomp finisher for the win.
The Forgotten Sons defeated Breezango via pinfall in 3:06.
Highlights from the match aired…
They cut to a Keith Lee video package… [c]
John’s Thoughts: I had technical difficulties during the match, but the highlights caught me up. I actually really liked that they did the construction thing at the beginning of the match because it shows that Breezango isn’t sticking to just Police jokes. Not too sold on the sons still. Ryker’s great. The other two guys need a makeover or reboot (or just a new team in general).
Chinese pro wrestler Boa was in the middle of his entrance back from the break. His opponent is the artist formerly known as Trevor Lee, Cameron Grimes…
4. Cameron Grimes vs. Boa. Grimes hit Boa with his standing stomp finisher for the win.
Cameron Grimes defeated Boa via pinfall in 0:08.
Killian Dain entered the ring during the pinfall. Grimes left. Dain went on to beat up Boa. Hitting him with a Vader Bomb. Dain dragged Boa to the commentary table and then front slammed him. Mauro said “The evil has landed in the form of Killian Dain”…
They cut to a Damien Priest promo. He was cutting the promo from the streets. He addressed attacking Pete Dunne. He said he saw Dunne as a bulls eye and then took his shot. Clips of Priest clubbing were shown. Priest said the name Damien Priest will “live forever”… [c]
John’s Thoughts: Interesting. I’m not sure weather they’re putting Grimes in a program with Dain or if Dain is just going to beat up random enhancement wrestlers all over the place before someone steps up. Maybe he just beats up Grimes opponents until Grimes steps up. All good options and it would be good to see Grimes in his first televised serious program (because all of his feuds in Impact have been comedy based). I also liked the Priest promo. Nothing too spectacular, but it’s better than him just walking out and shooting phantom arrows for no good reason.
[Hour Two] Roderick Strong made his entrance. Before he made it to the ramp, he was shown getting hyped up by the rest of Undisputed Era. Mauro noted the Roderick Strong was trained by Jim Neidhart…
5. Roderick Strong vs. Isaiah “Swerve” Scott in a non-title match. Beth talked about how Scott looked up to Edge. Mauro and Nigel joked with Beth for being nepotistic. Scott and Strong started off with chain wrestling. Strong dominated early on and said it was his house. Scott surprised Strong with a jumping Sobat for a nearfall. Scott hit Strong with a slingshot splash for a two count. Strong recovered and gave Scott a chop. Scott escaped a body slam and got strong on his knees. Scott hit his Killshot Shotgun Dropkick on Strong. Scott gave Strong strikes in the corner. Strong fought out with chops and a backbreaker. Mauro noted that both men were going for the “Kill Shot” (get it?).
Both men continued to exchange strikes. Scott went for a paydirt, but Strong caught Scott and hit Scott with one of his signature backbreaker. Strong beat up on Scott in the corner but Scott came back with right hands. Strong ended Scott’s rally with a backbreaker. Beth noted that Strong’s backbreaker was constantly stopping Scott’s rallys. [c]
John’s Thoughts: Having commercial breaks is such a new experience for me in terms of reviewing. I get to take a sip of my drink. Proofread. Impact has commercials, but I’m usually paying attention to Melissa Santos who is constantly giving information and updates. These breaks help.
Scott used boots to keep Strong away. Scott shook up Strong with a haymaker. Scott gave Strong a rally of punches. Scott hit Strong with a diving rising uppercut. Suddenly the Undisputed Era walked out to ringside. Scott hit Strong with his signature trap Draping DDT in the corner. Scott hit Strong wiht a German, Paydirt, and Killshot Kick for the two count. Scott gave Strong a superkick leaving him hanging from the rope to the floor. Scott then hit Strong with a double stomp from the inside to the outside. Strong was distracted by UE. this allowed Strong to hit Scott with End of Heartache . Strong locked Scott in the Stronghold (Liontamer) for the submission win.
Roderick Strong defeated Isaiah Scott via submission in 10:33.
Cole, O’Reilly, and Fish joined Strong in the ring. O’Reilly had a nice Undisputed Era biker jacket. Cole congratulated Scott and said that Scott is good, but not as good as Strong. Cole talked about how he sees that everyone wants to measure up to the Undisputed Era. He addressed Balor and Ciampa returning as examples. Cole said they may dream of it, but they will never stop Undisputed Era. Velveteen Dream’s face popped up on the titantron and he said “did someone say… Dream?”.
Velveteen Dream appeared on top of the commentary balcony that NXT has set up. Dream said he was showing Roderick Strong Strong’s reality. Velveteen Dream flashed a picture of a naked Roderick Strong on the titantron, with the NA championship over Strong’s junk. Dream talked about how he’s going to strip Strong of the title to show that Strong doesn’t “measure up”. In the non-PG moment of the show, Dream snapped his fingers and the title belt went away. Suddenly a tiny stop symbol was censoring Strong’s dick, implying that he has a small dick.
The segment wasn’t over yet as Tommaso Ciampa made his entrance with a steel chair and crutch in hand. The UE retreated to the ramp as Ciampa set up the chair in the center of the ring to sit on. Ciampa said “Goldie? Daddy’s home…”. UE jawed with Ciampa from the ramp…
Mauro Ranallo, Nigel McGuinness, and Beth Phoenix checked in on commentary. Mauro cut to a Walter and Kushida video package… [c]
John’s Thoughts: Good stuff for the last few segments. That was the best Isaiah Scott match I’ve seen in a long time. His matches are hit and miss. This was a hit. The subsequent segments did a good job tying Undisputed Era into the rest of the NXT show. This is necessary since they hold all the championships and it’s smart to build a lot of programs around them. Not to mention, they got some shock value in there with some NSFW Roderick Strong nudity.
They cut to right before Cathy Kelley trying to get an interview with Tommaso Ciampa. Angel Garza (Garza Jr) tried to hit on Cathy Kelley. Kelly tried to blow Garza off and interview Ciampa who was walking up to her. Garza got in the way and started saying things in Spanish. Ciampa knocked out Garza. Kelley wondered what Garza was saying? Ciampa said he had no idea…
6. Dakota Kai vs. Bianca Belair. Belair overpowered Kai early on. Kai managed to take down Belair with a double leg takedown. Kai hit Belair with a PK and double stomp. Kai then hit Belair with a PK from the apron. Kai got a two count in the ring. Belair gave Kai snake eyes in the corner and then put the boots to her. Belair hit Kai with a hit toss and got a two count. Belair kicked out of a small package form Kai. Belair got a two count after a Tilt-a-whirl gutbuster. [c]
Kai slammed Belair into the corner and hit Belair with a overhead kick. Kai ran around Belair and hit Belair with a dropkick. Kai draped Belair on the apron and hit Belair with a bicycle kick from ringside. Kai hit Belair with a Halluva Kick for a two count. Kai hit Belair with a nice shortarm meteora for a two count. Kai escaped the corner and rolled up belair for a two count. Belair hit Kai with a Glam Slam which Beth liked. Belair hit Kai with a standing Shooting Star for a two count. Mauro said Belair is a shooting star (one of Mauro’s few lame lines). Kai got a few two counts off of rollups. Kai hit Belair with a front kick. Belair dodged a kick and put Kai in the Argentine Backbreaker for the Sitout Burning Hammer for the victory.
Bianca Belair defeated Dakota Kai via pinfall in 6:39 of TV Time.
Belair grabbed the mic afterward and acknowledge Rhea Ripley coming after Shayna Baszler. Belair said “nuh uh”. Belair said if they want to get to the NXT women’s championship, they have to go through Belair first because Belair is going for the belt. Mauro went into more hype for Friday’s WWE Press Conference…
Nigel cut to a Dominik Dijakovic video package which was hyping next week’s Dominik Dijakovic vs. Keith Lee rubber match…
John’s Thoughts: Really good women’s match and a good showcase as to why NXT might have the best women’s division in all of pro wrestling (and we haven’t even seen some of the great talent in the division pop up on TV yet). Because of this deep division, can they consistantly have two women’s matches on Takeover now? Not because of equality or anything, but because NXT shouldn’t handicap themselves from a quality midcard match at a Takeover.
A Finn Balor video package aired which chronicled Balor’s main roster run…
Walter vs. Kushida was hyped for after the break… [c]
During the break, and ad aired for the WWE Draft this Friday and upcoming Monday…
Mauro cut to a Pete Dunne video package where he responded to Damien Priest. Dunne talked about how Triple H told Dunne to make a name for himself when he entered WWE, and that’s what he did. A workout montage was shown with Dunne. Dunne talked about holding the UK title for over 600 days. Dunne asked how Priest can shoot an arrow with broke fingers. Dunne said Priest may not even make it out of next week. Nigel advertised Pete Dunne vs. Damien Priest for next week…
John’s Thoughts: They’ve done a solid job throughout the show with a bunch of video packages and even having a promo segment after almost every match on this show. These segments aren’t forced either.
Lio Rush was shown backstage hugging some of the developmental talent in NXT after his title win. These were talent like Babatunde and Eric Bugenhagen (Lio was the Shawn Michaels to Babatunde’s Diesel at NXT live events before Rush’s main roster call up)…
WWE’s Marty McFly, Kushida made his entrance…
7. Big Daddy Walter vs. Kushida in a non-title match. Mauro noted this was a David vs. Goliath type of match. Walter ragdolled Kushida with his initial move. Kushida tried to play footsies with his kicks. Walter fought through and draped Kushida on the top rope. Mauro noted that Kushida has wrestled big men before like Giant Bernard (NXT Head Trainer Matt Bloom) in New Japan. Kushida managed to get Walter on the mat with a grab to the leg. Kushida snuck in a chop on Walter and even mocked Walter while he was on the ground. [c]
Kushida got Walter to the mat with a sweep. Kushida then slipped off the top rope and ran right into a big boot from the Big Daddy. Walter locked Kushida in a half liontamer. Mauro said Kushida crashing to the mat was “Crashida” (Ok… that was lame, but a good lame pun). Walter banged the drum on Kushida against the ropes. Kushida tried to punch Walter but Walter came back with Muay Thai knees. Walter then planted Kushida with his signature chest chop. Kushida came back by giving Walter a DDT to escape a suplex.
Kushida hit Walter with a top rope chop, hip toss, and cartwheel into a dropkick. Walter tried to bang the drum on Kusida again but Kushida dragged Walter’s arm on the top. Kushida tried to Sunset Bomb Walter to the outside but Walter instead just stompped on Kushida like he was a bug on the apron. Kushida and Walter brawled on the apron. Kushida shook up Walter by sidestepping Walter, sending him into the ringpost, tripping him to his knee, and hitting a Walter with a pendulum DDT from the apron to ringside.
Both men beat the ten count. Kushida kicked Walter and got Walter to his knee. Kushida put Walter in the Hoverboard Lock but Walter prevented Kushida from locking his grip. Walter countered Kushida’s kick into a sleeper. Kushida hulked up and made it to the ropes. Kushida got a Jackknife rollup for a two count which Walter turned into a sleeper, which Kushida then turned into a crossarmbreaker. Walter adjusted his weight to get to a vertical base. Kushida got a small package on Walter for a two count.
Kushida blocked a pumphandle slam and hit Walter with a back kick. Walter came back with a boot and German Suplex. Walter hit Kushida with a pumphandle German for the two count. The show is currently five minutes over the top of the hour. Walter went high risk but ate an enzuigiri from Kushida. Kushida brawled with Walter on the top rope. Beth noted the exhaustion from both men. Walter shook up Kushida wiht a punch. Kushida came back with a roar of Fighting Spirit.
Kushida then hit Walter with a Super Hoverboard Lock Spanish Fly into the Chickenwing. Walter managed to wiggle his way to the bottom rope for the break. Kushida hit Walter with a yakuza kick and knife edge chop. Kushida hit Walter with flicker kicks. Walter escaped and hit Kushida with a sick looking shotgun dropkick (which looked better because of Walter’s huge body). Walter hit Kushida with a power bomb and got a really great nearfall. Yep, we’re in overrun. Walter hit Kushida with a slap and ripcord lariat for the victory.
Walter defeated Kushida via pinfall in 13:14 of TV Time.
Walter held up his championship after the match. Alexander Wolfe, Fabien Aichner, and Marcel Barthel clapped from the stage and were joined by Walter. Nigel McGuinness hyped the rubber match between Keith Lee and Dominik Dijakovic for next week. Beth Phoenix advertised Pete Dunne vs. Damien Priest for next week. Mauro cut to “Breaking News” from Cathy Kelley. Cathy announced Tommaso Ciampa vs. Angel Garza for next week. Cathy announced Roderick Strong vs. Velveteen Dream in two weeks. Mauro Ranallo handled the outtro for NXT as NXT Closed ten minutes after the top of the hour…
John’s Thoughts: Holy hell was that a great match, especially by the end. Definitely Kushida’s best match in WWE and definitely Takeover worthy. Kushida’s good but he not a “guaranteed” Takeover-worthy wrestler as much as other people are. Maybe he is now after that performance. Even though I was a bigger fan of Walter’s tag partner (Marcel Barthel) on the indies, Walter is slowly becoming one of my favorite wrestlers to watch due to his brutal and tough style. I like it when people are practical when they fight instead of trying to awe the crowd. This also was a nice change of pace for Walter who’s been wrestling UK strong style on NXT UK where got to mix it up with a Lucha Libre-Submission wrestler in Kushida.
Smart to have Walter win, but Kushida really gained in defeat because it looked like he was just a hair away from the win several times during the match even logically dominating Walter for stretches with his strengths. It looks like Paul Levesque and crew are building up Kushida as NXT’s Rey Mysterio and this was definitely a Rey Mysterio like classic. Overall, a strong episode of NXT as usual and my first time reviewing one of these shows over the stretch of two hours. It’s still strange because one hour has it’s benefits. Can they sustain the solid writing of the show. Maybe because the writing they use here is simple and efficient. I’ll have more thoughts tomorrow with my member’s exclusive audio review and Jason Powell should be by sometime with his NXT TV hit list.