By John Moore, ProWrestling.net Staffer (@liljohnm)
Taped last week in Winter Park, Florida at Full Sail University
Aired September 1, 2020 on USA Network
[Hour One] Before the WWE signature, they aired an “in memory of…” graphic for the late Bob Armstrong. Highlights from last week’s NXT show aired…
Vic Joseph, Beth Phoenix, and Wade Barrett were on commentary. Vic Joseph noted that this week’s episode was dubbed “Super Tuesday”. Vic Joseph and Wade Barrett checked in from ringside as the on-site commentators…
1. “Legado Del Fantasma” Santos Escobar, Raul Mendoza, and Joaquin Wilde vs. Isaiah Scott, Fandango, and Tyler Breeze in a trios Street Fight. Raul Mendoza kept the opposing trio outside of the ring and Joaquin Wilde was launnched at them to ringside. Both teams brawled at ringside. Scott and Mendoza brought the action to the ring, which contained chairs, and a trash can. Mendoza was dropkicked, head first, into a chair set up in the corner. Breeze caught Wilde with a side Codebreaker. Fandango slapped around his opponents by giving a ladder a helicopter spin.
Mendoza thought he had control of Fandango, but Breeze catapulted Fandango into Mendoza’s balls. Scott caught Escobar with a high knee. Breeze caused his opponents to squirm by spraying them with fire extinguisher. The show cut to regular commercial. [c]
Scott caught Mendoza with a rolling paydirt. Scott then followed Mendoza to ringside and hit him with a stomp. Escobar knocked Scott off the apron and hit Scott with an Arrow from the Depths of Hell suicide dive. Out of nowhere, Fabien Aichner and Marcel Barthel ran out to beat up Tyler Breeze. Mendoza and Wilde joined Imperium in the beatdown. Imperium and Legado Del Fantasma surrounded Breeze. Scott and Dango then showed up ringside on the high part of a forklift. Scott and Dango dove at the pile of wrestlers in the ring.
Breeze and Fandango then dove on Imperium and Wilde and Mendoza at ringside. Inside of the ring, Scott hit Escobar with the JML driver for the win.
Breezango and Isaiah Scott defeated Legado Del Fantasma via pinfall in 8:16 of on-air time.
Johnny Gargano was shown pacing backstage in preparation for his world title match…[c]
John’s Thoughts: A fun show-opening match that wasn’t anything special, but could be fun for people who like cute weapons matches. Cinematic-wise, NXT has done a solid job presenting Legado Del Fantasma as professionals, but in recent weeks they’ve been cheating to win and participating in a hardcore match. It would help them to beat up some enhancement wins to build up their credibility. I only say that because Imperium have the same Modus Operandi as Legado Del Fantasma and chicken-sh*t a lot less. Escobar is way more credible than he’s currently being presented as.
A Tegan Nox and Candice LeRae promo aired where both women talked about wanting to work things out between each other because they were friends. Nox threw in that she doesn’t believe in the “Gargano way”…
2. Candice LeRae vs. Kacy Catanzaro (w/Kayden Carter). Catanzaro managed to get a rollup on LeRae early on. LeRae came back with a back elbow and rollup for a two count of her own. LeRae hit Catanzaro with a snapmare and Blockbuster for a two count. Catanzaro came back with a chop flurry. LeRae ended up hitting Catanzaro with a draping neckbraker and curb stomp for the win.
Candice LeRae defeated Kacy Catanzaro via pinfall in 3:00.
LeRae got on the mic and talked in a somber tone. She noted that she wants to make things better with Tegan Nox. LeRae invited Nox to her home for a dinner to talk things out…[c]
John’s Thoughts: I’m looking forward to the Nox and LeRae segment because it would be one of the first times we get to see Nox flush out her character. Nox has proven to be a strong “Girl Next Door” type outside of WWE, so it would be cool if she can express that on NXT TV.
Rhea Ripley was backstage talking about how she’s tired of Mercedes Martinez and Robert Stone Brand. Ripley challenged Martinez to a steel cage match…
3. “The Colossal” Bronson Reed vs. Timothy Thatcher. Thatcher tried to go for his catch wrestling, but it was hard due to Reed’s size. Reed and Thatcher traded forearms. Thatcher got Reed staggered with a knee. Reed came back with a tackle. Reed took down Thatcher with a right hand. Thatcher hit Reed with some lock kicks from the lying position. Reed stopped that with a running senton to Thatcher. Reed hit Thatcher with a lariat and sold arm pain. Thatcher got Reed to the mat and worked on Reed’s injured arm.
Once both men got to their feet, Reed got Thatcher to the mat with a series of punches. Reed hit Thatcher with a running dive. Reed then caught Thatcher at ringside with a suicide dive. After Reed tossed Thatcher inside, Austin Theory showed up and gave Reed a bulldog at ringside. The ref was distracted checking on Thatcher. Theory tossed Reed back in the ring and disappeared. Thatcher tried to lock Reed in the Juji Gatame, but struggled because Reed kept his back off the mat. Thatcher adjusted and locked Reed in the Fujiwara Armbar for the submission win.
Timothy Thatcher defeated Bronson Reed via submission in 4:47.
Adam Cole was shown pacing in front of the rest of Undisputed Era backstage. Tommaso Ciampa was also getting ready in a different part of Full Sail…[c]
John’s Thoughts: You know you’re getting pushed when they add more words to your name like “The Colossal”. Joking aside, it does look like WWE is finally putting steam behind Bronson Reed and Reed is doing a solid job making the most of his newfound push. Both guys needed to win here so this finish had to happen this way. Thatcher was taking too many losses recently so he needs a win. Reed was protected because of Theory’s interference which made sense given last week’s backstage segment.
They cut to Mercedes Martinez’s response to Rhea Ripley’s challenge. Martinez accepted…
Entrances for the four-man ironman match took place…[c]
[Hour Two] The show cut back at the top of the hour.
4. Johnny Gargano vs. Finn Balor vs. Tommaso Ciampa vs. Adam Cole in a 60-minute Ironman Match for the Vacant NXT Championship. Wade Barrett noted he was in a 30 minute Ironman match once and it took all the energy out of him. All four men brawled to start. Ciampa and Gargano were left alone in the ring. Ciampa tossed Gargano to the apron and Kneed him off the apron. Ciampa also gave Balor a knee. Ciampa gave Gargano and Balor high knees against the barricade. Ciampa punched around Adam Cole at ringside. Balor tossed Ciampa into the steps. Balor tossed Cole into plexiglass.
Ciampa dragged Balor in the ring and gave Balor methodical strikes. The clock graphic flashed on ticking down from 57 minutes. Cole ran in and tossed Ciampa to ringside. Balor slammed Cole to the mat and got a two count. Balor kicked Gargano from the apron and Barrett noted that Gargano has been a non-factor in this match so far. Cole slammed Balor to the mat. Gargano ran in the ring to give Cole and Balor boots.
Gargano alternated keeping control over Balor and Cole. Balor rolled to ringside to recover. Gargano punted Cole’s elbow and then mocked Cole’s UE pose. Gargano then posed saying it was his world. Cole got to his feet and hit a series of axe handle strikes on Gargano. Cole hit Gargano with a neckbreaker. Cole sold his right arm and noted that Gargano focused his attack on Cole’ sright arm. Balor ran in the ring and Cole put him in a sleeper. Balor recovered and hit Cole with a flying forearm and double stomp.
Balor planted Ciampa with a held elbow drop for a two count.[c]
They showed a scoreboard to show that all men were at zero pinfalls at the moment the show got back from commercial. Gargano escaped Cole’s fireman carry. Cole hit Gargano with a pump kick and Ushigoroshi for a two count. All four men took each other out with kick variations, leaving all the men lying. Cole got Ciampa to a knee by kicking the knee. Ciampa crotched Cole on the top rope. Balor hit Cole with rapid moves in the corner. Ciampa hit Cole and Balor with a tower of doom. Gargano crotched Ciampa into the bottom of the ringpost. Gargano got two two counts on Balor and Cole.
Balor caught Gargano wtih the 1916. Gargano kicked out at two. Balor hit Gargano with a shotgun dropkick. Gargano avoided the Coup De Grace. Ciampa hit Balor with an Air Raid Crash for a two count. The show cut to picture in picture commercial. [c]
Gargano and Ciampa had a bit of a staredown, but where quickly tossed away by Cole and Balor. Cole held up the “Too Sweet” hand sign, as a throwback between two Bullet Club members. Balor teased teaming up with Cole, but then tossed Cole to ringside. Balor caught Cole and Gargano with a singular Shotgun Dropkick. Balor hit Cole with the Coup De Grace in the ring for the first pinfall.
Finn Balor pinned Adam Cole to score a fall. (0-1-0-0)
Balor kept the match under control heading into the latest picture-in-picture commercial.[c]
Ciampa teased catapulting Cole into the metal beam under the ring. Balor broke up the two. Barrett noted that it might not have been the smartest to not let Cole take the damage. Ciampa ended up catching Balor with a Willow’s Bell and Fairy Tale Ending. Johnny Gargano tossed Ciampa outside and stome Ciampa’s pin on Balor.
Johnny Gargano pinned Finn Balor to score a fall. (1-1-0-0)
Adam Cole caught Ciampa with a Shining Wizard for a two count. Ciampa hit Cole with a knee. Cole came back with a superkick. Balor caught Coel with a Sling Blade. Cole recovered and hit Cole and Gargano with superkicks. Cole hit Gargano with a Panama Sunrise for a pinfall.
Adam Cole pinned Johnny Gargano to score a fall. (1-1-0-1)
Ciampa tried to get a pin over Gargano to get a two count. Ciampa draped Balor and Cole on the ropes and hit both of them with Willows Bell. Ciampa hit Cole with the Fairy Tale Ending to pick up his pinfall.
Tommaso Ciampa pinned Adam Cole to score a fall and tie the match (1-1-1-1)
Each men recovered against a different corner of the ring. The four men traded slow and fatigued punches. Balor knocked Cole out with a running boot. Ciampa knocked Gargano to ringside. Ciampa and Balor brawled in teh ring with strong style while Cole and Gargano traded strikes at ringside. Balor and Ciampa took each other out with stereo lariat.
Ciampa went for rapid fire covers on Balor to no success.
Tommaso Ciampa gave Balor a knee against the bottom buckle. Ciampa knocked Cole off the apron. Ciampa then tossed Gargano into the plexiglass. Ciampa sat on the apron and gave himself the self shoulder pat, saying “I’m back”. For some reason, this led to the Spectator Wrestlers booking him. Cole and Ciampa brawled on the apron. Ciampa entered the ring after eating a right foot from Cole. Ciampa and Cole brawled to the top rope. Cole escaped an Air Raid Crash. Cole slipped out and kicked Ciampa’s ankle to trip him off. The show cut to Picture-in-picture. [c]
Balor kept his opponents under control with chops. Balor locked Ciampa in the half crab. Barret noted that Balor was on a “Barrage” (anyone remember the “Barrett Barrage”? I like that throwback). Balor hit Ciampa with a Sling Blade and Shotgun Dropkick. Ciampa rolled away from a Coup De Grace. Cole and Gargano cleared Balor from the ring. Gargano hit Ciampa with a suicide dive. Gargano hit Cole on the other side of the ring with a suicide dive.
Balor blocked a Suicide Dive. Gargano reversed Balor into a Tornado DDT at ringside. The show cut to picture in picture.[c]
Gargano locked Cole in the GargaNo Escape. Ciampa pulled Gargano and Cole to ringside to prevent the submission. Ciampa kept hit opponents down with punches. Ciampa tossed Balor into the plexiglass. Ciampa suplexed Cole on the floor at ringside. Ciampa tossed Gargano into the plexiglass again. The clock showed that there were about 3 minutes left on the 60 minute clock. Ciampa ended up catapulting Gargano’s throat into the metal beam under the ring.
Cole broke up Ciampa’s pin attempt. Ciampa went back to the pin and Balor broke it up. Ciampa tossed away Balor and Cole. Gargano rolled up Ciampa with the Small Package for a good nearfall. The clock ticked down to one minute. Ciampa dragged Gargano to the top rope. Ciampa lifted Gargano and hit him with a Super Air Raid Crash. Finn Balor flew in and hit Ciampa with a Coup De Grace and picked up the pinfall.
Finn Balor pinned Tommaso Ciampa to pick up a fall
Adam Cole ran in and hit Finn Balor with a Last Shot Shining Wizard. Drake Wuertz raced in and counted the pinfall before the clock hit 0:00.
Adam Cole pinned Tommaso Ciampa to pick up a fall as the clock ticked to 0:00. Adam Cole and Finn Balor win the match with two falls a piece. Tommaso Ciampa and Johnny Gargano end the match with one fall each.
The NXT Spectator Wrestlers chanted “One More Hour”. William Regal ran into the ring and took the title belt. Regal booked Adam Cole vs. Finn Balor in a singles match for the NXT Championship on NXT Super Tuesday 2 next week. Vic Joseph closed the show…
John’s Thoughts: A good Ironman match, but not the great one you’d expect given the men involved and the show being NXT (which has a reputation of putting on great matches regularly). A handful of factors played against this match being great. The constant commercials made things a bit jarring, but that shouldn’t be too much of a problem if the match was more compelling (Brock Lesnar vs. Kurt Angle Ironman is one of my favorite matches of all time and that was on network TV). I also wasn’t the biggest fan of it being tied at 1-1-1-1 for most of the match because it sucked away any drama and numerlogical storylines you can get from someone having a lead or someone being behind. Think sports, where a team is down 2-1. There’s that added drama of if the loser at the moment can come back and more drama in if the leader can keep their lead.
Another thing that held this match from being great, was it ultimately led to a non-finish that set up another match next week, and not in the most compelling way, but in a slightly copout way. As I said, it wasn’t a bad match, but a bit unsatisifying given that it’s just a prelude to next week’s match. Hopefully they don’t get too cute there because Balor vs. Cole should be great. I’m of two minds of this show. It was underwhelming by NXT weekly standards in terms of content, but at the same time the two hours flew by, even with one match being an hour. I’ll have more thoughts on the match in my member’s exclusive Audio Review.